Moderate sales declines versus the first half of 2018 continued in most markets
Stamford, Conn. – July 15, 2019 – A report detailing market results for the second quarter of 2019 in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties, the Shoreline and the Farmington Valley in Connecticut, the Berkshires in Massachusetts, and Westchester County, New York, has just been released by William Pitt-Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty, the company announced today.
The report found that real estate sales generally declined across most markets versus the first half of 2018. Westchester and Fairfield Counties felt the deepest impact in the market decline in single family home sales year over year, but a deeper analysis showed that the upper end, which makes up just a small percentage of sales, had a significant effect. This effect was more pronounced in the first quarter, and less dramatic in the second. In Westchester, most of the overall market decline in the first quarter occurred in the $2.5+ million price sector, where sales of units decreased as high as 45%, compared to a decrease of only 3.7% in the sub-$2.5 million market. In the second quarter, unit sales under $2.5 million—representing 87% of all sales county-wide—decreased by 2.5% versus the same time last year, while over that price point, units decreased 7%. The figures indicate the market is still down versus last year, but improving compared to the first quarter.
The Fairfield County market was also down both year to date and for the second quarter, but here, decreases in volume and unit sales were more modest below $3 million, and the $2-3 million price sector even demonstrated growth versus the second quarter last year. Yet sales above $3 million remained challenged county-wide, except in Greenwich, where the declines at the upper end during the second quarter were similar to those seen in Westchester. The Westchester and Fairfield County sections of the report provide further analysis.
Other markets turned in varying results for the second quarter. The Connecticut Shoreline region and Litchfield County both continued to show decreases in unit sales with smaller declines in dollar volume, indicative of improving activity at the higher end. Sales this year in the Farmington Valley region also fell behind 2018, but in Berkshire County, 2019 has proven a strong year in sales so far with units and volume both increasing over last year.
“There has been a negative effect on our housing markets from the tax reform bill passed a year and a half ago, as well as from further state and local taxes imposed by New York and Connecticut. But the tax issue is being offset by other positive economic indicators,” said Paul Breunich, President and Chief Executive Officer of William Pitt-Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. “Factors such as historically low interest rates, low mortgage rates, low unemployment, a booming stock market, strong GDP growth, and consistently elevated consumer confidence are encouraging to buyers, and leave us feeling optimistic as we move into the second half of the year.”
The 2019 Second Quarter Market Watch is available for download on the firm’s website, williampitt.com.
About William Pitt-Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty
Founded in 1949, William Pitt-Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty manages a $4 billion portfolio with more than 1,000 sales associates in 27 brokerages spanning Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Westchester County, New York. William Pitt-Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty is one of the largest Sotheby’s International Realty(R) affiliates globally and the 37th-largest real estate company by sales volume in the United States. For more information, visit the website at williampitt.com.
Sotheby’s International Realty’s worldwide network includes 990 offices throughout 72 countries and territories on six continents.
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