Homeowners with properties to sell in Hartford, New Haven and Fairfield counties appear to be more optimistic about what their homes are worth, a new report today shows.
Asking prices for homes in the three counties in 2012 were still below the previous year, but the annual declines appear to be slowing, according to the report from real estate data tracker Trulia.com.
In Hartford County, asking prices fell 1.6 percent in 2012 compared with the previous year. But that was an improvement from the 3.4 percent drop in 2011, compared with 2010.
The year-over-year decline in New Haven County’s asking prices for 2012 was 2.2 percent, compared with 5.5 percent in 2011. The year-over-year slide in Fairfield County was 1.6 percent in 2012, compared with 3.6 percent in 2011.
Despite the improvement, the three counties still lag the nation as a whole. Asking prices nationally rose 5.1 percent in 2012, compared with the previous year, according to Trulia. The nation as a whole in 2011 declined 4.3 percent compared with 2010.
Prices fell more sharply in other states — Nevada, Florida, Arizona, to name a few — than in Connecticut, so the initial rebound is expected to be stronger elsewhere, experts have said.
But Connecticut still faces significant challenges in its overall recovery.
At the end of last year, unemployment in Connecticut remained higher than the nation, with job creation remaining sluggish three years after the end of the recession.
A slow growing economy hurts the housing market because buyers are often hesitant about making big purchases. And even though mortgage rates are near historic lows, underwriting remains stringent.
The improvement in asking prices in Hartford County, however, is coupled with modest gains in year-over-year sale prices in October and November in the 57-town area tracked by the Greater Hartford Association of Realtors. That could bode well for a housing recovery in 2013.
Trulia calculates its statistics by adjusting for the mix of properties on the market, including foreclosures.