Sales of single-family houses in Greater Hartford posted double-digit gains in 2012 compared with the previous year, but a key component of a housing recovery is still missing: price gains.
For all of 2012, the median sale price — where half the sales are above, half below — dipped 1.6 percent, to $218,000, from $221,500 in 2011, according to a new report today from the Greater Hartford Association of Realtors for the 57-towns it covers.
Prices rose in four months last year — May, August, October and November — with May registering the largest increase, at 4.5 percent. It wasn’t enough, however, to swing the year-end results upward; and a decline in December’s median derailed hopes for a three-month trend of rising sale prices.
“Although the closed sales numbers are encouraging, I would feel even better about the housing market recovery when prices stabilize or increase,” Jeff Arakelian, the association’s president and CEO, said.
In 2012, closed sales of single-family houses rose nearly 21 percent, to 8,711, from 7,255 in 2011. December sales shot up by 27 percent on a year-over-year basis, the tenth consecutive monthly gain.
At year-end, the inventory of houses on the market fell nearly 10 percent, to 4,923. Based on the number of closed sales in December — 696 — the area has about a seven-month supply of houses for sale. That’s still in a buyer’s market but closer to six months of supply which is typically thought to favor neither buyer nor seller.
The association gathers its statistics from Multiple Listing Service data.