This article covers the towns of Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Weston, Westport and Wilton.
In 2018, home sales were down from 2017 in all towns except Greenwich and Norwalk. Darien down 14%, Fairfield down 7%, Greenwich up 12%, New Canaan down 15%, Norwalk up 2%, Stamford down .02%, Weston down 3%, Westport down 5%, Wilton down 10%.
The highest home sale for the area was in Greenwich at 207 Byram Road which sold in May for $17,000, 000. The second highest sale happened in Norwalk. Tavern Island sold for $7,850,000 in June. Spring is traditionally the time of year when we experience the most activity from home buyers, and 2018 was a typical year in that respect. Closings were highest in June, July and August which reflects the buyer activity from March through May as a typical closing will take anywhere from 30 to 60 days.
The new Federal tax law introduced in 2018 was a big hit to homeowners. The impact is particularly significant in areas like this where property values and taxes are higher than average. Tax rates for every town vary and are very often a determining factor when making a home purchase. In this area, property taxes are the lowest in Greenwich, followed by Darien, Westport, New Canaan, and Stamford respectively. Norwalk and Fairfield come next with very similar tax rates, followed by Wilton and Weston where the property taxes are the highest of the 9 towns.
It is worth noting that property taxes and property values can often go hand in hand. The lowest tax rates are often coupled with the highest property values, meaning it will cost more to purchase a property, but you will pay lower annual taxes. Below is the chart for this area:
For example: Using this chart for calculations, if you are purchasing a 3000 square foot home in Greenwich, the cost could be approximately $1,500,000 (511.00 x 3000) and your annual property taxes could be approximately $17,000 (11.87 x 1500). If you purchase the same home in Weston, the cost of the home may be approximately $660,000 (220 x 3000) with annual taxes of approximately $19,000 (29.39 x 660). This is a simple analogy which is not exact and does not take into account the many variables of how a home value is determined (condition, age, land, etc.) but demonstrates the concept of how values and property taxes relate in different locations.
To view a month by month report of sale statistics for 2018 in these 9 towns, my past monthly newsletters contain a chart for each month and can be found here.
So, what can we expect for 2019? Without a crystal ball there is no way to know. Join my monthly newsletter mailing list to stay informed on the local market activity and consider a few positive indicators that offer reason for optimism:
1) Although the state of Connecticut is experiencing a population decrease, the Fairfield County area is not. Proximity to NYC has a lot to do with this as well as the quality of lifestyle opportunities the area has to offer.
2) Millennial generation buying is predicted to increase in the next few years.
3) State initiatives for more affordable housing options and improved transportation for commuters are underway. The Connecticut Realtors Association is actively involved in efforts to boost the housing market in CT. Updates to legislation and other efforts are posted on their website: CTRealtors.com
There are many predictions for 2019 and it is a matter of preference which make the most sense to you. The following video and article are just two of many.
For local real estate information and advice, contact me anytime: