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Real Estate Report: Spring Market Early Start

Additionally, 24 homes have closed in the last 30 days, which confirms one of the strongest beginnings that we have had since 2010.

While the overall real estate climate is warmer than usual and we are experiencing heightened activity, it by no means that we have crossed into a sellers market. If it continues, the market will begin to get closer to neutral, which favors neither the buyer or seller.

Market Stats

There are now 226 homes that are actively on the market, which has decreased by 27 properties from last year at this time.

These currently available properties have been listed for an average of 1647 days, with a cumulative market time of 297 days, which is almost identical to that of last year.

The average list price is down approximately $193,000 from a year ago to $1,974,910 and the median price is at $1,398,500, which is down by $126,500 from a year ago at this time.

Twenty-two new listings came on the market in the last seven days, and four properties came back on the market after being under deposit, or temporarily withdrawn. There were 11 properties in the past week that had a price change.

An estate on Beachside Avenue is the highest priced home on the market, and is currently listed at $16.75 million, after a recent price reduction of $3.25 million. The Tudor-style home on 112-116 Beachside Ave. is an 8,482-square foot waterfront property comprised of three lots on 7.267 acres with 365 feet of waterfront.

The lowest available priced single family is a three-bedroom two-bath bungalow style ranch on .12 acres at 17 Hale St., which was built in 1939. The bank owned property is listed at $344,000.

There are currently 33 homes under the initial stage of deposit townwide, and another 22 scheduled to close. The number of homes that are under the initial stage of deposit is nearly double of that from last year, and the pending sales are up by six units from last year at this time.

Eleven homes entered the initial stage of deposit last week, and five homes went under pending status with an average price of $1,174,580.

The home at 46 Burr Farms Road took an initial deposit after just three days on the market. The 10-room Long Lots area colonial was built in 2008 and is listed at $2,049,000, and has four bedrooms, five full and two half baths.

The property at 57 Compo Beach Road took an initial deposit after a cumulative market time of 791 days. This was offered as a four-bedroom home or land and is listed at $1.65 million.

Closings: There were five sales reported during the last week, and their average price was $1,174,580 with an average market time of 160 days and sale price to list price ratio of 96 %.

The home at 784 Maple Ave. South closed at $1,750,000 and had a market time of 143 days. The 4,92-square foot Greens Farms colonial was built in 2004, and featured exceptional millwork throughout, and a pool and pool house on a one acre lot, and closed at 92.15% of list price.

Condos: There are 22 condominiums that are currently available, which is up by 14 units from this time last year. These condos have been listed an average of 133 days, with a cumulative market time of 177 days.

The average price is $595,809 and is up by approximately $28,000 from last year at this time, and the median price of $650,000 is down by $29,000 from a year ago.

There were three new listings entered in the last seven days, and one property came back on the market. Three properties at the Lansdowne complex had a price change. One home entered the initial deposit stage, and no homes entered pending status or closed.

The highest priced condo in town is listed at $1,250,000 and is in a new nine unit adult development at Daybreak Commons, which is the former site of Daybreak Nursery. The luxury freestanding unit is 2,000 square feet and has two bedrooms and two full baths.

The lowest priced unit for sale is a on-bedroom unit with 750 square feet on 35 Bridge S. at The Saugatuck, which is an adult complex and listed at $162,800.

There are three properties currently under the initial stage of deposit townwide, and one that is scheduled to close that is listed at $649,900.

Rentals: If you are interested in renting year round, either furnished or unfurnished, there are 77 homes or apartments available, and inventory is up by 13 properties from last year. These homes have an average market time of 95 days.

The median price for townwide annual rentals is currently $4,333, which is consistent with that from this time last year, and the average price is $5,549 per month, which is down $72 from last year at this time.

The two highest priced annual rentals are listed at $25,000 each. The beachfront home at 66 Compo Mill Cove consists of 4,000 square feet with designer furnishings, and has six bedrooms, and a deeded deep water boat slip at Compo Beach.

A 17-room colonial home on a premier cul de sac at 12 Woody Lane has 8,611 square feet of living area, a pool and outdoor kitchen and is also listed at $25,000 monthly, and includes an option to purchase, or lease-purchase. This home also is available in July and August for $40,000.

The lowest priced rental is a 450 square foot three-room apartment that is listed for $1,200 monthly and is located at 42 Richmondville Ave.

There are 48 short-term rental opportunities that are available, and these seasonal or short-term rentals currently have an average price of $9,972 and a median price of $6,025, with an average market time of 108 days. Expect more seasonal opportunities to enter the market, and the average prices go up as we get closer to warmer weather.

The two highest priced short term rentals are both listed at $40,000. They include 12 Woody Lane, which is also available on an annual basis and 10 Bluewater Hill South, a four-bedroom three-bath Mediterranea-style colonial with historical gardens by famed Central Park designer Frederick Olmstead, and has varying monthly prices from May to August.

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 - Listing information and data is compiled from the SmartMLS and represents listings and activity through our statewide MLS system. Private sales are not included in these statistics.

Featured Home

This home at 8 Scofield Place is listed at $838,000.

Just steps from the water, this contemporary home in Saugatuck Shores has a perfectly “beachy” feel, is in move-in condition, and checks all the boxes.

The wonderfully designed flexible floor plan enables this six-room home to live larger than its 1,627 -square feet of living area that has year round water views.

The sunlit living room is surprisingly spacious, and flows beautifully to the kitchen and dining room areas.

The skylit dining room with cathedral ceiling is open to the kitchen, and has sliders out to deck.

The kitchen has a skylit cathedral ceiling, plenty of crisp white cabinetry with granite countertops with stainless steel appliances, and sliders out to the 352 square foot deck overlooking the exceptionally private .15 acre yard..

Two steps down from the kitchen, the family room also has cathedral ceilings, as well as sliders outside, and this room can easily be a third bedroom if so desired.

A bedroom on the main floor ensures that all have their own privacy.

The master bedroom suite with cathedral ceiling occupies the entire upper floor, a full bath, and a large walk-in cedar closet. A private deck affords outstanding sunsets and water views.

Extras and items to note—Two to three bedrooms, two baths, vaulted ceilings, public water and sewer, skylights, year round water views.

Annual taxes are $8,179.

Listing/photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker Westport/Bross Chingas Bross.


Judy Szablak
(Editor’s Note: Judy Szablak of Coldwell Banker Westport — Riverside, 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 http://www.CThomesAndRealEstate.com.

Westport Real Estate Price Changes

Westport real estate price changes over the past week:

9 Oakview Lane         $481,700->$479,900
27 Hale Street           $535,000->$499,000
5 Nassau Road           $599,900->$549,900
8 Kirock Place           $610,000->$579,900
6 Heather Hill             $624,900->$609,900
6 Brookside Place       $649,999->$639,999
2 Plunkett Place         $689,000->$649,000
136 Lansdowne           $675,000->$650,000
220 Lansdowne         $679,000->$664,000
145 Lansdowne         $695,000->$685,000
38 Roseville Road       $800,000->$780,000
3 Sherwood Farms       $879,100->$829,000
93 Easton Road       $1,043,000->$999,900
107 Old Road         $1,450,000->$1,200,000
123 Cross Hwy       $2,395,000->$2,295,000

—Judy Szablak

Democrats Promise Passage of Truck Tolls in Two Weeks

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, and Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said the Democrats are intent on finding a process that minimizes public vetting of the legislation before a full traffic and fiscal analysis can be completed.

“This is beyond irresponsible,” Fasano said. “How dare you?”

Looney and Ritter said they had votes for passage, and both tried to minimize the obvious question raised by the inability to quickly determine where the bill would come to its first floor vote: The obvious distrust between the chambers, each controlled by Democrats.

Asked if he trusted Ritter and House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz of Berlin, Looney said, “I do.

Ritter, who stood next to Looney outside the governor’s office after a half-hour meeting, said the issue is less with leadership than some rank-and-file members. “Sometimes,” Ritter said, “there’s distrust issues between the House and Senate.”

“I think it’s just there are elements of both caucuses who want their votes to be final action,” Looney said.

Lamont shook off the previous night’s cancellation, saying his fellow Democrats assured him they had sufficient votes, and the only challenge was to find a day when every lawmaker supporting the measure would be available. Democrats have solid majorities of 22-14 in the Senate and 91-60 in the House, but every Republican is opposed.

Democrats can survive the loss of four Democratic votes in the Senate and achieve an 18-18 tie that would be broken by Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz. In the House, they need to keep 76 of their 91 members on board.

“I feel as confident today as I did yesterday, as I did the day before that,” Lamont said. “I just met with the leaders and had a good discussion about scheduling, when we can do this.”

The bill, which is available on line, would authorize the state to charge tolls on tractor trailers at 12 highway bridges.

The opening hours of the hearing Friday were consumed by questioning of the governor’s top fiscal official, Secretary Melissa McCaw of the Office of Policy and Management, and the state transportation commissioner, Joseph J. Giulietti

Administration officials warned that if lawmakers fail to find new revenues for infrastructure before the next recession — or before the transportation program falls into deficit in five years — Connecticut’s economy stands to lose tens of billions of dollars.

“The Special Transportation Fund is in crisis,” McCaw told the legislature’s Transportation Committee at today’s hearing. “It needs a suitable, reliable revenue stream. The current situation is untenable.”

The fund is financed by fuel taxes and various fees, and it pays for debt service on transportation bonding and the operating costs of the Department of Transportation and Department of Motor Vehicles. Between state borrowing and matching federal grants, Connecticut spends about $1.6 billion per year on highway, bridge and rail repairs.

The $19.1 billion investment Lamont is supporting for the coming decade “will be transformative for our economy,” Giulietti testified.

About $172 million in annual toll receipts, coupled with additional sales tax revenues dedicated to transportation, would prop up the Special Transportation Fund

The plan crafted by Lamont and Democratic legislators would take advantage of low-interest federal financing, with interest rates close to 2%, to minimize borrowing costs over the coming decade.

“These are very, very aggressive rates,” Giulietti said. “The best we’ve ever seen.”

Economic studies have shown Connecticut’s congested highways and rail lines cost businesses and residents a collective $4.2 billion to $5 billion annually in delays and other complications, McCaw said, adding it’s a price the state has been paying for years.

The Metro-North commuter rail system has slower running times than 50 years ago, said Giulietti, the former president of Metro-North.

McCaw warned that if the lawmakers do not act now, the prospects of modernizing transportation infrastructure would be vulnerable to an economic downturn.

A delay of five or six years could cost the economy as much as $30 billion, McCaw said. And for those who believe the next economic crisis is many years away, McCaw said, the current Special Transportation Fund still won’t be sufficient to address future needs.

The STF’s longtime revenue sources — fuel tax revenues and various motor vehicle fees — are growing at less than 3% per year while transportation costs are growing by 4%, McCaw said. If toll receipts or some other revenues aren’t added to transportation, the STF would fall into deficit by 2025, she said.

“Major bridge work” is needed at all 12 of the highway structures where toll gantries would be located under the plan, Giulietti said. The tolls would go into effect in 2023.

Republican legislative leaders pushed back Friday against the Democratic governor’s plan, calling it a first step to a broader tolls plan, though that would require the passage of a second transportation bill, most likely after 2023 and requiring a legislative consensus that now seems unfathomable.

“It may be trucks today, but we all know it will be cars tomorrow,” said Patrick Sasser, founder of No Tolls CT, who said the need for tolls is decades of fiscal mismanagement of state finances. “Sadly, the trust is broken and we have had enough.”

Democrats have tried to underline that passenger tolls are permanently off the table by proposing bond language barring them.

But Klarides said such language would be worthless: Wall Street never would try to enforce them, since investors in bonds want only one thing: “They want to be paid.”

Rep. Laura Devlin, R-Fairfield, noted that the 2007 legislature approved about $2 billion in bonding to shore up the teachers’ pension fund, pledging in that bond covenant not to alter the schedule of contributions to the pension system until those bonds were paid off, around 2032.

The language was not binding, she said.

Last May, lawmakers approved a proposal from Lamont and state Treasurer Shawn Wooden to restructure pension payments.

The governor and treasurer asserted this would not violate the bond covenant as long as Connecticut set aside an amount equal to the maximum yearly debt payment on the bonds, about $380 million.

Connecticut, which had $1.2 billion in its rainy day fund last May — and was on its way to amassing $2.5 billion by Sept. 30 — had no problem fulfilling that $380 million reserve requirement.

The Lamont administration projects that at least 50% of the truck tolls receipts would be paid by out-of-state truck drivers, a factor that Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said should be persuasive.

“It’s like going to the store, seeing a 50% discount, and saying, ‘No, I would rather pay full price,” Bronin said. “The bottom line is we have to make investments now. They have to be big. It is our only chance to be competitive.”

But Kurt Lindeland, who runs Connecticut Mulch Distributors in Enfield, said plenty of Connecticut companies will pay a high price, his among them. His company owns 38 trucks and makes 11,000 trips annually in the state.

“We’re estimating $400,000 to $700,000,” Lindeland said of his projected cost, “And that’s a pretty scary number.”

The administration tried to minimize the impact on Connecticut businesses by exempting all classes of trucks other than tractor-trailers, and no truck would be charged more than once a day at any one gantry.

Unions turned out members to support a transportation financing plan that they say will produce jobs in a depressed construction industry. American Trucking Associations filed written testimony reminding lawmakers that trucks-only tolls in Rhode Island are facing a legal challenge by their industry.

Van Into Utility Pole on Saugatuck Avenue

WestportNow.com Image
UPDATE Westport police closed the northbound lane in the vicinity 246 Saugatuck Ave. after a van struck a utility pole and rolled over. The southbound lane remained open. Police later reopened both lanes but said additional closures were likely as utility workers replaced the pole. The driver was examined at the scene by Westport EMS. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Panera Bread Robbery Suspect Arrested

Upon returning to the rear of the restaurant, Edwards attempted to gain access to the office, but was unable to make entry, he added.

“As a result, nothing was reported stolen during the incident,” Prezioso said. “The suspect then fled through the front door and was reported to have been last seen running westbound through the parking lot.”

Prezioso said a Detective Bureau investigation found that the target of the robbery was a wallet containing more than $7,000 in cash found earlier that same day and secured in the store manager’s office.

“Based on information obtained in connection with the service of search warrants, it was learned that an employee of the Panera restaurant had communicated with the suspect that attempted the robbery, providing information which helped to facilitate the planning and perpetration of this crime,” Prezioso said.

This same employee was present the night of the incident, he added, saying the investigation discovered Edmonds had committed the attempted robbery.

Westport detectives arrested Edmonds in Bridgeport and transported him to Police Headquarters where he was charged with first-degree attempted robbery, criminal attempt at robbery in the third degree and third-degree conspiracy to commit robbery.

Held in lieu of a $200,000 bond, he was transported Thursday to Norwalk Superior Court for arraignment.

Westport Property Transfers Jan. 13-17, 2020

Fobro LLC to Bianka Pajor, 101 Harvest Commons, $760,000

Bertha D. Rosenbush Est. to Lence Igeva & Stojan Igev, 30 Wild Rose Road, $435,000

Lillian Mennitt to David R. Winn, 15 Whitney Glen Road, $330,000

Ann Weiner to Jeffrey M. Klauser, 5 Charmers Landing, $6,300,000

Marilyn L. Gargiulo Tr. to Matthew E. & Emily Kushner, 3 Loretta Court, $965,000

Leslie A. Flinn to Wyatt R. Jansen, 157 Compo Road North, $564,825

Cindy J. & Peter J. Spengler to Nancy & Daniel Dodderidge, 156 Hillspoint Road, $1,342,500

Reflections Winners

WestportNow.com Image
Westport students came up winners in the Reflections Program, a national PTA art contest. Each of the student artists won at the school level, and their work, based on the theme, “Look Within,” is moving on to be judged at the state. Pictured are the Bedford Middle School winners (l-r) with BMS Principal Adam Rosen, Jonathan Costello, Ryder Levine, Scarlet Gerber, and Courtlyn Crombie. Staples winners included Dylan Goodman, Caelin Reilly, Henry Schwabe, Clara Holleman, Nathaniel Kolek, and Juliette Savarin. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Friday, Jan. 31, 2020


9:30 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Conservation Commission
10 a.m. – Westport Library – Language Conversation Group: Japanese
11 a.m. – Westport Library – Language Conversation Group: French
11 a.m. – Westport Library – Anyone Can Use … Google Drive
11 a.m. – 6 p.m. – Westport Museum for History & Culture – “Becoming Westport”
3 p.m. – 5 p.m. – Westport Library – Drop-in Tech Help

See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar