Ridgefield real estate: Market sees prices dip in third quarter
Fewer homes sold for a lower average sale price in Ridgefield’s third quarter than in 2018 but real estate agents aren’t hitting the panic button.
“When you look at the numbers for the third quarter, the big thing you see is that we had two homes sell for over $2 million in 2018 and we didn’t have any in that price range sell this year,” said Toni Riordan, president of Ridgefield’s Board of Realtors. “The loss of those big sales definitely hurts. And it’s not surprising we didn’t take a big jump this year considering nothing sold over $2 million … We had a 7% drop in average sales price. It’s not too big when you factor in those bigger sales.”
In the third quarter of 2019, Ridgefield saw 108 homes sell for an average price of $715,638. Over the same three month stretch in 2018, the market saw 113 single-family homes switch hands for an average sale price of $773,560.
“Under the $800,000 is where we saw a lot of the action,” said Riordan. “We saw 79 homes sell under that price point in 2019, ten more than the 69 that sold in 2018. That part of the market is moving strongly. … When you go over a million that’s when it begins to slow down and get a bit tough for sellers.”
In July, August, and September, Ridgefield saw 16 homes sell for over $1 million — three fewer than the 19 homes that sold over that price in the third quarter of 2018. The total sales volume for the quarter also dropped from $87,412,240 to $77,288,893 — good for an 11% decrease.
The highest sale price of the quarter was $1,825,000 for the home at 111 High Ridge Avenue. The low sale price was $279,900 for the home at 8 Woody Place.
“If you look at the second quarter of 2019, we only had seven million dollar homes sell so there was an increase this quarter and there’s still a good amount of interest in that part of market,” said Riordan. “It just takes a little longer and requires some more patience.”
It’s not all doom and gloom for Ridgefield’s high-end market. As of Oct. 11, there were 24 homes under deposit — one of which is being sold for more than $3 million, along with two over the $2 million price tag and four listed at over $1 million.
“Bigger picture: I think when we look at the year end, the average sales price is going to be right around where it was last year,” said Riordan. “If all of these homes sell that are under deposit, then we’re looking for a better fourth quarter.”
While the average price for single-family homes dropped in the third quarter this year, the market did see an uptick in condominium sale prices.
In 2018, the average Ridgefield condo sold for $307,336 in the third quarter. Over the same three-month stretch this year, condos went for an average sale price of $324,933.
“Sales price with the condo market is tough because the bigger sales of $800,000 to a $1 million skews the number a bit,” Riordan said, “but it is nice to see that it went up.”
Overall the condo market is holding steady — much like the home market, according to Riordan.
“The total sales volume is close,” she said. “We sold less but the prices rose.”
In the third quarter of 2019, 15 condos sold compared to the 17 units that went off the market last summer. The total sales volume dipped from $5,224,715 to $4,874,000.
“It’s still a part of the market that sees a lot of first time home buyers who are looking to get into the market and can’t necessarily afford that home right away,” Riordan said. “It’s still popular for people looking to downsize and stay in town.”
Busiest time of year
With families seeking to be in homes before the start of the new school year, the summer is always Ridgefield’s busiest quarter for real estate.
In 2017, 52 homes sold in June and 48 sold in August. In 2018, Ridgefield saw 46 homes sell in June — the busiest month of the year again, with August finishing a close second with 45 home sales.
Fast forward a year, and June and August were again the busiest two months — each with 43 homes sold.
“Those seem to be our best two months,” Riordan said. “We’re always busy in the late spring into June and Mother Nature usually plays a role in that.
“...Obviously, we would have liked to have even better numbers this summer but we still had more than 100 homes sell this quarter, and being in the hundreds is a good thing,” she added. “We’re off but we’re not that far off.”
Riordan said Ridgefield remains an attractive market for both condominium and home buyers.
“We’re a great town with a lot to offer, and people are still coming out to look at homes,” she said.
“We’re still holding our own,” she added. “Ridgefield is right on pace with many other towns in this area, but jobs have left and the economy isn’t what it used to be ... Connecticut’s reputation isn’t what it used to be. People have heard the stories by now about businesses leaving.”
Looking at the sales numbers for prior years, Riordan said Ridgefield is still on track to be where it was last year.
The town saw 370 homes sell in 2017 and 330 sell last year. So far this year, 273 home have sold — and there’s plenty available for buyers in the final quarter.
“We have a lot under deposit already and we 258 active listings — 62 of them are listed for more than a million,” she said.
The highest priced property on the market is at 9 Old Stagecoach Road in northern Ridgefield. The property is listed for $19,000,000.
“That’s the home that demands a certain type of buyer,” she said. “There are a lot of factors in play and you need them all to line up to get something like that to sell.”
And one of those factor is the weather.
“The fourth quarter is typically based on the seller’s situation — is the home already empty and do they want to close quick or are they moving out of town for a job relocation or something else? There a lot of factors to consider when looking towards the end of the year,” Riordan said. “People don’t want to sit on homes all winter. They try to get them to close before the holidays arrive and the snow comes in. Once the weather turns for the worst, they take them off and don’t put them back on until late February or early March.
“It depends on Mother Nature,” she added. “It’s not always about taxes and government.”