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2018 Begins With 'Low Inventory' In Real Estate Market



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"The overall real estate market in town is actually very healthy at the moment," Newtown Board of Realtors President Connie Widmann told The Newtown Bee on April 26. "The issue is that we have extremely low inventory."

The lack of properties available in town has led to fewer days on the market and competitive pricing. With sellers and buyers recognizing the limited options out there, the side advantage is moving toward a seller's market.

"Right now, we have 140 homes on the market and, typically, this time of year, we have somewhere around 240 to 260 [homes]," she said.

The National Association of Realtors reports that existing home sales across the United States has dropped 1.2 percent from last year. Of that decline, the Northeast has been hit the hardest compared to the Midwest, Southern, and Western regions, and has seen a 9.3 percent decrease from last year.

Still, homes are selling in Newtown. Ms Widmann says that from the first of the year through the end of March, 96 homes have sold. On average the properties were on the market for about 91 days and had a median selling price of $385,000.

Out of the 96 sold homes, ten were bank owned and six received their original asking offer.

At the time of the interview, Ms Widmann said that 84 homes were currently under deposit at a median listing price of $525,000. Seven of those homes under deposit were listed at more than $700,000.

The most popular price range selling well in town is from $200,000 to $450,000, with the slowest selling price being homes over $800,000.

No matter the price of the home, people are in the market for, Newtown is a huge draw for families.

"The appeal of Newtown is the overall landscape of the community. It is a beautiful town," Ms Widmann said.

Also, the school system and "livability" of the area is a huge factor for those with children.

On The Market

The average listing price for a single-family home on the market in Newtown is currently $489,000, Ms Widmann reported. Eight homes are valued at over a million dollars.

Those looking to purchase an antique home have five options, while those interested in new construction have 20 homes to select from.

Buyers looking for condominium units have 19 choices, Ms Widmann says. One is at Copper Creek and does not have an age restriction, while the remaining 18 condominiums are in both Liberty at Newtown and Newtown Woods, which have a 55 and older age policy.

Renters currently do not have many options when looking in Newtown.

"We have very low inventory. At the moment, there are only four [rentals]," Ms Widmann said. On average, the rentals costs $2,000 per month.

Advice To Sellers And Buyers

Those living in Connecticut know by now that an ongoing challenge the state is facing is that the constant flow of people moving out is exceeding the amount of people moving in.

"Low inventory, high taxes, and the devaluation in Connecticut… those are the big issues," Ms Widmann said.

Her best advice for those contemplating when to put their home on the market is to put it on as soon as possible and not wait till the summertime.

Some key elements that can make a home stand out and be more attractive to buyers is painting, home staging, cleaning up landscaping, and adding new light fixtures and hardware.

Tight on funds? Ms Widmann says one thing of utmost importance for home selling is decluttering.

As for first-time home buyers in a low inventory real estate market, she recommends offering a price that will be accepted if there are competitive multiple offers, instead of a lowest price offer.

"They need to remember that they are not purchasing brand new homes; these are used homes that have been well maintained," Ms Widmann says. With that said, having an open mind is always key when purchasing in Newtown.

Newtown Board of Realtors President Connie Widmann says that, despite a low inventory of homes on the market, the overall real estate market in Newtown is "healthy." (Bee Photo, Silber)
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