Real Estate Market Analysis February 12, 2024

Southern CT | Real Estate Market Analysis | December 2023

Clients & Friends,

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays, and are now ready for 2024.   

I attached here the December 2023 Southern Connecticut Real Estate Market Analysis.  In preparing this report every month, I keep myself up to date on the market economics for all Southern Connecticut.  I have a financial background (MBA in finance), and I enjoy analyzing detailed financial data so I can maintain a good understanding of the market.  I then use this knowledge to help my clients (both buyers and sellers) understand the market and get them the best deal possible. 

Single family home sales for December 2023 in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, and Norwalk were 155 units vs. 143 in November 2023, versus 140 and 263 in December 2022 and 2021.  The best leading indicator for future sales is homes with accepted offers/under contract.  As of December 31st, this leading indicator is 56, which is lower than last month (76), and about the same as December 2022 (60).  Overall, pricing continues to remain firm across the last several months due to the lack of inventory, which is the largest factor influencing sales.  For the year, there were 543 homes sold in Stamford, and 70% sold at, or above the asking price.  For November and December, 66% of the homes sold at, or above the list price –this trend is not changing.  In 2020, the last year before the decline in inventories, only 34% of homes sold at, or above the list price.  In 2023, 29% of the homes sold in Stamford were at, or above $1 million.  Back in 2020, only 13% of the homes sold for $1 million or more.

Stamford condo sales in December were 44 units vs. 63 last month, and 50 in December 2022.  In Stamford, condos with accepted offers/under contract as of December 31st was 75 versus 81 last month, and 64 in December 2022.  As reported the last several months, condo sales have also been impacted by the lack of inventory.  Similar to single family homes, condo prices are holding pretty firm.  For 2023, 588 condos were sold in Stamford, and 68% sold at, or above the asking price.  For November and December, 68% of the condos sold at, or above the list price – similar to single family homes, this trend is not changing.  For comparison purposes, in 2020, only 23% of condos sold at, or above the list price.  In 2023, 27% of the condos sold in Stamford were at, or above $500,000.  Only 17% of the condos in 2020 sold for $500,000 or more. Pricing trends for single family homes and condos seem to be very similar.

Interest rates for conforming mortgages have come down to the mid 6% range. The projections that I have seen are showing interest rates (at best) in the low 6% range throughout 2024.  Even though interest rates are coming down, there not have been any signs of increases in inventories (although it is still early).

Recently, I have reviewed data that indicates that credit card debt has risen, and homeowners are refinancing their home mortgages in order to reduce credit card debt where interest rates could be in the 20% plus range. They are able to do this because the indicative higher home values has in turn significantly increased home-owners’ equity.  However, refinancing an existing low interest mortgage can be expensive as closing costs will likely be in the $3,000 range, and the interest rate on a new mortgage will probably be much higher than your legacy mortgage.  If you are in this scenario, another option to consider is getting a home equity line of credit (HELOC).  The status of the current mortgage will not change, typically there are no closing costs, you only borrow what you actually need, the line is available for a period of time (ie 10 years), the interest rate will vary with prime, and is probably at least half of the interest rate on credit card debt.  You will only incur costs if you borrow against the line, and you have a lot of flexibility when, and how the loan will be repaid. 

I believe inventories will increase very modestly over the next 3 months.  Demand continues to be high, and as I have been stating for months, I think the lower interest rates will lead to higher selling prices unless inventories increase significantly (which I doubt will happen).  The real estate market is driven by supply and demand, and high demand with low supply means higher prices. 

As mentioned in prior newsletters, most homes are selling with multiple offers, which means you must get creative to improve the quality of your offer.  I listed below some ways to improve of the quality of your offer OTHER THAN increasing the price you are willing to pay.  Some points that should be considered are:

  1. 20% or more down payment – a larger down payment is attractive to a seller because it helps mitigate the risk of the home not appraising.   
  2. Consider a certified pre-approved mortgage.  A pre-approved mortgage has already been reviewed by the underwriter, and the only step that needs to be done is the home appraisal.  This should reduce the time significantly to have a clear-to-close for the mortgage.  Additionally, this increases the seller’s confidence the mortgage will be approved 
  3. Waive the appraisal contingency – if you do this, you must be prepared financially to cover an appraisal shortfall.
  4. Waive the inspection – this could be risky particularly for older homes, but is certainly attractive to the seller.
  5. Waive the mortgage contingency – only consider this if you either don’t need a mortgage, or you know for certain that a mortgage will not be a problem.
  6. Close at the seller’s convenience – possibly even rent the home back to the seller if they need time to find a new home.
  7. Cash with no contingencies – obviously the best option for the seller.

All of these options do have a certain amount of risk, and as your agent, I will help explain all the angles and potential consequences to you.

As reminder, please visit my new website (, which contains lots of useful information for both buyers and sellers.  The website includes planning guides for both buying and selling a home, and details some of the decisions which will have to be made.  I have detailed out potential closing costs for buyers and sellers, included a mortgage calculator, and provided the ability to search for available homes anywhere in Connecticut.  Please take a look, and let me know what you think.

If you have any questions regarding this report or are interested in buying and/or selling a home, please contact me anytime.  If there is anyone you know who is interested in buying or selling a home, I would very much appreciate you giving them my name or sending me their email address and I will contact them. 

To view the detail report please CLICK HERE


Howard Dubman


Mobile 203-981-7047



License in Connecticut and New York