Positivity on the Horizon for Fairfield County’s Waterfront Market

An optimistic future for high-end waterfront sales is on the horizon for Fairfield County homes according to our company’s most recent Shore Report.  The data reveals that sales have increased compared to the same period last year.

The report analyzes the question of how the waterfront segment has performed in the face of overall market improvements in recent years, which our company has detailed in our regular quarterly Market Watch reports. The report states that in Fairfield County’s upper end shorefront housing markets, comprising direct Long Island Sound-front as well as other single-family waterfront homes priced over $1 million, both unit sales and dollar volume experienced increases from the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015.

Our company believes that one of the major factors contributing to the surge in waterfront activity is the effect of changes in both flood and homeowner insurance, including the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, which has made flood insurance easier to obtain for most buyers. While a previous bill had removed subsidized insurance rates for older waterfront homes, the new bill restores those earlier discounted rates, while also reinstating the ability for a seller to sign over an insurance policy with its current rate to a buyer. In addition, a recent homeowner insurance update has ensured that homes no longer need to meet former mitigation requirements, from storm shutters and pre-drilled holes for shutters to impact-resistant glass, in order to qualify for insurance.

In Fairfield County’s shorefront markets of Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk, Westport and Fairfield, a 136.1% overall quarter-over-quarter increase in sales volume occurred, while unit sales jumped ahead by 20%. Notable dollar volume growth was seen in Fairfield, which nearly doubled from the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2015; Westport, which more than doubled; and especially Greenwich, where volume increased by a dramatic 279.3%.

“We know that our housing markets overall have been performing exceedingly well in 2014 and 2013, so we launched our quarterly Shore Report to explore how the waterfront segment in particular is doing, an especially relevant question in the wake of Hurricane Sandy as well as recent flood and homeowner insurances changes,” said President and CEO Paul Breunich. “We are excited to find that shorefront sales in the towns we serve in Fairfield County are continuing to surge in 2015, particularly in the high end.”

The Shore Report is available to view online here.

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