Fairfield sales fall as buyers shift toward smaller homes

The luxury market remains soft
By Meenal Vamburkar | April 18, 2019 08:00AM

(Credit: iStock and Wikipedia)

The average square footage of properties sold fell 6.8 percent to 2,323 square feet (Credit: iStock and Wikipedia)

As Fairfield buyers opt for smaller homes, the Connecticut county’s luxury market remains soft.

The number of sales dipped 2.6 percent in the first quarter versus a year earlier to 1,968 deals, according to Douglas Elliman’s latest market report. At the same time, the median sales price fell 6.6 percent to $359,450. That decline was driven by buyers opting for smaller properties, said Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel and author of the report.

“The tax law is more impactful on the higher end,” he said. “You could argue the market is moving sideways or slightly softening in terms of the pace.”

Among single-family homes, the average square footage of properties sold fell 6.8 percent to 2,323 square feet, Miller said. Square footage ticked up 3.1 percent among condo buys to 1,378 square footage.

Meanwhile, the top end of the market saw more pronounced declines. The median sales price tumbled 20.7 percent to $1.58 million while sales dropped 3 percent. The entry threshold to the luxury market lowered 14.7 percent to $1.075 million as inventory grew 6.5 percent.

“It’s a shift in the mix,” Miller said. “And it’s that shift that’s affecting price trends.”

In Greenwich, the single-family market struggled while condo sales picked up. Deals for single-family homes tumbled 24.5 percent while the median sales price slipped 16.7 percent to $1.69 million. That was the lowest first quarter sales total in eight years, according to Elliman. By contrast, condo sales surged 33.3 percent but the median price slid 5.1 percent. Condo transactions have climbed in three of the last four quarters.