Mid-Year Report 2016 v. 2017 Single Family and Condo Sales – Stamford, CT

Jan – June 2016 Jan – June 2017 Percentage Change
SF Total # Sold 320 343 +7%
SF Median Sold Price $562,500 $600,000 +6%
SF Median Sold PSF $254.02 $260.51 +2%
Highest SF PSF $1,020.41 $840.41  -17%
Lowest SF PSF $119.64 $98.11 -17%
CN Total # Sold  304  318  +4%
CN Median Sold Price $313,000 $290,000 -7%
CN Median Sold PSF $243.48 $250.29 +2%
Highest CN PSF $727.49 $546.32 -25%
Lowest CN PSF $104.17 $94.74 -9%
Highest SF Home Sold Price $3,100,000 $3,702,500 +19%

Observations:

The good news this mid-year is that sales volume is not declining for single family homes or condos compared to last year. Demand is outpacing last year by 7% and 4% respectively, even though demand for homes is weakening nationally. In regard to prices, the median price PSF for single family homes in Stamford is up 2%, so we are still seeing a gradual, sustainable improvement. Condo buyers are still applying smaller budgets in general reflected by the median price decline of 7%, but they are also paying slightly more per square foot. This reflects a continued focus on condition, location and floor plan as factors that are just as important as size. It is still a great time to buy.  Prices are affordable compared to area income and mortgage interest rates continue to be historically low. This will not be the case forever. Check out the stunning homes with the highest sold price for both mid-years linked below. I have also included homes that reflect the median, highest and lowest prices per square foot.

Click here for homes that reflect the median closed PSF for Mid-Year 2016 and 2017.

Click to view the homes that reflect the highest and lowest sold PSF for Mid-Year 2016 and 2017.

Click here for the SF homes with the highest sale price in the first six months of 2016 and 2017.

Please note:

  • Condo sales include coops
  • PSF is Price per Square Foot
  • Data includes CMLS recorded transactions only
  • The surrounding towns tend to follow similar market trends when compared to Stamford. For data on your specific town, please email your request to prattray@kw.com

March 2016 v. March 2017 Single Family and Condo Sales – Stamford, CT

Mar 2016 Mar 2017 Percentage Change
SF Total # Sold 52 62 +19%
SF Median Sold Price $475,000 $607,000 +28%
SF Median Sold PSF $330 $210 -36%
SF Newer Homes* # Sold 2 9 +350%
SF Newer Homes Median Sold Price $950,000 $1,050,524 +11%
SF Newer Homes Sold PSF $305 $199 -35%
CN Total # Sold 41 52 +27%
CN Median Sold Price $285,000 $290,000 +2%
CN Median Sold PSF $145 $242 +67%
CN Newer Homes* # Sold 8 11 +37%
CN Newer Homes Median Sold Price $510,000 $450,000 -12%
CN Newer Homes Sold PSF $258 $405 +57%

Observations:

The data was interesting in March. Buyers decided not to pay more per square foot for newer single family homes even though the median price was up. This is because buyers are beginning to think renovated is the new normal.  It is expected that even older homes are supposed to be renovated, energy efficient and have all the bells and whistles, so both an older updated home and a younger home can trade at a similar price. The median PSF for condos was higher than for Single Family Homes in March. This is rare and most likely due to the fact that condos with great floorplans are closing at a premium since they are often more convenient to town, trains and highways than many sold Single Family Homes. Convenience is something buyers are increasingly seeking. The sold price for 25 Sleepy Hollow (the reflection of the median for Single Family Homes) is similar to what a buyer would pay for new construction, but it was built in 1947. I predict flipping is a good plan for the future of Fairfield County as our inventory continues to age.

Click here to see homes that reflect the median price and median psf for Mar 2016 and 2017.

Please note:

*The 2016 data sample for this is too small to be meaningful

*”Newer Homes” refers to single family homes and condos built in 1990 or later

PSF is Price per Square Foot

Condo data does not include coops

“Newer Homes”data sets are subgroups of the total figures

Data includes CMLS recorded transactions only

Surrounding small towns tend to follow similar market trends when compared to Stamford. For data on your specific town, please email your request to prattray@kw.com

Feb 2016 v. Feb 2017 Single Family and Condo Sales – Stamford, CT

Feb 2016 Feb 2017 Percentage Change
SF Total # Sold 37 31 -16.2%
SF Median Sold Price $615,000 $602,500 -2%
SF Median Sold PSF $258 $231 -10.5%
SF Newer Homes* # Sold 7 3 -57%
SF Newer Homes Median Sold Price $852,250 $1,079,00 +26.6%
SF Newer Homes Sold PSF $284 $270 -5%
CN Total # Sold 26 30 +15.4%
CN Median Sold Price $314,000 $230,000 -26.8%
CN Median Sold PSF $304 $275 -9.5%
CN Newer Homes* # Sold 10 4 -60%
CN Newer Homes Median Sold Price $550,000 $429,500 -22%
CN Newer Homes Sold PSF $296 $322 +8.8%

Observations:

SF home sales in Stamford in February was sluggish compared to the prior year, most likely due to factors in the overall economy, business and political world more than anything else. Both demand (units sold) and PSF were down, although it is important to remember that demand can be artificially low when there is not enough desirable inventory to buy. This is often the case in Fairfield County this time of year and also as buyers get pickier and lean towards the exceptional properties only. Selective buyers are not only taking their time to buy, but they are generally more willing to wait until more inventory becomes available rather than bid the price up on a property they like that has buyer competition. This phenomena is what is keeping prices reasonable even though a large number of Fairfield County residents understand the advantage of buying versus renting. On the condo side, more units were sold at lower prices overall. Newer condos, however, experienced an increase in PSF’s even though the median purchase price was down. This means value is improving but budgets are not. Overall, the strong 15.4% increase in demand is refreshing. I predict demand will get stronger throughout the year as first-time buyers get weary of record high rents. Their only constraint will be inventory. I encourage current owners to study those terrific real estate design sites like Houzz and renovate with an eye for what younger buyers want. Failing to do so means your home will sit on the market and risk getting sale, only to trade painfully at fixer-upper pricing.

Click here to see homes that reflect the median price and median psf for Feb 2016 and 2017.

Please note:

*”Newer Homes” refers to single family homes and condos built in 1990 or later.

PSF is Price per Square Foot

Condo data does not include coops

“Newer Homes”data sets are subgroups of the total figures

Data includes CMLS recorded transactions only

Surrounding small towns tend to follow similar market trends when compared to Stamford. For data on your specific town, please email your request to prattray@kw.com

Jan 2016 v. Jan 2017 Single Family and Condo Sales – Stamford, CT

Jan 2016 Jan 2017 Percentage Change
SF Total # Sold 50 50 0%
SF Median Sold Price $518,000 $550,000 6.2%
SF Median Sold PSF $226 $262 +16%
SF Newer Homes* # Sold 3 7 +133%
SF Newer Homes Median Sold Price $900,000 $875,000 -2.8%
SF Newer Homes Sold PSF $225 $194 -14%
CN Total # Sold 33 39 18%
CN Median Sold Price $343,000 $245,000 -8.6%
CN Median Sold PSF $169 $144 -17%
CN Newer Homes* # Sold 10 10 0%
CN Newer Homes Median Sold Price $515,000 $432,500 -16%
CN Newer Homes Sold PSF $233 $266 +14%

Observations:

The median SF sold price was up in January of this year compared to last year. PSF was also up for SF homes, which indicates that demand continues to strengthen overall. However, when you look at newer homes that have been commanding a premium, the median price and the median PSF were slightly down, so buyers might be getting more cautious about paying more and more for newer SF homes. Due to sluggish condo demand (especially by entry-level buyers), the condo median price is down reflecting a decline in value for the older condos that make up most of the inventory. Newer condo PSF is up 14%, indicating a continued preference and willingness to pay more for newer condo construction. While more older condos were sold this January, the median price was still down 8.6% reflecting the financially conservative and analytical nature of current buyers. Note the flat numbers for total SF unit sales and newer condo unit sales. Don’t expect dramatic shifts in prices in these categories anytime soon if demand remains unchanged.

Click here to see homes that reflect the median price and median psf for Jan 2016 and 2017.

Please note:

*”Newer Homes” refers to single family homes and condos built in 1990 or later.

PSF is Price per Square Foot

Condo data does not include coops

“Newer Homes”data sets are subgroups of the total figures

Data includes CMLS recorded transactions only

Surrounding small towns tend to follow similar market trends when compared to Stamford. For data on your specific town, please email your request to prattray@kw.com

2016 v. 2015 Single Family and Condo Sales – Stamford, CT

2015 2016 Percentage Change
SF Total # Sold 740 715 -3.38%
SF Median Sold Price $574,350 $555,000 -3.37%
SF Median Sold PSF $262 $255 -2.52%
SF Newer Homes* # Sold 74 65 -12.16%
SF Newer Homes Median Sold Price $975,000 $875,000 -10.26%
SF Newer Homes Sold PSF $264 $277 4.81%
CN Total # Sold 509 613 20.43%
CN Median Sold Price $303,500 $317,000 4.45%
CN Median Sold PSF $249 $251 0.98%
CN Newer Homes* # Sold 125 163 30.40%
CN Newer Homes Median Sold Price $875,000 $490,000 -44.00%
CN Newer Homes Sold PSF $454 $305 -32.78%

Observations:

There was a significant increase in demand for condos in 2016 compared to 2015. There were 20% more buyers of condos overall, and 30% more buyers who bought newer condos (built in 1990 or later). Even though more buyers were willing to commit to a condo purchase, they refused to pay more per square foot compared to last year, and their budgets were lower.

Fewer buyers bought a single family home in 2016 compared to 2015. Accordingly, the median price and price per square foot slipped downward since these homes became more difficult to sell. Even though fewer newer homes sold in 2016, buyers were willing to pay almost 5% more per square foot to secure a newer single family home.

These numbers suggest that there is still strong demand for home ownership in Stamford. 715 single family units sold in one year reflects a healthy amount of activity historically. However, buyers are increasingly price conscious and they have high expectations for modern features and design. Prices will most likely remain affordable in the near-term due to this high level of discernment shown by local buyers. The lack of newer inventory will also continue to constrain demand.

Click here to see homes that reflect the median price and median psf for 2016.

Please note:
*”Newer Homes” refers to single family homes and condos built in 1990 or later.
Condo data does not include coops
“Newer Homes”data sets are subgroups of the total figures
Data includes CMLS recorded transactions only

My Favorite Real Estate Resources

These resources are great for a macro analysis of the real estate market. When I work with investors, national trends and economic cycles that impact financing, inventory and demand will influence how they make decisions about what to acquire and how long they will hold certain assets. If you are looking for a micro analysis about your specific property, make sure to understand the macro environment and then put a laser focus on local data. I am always here to help with any real estate decisions.

Case Shiller Index https://us.spindices.com/indices/real-estate/sp-case-shiller-ny-new-york-home-price-index

Joint Center for Housing Studies http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/

National Association of Realtors http://Realtor.org

AEI’s American Enterprise Institute’s International Center on Housing Risk http://www.housingrisk.org/;

Fannie Mae http://www.Fanniemae.com

Freddie Mac http://www.Freddimac.com

Realtytrac http://realtytrac.com

Housingwire http://Housingwire.com

Mortgage Bankers of America http://www.MBA.org

Federal Housing Association www.FHA.org

JP’s Charts http://www.jparsons.net/

http://Forbes.com

http://CNBC.com

Energy Efficiency Improvements Can Save You Tax Dollars

For my clients in their first home in 2015, this year will be the first time that many will be able to write off expenses such as closing costs, job related moving expenses and mortgage interest. Also, anyone who owns a home also gets a benefit from being earth-friendly. You can receive a tax credit for many energy efficiency improvement expenses that you had in 2015. According to Turbotax, here’s what can and can’t be claimed:

You can claim:
Solar water heating costs
Solar electric costs
Fuel cell property costs
Small wind energy property costs
Geothermal heat pump property costs
Qualified central air conditioners
Certain advanced main air circulating fans
Exterior doors, exterior windows and skylights
Metal or asphalt roofs with qualified coatings
Insulation material or system to reduce heat loss
Certain electric heat pump water heaters, electric heat pumps
Furnaces and hot water boilers powered by natural gas, propane or oil

 

You can’t claim:
Energy Star appliances
Low-flow showerheads
Low-flush toilets

 

The Residential Energy Credits for 2015 are:

  • The nonbusiness energy property credit
  • The residential property credit.

 

If you use less than 80% of an energy efficient item for personal (not business) purposes, you can claim the personal use portion of the costs to determine the credits.

Example: John’s business usage of the doors and windows he installed is 82%. He can claim only 18% of the cost of these items when determining his credit.

If you received a subsidy from a public utility company for your energy-efficient purchase, remember to reduce the subsidy amount from the purchase price before you claim it. If you include the subsidy in your income, you don’t have to make this adjustment.

The residential energy efficient property credit equals 30% of what you spend on qualifying property such as solar electric systems, solar hot water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, wind turbines, and fuel cell property. These credits are claimed on Form 5695. Here’s a bit more information on this credit provided by Turbotax.

  • Generally, labor costs are included when calculating this credit. Also, no cap exists on the amount of credit available except in the case of fuel cell property. Qualified fuel cell property is limited to $500 for each one-half kilowatt of capacity of the property.
  • Not all energy-efficient improvements qualify for these tax credits. For that reason, you should check the manufacturer’s tax credit certification statement before purchasing or installing any of these improvements. The certification statement can usually be found on the manufacturer’s website or with the product packaging.
  • The IRS cautions that the manufacturer’s certification is different from the Department of Energy’s Energy Star label, and not all Energy Star labeled products qualify for the tax credits.
  • If you’re eligible, you can claim both of the residential energy credits. Because these are credits, not deductions, they increase a taxpayer’s refund or reduce the tax he or she owes.
  • Keep in mind, these are not refundable credits, which means you can take the credit up to the tax owed. There is no refund of any credit amount left over.
  • Further information on these credits can be obtained in IRS Form 5695. This form and more information can also be obtained through IRS.gov. You should also consult with your accountant for tax advice.