Closed dollar volume gains consistently exceed closed unit sales as prices rise
Stamford, Conn. – August 2, 2021 – Closed sales volume continued to surge in New York’s suburban housing markets in July, significantly exceeding closed unit sales as more properties sold at higher price points, according to data compiled by William Pitt – Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. Unit sales, for the first time in over a year, began to decrease in some markets as they competed with a timeframe of unprecedented growth the same month last year. Ongoing lower inventory levels also played a role in the decreased unit closings.
In Fairfield County, Conn., closed volume increased by 5.4% versus July 2020 as unit sales declined by 23.9%, showing a nearly 30% spread between unit sales and closed volume. July demonstrated the first instance of a unit sales decline county-wide since the end of the second quarter of 2020, which marked the beginning of a period of enormous sales increases as large numbers of New Yorkers relocated from the city to the suburbs amidst the pandemic. Although unit sales in July of 2021 could not compete with the record sales of the same month last year, they stood ahead of the same time in 2019, increasing by 6.6% even with a notable inventory shortage as available housing shrunk by 48.2% versus July 2019 and 34.5% versus July 2020.
In Westchester County, N.Y., dollar volume experienced an uptick of 51.7%, and unit sales remained up in this region as well, growing by 31% versus July 2020. The company noted that Westchester County’s real estate market reopened following lockdowns last year later than Fairfield County did, slightly delaying the beginning of the record sales period in that region, which may explain why unit sales have not yet encountered a similar declining trend to Fairfield County. Like Fairfield, Westchester’s markets remain ahead of the same month in 2019, and like Fairfield, Westchester’s greatly reduced inventory is impacting sales. Inventory is lower by 31.9% compared to July last year, and 50.3% compared to July two years ago.
Other markets served by the company experienced similar trends. The Shoreline region of Connecticut, comprising New Haven County, New London County and Middlesex County, saw declines in unit sales and volume versus last July’s record month, with volume standing well above the same month in 2019, and a consistent 10-15% spread between volume and units compared to last year, and 18-30% versus July 2019, as more higher priced properties transacted. The story was similar in Hartford County, Litchfield County and the Berkshires, Mass., and all regions are challenged by limited inventory.
“While we are not expecting another quarter of huge sales increases versus the third quarter last year, considering how substantially third quarter sales in 2020 dwarfed the same time in 2019, we do believe the continued growth we are seeing over 2019 leaves our markets on exceptionally strong footing,” said Paul Breunich, President and Chief Executive Officer of William Pitt – Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. “With the unparalleled buyer demand in our markets showing no signs of letting up, our outlook is that the incredible activity in our markets should continue for the rest of the year and beyond.”