It's hard to go anywhere in town these days without someone asking me the age-old question, "How's the real estate market?" After so many years of trying to find a positive spin on a declining market, it is wonderful to finally be able to answer, "Great!"
As of Jan. 20, according to the region's Multiple Listing Service, there were 212 homes for sale in Westport, with an average list price of $1,841,384.
The most expensive home on the market, a newly built, six-bedroom home on Bluewater Lane on one acre with a 180-degree view of Compo Beach and Long Island Sound, is listed for $14.5 million.The least expensive is listed for $289,000, a 1,152-square-foot home on Crescent Park Road with two bedrooms, two baths and a fireplace on 0.12 acre.
In 2013, 499 homes sold in Westport, with a total sales volume of $731.8 million. The most expensive closed for $20,000,000 -- a Beachside Avenue estate featuring an 8,700-square-foot home with five bedrooms on two acres with 420 feet of direct waterfront. The least expensive was a Bridge Street home that sold for $192,000.
In 2012, 391 homes were sold with a total sales volume of $528.4 million.
The most expensive home sold in 2012 closed for $5.3 million, a new 7,600-square-foot home on Minute Man Hill near Compo Beach. It was relisted again this year for a few months for the same price, but is currently withdrawn from the market.
Westport home sales increased in 2013 by 108 units -- a 28 percent increase -- and average sale prices rose more than 8 percent.
Many have questioned what is driving this surge in the housing market. It's really a combination of factors:
Low interest rates that promise to rise
Buyers believing the market has hit bottom and is trending up.
The bottom line: Westport's housing market is alive and well. It has officially evolved back to a seller's market.
Paying asking price and bidding wars are becoming more common for buyers. Homes are selling the first week or even day that they hit the market. Luckily, appraisers have followed suit, and there have not been many problems with appraisals falling short. If a homeowner is realistic and a homebuyer is aggressive, they should both get what the want from the transaction.
If you have a home currently listed for sale and you are not getting offers, take a long hard look at your pricing. You have probably out-priced your market. Price your home appropriately, and they will come.