FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Third-quarter real estate sales in Fairfield trailed the impressive numbers established in 2013, but industry professionals believe the market is fundamentally sound.
“The momentum we picked up after the first quarter kept going,’’ said Brad Kimmelman, brokerage manager for William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty in Southport. “The August sales were the best we’ve ever had. We were caught up to where we were last year, and then it dropped back a little bit, but it was still a good quarter.”
Single-family home sales fell 25 percent in Fairfield compared with the same time frame from last year, but the median sale price (2.4 percent) and average sale price (2.1 percent) showed small declines, according to the quarterly report from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties. The big decline in single-family home sales is mostly due to the unusually high activity in the third quarter of 2013.
“By and large, people are buying more expensive homes,’’ Kimmelman said. “The market is not soaring up, but it’s way up over two, three or four years ago. People can actually sell their house if it’s priced right.”
“The upper-end is coming back a little bit,’’ added Rick Higgins, chairman and founder of HIggins Group.
Fairfield’s condo market had a strong third quarter. Sales increased by more than 20 percent from the third quarter in 2013, and the median sale price (19.5 percent) and average sale price (14.8 percent) posted impressive gains, according to the Berkshire Hathaway report. The average sale price of a Fairfield condo in the third quarter was $494,400.
Kimmelman said one of the other encouraging trends is days on market. “The average days on the market was down in September to just about 93 days, and last September it was 100 days,’’ Kimmelman said. “We’d like it to be lower, but it’s coming down.”
Fairfield County as a whole seems to be settling into a steady state. According to the William Pitt report, the 12-month median sale price was up 1 percent compared with the third quarter in 2013. Year-to-date sales are down 7 percent, and third-quarter sales dropped 9 percent compared with 2013.
Kimmelman said the beach area and Fairfield center were particularly desired areas for buyers, who are looking for convenience and low-maintenance homes.
“What the days on market is telling us is that in order to have their homes sold, sellers have to have it priced right no matter how good it is,’’ Kimmelman said. “People have choices. There is inventory.”
Kimmelman and other Realtors remain encouraged about the real estate market heading into the final stretch of the year.
“We are slightly behind last year, but we’re still in a much healthier environment than we have been in a long time,’’ Kimmelman said.
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