Sales of single-family houses in Greater Hartford logged another good month in October, helping to propel a modest increase in prices, a new report today shows.
The median sale price inched up 1.2 percent to $215,000 from $212,500 for the same month a year ago, according to the Greater Hartford Association of Realtors.
So far this year, the median price in the 57-town area tracked by the association has risen in just three of ten month — May, August and October — on a year-over-year basis. The biggest increase was in May, at 4.5 percent.
“The increase in sales price is encouraging,” said Jeff Arakelian, the association’s president and chief executive said. “Because mortgage rates remain low, the value for people looking to buy is high.”
Lower house prices benefit those who can afford a down payment and are secure in their jobs. But mortgage underwriting standards remain tight, and Connecticut job market — key to giving consumers the confidence to make big purchases — remains weak.
For the first ten months of the year, the median price is down 2.2 percent to $220,000 from $225,000 compared with the same period in 2011.
In October, sales jumped nearly 22 percent, compared with the same month a year ago. Sales, on a year-over-year basis, have risen every month so far this year. The biggest increase was in May, at 28.3 percent.
Sales are likely to remain on the same path. Pending sales soared nearly 28 percent in October, compared with a year ago. Not all those sales will close, however, with as much as 30 percent falling through.
Price gains typically follow increases in sales in a housing recovery. While gains in sales have been consistent this year, prices have yet to hit a stride.
There were 6,004 single-family houses for sale in the area in October. Based on sales of 700 houses in October, there was an 8-1/2 month supply of houses on the market, still a buyer’s market. The market is said to favor neither buyer nor seller when there is a six-month supply.