If you are wondering how waterfront homes are doing in the market, look no further than our newly created marketing piece called “The Shore Report.” The report, which was released to the public yesterday, details the year over year sales increases of the shoreline market in Fairfield and Westchester Counties through the end of the third quarter of 2014.
Our reason behind generating this report was to solely focus on the waterfront segment’s performance in the recent overall market improvements, which are regularly covered in our quarterly Market Watch reports. According to the results, in Fairfield and Westchester County’s upper end shorefront housing markets, including direct Long Island Sound-front single-family homes priced over $1 million, both unit sales and dollar volume had year over year growth from the first three quarters of 2013 to the same period of 2014.
This increase in waterfront activity is due to numerous factors, a major one being the effect of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. This act makes flood insurance much easier to acquire for most buyers. Unlike the previous bill, which 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 Fairfield County’s shoreline markets of Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk, Westport and Fairfield, there was a 73.1% overall year-over-year increase in sales, while unit sales grew by 46.8%. Greenwich saw the largest increase, with dollar volume 294.6% and units 166.7% higher than the previous year. In Westchester County’s shoreline markets of Rye, Larchmont, Mamaroneck and New Rochelle, unit sales increased by 33% from 2013 to 2014 while sales dollar volume grew by a significant 44.2%, mainly due to sales activity in Rye and Mamaroneck.
“We know that our housing markets overall have performed exceedingly well in 2014 and 2013, yet the question of how the waterfront segment in particular is doing, especially in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, has gone unanswered—and, indeed, unasked,” said President and CEO Paul Breunich. “We are excited to find that shorefront sales in the towns we serve have made a strong comeback this year, particularly in the high end.”
The Shore Report is available to view online here.