The Spring Market 2017 in Greenwich has started early, after at least a year-long reign of “fence-sitting” buyers who have finally decided to get off the fence!! Totals for 2016 were disappointing, with Single Family Unit Sales, Sales Volume, Average Sale Price and Median Sale Price down compared to 2015. The market perked up however, after the election in November and ended with a respectable 50 Single Family Unit Sales in December.
We ended 2016 with a total of 573 Single Family homes sold (-4.7% vs. 2015), total Sales Volume at $1,261,572,386 (-13.3% vs. 2015), the Average Sale Price Per Home at $2,201,697 (-9.1% vs. 2015) and the Median Sale Price Per Home at $1,700,000 (-8.4% vs. 2015).
As has been true all year, the high end of the Greenwich market, between $5- 10M, has been lagging behind in sales and well ahead with inventory supply. This includes many of the homes for sale in backcountry where a number of good deals can be found nowadays. This issue is not confined to Greenwich, however, as we have seen a similar trend with high end markets all over the world. This high-end slump has certainly negatively affected the total market figures, however, in Greenwich.
We also ended 2016 with 433 Single Family homes on the market, up 1% from 2015. This is a modest inventory compared to, for example, 2009 and 2010—two years that were very sluggish on sales—when the inventory remaining on the market at year’s end was 500. This allows ample space for the new entries into the Spring 2017 market.
While August 2016 was one of the most outstanding months of the year, with 65 sales and 49 contracts, the market slid downhill since then. With it hitting bottom at only 26 Single Family Unit Sales in November, there were a remarkable 50 homes that went to contract that month – post election–which contributed to 50 Single Family Unit Sales in December. There were 37 homes that were under contract at the end of 2016 that will result in sales in 2017.
As has been true for a several years, the lower end has been driving the Greenwich market. This year, the $1-2M range has been the big winner, with contracts up 18% 2016 versus 2015. The demand in this price range has far outstripped the supply, with contracts representing 42% of all current contracts as of the year’s end and 19% of all inventory. Likewise, sales in this range are up 3% with 234 homes sold, representing an impressive 41% of all sales in 2016.
The $0-1M range came in second in 2016, representing 18% of all contracts at year’s end and 8% of current inventory. We saw an 8% increase in sales in this price range year to year, with 117 single family homes sold, representing 20% of all sales for the year. As has been true in recent years past as well, if there was more supply in this price range, it would sell.
Things even out in the $2-3M range, where the supply and demand are equal: representing 18% of current contracts at the end of 2016 and 18% of the current inventory. Sales are down 12% in this range year to year, with 100 homes sold, representing 17% of all 2016 sales.
A new sales strategy for me in 2017 is going to be to position backcountry properties as weekend getaways for city dwellers! Prices are down and inventory is up, making it ripe for the picking. And, much more conveniently located than the Hamptons!!
A number of factors have positively affected our marketplace, prompting the spring market to start earlier in 2017. Clearly with the election now behind us, there has been more consumer confidence that has sparked new record highs in the stock market. This combined with the rising mortgage interest rates has motivated buyers to get “off the fence” and start making offers. The more mild temperatures for January haven’t hurt either! Now, if we can only get Mr. Trump to settle down….
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