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Q1 2021 – The Ridgefield Real Estate Market Is On Fire!

You may have recently heard about the “surge” in Real Estate transactions and prices. Before the pandemic set in in March of last year, we were seeing a push in real estate that we hadn’t seen for many years. However, in the first quarter of 2021, this surge is truly unprecedented. Low inventory is skewing the supply and demand curve and we are seeing an increase in prices across the board.

This trend is not localized to Ridgefield either. Because we work with buyers and sellers in a number of Fairfield County towns, we are observing this surge there as well. Click here to view the latest market stats for all Fairfield County towns.

Well qualified buyers are finding the market extremely competitive at the moment. As the spring weather warms and vaccinations make the promise of a return to somewhat normal a reality, we are also seeing increased confidence by sellers to list their homes.

It is also interesting to note, that the total dollar volume sold is outpacing the increase in the actual number of transactions, meaning that more properties are transacting at higher price points. In Ridgefield, compared to last year, 33% of all sales were in the over $1-million category, as opposed to only 14% in Q1 2020. As such, both the median and sales prices have increased this year.

Prices and Sales Continue To Rise
Compared to Q1 2020, all indicators point to a robust sellers market. The overall sales volume for single family homes was up 106% over last year closing out the quarter with $102,363,182 as compared to $49,703,144 at this time in 2020. The number of sales increased from 70 to 108, and the median and average sale prices also climbed. The median value of a Ridgefield single family home sits 44% higher than 2020 at $859,500, while the average price rose 33% to $947,807. Homes are also selling at 99.6% of their list price compared to 96.2% at the end of Q1 2020.

Days On Market and Inventory Remain Low
One of the key indicators of the strength of the market is the Months of Inventory – the lower the number generally the stronger the market. Currently, at the end of the first quarter this year, we have only 2 months of inventory available compared to 7 months in 2020. Due to the number of buyers still wanting to purchase, this is placing pressure on the market and making it increasingly competitive. The median days on market has also declined from 110 days last year to 62 this year, with many homes taking deposits the first few days after they enter the market.

The Benefits Of Using A Buyer’s Agent To Purchase Your Home

Buying a home is one of the major milestones in life and it shouldn’t be stressful! At Karla Murtaugh Homes, we offer a Platinum level of service to each and every client we work with – partnering with you in your home search and providing you with exceptional market knowledge, negotiating skills, and market insight at every stage of the process.

Signing a Buyer’s Agency agreement or an Exclusive Right To Represent Buyer agreement means you are protected – the agent has a fiduciary duty to represent you to the best of their ability, in confidence, and always acting in your best interest. These agreements are required in order for us to show you homes on the market and serve to benefit you throughout the buying process.

Using a buyer’s agent you always know you are truly being represented with only your interests in mind. A good buyer’s agent will counsel you on how to make the offer, what contingencies to waive, how best to negotiate, what inspection items to address/request and just generally what to expect in the current tumultuous real estate market.

A great buyer’s agent will provide:

1. UNSURPASSED MARKET KNOWLEDGE
Every quarter, we release our “Interpreting The Market” real estate report outlining how the market is doing and where we think it’s going. Based on sound analysis of trends, home sales and current values, as well as a wealth of anecdotal information from our representation of multiple buyers and sellers, we offer the most comprehensive analysis, resulting in your real estate success.

2. REAL TIME INFORMATION
Aligned with the latest search technology, we match our buyers quickly to relevant homes on the market. Priding ourselves on up-to-the-minute communication and familiarity with the inventory through agent previews, broker open houses and broker relations, our buyers are always ‘in-the know’ when it comes to the latest price changes, recent sales and new-to-market homes.

3. EXPERT NEGOTIATING SKILLS
Using skills honed in almost two decades in the business, Karla Murtaugh Homes has seen it all. It’s a challenging, fast-paced market right now, and if you’re lucky enough to find a home you want, you’ll need a seasoned agent to get you to the closing table. From the initial offer to the repair requests, it’s important to balance the seller’s market with your best interest.

Congratulations to the Youth Of The Year at Boys & Girls Club Ridgefield

On March 25, 2021 in a hybrid event, the Boys & Girls Club of Ridgefield broadcast the 2021 BGCR Youth Leadership Celebration. It was a night to celebrate the Club and the kids that make it the special place that it is.

The 16 Youth of the Year candidates, along with the Keystone Award winners and the leadership team, gathered at the Club for an in-person celebration – which was streamed LIVE for the BGCR Community to view at home. I’m continually impressed and proud to be a sponsor and executive board member of this very special organization.

The 2021 Youth of the Year winner was Eli Keeler! Eli has been coming to the Club since he started second grade – and the first staff member he met was Triston “Big Paw” Philip. They have been attached at the hip since; so much so, that Eli has earned the nickname “Little Paw!” Just like Triston, Eli has done so much for the Club, participating in all of our programs and always volunteering at every Club event. He is an amazing role model and a leader amongst his peers.

Also, for the first time in BGCR history, the Club announced the winner of the 2021 Junior Youth of the Year, Sydney Rossi! Sydney has been coming to the Club for the past 5 years, and truly has emerged as a leader at the Barn Teen Center and in Keystone Club. She was an active participant in the Club’s Teen Take The Lead program last summer. She says “The Boys & Girls Club has helped me become a better person, through gaining friendships, confidence, and leadership skills.”

Congratulations to all Youth of the Year and Junior Youth of the Year candidates – we are so proud of you all.

Run Like A Mother Will Be Virtual For 2021

Every year since it’s inception, Karla Murtaugh Homes has been a proud sponsor of Ridgefield’s Run Like a Mother® national 5K race series.  This year, Run Like  Mother is teaming up with the ZOOMA Women’s Race Series to host a virtual event on Mother’s Day Weekend.  The Run Like A Mother series focuses on celebrating mothers across the nation and now in its 14th year, has hosted races in Washington, California, Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio and its original race Ridgefield. During this time, founder Searfoss opened Ridgefield Running Company and Darien Running Company and authored, See Mom Run-Every Mother’s Guide to Getting Fit and Running Her First 5K.

“I am incredibly excited to see Run Like a Mother join forces with ZOOMA,” said Megan Searfoss, founder of Run Like a Mother. “It is a natural step forward for ZOOMA and Run Like a Mother to join forces. Both series offer inspiration and content for women from beginner runners to experienced.”

Sarah Ratzlaff, owner of ZOOMA Women’s Races and Skirts Sports added, “While the races are virtual this year, we hope the celebration of Run Like a Mother continues to be part of everyone’s Mother’s Day weekend.”

As part of the Run Like a Mother 5K package, ZOOMA will offer virtual training programs, an online run community, and race day gifts including a shirt, a finisher’s medal and an inspirational bracelet from Momentum Jewelry.

Race registration opens today at www.runlikeamother.com.

In Real Estate Timing is Everything!

Christie’s auction house broke another world record this week by auctioning off the world’s first purely digital artwork where bidding started just two weeks ago at $100, sold for a record $69M.

Not all of us can afford the world of alternative investments, but navigating the tides of the recent real estate market can be just as intimidating. With the exodus of buyers from NYC in 2020, Ridgefield and other Fairfield County towns have been experiencing an uptick in sales and demand not previously experienced. Recently however, NYC is starting to see interest return and Christie’s International Real Estate NYC Brokerage has been fielding questions from NYC die-hards with upsizing and downsizing questions, investors looking to buy up assets, and first-time homebuyers looking to get in while prices remain relatively low.

With this being said, the suburbs continue to be attractive to many urban buyers. As you have been reading, inventory is low and bidding wars are still occurring on properly priced homes. People are reflecting on their new work-life balance and what that means in terms of housing. Buyers – keep the faith! We are in constant contact with sellers getting their homes ready for spring market. With the vaccine providing a light at the end of the tunnel, the market is starting to open up.

Whether you’re looking for your dream home or wanting to list your current home for sale, our up to minute knowledge will help you navigate this new normal and set you up for success. Reach out at 203-856-5534 or karla@karlamurtaugh.com to see how we can help.

Ridgefield’s February Market Sees An Uptick In Sales, But A Downturn In Inventory

Home sales continue to exceed all market expectations as 2021 moves towards a reopening of the economy in the late spring and beyond. While this seems to be excellent news, we are seeing a downturn in inventory with many well-qualified buyers still in need of homes.  With mortgage rates remaining at historic lows, the real estate market will definitely remain strong if we approach the spring selling season with people willing to list their homes.

Prices & Volume
To date, in 2021 Ridgefield single-family homes sales have totaled $58,947,250 with 64 closed transactions as compared to $31,252,400 in sales and 41 transactions by this time in 2020.  Most of these sales reflect homes that went under deposit towards the end of last year, but nevertheless have resulted in a record-breaking first two months. In February alone, we saw 29 homes close with a volume of $28,355,750. The median sales price rose from $561,700 in February, 2020 to $850,000 this year, and the average sales price also climbed from $644,133 to $945,192.  Homes are selling at 98.4% of their listed price in about 90 days.

Inventory
There are currently 44 homes with accepted offers set to close in Q2 2021 and a further 59 homes already in contract to close in the next two months. As mentioned previously, inventory remains dangerously low with only 3 months of available inventory on the market.  In 2020, there was 12 months of inventory available at this time of year. For a breakdown by price point of recent sales, see the chart below or DOWNLOAD it.

Karla Murtaugh Homes Leads The Way

We regularly review the entire Ridgefield market to assess how we are serving our clients, and were pleased to discover that our sales represent 26% of the total inventory sold year to date in more than double the number of transactions of any other Ridgefield agent. We also have 17 properties in contract and set to close in the next couple of months. Our forward-thinking approach to this ever-changing market, along with adaptive marketing and unparalleled client service at all price points is why we are Ridgefield’s number one agent. Our commitment to understanding the market cannot be overlooked, and we encourage you to check out our 2020 “Interpreting The Market” Ridgefield Market Report included with this month’s Ridgefield Magazine for further insights.

Looking Ahead
We are optimistic as we look towards a spring and summer with eased Covid restrictions and a return to a more normal life. Buyers are still excited to purchase their dream home. For seller’s, as working-from-home scenarios and in-person school arrangements become solidified, we may also find that their needs are once again up for examination and change. We expect that the must-haves and wants of privacy, multiple offices, home gyms, pools and separate spaces will remain. As some situations change, we also expect an increase in inventory as consumer confidence returns and people once again look to make moves to better their current lifestyle.

To find out what your home is worth or for a complimentary consultation, please reach out to us at karla@karlamurtaugh.com or call 203-856-5534. We’d love to discuss our outstanding marketing campaigns and platinum level of service with you, and advise on how to best sell your home in this unprecedented market.

Connecticut Ranks 1st In The Nation for AP Exam Performance

According to the AP Cohort Data Report released by the College Board, for the first time ever Connecticut ranks best in the nation on student performance of advanced placement (AP) exams with 34.5 percent of 2020 high school graduates in Connecticut earning a score of 3 or more on an AP exam.

The report offers a measure of participation and performance that shows success on the Advanced Placement® (AP®) Exam in the overall context of equity and access. It represents only U.S. public school students because no central source of enrollment and demographic data is available for nonpublic schools for all states. Compared to the national average, Connecticut saw noticeable increases in the class of 2020 with respect to exam participation and performance among students from low-income families, and Black and Hispanic students. The total number of the state’s graduating class who took an AP exam in high school increased by over five percent in the last five years.

Graduating seniors use AP to get a head start in college. They use AP to:
1. Stand out in college admission
2. Earn college credits
3. Build college skills, and
4. Advance into higher-level courses

Because most colleges in the United States award credit and placement for qualifying AP Exam scores, the 2021 AP Exams will cover the full course content so that students are accurately placed into higher-level courses where they will succeed when they arrive on campus.

College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success—including the
SAT® and the Advanced Placement® Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators, and schools.

120 Prospect Ridge Featured In Hearst Papers “On The Market”

Our beautiful listing at 120 Prospect Ridge, Ridgefield CT was featured in Hearst Newspapers “On The Market” section this past week. Profiling exceptional properties throughout Fairfield County, Meg Barone interviewed Karla Murtaugh to get the scoop. Here are some excerpts from the article:

The classic architecture of the 1920s-era house at 120 Prospect Ridge in Ridgefield works in concert with its updates, amenities and location to create a living and entertaining space worthy of the 21st century lifestyle.

The circa 1928 masterpiece is a “lesson in timeless architecture and sophisticated living,” according to Karla Murtaugh, the listing agent.

The 15-room house, its sizable guest cottage, and heated in-ground saltwater swimming pool sit on a gated one-acre level property in the Village Center within walking distance of many attractions.

At 5,986 square feet this house is a comfortable size. “It’s just the right size. It’s not a McMansion. That’s the allure of this property. People are looking for comfortable and not over-the-top. This house is very gracious,” Murtaugh said.

The master suite features a huge dressing room, a private balcony looking over the yard and a marble bath. Three other bedrooms are also en suite. Above the detached two-car garage is the guest cottage. It includes a vaulted great room, bedroom, full bath and lower level kitchenette. Either the guest house or the third level in the main house could serve as an in-law or au pair suite.

Murtaugh said the house is “beautifully sited and surrounded by Green Giant evergreens and blossoming rhododendrons.” The professionally landscaped grounds include multiple patios and pergolas, organic garden beds and perennial gardens.

This house is on the market for $2,450,000.

 

Visit our feature page to take a virtual tour. Text or call 203-856-5534 or email karla@karlamurtaugh.com for more information or to schedule an in-person tour.

Continued Good News In The Ridgefield Real Estate Market!

Coming off a stellar year in 2020, Ridgefield real estate sales continue to impress. With numbers far exceeding 2020’s incredible start to the year, 2021 promises to again post increasing prices and decreased sales times, as long as we can procure the inventory to keep the market moving. With a wealth of qualified buyers waiting in the wings for the perfect house, now is the time to jump into the market if you’ve been contemplating a move.

Prices & Volume
The number of sales in January 2021 exceeded 2020 by 48% with 34 homes sold as compared to 23 in January 2020. There was a rise in overall sales volume as well, with 2021 seeing $30,591,500 sold in the first month of the year compared to $19,658,000 in 2020. The median price this month was where the steepest overall gains were seen with a sales price of $856,000 vs $620,000 in 2020. The average sales price rose from $854,696 to $899,750 this year.

Inventory & Days On Market
In an unprecedented first, the available inventory has dropped to 3 months! In comparison, at this time last year there was 8 months of available inventory on the market. In addition, the days a house remained on the market before entering contract currently sits at 59 days as compared to 132 days in January 2020. For a breakdown by price point of recent sales, see the chart below or DOWNLOAD the chart.

Now Is The Time To Sell
With a continuing number of buyers looking for privacy, space and the suburbs, it’s certainly a good time for sellers. Buyer demand is at an all time high and there is very limited inventory. To find out what your home is worth or for a complimentary consultation, please reach out to us at karla@karlamurtaugh.com or call 203-856-5534. We’d love to discuss our outstanding marketing campaigns and platinum level of service.