Linda Raymond Real Estate Blog, Fairfield, Westport & More

Fairfield & Westport living- homes, fun stuff & more!


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Annie and Andrew’s Story

A seasoned recruiter for a financial firm on Merritt 7 in Norwalk Connecticut, Annie knew a good candidate when she saw one.   The perfect asset for the current position was one she had already recruited once before, and that would be her husband!  Given their relationship, Annie’s boss had to step in and seal the deal, but Andrew was on board in no time.

The next step was to move from their home in Avon to a town closer to Norwalk that was affordable and had good schools.  Annie’s boss lived in Fairfield and was a strong advocate.  She convinced Annie and Andrew that this town would fit the bill.

Annie & Andrew

So Annie and Andrew’s agent in Avon called me to help them find a new home in Fairfield.  We spoke on the phone, and I set up their online search.   Immediately Annie saw something she liked and came to see it the next day.  Andrew couldn’t get free until the weekend, and by then the house was gone.  Three more times, the timing was too late or multiple bids got in the way, and three more homes were lost. Homes in their price range in the Fairfield university area were in extremely high demand and flying off the shelf!

Although Andrew liked the homes he had seen, he was still having a little trouble understanding the value for the prices in Fairfield compared to Avon.  Annie and I gushed about the treasured amenities in Fairfield such as the gorgeous beaches, convenient train stations, chic eateries, vicinity to Manhattan and the fantastic vibrant community. I wish I had this video tour of Fairfield at the time! Still, Andrew just shrugged his shoulders and went with the flow, primarily motivated by a quick commute.  New Home in Fairfield

Finally, a lovely pricier home had a price reduction.  We immediately went to see it and this time lucked out.  Annie and Andrew landed a beautiful expanded Cape on a pretty university area street.  They lost no time starting to make memories with their little son George, their new neighbors and all the block parties scheduled for the year.

A short time later, Annie sent me a note that said, “Hi Linda, we love the house, and we have fallen in love with Fairfield.  We have only been in the house a little over a month, but it truly feels like home, and I would say George agrees!  We cannot thank you enough for all of your help. You were terrific to work with, patient and helped us every step of the way. Relocating to a new area is overwhelming, and you really made us feel at ease throughout the whole process.  Thanks again for everything.  We hope to see you around town!”

So we welcome Annie and Andrew to Fairfield and the university area along with some of our other recent new neighbors, Ping and Danian and Rich and Chris.  Annie and Andrew’s story is all about taking that leap toward the next chapter of exciting new beginnings- A new love. A new job. A new town. A new home.  Follow your dreams, and the rest is history in the making!

For questions about your next move, contact me any time!


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How’s the Summer Real Estate Market 2015 in Fairfield and Westport CT

So how’s the summer real estate market in Fairfield and Westport Connecticut? Are sellers listing their homes?  Are buyers making offers?  Here’s the summer 2015 scoop in Fairfield and Westport with a spotlight on the Fairfield beach and Greens Farms areas.

As of last week, there were a lot of single family homes on the market in Fairfield, 633 to be exact, compared to 542 at the end of July last year!  Fourteen percent (14%) of these houses had accepted offers. This is great compared to only 9% with binders last July.

The beach area market was not quite as strong as the town-wide market, with 12% of listings securing offers.  However, this ratio was more positive than last summer when the beach area’s home sellers accepting offers matched the town-wide tally of 9%. Of the 15 beach area homes with offers, seven were priced over $1 million, four were between $600,000 and $1 million and four were under $600,000. So there was a good range of prices.

Re-incarnation in the Fairfield Beach Area

Click Image for Flipogram!

845 Fairfield Beach Rd

Click Image for Full Listing!

Beach area new construction was exceeding the town’s ratio, with five accepted offers out of 30 listings, or 17%.  Click the image above for a representative view of the construction going on all over the beach area right now.  Direct waterfront in the beach area demonstrated more sluggish activity than the rest of the beach area and town with a 10% ratio of offers to active listings, that’s 4 out of 39.

Westport inventory was also high with 402 houses for sale compared to about 350 in July last year.  This season’s market was slightly more positive than in July 2014 with 7% of listings taking offers compared to 6%.

Greens Farms was a hot subset of the Westport market, with 12% of the 49 listings securing acceptable offers.  Half of the six offers were listed above $1 million and half below.

2 Hedley Farms Rd

New construction listings in Greens Farms weren’t moving as fast as the rest of the neighborhood with one binder out of 12 listings, or 8%.

So yes, sellers are listing their homes, and buyers are bidding on them.  The ratio of accepted offers to active listings is a leading indicator of what’s to come, and this summer it’s shown variablility based on town, neighborhood, and property type.
As always, pricing your home competitively and staging it for maximum appeal will attract buyers to your listing.  There’s still time before August vacations to get your price right if you’re selling and get your bid in if you’re buying.  Be sure to check out the featured homes for sale below!

Buy one this summer!

Buy one this summer!

New Construction on the Beach, Fairfield – $2,545,000 New price!
Summer Beach Cottage, Fairfield – $1,245,000 New price!
Carefree Beachfront Condo, Fairfield – $915,000 See Quick-Film!
Like-New Home at the Beach, Lordship – $879,000 New Price!
Bright Beach Area Colonial, Fairfield – $625,000 Off the market, sale pending!
Charming Cape, Convenient Location, Fairfield –  Off the market to be rented starting October 1st.

Feel free to contact me any time with questions, showing requests or for a complimentary market analysis of your home.


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Pricing Your Home Right

Here are a few true stories that occurred in May of 2015.  Three comparable university area homes for sale in Fairfield Connecticut accepted offers.  The properties and prices were similar in scope, but the paths the sellers took to get an offer were quite different.   I’ll assign each house a color instead of using the address to protect privacy.  I am privy to the information because my buyers bid on all three of these homes.

White House

A White house with 2,293 square feet, four bedrooms and two and a half baths on .31 acres came on the market for $675,000 the previous November.  The listing canceled and put back on the market as a new listing for the same price in January 2015.  Over the next 130 days the price was reduced to $669,000 and then 649,000.  It was newly listed again in May for $625,000.  The sellers accepted an offer of $610,000 which was 97% of their final asking price but 90% of their original price from more six months prior.

green house

A Green house was listed in March for $650,000.  It had 2,352 square feet, two and a half baths on .49 acres.  The price was reduced to $619,000 and then to $610,000 and was ultimately re-listed with a new price of $600,000. Less than two weeks later, the sellers received multiple full price offers for $600,000.  The sellers got 100% of their final asking price, but 92% of their original list price.

On May 12, homeowners listed a Red house for sale with 2,164 square feet, three bedrooms and two baths on .22 acres for $619,000 and accepted an offer the next day!

Since the two homes above sold for 97-100% of their final asking price, and the average sale-list ratio in Fairfield from January to mid-May was 97%, my guess is that the sellers got very close to their asking price, and in one day, not bad!REd House

So what are the take-aways?

Price: You won’t get more by pricing your house much higher than market value.  Remember you have to sell your house three times- to the buyer’s agent, to the buyer, and to the appraiser. Buyers may be attracted to your house based on emotion, but their final decision is based on the market data that their Realtor provides to them.

Time: The higher above market value you price your house, the longer it will take to sell, and remember, time is (taxes, utilities, insurance, repairs, maintenance, personal time and energy…) money!  The stories above show that in this price range, a list price of 8-10% above the market value is too high to attract an offer.

Since the market is what determines your property’s value, not your personal finances (or Zillow!), price your house within 5% of, or right at market value.  This way you can enjoy a fast sale at a fair market price, and get to where you want to go sooner rather than later!

Feel free to contact me for a pricing recomendation and custom marketing plan or any questions you may have about the buying and selling process.   I’m here to help!

 


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Last Local Housing Market Update for the Year, Plus Some Holiday Bloopers!

As we head towards the final holiday week before the New Year, I wanted to give you the current housing market snapshot.   I’ll give you the full-year summary once we are well into Q1 of 2015 and all the numbers are in.  So here’s the scoop for now-

Inventory of homes for sale was up in Fairfield (21%), Westport (16%) and Weston (6%) at the end of November compared to 2013.

Sales were down in Fairfield (-25%) and Weston (-30%), but up thirteen percent in Westport compared to November last year.

Even though sales dipped in Fairfield in November, the average days on market was 24% less than it was a year ago (99 vs. 131).  However the average market time was up nineteen and twenty percent respectively in Weston and Westport.

Click here to see tables with more detailed information. Let’s see what happens in the New Year.   My phone has been known to ring on January 1!

In the spirit of holiday entertaining fun, why not enjoy some cooking bloopers from Martha Stewart. Happy Holidays, and send in any questions or request you may have below!

Linda Raymond, Realtor
William Raveis Real Estate
2525 Post Road
Southport, CT 06890
203-912-4440 direct

LoPumpkin Houseoking at unit sales and the average sale price for single family homes in Westport, Weston and Fairfield, there appeared to be a similar trend across the three markets as of the end of September.    Unit sales were down, but the average sale price was up.

In Westport, there were 26 sales in September which was down from 39 from last year and 50 in the previous month.  Year to date sales were 291, down 19.6% from 362 last year at this time.  However the average sale price in September was $1,510,448 which was up 5.7% from last September.  So far this year, the average sale price was $1,566,866 which was 1.9% higher than last year.

There were 54 sales in Fairfield in September which was well below the 77 units in August but just 1.8% below the 55 sales in September 2013.  Year-to-date sales were down 7.6% with 523 vs. 566 last year.  Prices followed a very similar trend to Westport with the year over year value up 5.9% for the month of September and just a slight increase of 1.6% for the year to date average sale price of $723,563.

Weston had the most significant reduction in unit sales of the three towns in the month of September but showed a better tally for the year to date.  With seven sales in September compared to 16 the previous year and 21 in August, the good news was that for the year to date, sales were down just 11.6% (122 vs. 138).   The average price for sales in September was down slightly from August and down 12.8% from last September but followed the trend of the other two towns for the year to date average price, with a small increase over 2013 of 1.8%, resulting in $882,423.

Fall Image 2

Let’s wait and see if the activity catches up to last year.  Tell all your friends that are thinking about moving to go ahead and do it!  In the meantime, click to see a table of all the Housing Market Numbers each month from 2013 to 2014 through September.

If you would like specific market numbers on a neighborhood near you, just send a request below, and I’ll be happy to provide you with the information.

 


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Quick Scoop on July’s Local CT Housing Markets

Word on the Street: Fairfield, Westport & Weston
2013 vs. 2014

House Clip Art

Just checking in with a quick report on the real estate markets in July before joining the masses and taking a little vacation-

We would expect the housing market to be seasonally slower in the months of July and August as people are in full summer mode and focused on enjoying the warm weather.  However, this July appeared to be slower than last July in Westport and Fairfield.  Weston was singing a different tune though-

In Fairfield, unit sales were down almost 43% from 122 to 70 last month.   The median (midpoint) sale price was also down 9% to $577,500.  The average time on market was up 9% to 97 days.   All this is good news for the buyers out there though since it affords them more bargaining power.    One measure that favored sellers was a 5% increase in the price per square foot from $290 to $305 of homes that sold.

Sales were also slower in Westport with a 6% reduction and 44 July closings.  The median sale price was $1,225,000, down almost 2% from last year.  Market time increased 37% to 101 days.  Yet the price per square foot increased 11% to $436.

Sellers take note: Weston rallied last month with numbers in your favor!  Unit sales were 24% higher this July with 31 compared to 25 last year. The median sale price was up 6% to $820,000.  Giving some leverage to buyers was market time up 40% to an average of 137 days and price per square foot down 3% to $257.

So that’s the quick scoop for now.  Check out the charts with more numbers and print this report following the link below.  I assume there will not be much change in pace next month, but I’m anticipating a rally in September and October when everyone works on making their moves before the holidays and cold weather take over.

Word on the Street Snapshot JULY 2014


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Question: Which June Housing Market was Better, 2013 or 2014?

What’s the answer?

2014_05_05_0213

Featured property for sale in Fairfield, CT: $379,000. Click image for more info!

Let’s see how the towns did in June this year as we were having fun in the sun…

It helps to look at the rate that homes are selling, known as the “absorption rate”.  It’s calculated by dividing the sales per month by the number of homes on the market at the end of that month.   The higher the percentage, the faster homes are selling and the stronger the market.

At the end of June in Fairfield, there were 90 sales with 622 homes on the market.  So 90/622 is an absorption rate of 14%.  Last June, there were 79 sales with 556 homes for sale equating to the same absorption rate of 14% indicating little change in the pace of the market in Fairfield.

In Westport however, 39 homes sold with 405 on the market and an absorption rate of 39/405 = 10%.  Last June there were 49 sales and 346 active listings, or a rate of (49/346) 14%, showing a weaker market so far this summer.

In Weston 19 homes sold in June with 191 for sale, and a ratio of 19/191, or 10%. Last June, Weston saw 29 sales and 183 homes for sale, an absorption rate of 29/183 =16%.  So the Weston market has slowed as well.

An absorption rate below 15% is considered to be a good market for buyers with greater months of supply and slower sales, whereas a rate above 20% is typically a faster-selling market favoring sellers.

Take a look at the town numbers for June 2013 versus 2014 here: 2014 June Real Estate Fairfield, Westport, Weston

The second half of 2014 is expected to be stronger than the first half according to researchers at Redfin brokerage as reported by RealtorMag.   Click here for the article and to find out why, and let’s get ready for the pace to pick up as we enjoy the breezes of the remaining summer!

Featured home for sale in Fairfield, CT $1,395,000. Click image for more info!

Featured home for sale in Fairfield, CT $1,395,000. Click image for more info!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more answers…or more questions, feel free to submit a request below.