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Friday, December 14, 2012

Real Estate Report: Rise in Pending Home Sales

By Judy Szablak

The latest National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) shows an overall rise in pending home sales in October. Image
This colonial at 46 Westfair Drive is listed at $1,325,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker Riverside/ KMS Partners

While there were some mixed results in some regions, the PHSI increased 5.2 percent in October and is 13.2 percent above October 2011.

Other than a few explainable periods of increased contracts during the tax credit period, the latest report shows that pending home sales are at the highest level since March 2007.

On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales have risen for 18 consecutive months.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun did note Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the Northeast, but was optimistic for overall housing conditions to improve.

“We’ve had very good housing affordability conditions for quite some time, but we’re seeing more impact now from steady job creation, and rising consumer confidence about home buying now that home prices have clearly turned positive,” he said.

Regionally, the PHSI in the Northeast decreased by 0.1 percent in October, however it is still 13.3 percent above one year ago.

The Pending Home Sales Index is based upon contract signings, and is considered a forward looking indicator of the market.

Market Stats

There are now 233 homes that are actively on the market. The average list price of available homes is $2,323,790 and these properties have been listed for average of 154 days, with a cumulative market time of 254 days. The median price remains at $1,775,000.

The highest asking price for all homes currently on the market is $27.5 million, and the lowest available priced home is $360,000.

Five new listings came on the market in the last seven days, and two homes came back on the market after being under deposit. Six properties had a price change.

Five properties have gone under the initial deposit stage, which we call CTS, and seven properties went into pending status, which means that the conditions have been satisfied, and the property is scheduled to close.

The average price of these seven pending properties was $1,578,429. There are currently 17 homes in CTS status throughout Westport, and 48 properties scheduled to close town-wide, with an average price of $1,465,783.

Closings: Six homes were reported as sold in the last week, and their average list price was $1,673,483.  Average market time for these sold properties was 121 days. There were 44 status changes in the last seven days.

Condos:  There are nine condominiums that are available, and they have been listed an average of 256 days. Their average listing price is $534,318, and the median price is $499,000. The highest priced condo in town is listed at $949,000 and the lowest offering price is $200,864.

There was one new listing reported in the last week, and no homes came back on the market after being under deposit. One property entered CTS stage of deposit, and no homes went into pending status.

There is one property town-wide that is currently in CTS status, and two homes are scheduled to close that have an average list price of $513,500.

Closings: There were no condos reported as sold this past week. There were a total of two status changes.

Rentals: If you are interested in renting year round, either furnished or unfurnished, there are 43 homes or apartments available. The median price is $4,950 per month and the average price is $5,257 per month. These year round rental opportunities have been on the market an average of 78 days.

There are 20 short-term rental opportunities that are available, and they have been on the market an average of 58 days. 

Their average price is $8,715, and the median price is $5,250. Please note that seasonal rental prices are sometimes listed as an aggregate price for the season, or they can be listed as per the monthly rental cost.

Source: Market Data is compiled from the GFC-CMLS and represents activity through our local MLS system. Private sales are not included in these statistics.

Featured Home

This colonial at 46 Westfair Drive is listed at $1,325,000.

This very chic 4,018-square foot home has a contemporary flair while retaining all of its classic colonial features.

Originally built in 2004, this eight-room home is in positively pristine condition inside and out. The open floor plan has perfect flow, and the entire home takes great advantage of the natural sunlight through many oversized windows .

As you walk into the foyer, the open floor plan, 9-foot ceilings, and gleaming hardwood floors are simply refreshing. The expansive living room is to your left and partially open to the formal dining area.

The dining room has picture frame molding and chair rails, and custom crown molding. Built in cabinetry and glass front display cabinets are well designed and continue with the “chic” look.

The family room and kitchen occupy the entire rear of the home, and the comfortably elegant family room has a floor to ceiling stacked stone fireplace with raised hearth.

The chef’s kitchen is open to the family room and fully equipped with top of the line appliances and has granite counters.

A few strategically placed interior lit glass front cabinets add style and sophistication, and the center island, complete with bar sink, seats three comfortably. The nearly octagonal breakfast nook area is also perfectly sunlit, and especially cozy.

All four bedrooms are on the second floor. The master bedroom privacy suite has two large walk-in closets, a sitting area, and a luxurious bath with soaking tub,  glass enclosed shower, and dual vanities.

Three other bedrooms are spacious and have nicely sized closets. One bedroom is en suite, while the other two share a “Jack and Jill” style bath.

The third floor is finished and has a large recreation room, office, and sitting area, and can be easily configured to add a fifth bedroom while still maintaining a good sized recreational space.

This home has exceptional flow, is maintained to perfection, and is on a beautifully landscaped .25 acre lot.

Annual taxes are $14,890.

Listing/photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker Riverside/ KMS Partners.
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(Editor’s Note: Judy Szablak of RE/MAX- Fairfield County CT Realtor since 1984 is author of “The Art of Buying or Selling a Home,” and featured on HGTV’s real estate show, “Desperate to Buy.” Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit her online at



Posted 12/14/12 at 12:00 AM


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