Top 10 Ridgefield Real Estate Headlines of 2014
From accolades to moratoriums, the town of Ridgefield CT had a myriad of interesting real estate related stories in 2014 that impact the value of our homes. In an effort to provide relevant information and keep our citizens informed, I compiled my list of the Top 10 Ridgefield Real Estate Headlines for 2014.
10. Ridgefield Makes Its Mark; Safest Town, Best Main Street & RHS Ranked #8 in State
Our town continues to excel and gain the attention it richly deserves. Thanks to our hard working and outstanding police department, business community and school administration, Ridgefield makes its mark as one of the very best places to live in Connecticut.
9. Equestrian Estate Hits the Market, asking $55 Million
Owned by Hunter Harrison, CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway, this 87-acre estate comes complete with three houses, large barn with attached indoor arena, outdoor show jumping arena and a 3.5 acre jumping derby field with every kind of natural jump that you would find in European field competitions. A horse lovers paradise!
8. Town tax base jumps by 1.8%
New construction beefed up the town’s tax base last year, pushing Ridgefield’s grand list of taxable property over $4.7 billion – an increase of more than $81 million, or close to 1.8%. The growth provided close to $2 million in added revenue to support town and school operations. Boehringer Ingelheim’s ongoing expansion was responsible for nearly half of the $81-million increase.
7. Voters Reject the Land Sale at Schlumberger Compound
The proposed $4 million sale of 10 acres of former Schlumberger land to the nationwide construction firm Toll Brothers went down by just six votes in a town referendum. The Toll Brothers offer involved plans for a 30-unit condo development to be marketed in the $700,000 range. The 10 multifamily-zoned acres off Sunset Lane went back out to bid in August.
6. Ridgefield’s Sunset Hall Mansion Goes Up for Sale
This 19,452 square feet majestic estate once a weekend retreat for Houdini and with historic links to the United Nations has an asking price of $5,750,000. It is situated on one of the highest points in Fairfield County, overlooks Round Lake, and has 11 bedrooms, a ballroom, heated gunite pool with a cabana and fireplace, a tennis court, gazebo, and a two bedroom guest house.
5. Prospector Theatre Opens; Putting Ridgefield into the Spotlight
Lights, camera, action — Ridgefield now has its own movie theatre! The Prospector Theater, a not-for-profit theater with a special mission — providing job training and employment for adults with disabilities, adds yet another great attraction for our town. This theatre includes three main theatres, a restaurant, a coffee bar and a smaller theater with 16 seats for private showings.
4. Moratorium: State Gives Town four-year Break from Affordable Housing Law
After an onslaught of affordable housing projects this year, Ridgefield will take a four-year break from approving anymore projects. Three 8-30g projects totaling 35 units are currently under construction; 12 units above commercial space at 159 Danbury Road; 20-unit project at 86 Governor Street; and a three-unit project at 24 North Street. A 10-unit project at 2 Island Hill Avenue and the three-unit project on Sunset Lane were the last projects to be approved before the moratorium took effect.
3. Multi-Million Home Sales on the Move
The two largest residential real estate transactions listed in the CTMLS to close in 2014 were homes located on Country Club Road and Pump Lane that sold for $3,750,000 and $2,950,000 respectively. Coldwell Banker represented the buyer in both transactions and was the listing broker on Pump Lane. Sixty two other million dollar homes also sold over the course of the year.
2. Median Sale Price in Ridgefield Increases 1.8%; Unit Sales Down 20.7%
2014 ended with unusually high momentum as real estate continued to play catch up from the great year before. Higher interest rates and low inventory levels led to a market in which the sales lagged by 20.7% or 57 properties versus a year ago. Optimism is very high going into 2015 as interest rates have dropped and buyer enthusiasm seems to have returned.
1. Coldwell Banker #1 in Buy Side Sales; Increases Its Market Share to 23.1%!
Nearly one out of every four buyers was represented by a Coldwell Banker agent in 2014. Out of the 390 total transactions for the year, Coldwell Banker sold 180 of them representing $118,341,000 in dollar volume in the community.
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Sources: The Ridgefield Press, US News & World Report, Connecticut Magazine and the CT Multiple Listing Service/Market Quest