From January through July, condo sales kept a close pace with home sales. During those months, 50 houses and 38 condos sold. ReMax Realtor Marlyn D’Amico said she believes “the Toll Brothers Project really tips the scales.”
Houses in Bethel sold between $73,666 and $575,000 with the majority in the $225,000 to $275,000 range.
Of the condos sold, 15 were sold between $135,000 and $172,000 and another 15 between $407,000 and $477,000. Only eight condos sold between $172,000 and $300,000.
While there were only seven houses sold between $432,000 and $480,000, the number of condo sales in the same price range were more than twice as many.
Jay Streaman, Re/Max realtor, believes that people who are buying higher priced condos are often downsizing. "In many cases, parents whose children have all grown are selling a big house and buying a big condo. I think it is terrific for them,” he said.
A look at Bethel houses between $400,000 and $500,000 on Realtor.com shows that homes in that price range have more square footage than the condos, as well as a good sized yard. Some of the houses had more than 3,000 square feet while the condos averaged 2,000 to 2,500 square feet, but there is less privacy than a house with a yard would have.
The average taxes for a $450,000 Bethel condo was approximately $5,400, while a house on Birnam Wood Road in the same price range had taxes over $8,000. The difference may be due to the lack of land, but the difference might be made up in common charges.
Choosing between a house and a condo is like apples and oranges, according to Streaman. “A condo is a change in lifestyle for people in different stages of their lives, so they are not really competing,” he said.
“The houses I have sold this year have mostly been to young couples, and are all pretty much the same style. For some reason, the three to four bedroom split levels are selling, but colonials are not,” Streaman said.
Streaman said that has changed since the 1970s and 1980s. “There are not a lot of differences between colonials and splits, but right now there are colonials that haven’t sold, while splits are holding their own in sales.”
He could not account for the reason that would be the case.
“I think housing sales was better this year than last, but the prices are down,” Streaman said. “What is the worst is for people who bought their fixer upper in 2007 and put a lot of money into it. They are taking a beating.”