FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The rough winter delayed the spring house-selling season in Danbury and Ridgefield, but sales surged in late May and June to give both communities their second best totals in the past five years.
According to the quarterly report released by William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, there were 103 single-family home sales in Danbury in the second quarter and 105 in Ridgefield. It is only the second time in the past five years that both communities have exceeded 100 homes sold in the second quarter.
Prices also climbed in Danbury and Ridgefield. The median price for a single-family home in Danbury rose 1 percent to $260,000, and Ridgefield grew 13 percent to $695,000.
Compared with last year, sales activity was down in both towns. The robust market in 2013, however, was not impacted by the severe winter weather.
“It was a delayed spring market,’’ said Patty McCarthy, sales vice president for William Raveis Real Estate. “June was an incredible spike.”
“We’re still behind last year a little bit,’’ said Debi Orr of Keller Williams. “But I think the third quarter will bring us into equilibrium.”
The activity in Danbury and Ridgefield reflected the picture countywide for real estate in the second quarter. Sales were down 8 percent across Fairfield County, and the median price for a single-family home stayed flat.
“I’m seeing a lot more buyers coming out this year,’’ McCarthy said. ”But they are taking their time in selecting homes. ... I do find people are coming out a lot more than they did a year ago. Whether it’s new construction, second home, or condo market; they are feeling good. . There is a segment that wants a lot of flexibility with their job, and they’re not quite ready to purchase. That’s another dynamic that seems to be playing into it.”
High-end homes have been moving in most of lower Fairfield County. In Greenwich, for instance, there were eight closed sales of homes of more than $10 million, more than in all of 2013. Ridgefield had 31 homes of $1 million or more sell in the first half of this year, eight ahead of last year’s pace.
Orr said she has seen many buyers who are also paying cash for homes.
“I think it’s an interesting sign,’’ she said. “It’s people buying down or moving sideways. I think it’s lifestyle change. They’re tired of working themselves 24/7 to keep up with the Joneses. Zero debt has replaced the BMW as a lifestyle choice.”
With mortgage rates historically low and a good inventory of homes, both Realtors believe now is a good time to consider a move.
“Prices seem to be stabilizing and financing is as affordable as it will ever be,’’ Orr said. “There are people who are sitting on the fence. If they’ve been sitting, they should probably make a move now.”