Monday, February 15, 2016

231 Reasons To Buy New Canaan - the February Market Report

Last week at the Rotary Club we had a social media expert address the group. She told us to start off the subject line with a number to really get the reader's attention. So, here goes the February Market Report with "231 Reasons to Buy in New Canaan". Why 231 Reasons? Because that is how many single family homes we had listed in New Canaan on Feb. 1 this year, exactly 62 more than we had on the market one year ago.

We really struggled with this report. On the one hand area sales are looking good with strength in the $3 million range raising our January numbers. On the other hand the loss of GE, stock market volatility, an uncertain Fed, an increasingly uncertain election and State budget woes have translated into a wait-and-see attitude among buyers. With interest rates dropping, record high levels of inventory with more coming on every day, buyers are waiting and prices are dropping.
  • Area Sales: Once again its a mixed bag across the county. Sales are up 1% and dollar volume down 1% with Darien, New Canaan and Stamford showing strength and Wilton and Westport soft. 
  • New Canaan market: We take note of the precipitous 44% decrease in Pending Sales from 25 to 14. It illustrates perfectly the anxiety buyers are feeling this month. Add only 6 more Pending Sales for the trailing 30 days (ending today) and you see that this is an awful start to 2016.
  • New Canaan Inventory:  In January inventory was up 47 houses. In February it's up 62 year over year. A whopping 33 houses came on the market in the first half of February alone. Surprisingly 24 out of 33 are new listings we did not see on the market last year. Unsold inventory from the end of last year has yet to re-emerge.
  • Condos:  Solid. 4 sales every month, 12 last quarter, 43 per year. Average price remains $870,000, reflecting continued demand for affordable housing in town. This is fresh inventory, turning over on average in 100 days. Of the 8 new listings this month we saw only 3 of them last year. 
  • Timing:  We've told you 66% of homes listed in February sell within 90 days, making it the best month to list nationally. But, we found in New Canaan buyers typically wait until May and June to make a deal, as shown in the chart above. However, what you didn't know is the spread between asking price and sale price is larger when snow is on the ground, making January the best time to make an offer:

We told you interest rates will rise this Spring. Wow, were we wrong! We predicted the psychological impact of rising rates would stimulate a sense of urgency and drive more energy into the first quarter. Now its shaping up to look more like last Spring with most of the deal-making occurring late Spring. Predictions have cooled from 2.7% growth in prices in 2016 to plus or minus 1%.

Below is a link to the New Canaan February Market Report, and the Connecticut 4th Quarter Report, each of which includes detailed information on the market this past year.  If you would like to discuss the report, or if you have any other questions, feel free to contact us at 203-247-4700 (JE) or 203-247-5999 (SE) 

Best regards,          

John and Susan

New to the Market: 106 Logan Road for $1,799,000

This beautifully renovated 1978 Colonial on Logan Road will be coming on the market next month, March 2016. Enter through a large Entry Foyer to either the large Living Room or a Paneled Library. Featuring a recent Kitchen by Deane, an oversize Family Room with brick Fireplace, an elegant Dining Room with French Doors to the oversized mahogany deck in back. Upstairs there are 4 bedrooms including a Master Suite with walk-in closet, a sitting area and a balcony. Take note of the very fresh, dry and spacious finished lower level with second Family room, home office and wine cellar. While the house is quite fresh and updated, we think the buyer of this house will seek it out with a focus on the land and the exceptional setting. Sited at the end of a long driveway this house is sited on 4.6 acres of privacy with views of the private pond and bordered by 20 acres of Land Trust property. This property is for those who will appreciate getting back to nature with its magnificent specimen trees, perennial gardens and the peace and quiet they give us.

New to the Market: 76 Sturbridge Hill Road

76 Sturbridge Hill is coming on the market next week. Here are some sneak-peak photos of the freshly-painted house in snow last week. Looking good!

And here are some drone shots we took last Fall, 2015 just as we were closing the pool. Note that the house is still yellow in these pictures. It has since been painted a crisp white. You can tell from these aerial shots that the house is well-protected from the sun and wind with mature trees, and the pool area is exceptionally private. Mr. Coudert is the original owner, having purchased the property from builder Ed White while the house was under construction in 1978. Listed for $1,725,000. please call or text John 203-247-4700 or Susan 203-247-5999 for an appointment to see it.

New to the Market:Prides Crossing #9

New to the market today, Prides Crossing #9
''Prides Crossing'' is 51 handsome brick townhouses just west of the center of the village, an easy stroll to restaurants, shops and train station. Set back on a gentle knoll, screened on all sides #9 is particularly private with newly fenced courtyard and garden. This corner unit with south and west exposures has a larger and brighter kitchen than most, with a garage just off the terrace. A finished lower level is spacious and bright. Note Pride's Crossing's private clubhouse and pool.

Modern Architecture Tour in New Canaan

Architect James Evans discussing the Evans House with future architects from Roger Williams University

Last week I hosted 3 architects from Aamodt Plumb along with 15 students from Roger Williams University as we took a tour of 4 of New Canaan's best midcentury Modern houses. We saw the Philip Johnson Boissonas House of 1958 and learned what makes it unique among Johnson's commissions in town. Philip Johnson's confidant and protege Marty Skreleunas 

built a fire and made us feel right at home in the Noyes House. Architect James Evans gave his personal tour of the Evans House with it's exceptional parabolic roof. Jenny Xie, a reporter from Curbed Magazine attended the tour and honored the Evans House by making it Curbed's House of the Day.

Finally, we ended our tour at the famous Willis Mills House. The architects took note of many of the fine craftsmanlike custom details such as how the steps form acute angles rather than the standard risers of 90 degrees.