FAIRFIELD, LITCHFIELD, HARTFORD COUNTIES, Conn., WESTCHESTER, N.Y., and BERKSHIRES, Mass. (PRWEB) July 13, 2018
A report detailing market results for the second quarter of 2018 in Fairfield, Litchfield and Hartford Counties and the Shoreline in Connecticut, the Berkshires in Massachusetts, and Westchester County, New York, has just been released by William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty, the company announced today.
While the first quarter of 2018 was consistently down in unit sales and dollar volume compared to the same period the prior year, the report found that the second was more notable for its inconsistency from market to market. Certain areas remain behind the first half of 2017, while others are catching up or even exceeding the prior year. The drop off in unit sales in many markets was more a result of low inventory than low demand, and in several areas the high end is showing promising activity.
The end of the second quarter found Westchester County, N.Y., overall with unit sales declining by 5% and sales volume by 3% in comparing both the second quarter and the first half of 2018 and 2017. In Southern Westchester, unit sales decreased by 3% quarter over quarter as dollar volume was down just a slight 1%, while units decreased by 4% and volume by a small 2% year over year. In Northern Westchester, unit sales decreased by 10% and volume by 6% quarter over quarter, and for the year, unit sales and volume each dropped by 7%.
In Fairfield County, Conn., unit sales in the second quarter this year versus the same period in 2017 dropped by 4% and dollar volume by 8%. Year to date, the county remains behind the first six months of 2017 by 4% in units and 6% in volume. The Shoreline, including New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties, saw second quarter 2018 unit sales slip behind the same period of 2017 by a small 2%, but dollar volume climbed ahead by 3%, and similarly, units year to date are behind the first half of 2017 by 4% with dollar volume up 1%.
The Farmington Valley region of Hartford County, Conn., and key neighboring towns covered in the report, including Avon, Canton, Farmington, Granby, Simsbury, Burlington, Hartland and West Hartford, saw unit sales in the second quarter of 2018 versus the same period in 2017 increase by 8% and dollar volume by 9%, bringing sales almost even year to date. For the first half of 2018, unit sales are a slight 2% behind the same time in 2017, and dollar volume is ahead by 1%. In Litchfield County, Conn., unit sales this quarter compared to the same time in 2017 were ahead by a slight 1%, with dollar volume up by 5%, while year to date units have increased by 2% and volume by 1%. Across the state line in Berkshire County, Mass., unit sales and dollar volume caught up to the first half of 2017. For the second quarter, unit sales and dollar volume were a small 1% ahead of the same period in 2017, and year to date, unit sales stand 5% lower than the first half of 2017, with dollar volume up again by 1%.
The report posited that the passage of the new tax bill helped prompt a pause in the fourth quarter of 2017, leading to a lower rate of closings early in 2018 as it spread a degree of uncertainty among consumers. However, properties under contract overall, though not in every region, are increasing year over year, suggesting many markets will potentially recover some of the lost ground by year’s end. This outlook is supported by the current strength of the economy. By some estimates the second quarter GDP is forecast to hit 3.5%, unemployment currently stands at its lowest rate in 17 years, hiring is on the rise, interest rates are ticking up but still at historic lows, and consumer confidence, the key benchmark in analyzing the outlook on real estate, remains high at 126.4 (1985=100), according to The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®.
“If the first quarter was down across our markets, that trend is already changing. We may not finish 2018 ahead of 2017, given the slow start early in the year in the wake of the tax bill, but all signs suggest the market is starting to come back,” said Paul Breunich, President and Chief Executive Officer of William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. “We’re still not certain of the full effect of the tax reform, and likely will have to wait until the end of this year or early next to evaluate all the ramifications. But we are bullish given the current health of the economy.”
The 2018 Second Quarter Market Watch is available for download on the firm’s website, williampitt.com.
About William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty
Founded in 1949, William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty manages a $4.2-billion portfolio with more than 1,000 sales associates in 27 brokerages spanning Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Westchester County, New York. William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty is one of the largest Sotheby's International Realty(R) affiliates globally and the 34th-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 950 offices throughout 69 countries and territories on six continents.