Friday, 12 October 2018
After a slower first quarter, and a second quarter that saw some areas catching up to or exceeding the prior year, the third quarter trended further in a positive direction
STAMFORD, Conn. (PRWEB) October 12, 2018
A report detailing market results for the third 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-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, and the second was more notable for its inconsistency from market to market with certain areas remaining behind the first half of 2017 and others catching up to or even exceeding the prior year, the third quarter trended further in a positive direction. Westchester and Fairfield Counties, while still behind 2017, appeared to be closing the gap, as the Shoreline along with Litchfield and Berkshire Counties climbed ahead of the prior year, and the Farmington Valley stood nearly flat.
The report contended that the current strength of the economy supports a healthy outlook for real estate, and noted several positive economic indicators including interest rates inching up but remaining at historic lows, unemployment hitting its lowest rate in nearly half a century, and the stock market, while certainly fluctuating at times, still standing at incredible heights. The GDP increased by 4.2% in the second quarter, its fastest growth rate in four years, and is projected to come in anywhere from 3.2 to 3.8% for the third quarter, a slower but still strong pace. These factors correlate with soaring levels of consumer confidence, with the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index reporting in September that consumer confidence reached nearly an 18-year high of 138.4 (1985=100). The report stated that historically, the key leverage point in determining the health of the real estate market is consumer confidence.
“When consumer confidence is this healthy, we typically see demand in the real estate buyer pool follow suit,” said Paul Breunich, President and Chief Executive Officer of William Pitt-Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. “If there was a pause in the marketplace early in the year due to uncertainty surrounding the tax reform bill that passed in late 2017, by now the trend appears to be changing. 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.”
In Westchester County overall, unit sales and dollar volume each declined in the third quarter compared to the same time last year by 4%. But year to date, dollar volume for the first time this year showed an increase of 1% versus the first three quarters of 2017, while unit sales were behind by 5%. Overall the market remained a little down with some slight improvement. In Southern Westchester, unit sales for the third quarter were 3% behind and dollar volume 2% behind the same period last year. Year to date, unit sales were lower by 3% compared to the first three quarters of 2017, but dollar volume for the first time this year was ahead by 3%. In Northern Westchester, unit sales and dollar volume for the third quarter both decreased by 8% compared to the same time in 2017, while year to date, unit sales decreased by 7% and volume by 3% versus the first three quarters last year.
In Fairfield County, each quarter this year has found the region just a little behind the same quarter of 2017, and that continued in the third quarter, although this quarter’s declines were the most marginal of the year so far. Quarter over quarter, unit sales county-wide were 3% lower while dollar volume was 1% higher than the same period last year. Year to date, unit sales and dollar volume were both 3% behind the first three quarters of 2017. These figures are closer to 2017 figures than last quarter, suggesting the county is making headway and beginning to catch up to last year. The Connecticut Shoreline, encompassing New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties, is now definitively witnessing a stronger back half of 2018 after a slower start early in the year. For the third quarter, the region saw unit sales standing nearly even with the same time last year at a 1% decrease, while dollar volume jumped ahead by 9%. Year to date, units are also close to even with the first three quarters of 2017, only behind by 1%, while volume, again, is ahead by 6%.
Litchfield County started picking up last quarter after a slower early part of the year, and is now climbing ahead of the prior year. For the third quarter, unit sales and dollar volume county-wide both stood ahead of the same period last year by 8%, while year to date, unit sales increased by 5% and dollar volume by 4% compared to the first three quarters of 2017. In the Farmington Valley region of Hartford County, comprising Avon, Canton, Farmington, Granby and Simsbury, plus the additional communities the company serves including Burlington, Hartland and West Hartford, the market pulled back slightly compared to the same period last year, though it remained close to flat year to date. Unit sales for the quarter dipped by 4% and dollar volume by 7% versus the third quarter of 2017, while year to date, unit sales and dollar volume were each behind the first three quarter of 2017 by a slight 2%.
In the Berkshires, the third quarter found the region solidly ahead of 2017. For the quarter, unit sales increased by 11% and dollar volume by 16% compared to the same period last year, while year to date, units increased by 2% and dollar volume by 8% versus the first three quarters last year. Unlike the second quarter, which turned in different results for the north, central and south counties, this quarter the county experienced sales growth across the board.
The 2018 Third 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.