By Mark Pruner
Douglas Elliman – Greenwich
email@example.com – 203-969-7900
March 2016 was not a good month for single family home sales in Greenwich, but the first quarter was a good first quarter. We only had 29 sales reported by the GMLS in March 2016 compared with 49 sales in February of this year. Now the 49 sales last month was a record for February, while the 29 sales was the lowest since March 2009 back in the heart of the Great Recession.
|As of 4/2/16||Inventory||Contracts||Last Mo. Solds||Tot. Solds+ Contracts||YTD Solds||YTD+ Contracts||Mos Supply||Mos w/ Contracts||Last Mo. Annlzd|
First Quarter – If you combine a great February with a poor March and throw in a so-so January you end up with 110 sales for the first quarter compared to 107 sales in 2015 and 109 sales in 2014, so what we continue to have a market that whipsaws back and forth month to month, but by the end of the quarter averages out to the new normal.
Contracts – While our sales have bounced around there is good news when you look at contracts outstanding. We have 93 contracts; 52 contingent contracts waiting for mortgage approval and 41 binding contracts.
Upper Half of the Market – The further good news is that 25 of those contracts are for over $3 million and the over $3 million dollar market had 8 of the 29 sales in March. Our high-end market is showing some life with 10 sales and contracts over $5 million, but this is out of an inventory of 169 listings that are over $5 million. Except for those 10 homeowners and their agents it’s not quite time to break out the champagne yet.
Our inventory, as it always does, expanded nicely in March, so that we now have 577 single family homes on the market and we usually peak around 600 listings in April or May. The big increases were in the upper end as high end properties that were taken off the market for the winter, and some new inventory, came back on the market.
The months of supply numbers are always deceptive in March as sales are slow, while inventory expansion is rapid. The result is a big jump in months of supply over $1 million. You can get a better sense of the market by looking at the months of supply based on sales and contracts. From $5 – 6.5 million we have 52 months of supply based just on sales, but when you add in contracts the months of supply for this price range drops to 34 months of supply or a difference of 1.5 years of supply by simply including the contracts. Now not every contract will actually close, but it’s a better estimate of what’s going on in the market.
What’s Trending – When you look at the pie charts of inventory, sales and contracts a couple of things jump out. First, March was a really good month for contracts from $2 – 3 million.
Secondly, our sales under $1 million are very supplied constrained and are likely to be getting worse. If you compare the size of the inventory pie slices under $1 million to the slices in year-to-date sales you can see how quickly this segment sells as we have already sold many of the houses that came on this year under $1 million. If you look at the YTD sales compared to contracts this market may actually see sales drop despite robust demand as we are not getting replacement inventory coming on the market under $1 millon.