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What’s the difference between the CT and NY real estate market? Here’s a look at recent trends – CT Insider

The two houses were priced roughly the same near $900,000 in August, and within weeks the keys for both would be handed over to new owners who now live three miles apart. But where one buyer negotiated a discounted price to move onto a tree-lined street in Ridgefield, the other did the same on a country lane in Lewisboro, N.Y., less than 200 yards across the Connecticut line.

With Connecticut real estate remaining in demand, border towns in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island also continue to see significant interest on the part of buyers. Many of those people are weighing the choice of which state to live in, on top of local considerations like schools, property taxes and the relative appeal of properties and surrounding neighborhoods.

If Westerly’s Watch Hill is good enough for Taylor Swift, might the Rhode Island town appeal as well for buyers looking along the shoreline of Stonington and Mystic? For someone weighing the New York City commute from Westchester County, are they willing to tack on a little extra to live a little farther out in Fairfield County?

Comparing sales of single-family homes in Fairfield and Westchester Counties, the Stamford-based brokerage William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty found that Westchester County transaction growth exceeded that of Fairfield County over the first nine months of this year, compared to the same stretch in 2019 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that upended the real estate markets.

Westchester home sales were up 10 percent this year through September compared to the first nine months of 2019, while Fairfield County saw just a 2 percent boost in sales. And in the pandemic market, Westchester saw a smaller decline of transactions in 2021 versus this year.

William Pitt Sotheby’s CEO Paul Breunich says the sales trajectories are heavily swayed by the number of houses for sale in each market, with many houses continuing to sell within a few weeks of hitting the market if priced competitively given the appeal of the property, the condition of the house and comparable sales nearby.

“Usually they have been sister markets,” said Breunich, who also leads Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty which covers the Westchester market. “It’s very interesting to understand the nuances of what’s happening out there right now, and a lot of it is driven by the New York buyer. … You almost have to look at it on a monthly basis to see what’s happening.”

In Hartford County where the median sale took just a week to go to contract, the southern “Pioneer Valley” in Massachusetts remains an appealing option given the conduit of Interstate 91. William Pitt Sotheby’s data suggests buyers there are having to pay over asking price on average to get to contract, but not as steep a premium as in Hartford County.

And according to a separate market report by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties, listings have held steady this year in Washington County including the coastal zone from Westerly to Narragansett Bay.

“Rhode Island has been seeing a consistent increase in the supply of inventory since the last quarter of 2021,” stated Candace Adams, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties based in Wallingford, in commentary accompanying her firm’s most recent report on the Ocean State market. “Low supply remains an ongoing challenge for other nearby markets and a concern for sellers wondering if they will be able to find suitable housing once they sell.”

In mid-October on the “Greenwich Streets” podcast on Spotify and other platforms, Compass Real Estate broker Russ Pruner discussed how New York buyers are viewing the two markets, and their willingness to extend their search well into Connecticut.

“Because we had so much movement out of the city, I think it forced a lot of young couples to make a decision maybe before they wanted to, just for the perceived safety of their family due to COVID,” Pruner said. “A lot of those friends had friends that came out over the summer, and I think a lot of those people said, ‘wow — I never really realized how much these towns offer to us as a family.'”; @casoulman



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