Prices of single-family houses sold in the Hartford area posted a modest gain in January, and sales momentum from 2012 spilled over into the new year, a new report today shows.
The median sale price — where half the sales are above, half below — rose 2.5 percent to $200,000 in January, compared with $195,000 for the same month a year ago, according to the Greater Hartford Association of Realtors, which tracks a 57-town area.
Closed sales surged nearly 40 percent in January to 552, compared with a year earlier, the association reported.
Sale prices rose, on a year-over-year basis, in four months last year — May, August, October and November. Year-over-year closed sales in 2012 rose for ten straight months, beginning in March.
Strong sales could bode well for the spring home buying season, typically the busiest of the year.
Although it may be a bit early to tell, January sales indicate there could be “a potentially strong spring market,” Jeff Arakelian, the association’s president and chief executive, said.
Houses under deposit rose 37 percent, suggesting that sales will remain strong into the spring season, though not all the deposits will yield a closed sale.
The inventory of houses for sale declined by 11 percent, to 4,986 in January.
Based on the inventory and the number of closed sales, the Hartford area has a nine-month supply of houses, firmly in a buyer’s market. A market with a six-month supply is said to favor neither buyer nor seller.
A housing recovery typically begins with an upswing in sales, followed by price increases.