Real-Estate

Low Home Inventory Fuels Bidding Wars in Greenwich, Fairfield County

Inventory is down in Greenwich (Getty)

Bidding wars swept through Fairfield County in the second quarter and hit a new peak in Greenwich, its famously wealthy enclave.

About half of homes that sold in the county closed above the last asking price, an all-time record, according to a report by Douglas Elliman compiled by appraiser Miller Samuel. In Greenwich, more than a quarter did — the most in the town in at least four years.

The bidding wars were driven by a lack of listings, which fell 37 percent from a year ago. This can put upward pressure on prices while limiting the number of sales, said Jonathan Miller, who authored the report.

The median price of homes sold in Fairfield County rose 24 percent to $570,000 and sales grew by 48 percent from a year ago, when lockdowns were in effect. For comparison, the median price in Westchester County climbed 13 percent to $649,000 and sales increased 61 percent.

Still, the pace of sales in Fairfield was “wicked fast,” Miller said, as it would take just 1.7 months for all available homes to sell — the second fastest in history after the 1.3 months of supply in last year’s fourth quarter. The average for the past decade was seven months.

Meanwhile, about 26 percent of the condominiums and single-family homes that sold in Greenwich in the second quarter fetched more than the last asking price. It was the highest percentage since Miller Samuel began tracking these figures roughly four years ago, and triple the long-term average of 8.8 percent.

“The rising prices are not because of some sort of skew like early in the pandemic when consumers were focused on having more room,” Miller said. “Prices are simply rising.”

The median price for single-family homes that sold grew year-over-year even though their average size shrunk by 6.6 percent to 4,702 square feet in Greenwich. The average square footage of condo units that sold increased by 3 percent to 1,959 square feet.

The gains were instead driven by low mortgage rates, remote work and listings declining on an annual basis for the sixth straight quarter. Only 420 homes were available in Greenwich in the second quarter, down 39 percent from a year ago.

Sales have doubled year-over-year for the past three quarters, with second-quarter sales of condos and single-family homes together increasing 102 percent from a year ago.

The median sale price for a single-family home in the area rose 8.3 percent from last year to $2,372,500, while the median sale price for a condo rose 8.7 percent to $810,000.

“There has been a light switch turned on in the Greenwich housing market post-lockdown since last spring,” Miller said.

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