TEXT FROM FIRST PAGE OF SIX PAGE NEWSLETTER (to view or download newsletter go to Black Rock's Community Blog at www.blackrockonline.org
As you know, the U.S. real estate market in general slowed down in 2006 and Black Rock was no exception, although sale prices have continued to hold. In our 2005 issue on single family home sales, we noted that Black Rock enjoyed a 21% increase over 2004, and this was after the previous year's increase of 14%. There was no increase in 2006, the median price of a single family home stayed the same at $375,000 for both 2005 and 2006. However, the time it took to sell a home in Black Rock increased from 76 to 105 DOM (Days on Market means time from date of listing on MLS until contract is signed) and fewer homes sold (46 vs. 63). We did not experience the high build-up of home inventory that the surrounding towns experienced, which put a downward pressure on their prices, although there was a period from spring to fall when buyers were waiting to see if the prices would drop and there was not much activity.
Fairfield experienced a 3% decrease in home values with significantly fewer homes sold (651 vs. 837) and higher inventories of unsold homes (6-8 months worth). Black Rock and in Bridgeport as a whole have increased in desirability, which has offset the overall downward trend of the real estate market (prices actually slightly increased in Bridgeport in 2006). Black Rock enjoyed another million dollar home sale with a property on Battery Park Drive selling for $1.5 million. We also had the excitement of seeing "The Chimneys" come on the market for over $4 million and another home on Battery Park Drive for over $6 million.
Market statistics can be tricky in trying to understand a small market area like Black Rock. You may have seen marketing brochures from real estate agents stating that the average price of a home in Black Rock is $430,000 or more, which sounds great, but the figure can go up or down dramatically depending upon one or two sales at the high or low end. The sale of just two million dollar homes at the high end can skew the average sales price of a home in Black Rock, making the average price less representative of real changes in the market. We've chosen to focus on median price (the price of a home at the 50th percentile) as a comparison statistic rather than use average price, which is skewed by sales on the high and low ends of the market.
The much awaited Black Rock train station is due to break ground by April (read the latest update in the Black Rock Community Blog at www.blackrockonline.org). Condo and co-op prices continued to rise in Black Rock although DOM increased. Multifamily homes increased in price, but took longer to sell. Two-family properties sold at a median sale price of $367,250, but fewer sold (10 vs. 25) and took longer (122 vs. 86 DOM). Three-family properties fared better at a median sale price of $397,000 with slightly fewer sales (18 vs. 23) and were not on the market much longer than last year (75 vs. 63 DOM).
Disclaimer: Statistics were obtained from CMLS data which may contain incomplete or inaccurate information.