What Does Your Money Buy in the Current Market for Westport New Construction?

Generally speaking, entry level new construction in Westport falls around the 1.6 – 1.8 million range – typically a 5000 sf (finished sf), 5-6 bedroom home on a quarter to a third acre. Between 1.9 and 2.5 million, a buyer should be able to acquire a 6000+ sf, 5-6 bedroom home on a half acre parcel with room for a pool. Spending 2.6 – 2.9 million, a buyer will get a similar or slightly larger 6500-7500 sf 6 bedroom home on a level acre in a good neighborhood. Between 3 and 4 million, premium new construction will offer 7500-8500 sf, 6 bedrooms, special features such as 10’ ceilings and swimming pools and beautiful level acre properties on choice streets. The beach area, as usual, is a bit different with smaller parcels supporting homes with less square footage that sell at a premium due to the beach location.

Today almost all new construction homes come finished on 3 or 4 levels. When looking at the square footage in any MLS listing, read it carefully to determine if the square footage is spread over 3 or 4 finished levels. This will help you gauge the size of the footprint of the house for comparison purposes. The same square footage on 3 levels, vs. 4 levels, usually means a larger overall house, with the extra unfinished space, usually in the attic, unfinished. Larger one acre parcels support a larger footprint. Smaller parcels, and beach properties, support a smaller footprint. Building out all 4 floors will often give you the same finished square footage, however, as a home on a larger lot.

For more information, refer to our previous post entitled “New Construction Market Update: Winter 2013″

Recent Westport New Construction Sales

PriceAddressBedroomsSquare FeetFloorsAcres
1.7713 Sharp Turn Rd.6 48004 .26
1.780150 Imperial Ave.554004.31
2.1553 Webb Rd.770004.44
2.57566 Hillandale Rd.665004.76
2.60044 Jennings Court6800041
2.750108 Long Lots Rd.5744541
2.9954 Peach Lot Pl.6747541
3.5002 Pritchard6850041
3.57511 Wedgewood6807541

New Construction Beach Property Sales

PriceAddressBedroomsSquare FeetFloorsAcres
3.31223 Burnham Hill665504.3
3.35638 Burnham Hill670004.7
5.72015 Yankee Hill61000041

Bluewater Home Builders Logo
WBCH is the exclusive sales agent for premier Westport building firm Bluewater Home Builders. Offering spec as well as custom homes, Bluewater would be happy to meet with you to discuss their upcoming spec projects or customizing one of their upcoming projects to reflect your personal vision or creating an all new custom home incorporating all of your preferences in a new home!

New Construction Market Update: Winter 2013-2014

The market for new homes in Westport has been extremely brisk in 2013. Demand has exceeded supply and some prices have risen to pre-recession levels. Due to the increased demand, current inventory has sold and builders are playing catch up and many of the new homes listed for sale on the MLS are not even built yet. Whereas in previous years builders might wait until a home was almost complete before listing, many of today’s new construction listings are at foundation stage or, in some cases, the old house is still standing. The hotter market is causing builders to buy and build more, creating more competition. (Economics 101 – supply and demand theory really works.) This is one reason that listings are coming on the market so early in the construction phase. Also, with many local builders active in the custom homes market, meeting today’s buyer could translate into tomorrow’s custom home sale. Finally, there is a trend among home buyers today to customize new construction to some extent, whether that means moving walls or just selecting tile or paint colors. With new homes being listed in the early stages of construction, such customization is easily done, especially as many builders have design teams buyers can work with.

It’s worth noting that there are a few builders bucking the trend and waiting to list their projects in the Spring. Prices have increased throughout the year and so these builders may be betting on listing their home at a higher price in Spring than they could today. This could be a winning strategy, especially if the builder is not interested in customizing or looking for potential custom home buyers.

Recent Westport New Construction Spec Home Sales 2013:

Residential home values are generally based upon comparable sales. Following are some examples of recent Westport new construction sales.

Compo Beach
23 Burnham Hill$3,312,5006550 sf.37 acre
38 Burnjam Hill$3,356,0007000 sf.76 acre
15 Yankee Hill Road$5,720,00010,000 sf1 acre
Long Lots/Hunt Club
7 Pumpkin Hill$2,762,0006890 sf1 acre
4 Peach Lot Place$2,955,0007475 sf1 acre
7 Sprucewood Lane$3,675,0008500 sf1 acre
Old Hill
11 Woodside Lane$2,675,0007200 sf2 acres
5 Old Hill Farms Road$4,300,0008800 sf1 acre
Red Coat/Coleytown
6 Bumblebee Lane$2,830,0006275 sf1 acre
Greens Farms
2 Pritchard Lane$3,500,0008500 sf1 acre
359 Greens Farms Road$3,550,0007335 sf2 acres

Bluewater Home Builders Logo
WBCH is the exclusive sales agent for premier Westport building firm Bluewater Home Builders. Offering spec as well as custom homes, Bluewater would be happy to meet with you to discuss their upcoming spec projects, customizing one of their upcoming projects to reflect your personal vision or creating a custom home incorporating all of your preferences in a new home!

Is Your Westport Home a Valuable Building Lot?

The following factors affect the value of your property to a builder simply because they impact the potential sale price of the new construction home that can be built on the lot.

Location, Location, Location:

Street Type: Property situated on a quiet cul-de-sac tends to be more valuable to a builder than property on a busier or through street. Primarily because a new home on a cul-de-sac has the widest possible pool of buyers as it includes many families with young children who prefer this setting for bicycle riding and playing in front of the house. There are however some important exceptions to this rule. Certain streets in town are well known, particularly pretty or desirable, e.g. Old Hill Road, where lot prices are some of the most expensive in town, Prospect Road, a popular centrally located Greens Farms neighborhood and Turkey Hill Road, a through street but certainly one of Westport’s most sought after addresses. Also, many people actually want their home to be noticed, not surprising given how beautiful these homes are and how costly. Property on very busy roads, however, will usually sell at a discount. This can actually create an opportunity for both the builder, who can offer a bigger, better house for the same money due to the savings on land cost, and for the buyer who is able to get a bigger, better house than he otherwise would for the same money.

Neighborhood: Many Westport neighborhoods are equally desirable for new construction, meaning a cul-de-sac acre with similar features will be worth a similar amount whether in the Hunt Club or Saugatuck areas. The exception that proves the rule is Compo Beach, where the limited number of building lots creates a premium. There are also particular streets that command premiums, e.g. Old Hill Road. The truth is that each neighborhood in Westport has it’s own special features that are prized by different buyers. For example, the Gorham Avenue neighborhood commands a premium given the size of the lots there because some buyers really want that walk-to-town village feeling. One final observation is that building lots closer to town tend to be more desirable than lots further North, which some buyers feel are too far from town and train, especially buyers moving up from the city who prize convenience and neighbors close by over the additional acreage.

Neighboring Homes: Neighboring new or upscale homes enhance the value of a property. More modest homes have the opposite effect. If the street has potential for turnover, a new home buyer may have the opportunity to get on the street for a better price than if the street had already “turned over”. An experienced agent will know whether or not a street has the potential for turnover. Just because there are one or two new homes on a street does not mean the entire street is buildable. For example, one side of the street may contain wetlands, preventing redevelopment along that entire side of the street.

Physical Property Characteristics:

Lot Size: Property of an acre or more supports the most expensive new homes and consequently will sell highest. Again, the exception would be for building lots in the beach area, where small lots can sell for premium prices. An interesting observation is that the increase in price for lots of over an acre can be marginal at best. A 1.3 acre lot will likely not sell much higher than an acre. After all, it still supports one new home. When comparing prices for 2-acre lots (in a 2-acre zone) vs 1 acre lots, the price difference can be much less than expected. One reason for this is that homes in central Westport (typically on one acre) have been selling better than homes further North, where the 2-acre zones prevail. For many buyers, the proximity to town outweighs the extra acreage. A one acre lot with a premium location in central Westport can currently sell for approximately $1.1 million, which is about the same price that a builder would pay for a 2-acre lot in Coleytown, Westport’s northernmost area.

Wetlands: Westport has many areas that have designated wetlands. If your property contains wetlands, mandatory setbacks (50’ currently) can limit the size of house that can be built, or limit the ability to install a pool in the yard, causing a significant impact on value. In some cases, wetlands may be so prevalent as to make the property “unbuildable.” [Note: Town regulations require that in order to obtain a building permit for any property containing wetlands or adjacent to wetlands, a soil test must be done to confirm the precise boundary of the wetlands. This means that a builder will likely condition his offer on the results of this soil test, which can be performed in a short period of time, usually within a week or so.]

Slopes: Generally speaking, level property is most desirable. A small slope can be perfectly fine, especially if it accommodates that popular sought after feature – a walk out lower level. However, steeply sloping land will significantly impact value in two ways: One, steep slopes reduce the allowable building coverage reducing the size of house that can be built. Secondly, most buyers want a nice level play yard in the back for their swing set.

Presence of Ledge: Significant ledge on a property, usually evidenced by rock outcroppings, can increase the cost of construction, which will figure into the price paid by a builder.

Lot Shape: Rectangles are king. An odd shaped lot can greatly reduce the building envelope as a result of setback requirements.

2013 Market Prices for Building Lots in Westport

Westport’s New Construction Market is hot! New homes are selling very well and builders are currently in the market for land to replace sold inventory and meet what appears to be endless buyer demand. So now is a good time to sell an older home on a good lot. The market for lots can actually […]

Westport Builder WINS 2011 HOBI Awards

WESTPORT, conn. – Deirdre Andreoli and Elayne Landau, sales associates with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, are pleased to announce that Westport-based Bluewater Home Builders has won multiple 2011 Home Building Industry (HOBI) Awards from the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Connecticut, Inc.

The company was recognized for Best Spec Home between $5-6 Million for One Minute Man Hill in Westport; Best Spec Home between $4-5 Million and Best Outdoor Feature for the water view roof deck with fireplace at 17 Burnham Hill in Westport; and Best Residential Remodel $250,000 – $500,000 for the antique home at 235 Redding Road in Easton.

The HOBI Awards are the most prestigious awards presented in Connecticut for excellence in design and construction of homes by members of the HBA.

Bluewater Home Builders specializes in high-end custom and spec homes in Lower Fairfield County, including Greenwich, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, and Westport, as well as Westchester County.

“Recognition of Bluewater Home Builders with these awards is a strong testament to the company’s construction and design expertise,” said Lisa Passavant, sales manager of the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Westport-Riverside office. Andreoli and Landau, who are sales associates in the Westport-Riverside office, were the exclusive listing agents for 17 Burnham Hill and 1 Minute Man Hill, the Westport homes that were recognized.

Passavant continued, “The professionals at Bluewater Home Builders strive to make the homebuilding process straightforward and efficient for every party involved, whether building a spec home or working with a custom home buyer.”

“It is an honor to be recognized for our craftsmanship in this state -wide, industry-wide competition. These homes showcase some of our best work, and these properties are great additions to the Westport and Fairfield county communities,” said Darren Andreoli, who along with Bob Sprouls are the principals of Bluewater Home Builders. Sprouls added, “ Bluewater is so pleased to have our work recognized by our peers- other builders, developers, and industry professionals -as the best examples in each of these categories.”

Bluewater Home Builders was presented with the awards at a dinner organized by the HBA of Connecticut on November 15 at the Aqua Turf Country Club in Southington.