WHAT FACTORS AFFECT REAL ESTATE PRICES IN WESTPORT, CONNECTICUT?

What Factors Affect Real Estate Prices in Westport, Connecticut?

As the Westport, CT real estate market has ebbed and flowed over the last 29 years since I began as a Westport realtor, the question of how our local trends behave has often been asked of me. Because of its location, average home prices in Westport, CT fluctuate based upon a variety of factors close to home. Let’s dive into exactly how that translates for us.

#1: Inventory of Homes for Sale

As you all have heard me cover in the past, the number one factor influencing the median home price of houses for sale in Westport comes down to supply and demand, in other words, inventory! The smaller the inventory of homes for sale, the more local home values are driven up. An inventory of fewer than 6 months indicates a seller’s market, and an inventory of more than 6 months indicates a buyer’s market. The faster that homes are sold, the fewer there are to go around, indicating conditions catering to Westport homeowners looking to sell their homes.

The Total Inventory of Properties available for sale as of September was 134, equal to 134 last month and down -22.5% from 173 in September of last year. September 2022 Inventory was at the lowest level compared to September of 2021 and 2020. A comparatively lower MSI (the # of months needed to sell all of the inventory at the monthly sales pace) is more beneficial for sellers while a higher MSI is better for buyers. The September 2022 MSI of 3.6 months was at its lowest level compared with September of 2021 and 2020.Credit: Coldwell Banker

#2: New York City

One of the many benefits of owning real estate next to the “Big Apple,” the Westport, CT average home price is closely tethered to New York City’s influence. Think about all the ways our local real estate market is connected to NYC: Westport is a big commuter town, with homeowners shuffling back and forth on our Metro North trains. In fact in 2013, train accidents hampered the market, and it was up to Westport real estate agents like myself to connect the dots and pick up the pieces. After September 11th and again starting at the beginning of the pandemic, Westport saw an influx of new homeowners coming into our market from NYC, decreasing inventory while prices climbed higher. Crime in New York City, as with many major cities and their surrounding suburbs, also regularly plays a factor.

Credit: Tony Cenicola, The New York Times

#3: Financial: Stock Market, Bonuses

25-30% of Westport homeowners work in financial services, and many more homeowners in our town invest. As a result, those working in the industry lean on bonuses to make big real estate decisions for themselves and their families, and our local market is certainly impacted depending on whether the financial markets are booming or in decline.

#4: Interest Rates

Though Westport, CT is less sensitive to interest rates than other parts of country because our buyers often buy with more cash, rates do still play a factor.

#5: Schools

It’s no secret that the public school system in Westport, CT is strong. I have had so many clients who’ve moved to Westport for the excellent public schooling. With Staples High School regularly appearing high in state and national rankings, it’s no wonder families flock to the area, creating demand for homeowners in the market to move across town, often even to the area surrounding…

Credit: Turner Construction

#6: Compo Beach!

That’s right – some of the main attractions in Westport are our beaches! Between Compo, Burying Hill, and Sherwood, being on the coast is a key attraction for buyers that keeps local prices high and a great investment (thereby keeping our market healthy). Westport is home to some of the finest Connecticut waterfront properties, so how could you go wrong?

Credit: Patrick Sikes, Hearst Connecticut Media

#7: Taxes

With home prices in Westport real estate often reasonably high, it may surprise some that Westport property taxes are the second lowest in the state! (Greenwich is first, however not as affordable as Westport — so we’re still winning the value battle!). Westport’s fabulous restaurants and shopping scene are also a big aid to our tax base, meaning Westport homeowners aren’t left to pick up all of the slack! Speak with your CPA to get a gauge on your personal tax situation.

While the Westport market is still strong, much of the country is in peak markets and seems to be correcting. That’s why it’s so important to have a grasp of your local real estate market before assuming the headlines speak for all zip codes. In Westport, we’re still looking at 2.5 months of inventory, keeping our market a seller’s market (whereas an inventory of more than 6 months would be a buyer’s market). There have been 25% fewer transactions than last year only because we don’t have inventory! Have a look at my Third Quarter Market Update for the latest scoop:

https://youtube.com/watch?v=_J3M7QBWDYE%3Fwmode%3Dopaque%26enablejsapi%3D1

Westport, CT Real Estate Market Update, Third Quarter

If you’re a Westport homeowner considering selling your home, I’m here to answer those questions that have been keeping you up at night. I’d love to set up an appointment to help piece your situation together with you!