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Ridgefield 2021 Year End Market Report

The 2021 Real Estate Market maintained momentum but felt less panicked than in 2020. The number of sales decreased slightly from 556 to 482 mostly due to a lack of inventory, which remains challenging. Buyers are still out in force and homes are selling in 60 days on average, as opposed to 70 days in 2020. The overall sales volume only differed by $38,000 from 2020 on a total sales volume of $451,645,946. Homes also generally sold at or above asking.

Looking ahead, while it continues to be a seller’s market, the frenzied pace of 2020 has subsided to a dull roar. There are still plenty of buyer’s looking for homes, and with mortgage rates expected to rise slightly – although still remaining historically low – there is a sense of urgency to find the perfect property. Inventory remains the biggest challenge, but we are encouraged already this year with many sellers’ reaching out to begin the process of listing their home. Ridgefield has benefited from continued remote work options and the quality of life and vibrancy of our town is clearly getting noticed. We also continue to see Ridgefield residents trading up and down in this market, which speaks volumes for our community.

SEE THE FULL REPORT HERE

Ridgefield Highlights

• There was a 13% decrease in the number of homes sold in 2021 compared to 2020
• There was a 15% increase in the median sales price year over year
• There was a 15% increase in the average sales price year over year
• Homes priced in the $1.0 to $1.25 million range saw an increase from 47 to 70 sales this year
• The higher end of the Ridgefield luxury market – over $2 million – saw huge gains with 19 sales in 2021 compared to 11 in 2020
• The highest value home sold in Ridgefield in 2021 was $6.6 million

Fairfield County

2021 continued to boast favorable market conditions for towns throughout Fairfield County. While many places saw double digit growth in median sales value, the number of sales decreased year over year in most areas. Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk and Stamford were exceptions to this rule and experienced large gains in both the number and value of their single-family home sales. Weston experienced an unprecedented growth in median sales price (35%) over 2020. As is being felt everywhere, if inventory stays fluid, we expect to continue to see price and the number of sales hold steady

We’ve Joined Compass!

We pride ourselves on providing the best market knowledge, the best client care, and the most comprehensive marketing to our clients. Integrity, authenticity and knowledge are our pillars of service. As such, we are thrilled to be joining Compass Ridgefield as the Founding Team, becoming part of the fastest growing, independent brokerage in the nation. Renowned for focusing innovative technology and support towards agents and clients, Compass further enhances Karla Murtaugh Homes’ commitment to an outstanding Real Estate experience. We’d love for you to reach each out to us to discover more about Compass and how we can help you with your Real Estate needs!

Ridgefield October Market Report – A More Normal Market Returns

October 2021 Prices Remain High Even As Number of Sales Fall
In a turnaround from 2020s frenzied fall market, 2021 presents with sales figures more similar to the seasonal nature of 2019. With the majority of homes closing in October being purchased after the start of school, it is no surprise that the number of sales decreased as it does in a more normal market. As a comparison, October 2020 saw 131 homes sold, while only 32 closed in 2021 and 42 in 2019. Overall sales figures also showed a similar pattern for October 2021 with a 71% decrease from October 2020, but only a 2% decrease when compared to 2019. The overall sales volume in October 2021 was $32,004,400. On the flip side, both the median and average sales prices remain high when comparing past years. The October 2021 median sales price sits at $794,500 which is 9% higher than $730,000 in 2020, and 30% higher than $611,250 in 2019. The average sale price was $1,000,153 in October 2021; 17% higher than $850,161 in 2020, and 28% higher than $779,349 in 2019.


Year To Date Sales Compare Favorably To 2020
While the monthly sales show a return to seasonality, overall the year to date sales and values show an increase over 2020. From January to October 2021 a total of 424 homes sold, which is comparable to the 435 homes changing hands by this time last year. The overall sales volume was actually up 15% during the same time as last year coming in at $397,473,336 in 2021. Median and average values also showed steady increases. The median value to date sits at $822,500 compared to $690,500 in 2020; an increase of 19%. The average value is up 18% from 2020 at $937,437 compared to $795,420.

What Lies Ahead?
While it’s impossible to predict the real estate market, we are seeing sales steady out at more normal levels across all price points. Inventory is still unnervingly low going into the holiday season, but we’re hoping that the increased values and more certainty about Covid-19 leads to increasing consumer confidence. Real estate has become a solid investment throughout the pandemic, and it will be interesting to see if the trend of urban to suburban moves continues or reverses itself in the coming year.

What to Consider When Upsizing or Downsizing

As we discussed in our recent Q3 Market Report, the market is still very busy although we are seeing the “panic” situation of late 2020 receding a little. Homes that are in good condition and priced correctly are still seeing lots of interest, but it is not as frenzied as in previous months.

Our days on market and months of inventory continue at record lows and are a matter of concern given the number of buyers still looking to make the move to the suburbs. With in- office work returning, high crime in many urban areas, and stubbornly low interest rates, it behooves sellers looking to move to jump into the market.

Taking all of this into consideration, many people are currently thinking about upsizing or downsizing. Many families’ needs have changed and their current homes no longer serve their lifestyle appropriately. But figuring out the perfect size home for your family can be difficult. Often, we don’t know exactly how we’ll use a space until we’re in it (and then it could be too late!).

If you’re considering either upsizing or downsizing, we recommend you contemplate the following:

  • Think about your current home. Are there rooms you never use? Are there rooms that are packed to bursting? Do you have enough storage space? Are you bumping into family members when trying to get out the door at night or make dinner at night?
  • Think about the future. Do you have young kids who will only occupy more space as they grow? Or do you have kids who are about to leave the nest and free up a certain amount of square footage?
  • Think about your lifestyle. Do you wish you had more space to entertain and have overnight guests? You might want to upsize. Are you spending more time away from home and don’t want the maintenance that goes along with a larger home? You might be ready to downsize.
  • Think about your budget. Is a smaller mortgage payment one reason you’d like to downsize? Or has your financial outlook improved enough to take on more of a mortgage in exchange for the lifestyle that will go along with it?

As we move into the traditionally slower holiday season, prices are still up but we hope for a more balanced market as we head into 2022. So, if you have been reevaluating your lifestyle and think that making a move would be good for you, now is the time! We offer a complimentary market analysis and would be happy to provide you with a concrete analysis of what your home is worth. For buyers, our expertise in negotiating in a strong seller’s market means you will get unparalleled representation in a competitive marketplace. Contact us today at 203-856-5534 or karla@karlamurtaugh.com.

Antique Homes Are Amazing, But Do Your Homework

There are some beautiful antique homes in our area, and these can be some of our favorites to help clients buy and sell. The unique charm of older homes can be just the character your family is looking for, and there is nothing cookie-cutter about these properties! They are often located in well-established neighborhoods with mature landscaping.

Older homes can have amazing character traits and historical features that most new homes simply do not have, like huge wood-burning fireplaces, beautiful wood trim and moldings, and ceilings with rustic wood beams that can be harder to find in newer, more modern homes.

There can be some challenges however, and we created this list to help prepare you if you’re thinking of purchasing an antique home. Be sure to consider the following:

  • Enlist the help of a top realtor like us who has decades of experience in this area. We know what red flags to look for, and how to negotiate on your behalf to get the best deal especially when it comes to replacement expenses.
  • Most older homes contain items that eventually need to be replaced. Some examples with considerable price tags may include roofing, furnace, water heater, decks, windows and fencing. It is important to find out the age of each of these items when you’re considering an older property. Structural issues, older plumbing and outdated electrical may also need to be addressed depending on the age of the home.
  • Antique homes in the northeast especially can require updated weatherstripping and insulation to ensure you’re not wasting money on an unnecessarily high energy bill. Speaking of bills, it can be more costly to insure an older home than a modern home so you may want to check with your homeowners insurance company.
  • Depending on the needs of your family, the floor plan in an older home might require some renovation and remodeling. Smaller rooms might need to be opened up to create a more open floor plan and additional bathrooms might be needed if you have a larger family or frequent houseguests.
  • You may want to find out if there are any historical societies or neighborhood restrictions on remodeling. Some older homes and neighborhoods have restrictions in terms of the type and style of remodeling that can be done.
  • Fortunately, our team loves antique homes and would be honored to help you find yours, even if it means resolving some of these issues! Reach out to us today.

    Our Clients In The Wall Street Journal!

    In a Wall Street Journal Special Section called Beyond NYC, we were fortunate enough to be asked to provide a commentary on the state of the market. In addition, two of our fabulous clients were featured in a two different articles about their experiences buying in the ‘suburbs’ like Ridgefield, and selling during Covid. To check out the full article, see the posts below.

    Ridgefield August Market Report – Low Inventory Remains Main Issue

    Year To Date Sales Remain Strong

    Year over year January through August single-family home sales remain strong with 351 homes sold to date in 2021 vs 298 in 2020 – an increase of 18%.  We see the same trend in overall sales volume, which saw a 43% increase year over year ending the year-to-date at $329,473,587 with rising prices and continued demand for properties responsible for the continuing uptick.

    Low Inventory Means Less Sales, Less Overall Volume In August 2021

    For the second month in a row the number of closed transactions is lower in a given month than what was seen in that same month in 2020. There were 58 sales in August this year, a decrease of 19% from the 69 sales in August 2020. There was also a 7.5% decrease in the overall sales volume with August 2021 coming in at $55,711,650 vs $60,211, 700. Given the buying cycle, homes closing in August were most likely to have been purchased in June – the key time observed for the large exodus of buyers from NYC in 2020. It’s also a sign that limited inventory is making it hard for buyers to find homes – the main limiting factor in real estate right now.

    Prices Remain High With No Sign Of Dropping

    Another result of the limited inventory is that the price of homes continues to remain at all time highs.  Mortgage rates are holding steady, and values are showing no signs of slipping. While the market is not as frenzied as previous, homes remain in high demand with buyers chomping at the bit to make to a move. In August alone the median price was up 13% year over year from August 2020 landing at $835,000 vs $740,000 a year ago.  Year-to-date, the median home price is 28% up year over year sitting at $825,000 vs $645,000.  The average price in August 2021 is up 10% at $960,546, while year over year it is up 22% at $938,671.

     

    How To Prep Your Home To SELL

    With fall coming, it’s a fabulous time to list your home! If you’ve been on the fence about selling, we understand. It’s been a tumultuous eighteen months. But the real estate market shows no signs of slowing, and if you’d like to capitalize on this exciting market and earn a fabulous price for your home, we’d love to help.

    Here are a few great first steps to get you started:

    1. Declutter! This is a terrific opportunity to get rid of items you’re no longer using or enjoying. If you’re not ready to part with many of your things, consider a temporary storage unit.

    2. Deep clean! Set aside a significant amount of time or hire a pro, then keep it clean until you close so it’s in great shape for showings.

    3. Repair! Patch holes in the walls, replace broken appliances, change burnt out light bulbs.

    4. Paint! Many homeowners are surprised by how a new coat of neutral paint can refresh their home. We’re happy to recommend paint colors that will enhance the beauty of your home.

    5. Boost curb appeal! The first impression is most important, so consider improving outdoor light fixtures, replacing the mailbox, arranging patio furniture and/or sprucing up the landscaping. Even a few pots of colorful flowers can make a huge difference in welcoming potential buyers.

    In addition, research shows a staged home generally sells faster and for more money. The real estate market is highly competitive and staging will give you a leg up on the competition. When a potential buyer enters your home, you want to provide a backdrop for them to experience the home — a place where they can see how rooms function and how the home ‘feels’. Most importantly, staging lets you get an objective opinion as seen through a buyer’s eyes – it’s not a reflection on your personal style or taste, but about getting you the most bang for your buck and top dollar on your sale.

    For everything you need to know about selling your home, check out our Seller’s Guide. At Karla Murtaugh Homes, our team is committed to ensuring that each and every transaction is handled in the most effective manner possible, and with the trust and integrity you deserve.

    Be sure to reach out to us today for your complimentary consultation. We’ll walk you through every step!

    Top Outdoor Living Trends, According to Google

    Summer is here! Even as the world reopens, homeowners and home buyers are putting more weight on outdoor spaces to enjoy at home. So, what’s trending in outdoor spaces? Living Spaces, a furniture retailer, recently spotlighted Google trends data to showcase what is seeing the highest uptick in interest as homeowners spruce up the outdoors.

    Indoor-outdoor spaces: “Cozy, private, and shaded space outdoors” is trending—all through comfy couches, ambient lighting, and multifunctional, weather-resistant furniture, according to Daniela Lopez, a Living Spaces designer. Indoor-outdoor spaces have posted one of the largest increases for 2021, jumping about 156% over the last year, according to Google searches.

    Backyard play sets: The kids are getting their own private spaces outside too, including backyard play sets, tree houses, and even giant sidewalk checkers games or outdoor reading nooks. The Google Trends report shows backyard play sets have risen about 7% over the past year.

    Gardening: Container gardening is gaining popularity, which has increased spots all around outdoor space for pots of flowers or fruits or vegetables. Edible gardens have seen a 20% increase in searches over the past year and sustainable gardens a 9% increase.

    Backyard basketball court: Sports and hobbies have gained popularity in the pandemic and half-court basketball courts don’t have to take up a ton of space. Google Trends notes “backyard basketball court” has seen a 42% interest over the past year.

    Front porch: The front porch has become an extension of the indoor space and a place during the pandemic for drive-up parties or socially distanced gatherings, Lopez notes.

    Hot tubs: In creating an entertainment getaway, hot tubs have grown in popularity too. Hot tub searches are up 4.11% over the past year.

    View more outdoor trends, according to Google, at LivingSpaces.com.