The market results for the second quarter of 2014 in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties as well as the Shoreline in Connecticut, the Berkshires in Massachusetts and Westchester County, New York, have just been released by our company. Although the report found a decline in closed sales compared to the second quarter of 2013, both unit and dollar sales for the first half of 2014 are just in line with last year’s results. After a two-year period of consistent growth with quarter-to-quarter sales increases often reaching double digits, it is not altogether unexpected to see a subsequent leveling off in market activity. Last year’s predictions were proven to be spot on, with the year-end 2013 report stating that the double-digit sales increases are not sustainable in the long term and that a more moderated housing market was projected for 2014.
According to the report, the cold weather and early spring delayed the traditional spring market selling period, largely contributing to this decrease in sales. We are, however, confident in a positive shift for the 2014 market due to the already significant uptick in pending sales in June, combined with macro-economic factors such as high consumer confidence, stable prices, an improved employment picture, and historically low interest rates.
The report made several additional key findings. Despite the decline in closed sales compared to the second quarter of 2013, the market overall is operating at its strongest since 2007; closed dollar volume is five to ten percentage points above closed units; median selling prices are stable; inventory levels have rebounded; and days on market have declined, reflecting a faster-moving market.
“Despite the slower pace of gains, which is expected as we move into a more normalized market, we are now at a point where total unit sales volume for the vast majority of towns is at or near pre-recessional levels,” said President and CEO Paul E. Breunich. “We believe that the current period of more moderated yet sustainable growth is a healthy one, and we are optimistic that our housing markets will remain vibrant throughout the rest of the year.”