Regional Spotlight—The Greenwich, Conn. housing market continues to recover from the market downturn, though the strength and maturity of the recovery varies by neighborhood and price level. Overall, Greenwich single-family home sales increased 11 percent year-to-date compared to 2012, with the median sale price up 2.6 percent to $1,670,000 over the same period.
Greenwich is on pace to exceed 600 single family home sales in 2013, the highest level since 2007. The condo market is particularly hot, with sales up 73 percent year-to-date and median price up 7.7 percent to $700,000.
More encouraging, pending sales – homes in contract that have yet to close – were up 27 percent at the end of Q3 compared to the prior year. Pending sales are an excellent proxy for current demand, since they reflect buyers who have committed to purchase homes within the past 6-8 weeks. The higher growth rate of pending sales compared to closed sales implies the market is gaining momentum.
In the classic pattern seen at the end of a housing bear market– one which has been playing out across the U.S. over the past several years – prices fall until buyers perceive value and return to the market in enough numbers to halt further price declines. This marks the proverbial bottom. Eventually, continued sales growth and declining inventories lead to price appreciation as a new bull market cycle begins. A sustainable housing market recovery tends to start at the lower price levels and work its way up. In the NYC Metro area, this recovery pattern has rippled like a slow-motion wave flowing from Manhattan, beginning in the fall of 2011.