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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Real Estate Report: Availability of Financing is Key

By Judy Szablak

For those of you that are in the process of selling your home, or thinking about selling, one very important factor to keep in mind is that the availability of financing has a great impact on your sale. Most buyers will need to obtain a mortgage, and they will need access to reasonable loan programs. Image
This Saugatuck Island contemporary home at 116 Harbor Road is listed at $1,395,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Prudential CT Realty

What initially appears like a very minor change in interest rates or loan limits might seem inconsequential to you, but it might make all the difference in the world as to whether a buyer can obtain a loan for your property.

Over the past few months, we have heard about a number of changes that were possible on the financial front. Probably the biggest change to affect mortgages was that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were to adjust loan limits downward as of Oct. 1 for government-backed mortgages. 

While some industry experts had thought (and hoped) that this would not be the case, it is now going to be a reality.

Truly, the most affected market in Westport would be for condominiums, and just a small segment of the single family market, but it affects us just the same.

The latest national monthly housing report, the Case Shiller Index, mirrors Westport’s improved housing sales for July. The report has shown yet another 0.9 percent increase in July over June, and it was the fourth consecutive month of non-seasonally adjusted increases.

However, it should also be noted that even with these continued gains, 90 percent of the Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) still posted figures that were lower than one year ago at this time. We may not make last year’s figures, either.

The view of many economists is that prices are likely to decline without an improving job market, even though prices appeared to have stabilized over the summer months.

The report also indicated that the country’s home prices were currently at summer 2003 levels.

The Case Shiller Home Price Indices are the leading measures for the U.S. residential housing market, tracking residential real estate values both nationally and in 20 metropolitan regions, and are published the last Tuesday of every month with a two-month lag time.

Market Stats

Homes: There was a nice upsurge in inventory this week to 342 single family homes that are actively on the market. Their average list price is $2,135,681, and these homes have been listed for sale an average of 131 days.

The median price remains fairly consistent at $1,348,500.

Homes with five bedrooms or more comprise over 47 percent of the inventory, their average price is $2,976,073 and they have been on the market an average of 136 days.

There are 103 four-bedroom homes on the market that listed at an average price of $1,681,168 and they have been on the market an average of 128 days.

The highest asking price for all homes currently on the market is $24,950,000, and the lowest available priced home is $380,000.

Fifteen new listings came on the market in the last seven days, and one home came back on the market after being under deposit.

Eleven properties had a price change. Four properties have gone under the initial deposit stage, which we call CTS, and two properties went into pending status, which means that the conditions have been satisfied, and the property is scheduled to close.

The average market time for these pending properties was 127 days.

Closings: Ten homes were reported as sold in the last seven days, their average list price was $1,048,200 and these homes were on the market an average of 89 days. There were 55 status changes in the last seven days.

Condos: There are 27 condominiums that are available, and they have been listed an average of 104 days. Their average price is $640,274. The median price of a condo is $537,450. The highest priced condo in town is listed at $1,495,000 and the lowest offering price is $279,000.

It is still somewhat quiet for condo sales activity. Four new listings came on the market this week, and one property had a price change.

No properties went into CTS status. One property went into pending status, and its market time was 132 days.

Closings: One condominium closed in the last week, and was listed at $227,351. This home was on the market for 78 days.

There were nine status changes in the last seven days.

Rentals: If you are interested in renting year round, either furnished or unfurnished,  there are 76 homes or apartments available.

The median price is $3,900 per month and the average price is $5,971 per month. These year round rental opportunities have been on the market an average of 61 days.

There are just three seasonal rental opportunities available and they have been on the market an average of 76 days, and at an average price of $14,166.

The median price of both furnished and unfurnished seasonal rentals is $8,750.

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 Saugatuck Island contemporary home at 116 Harbor Road is listed at $1,395,000.

This crisp, clean loft-styled contemporary home has been completely remodeled from the bottom up, with an outstanding designer’s flair.

Every inch of this 2,472 square foot sophisticated and dramatic home has been utilized to its best possible advantage and has been done so with the utmost style.

Skylit soaring ceilings and multiple oversized windows create the feeling of additional space, and natural light abounds everywhere you look.

There are three floors of living in this home which can just as easily be a vacation home or a year round residence.

Situated on .19 acres, the grounds are easy to maintain as well. The open floor plan consists of eight rooms, four bedrooms and three full and one half baths

The skylit living room has quite a dramatic feel, with nearly a full wall of windows and specialty lighting in addition to three sets of sliders to the entertaining balcony.

A surround sound system has nearly perfect acoustics for the music enthusiast, and the dining room, which is adjacent to the kitchen, shares the natural light from the living room.

The kitchen is not only beautiful with imported Italian cabinetry, top of the line appliances, and Caesarstone Quartz counters but especially functional and designed to perfection with a “chef’s triangle layout,” and that is a perfect triangle that is formed in the placement in the room from the stove to the refrigerator to the sink.

There is an accompanying Quartz-topped breakfast bar that seats three and serves as a boundary between the kitchen and livng room.

The family room is on the first floor and has a king-sized deck which is also equipped with built in speakers.

There are four bedrooms, and the master suite has its own balcony, spectacular water views and is situated perfectly to enjoy the most beautiful sunsets.

The master bath has a “Victoria and Albert” tub, as well as a steam shower.

Extras and Items to note: Security System; Surround Sound; built in indoor and outdoor speaker system.

Designed for the entertainer at heart, this loft-style home is ultra modern yet comfortable, has impeccable flair and is in immaculate condition.

Annual taxes are $17,156. Listing/photo courtesy of Prudential CT Realty


Posted 09/29/11 at 05:53 PM  Permalink


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That Saugatuck house sold for $930,000 in February 2010.  Unless it was renovated by cladding it entirely in gold and diamonds there is no way in hell it could be worth $465,000 more today, in a market that has been moving sideways at best.  The sellers are dreaming.

Posted by Robert Sole on September 30, 2011 at 07:36 PM | #