STAMFORD, CONN. (STL.News) – A report detailing market results for the third quarter of 2019 in Fairfield and Litchfield Counties, the Shoreline and the Farmington Valley in Connecticut, the Berkshires in Massachusetts, and Westchester County, New York, has just been released by William Pitt-Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty, the company announced today.
The report found improvement over the first two quarters of this year, and stated that in many markets it was the first quarter to experience sales growth in single family homes over the same period the prior year since 2017. The upper end too experienced a turnaround in certain areas where the luxury segment has been stagnant for several consecutive quarters.
In an analysis of Westchester and Fairfield Counties, the report noted these two regions saw significant year over year declines in the first half of 2019, but that these declines were greatly impacted by decreases in the upper end, which makes up just a small percentage of sales. In the third quarter, both counties for the first time in eighteen months showed an overall increase in units and dollar volume closed compared to the same time the prior year. In Westchester County, higher end sales over $2.5-plus million also had a far better quarter than the first two this year, with sales still declining versus the same time last year, but at a much lower rate. The performance in neighboring Greenwich was also positive, with the previously lagging $3 million-plus sector demonstrating growth in unit sales and dollar volume versus the third quarter of 2018. The rest of Fairfield County has yet to see an uptick at the high end, but sales below $3 million were strong enough to leave the county ahead quarter over quarter.
Other housing markets paced evenly with the third quarter last year. Sales results in the Connecticut Shoreline region and Berkshire County, Massachusetts, were similar this quarter to the same time last year, while Connecticut’s Farmington Valley region saw a small increase for the first time in 2019, and Litchfield County was nearly flat in unit sales as increases at the upper end sent dollar volume ahead. The high end of the market has also experienced a resurgence on the Shoreline among water-oriented properties, and the Farmington Valley saw more $1 million-plus transactions as well this quarter versus this time last year.
“The gains we witnessed across our markets, though based on one quarter alone, leave us cautiously optimistic moving forward,” said Paul Breunich, President and Chief Executive Officer of William Pitt-Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. “If the downturn during the first half of 2019 partially resulted from the negative impact of the tax reform bill passed at the end of 2017, as well as further state and local taxes imposed by New York and Connecticut, by now it appears the market is starting to absorb those effects. Other economic indicators are still healthy, including ongoing historically low interest rates, mortgage rates, and unemployment; a booming stock market; steady GDP growth; and elevated consumer confidence. We have plenty of reason to feel encouraged heading into the final quarter of 2019.”
The 2019 Third Quarter Market Watch is available for download on the firm’s website, williampitt.com.
About William Pitt-Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty
Founded in 1949, William Pitt-Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty manages a $4 billion portfolio with more than 1,000 sales associates in 27 brokerages spanning Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Westchester County, New York. William Pitt-Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty is one of the largest Sotheby’s International Realty(R) affiliates globally and the 37th-largest real estate company by sales volume in the United States. For more information, visit the website at williampitt.com.
Sotheby’s International Realty’s worldwide network includes 990 offices throughout 72 countries and territories on six continents.