Ridgefield Market Report : Year In Review 2015

Staying The Course

When reviewing the 2015 sales results, one can interpret that the real estate market is flat when compared to 2014. I think that is an accurate statement, but it is also safe to say that we are staying the course when it comes to market stabilization, avoiding the large swings in value or unit sales seen in previous years. Essentially, Ridgefield real estate sales showed 100 more homes sold than in 2009, and only 9 less than in 2014. In both 2014 and 2015 we did not experience a traditional spring market surge, partly due to the severe and extended winter weather, and consumer confidence still seems to be the driver in bringing buyers to the market. Observationally, when analyzing sales by price point, the typically consistent $1.5- $1.75 million struggled in 2015. Conversely, we had a nice uptick in the $2 million and higher category.

The Power Of Proper Pricing

Pricing your home properly from the start is one of the key factors in achieving the best possible outcome for sale. Buyers are savvy and intuitive and can easily determine if they need to act quickly or wait to see if a price adjustment is imminent. We are not seeing many low ball offers, therefore do not feel like you need to build in a cushion. An equally important factor is making sure that your home is “turn-key”. Focus on a few important rooms. For example, if you are a few years away from listing your home for sale and feel that your kitchen is in need of some updating – don’t wait! If at all possible – do the updates now, and enjoy living with them until you are ready to sell.

No Longer A Wild Ride

Since 2013, the Ridgefield real estate market has been steady in both price and unit sales. Fairfield County as a whole has experienced that same stability. Moving into 2016, I see a trend of increasing consumer confidence that real estate is once again a stable investment.


Americans Positive About Selling

The National Association of Realtors reported that more consumers thought it was a good time to sell a home, encouraged by a stable job market and income growth. According to an article they published in Realtor Mag, Fannie Mae’s latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index, which capped off its strongest year so far showed that the share of consumers who reported their income was significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 9 percentage points on net in December.

“Consumers ended the year on an improved note with regard to their income, job security, and overall economic outlook,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “Brightening economic prospects, if sustained, should stimulate demand for home ownership. However, continuing upward pressure on rental prices and constrained housing supply, particularly for starter homes, may mean prospective first-time home buyers could face affordability constraints.”

Fannie Mae’s survey found that 40 percent of 1,000 respondents surveyed said they are confident home prices will rise this year.

Also, their financial picture is improving too. Eighty-five percent of respondents said they are not concerned about losing their job, which ties an all-time survey high. What’s more, the number of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago increased 9 percentage points to 15 percent in the survey.

Other highlights from the survey include:

*The net share of respondents who say that it is a good time to buy a house remained flat at 35%.

*The net percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to sell a house rose after falling for two months in a row – rising 4 percentage points to 8% in December.

*The net share of respondents who say that home prices will go up rose 2 percentage points to 40%.

*The net share of those who say mortgage interest rates will go down continued to decrease, dropping 4 percentage points to negative 52%.

*The net share of respondents who say they are not concerned with losing their job rose 3 percentage points to 72%. 85% of respondents say they are not concerned about losing their job, tying an all-time survey high.

*The net share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago rose 9 percentage points to 15%.

For more information about the complete survey visit http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/about-us/media/corporate-news/2016/6333.html.

Ridgefield Single Family Homes Sales Boosted in Q4

Single family home sales in October, November and December 2015 brought a much needed boost to the end of a roller-coaster year in real estate sales. The fourth quarter heralded a substantial increase in both the number of homes sold, as well as the overall dollar volume of transactions compared to the same time period last year. The Median Sales Price also increased, and homes generally sold for about 96 percent of their asking price – a slight decrease from the 97 percent we saw during the same time period last year.

The higher end market – typically defined as homes selling for greater than $1 million, also increased in the fourth quarter with 16 homes sold compared to only seven in 2014. In the luxury $1.5 million and above category, three homes sold this year compared to only one during the same period in 2014. Of note, the luxury homes sold all exceeded a $2.8 million price tag, indicating that the ultra high-end market may finally be recovering in Ridgefield.

The fourth quarter saw an uptick of 54 percent in dollar volume for single family homes sold, increasing from approximately $39 million in 2014 to just over $60 million in Q4 2015. The number of closed sales also increased from 61 in 2014 to 79 this year – a difference of 30 percent. The median sales price bounced back from last quarter’s drop to stand at $610,000, a 4.2 percent increase over the $585,000 median price in Q4 2014. The average sales price went from $640,752 in Q4 2014 to $763,098, with the three ultra high-end sales probably contributing to the increase. The average number of days a house was listed for sale remained constant at 162 days.

Condominium sales in Q4 2015 were down significantly from the same time last year resulting in only seven sales compared to 14 last year. The median sales price of a condo in Ridgefield did increase, however, from $211, 500 to $280,000.

In a year-to-year comparison, 2015 resulted in over $240 million in closed sales, with 321 homes sold at a median price of $655,000. 2014 results included $250 million in closed sales, with 331 homes sold at a median price of $661,500. To obtain a comprehensive year-end analysis of the Ridgefield Real Estate market, or if you would like to explore my forecast for 2016, contact me directly at Karla@KarlaMurtaugh.com or visit my website.

Q4 price snapshot jpeg

14-15-Oct-Dec-MS Median Sales