Time to Reflect and Move Forward
By Osi Rosenberg
Real Estate Correspondent
A to Z Realty, LLC
Welcome to 2021. Its time reflect on the past year, and look on to the new one. While the real estate market soared in Stratford throughout the pandemic and many people moved in and out of our small town, one thing remained constant, our sense of community and neighborly love. Regardless of how you feel about the events of 2020, I believe that we all shone through the darkest days with compassion and resilience, and for that, I am forever grateful to all of you.
The question we are all asking ourselves now is, “What does our future hold in the real estate market in Stratford?”. To figure this out, we start with a look back at the last few years. Almost 1,000 homes were purchased in Stratford in 2020. An increase of almost 100 homes sold from the 2019. This is significant as the global pandemic raged through the country, our town was flooded with home purchases.
I decided to investigate how Stratford stands up in relation to our neighboring towns of Trumbull, Bridgeport, and Shelton. These three towns are, as you well know, are part of Fairfield County, and each have their own attractive qualities to draw in potential buyers and new homeowners. I also remember that Bridgeport, being the largest city in the state, would be expected to have higher numbers of closed homes in any given year, just by the advantage of shear geographic size. It is that fact that makes this next revelation even more exciting.
Did you know that in at least the last 3 years, Stratford rivals Bridgeport in closed home sales, more so than any of our other neighboring towns. In 2020 Bridgeport closed 1,023 homes, Stratford a close second with 987 closings, and Shelton and Trumbull a distant 3rd and 4th with 669 and 610 closed homes, respectively. I also took a quick look at how Fairfield did as well, here are the numbers for that comparison:
As a whole, Fairfield County saw a total of 14,426 closed homes in 2020. Which is approximately 3,000 home increase from 2019. Purchasing a home is generally seen as a semi-permanent decision to stick around for at least several years. It is uplifting to see so many choose to flock to Stratford. It would be interesting to learn what prompted people’s decision to move into town. While the local government, schools, and civic organizations offer so much to the citizens of Stratford, discovering what the ultimate motivation of choosing Stratford over its neighboring towns would assist us as a community to see what we are doing right, so we can continue to push in that direction.
As we delve deeper into the single-family homes sold homes in Stratford in 2020, we can see that 314 units were sold in under 30 days. The average price of a 3 bedroom home was just shy of $300,000 and we had 2 homes sell in Stratford for Two Million Dollars or more. With interest rates staying at historic lows, we see that fixed conventional loans have been the fad of the year with approximately 331 Conventional Fixed loans used as financing. Other financing options used, included 159 FHA loans and even 75 homes being purchased with cash. Approximately 20 VA loans indicate that we have some new military families in town. I have always known Stratford to be a welcoming town to veterans and their families. We thank them for their service and their sacrifices.
What does all this mean for the future of real estate value in Stratford? Everyone hopes that the soaring home values of 2020 become the ‘new norm’, we should be cautious to take a realistic view on values moving forward. Are we in a bubble? Are there safeguards in place to prevent a foreclosure apocalypse like we saw in the 2010’s? Only time will tell. 2022 is a huge question mark of uncertainty.
There is a lot to look forward to in 2021. On a national level there is promise of ongoing foreclosure and eviction moratoriums, increase stimulus payments, and other financial assistance to those in need. We are all excited for the distribution of vaccines and programs to assist us to move forward towards a brighter tomorrow. Soon, very soon, our community will be able to gather again in celebration of each other. We will bring back the Bands on the Bluffs, Tuesday Concerts on the Green, Memorial Day Gatherings, Library Lectures, Main Street Festivals, Art Exhibits, Bingo Nights, Town Parades, and all the other town and civic organizational programs that we all crave. I certainly look forward to the Shakespeare Market which will be coming soon on the grounds of the Shakespeare Theatre. I hope you join me in welcoming these events and more back to our calendars. I urge my fellow Stratfordites to participate in conversations about moving this town into a bright and hopeful post-pandemic future that will not only make our lives better together, but also invite new residents, keep property values high, and build an even stronger quality of life for all of our residents. Happy New Year!
A to Z Realty, LLC is Stratford based Real Estate Brokerage. Our office offers flexibility, reliability, and a no-strings attached initial client meeting to discuss your real estate needs, either in person, telephonically or through video conferencing. We take the sale of your home personally. Call Osi at 203.738.5999 or email Osi@atozct.com. Learn more at www.AtoZRealtyCT.com
*Note that the figures in this article are taken from InfoSparks statistics with the restriction of Stratford, CT/All Price Ranges/All Property Types/All Bedrooms/All Bathrooms/All Sizes.