The strong local real estate market is driving higher-than-budgeted revenues in one area at Town Hall, officials said Tuesday.
The high number of property transfers in New Canaan is translating into conveyance fees for the municipality, town CFO Lunda Asmani told members of the Board of Selectmen during their regular meeting.
Through the first two months of this fiscal year (July and August), conveyance fees collected stand at $524,000 compared to $330,000 for the same period last year and $200,000 for 2018, Asmani said.
“So it’s almost double what we have seen historically,” he said during the meeting, held via videoconference.
The comments come as real estate professionals report historically low inventory in New Canaan, and an August where the number of single-family homes more than doubled from the year-ago month. Many have attributed the rise in home sales to young New York City families seeking top public schools and less congestion amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Asmani, the town had budgeted $1 million in revenue for conveyance fees for this fiscal year—a figure that had been lowered from prior years’ $1.2 million and $1.3 million.
“We were going through the budget, not anticipating what was going to happen,” he said.
“So just looking at these numbers, in the first two months of the year, we are at 52% of what we budgeted for the full year, so if this trend continues I think this revenue stream will come in strong and will more than likely offset any other revenues that under-perform,” he said.