Greater Hartford home prices posted the largest year-over-year gain in January in nearly a decade, but experts cautioned against breaking out the champagne just yet.
The median sale price of a single-family house in the 57-town area tracked by the Greater Hartford Association of Realtors jumped 10 percent, to $220,000 in January from $200,000 for the same month a year ago, according to the association’s monthly housing report.
That was the first double-digit gain in median sale price since March, 2005 when the median — where half the sales are above, half below — soared 16 percent compared with the same month in 2004.
Sales of single-family houses in January rose 2.5 percent, to 552 from 566 a year earlier. Pending sales rose 5.5 percent.
But one economist Friday cautioned against reading too much into one month’s numbers, especially the first month of the year.
Donald L. Klepper-Smith, an economist at DataCore Partners Inc. in New Haven, said the small data sample, the mix of housing and weather can combine to “give a false reading.”
Trends, Klepper-Smith said, don’t typically start to develop until the spring, when home buying begins in earnest.
“That being said, the general trend of the housing recovery is up, and that’s a good thing,” Klepper-Smith said.
Jeff Arakelian, the association’s president and chief executive, said the increase could bode well for the spring.
“Buyers looking to purchase have some great options and mortgage rates are still very reasonable,” Arakelian said. “With ample inventory, this could lead to a strong spring market.”
In 2013, home sales in greater Hartford posted double-digit gains for the second year in a row while prices stabilized. The median price rose less than one percent.