Report: CT Home Sales Slide In March But Prices Rise

by Categorized: Residential Real Estate Reports Date:

Sales of single-family houses in Connecticut fell nearly 7 percent in March compared with the same month a year ago, the second consecutive month of year-over-year sale declines, a new report today shows.

But the Warren Group, which tracks housing trends in New England, said the median sale price rose nearly 10 percent in March, to $245,000 from $223,000 a year earlier.

“Low inventory is plaguing housing markets all over the country, and Connecticut is no exception,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., chief executive of Warren Group. “With mortgage rates low and prices rising, we’re hopeful more sellers will emerge and the trend in dropping home sales will reverse.”

House sales fell in five of eight counties in Connecticut, with Litchfield County sustaining the biggest decline, falling more than 30 percent. The median sale price — where half the sales are above, half below — rose in all counties, with the exception of New London County.

See a chart comparing house sales by county here and by town here.

In Hartford County, house sales fell nearly 5 percent, to 409 in March, from 430 a year ago. The median sale price increased 5.2 percent, to $200,000, from $190,000 a year earlier.

In the first three months of the year, single-family house sales statewide slid 3.5 percent, to 4,067 from 4,216 for the same period in 2012. The median sale price jumped 9.3 percent, to $235,000, from $215,000 in the first three months of last year.

Realtors say prices are rising despite weak sales, partly because the inventory of houses for sale is low and bidding wars are becoming more common. A dearth of houses in attractive locations that are “move-in” ready are drawing multiple bids as soon as the properties come on the market.

But realtors also say some homes are still sitting on the market and sustaining price reductions — especially if they need work.

For a true housing recovery to take place, more property owners must list their homes so the selection of homes for sale remains fresh. Some homeowners, experts say, are holding back from listing their properties because the long-term direction of prices remains fuzzy. And many property owners are staying put because job growth in many parts of the state remains lackluster.




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8 thoughts on “Report: CT Home Sales Slide In March But Prices Rise

  1. John Steel

    House prices did not rise – the value of the average house sold rose. The manner in which the real estate industry calculates prices is extremely deceptive. The truth is that the supposed increase in prices reflects the fact that the bargain basement properties have been cleared out. The numbers are also skewed by the decrease in foreclosures. As any homeowner in Connecticut can tell you – the value of their home is NOT increasing. In truth prices in most areas continue to plummet. The way Realtors calculate price increases if one month three homes sell, for $150K, 200K and 300K – and the next month three homes sell for $300K – the consider that an increase in home prices – with zero adjustment for the size and previous value of the home. The industry has long resisted efforts to use a valuation methodology that takes into account prior sales, size of the home, condition, etc. It is this sort of deception that leads to bubbles and then collapse.

  2. DR

    Let’s not let bidding wars in a few isolated neighborhoods fool us into thinking that the housing market is improving. These bidding wars tend to be confined to very small areas and are no way reflective of an overall healthy market.

    In the vast majority of Connecticut towns and neighborhoods, homes are still a struggle to sell. A few square blocks in West Hartford is an anomoly, nothing more.

  3. R

    The problem is more the high standards of lenders and local taxes that make homes unaffordable. Any that would be affordable, investors who have cash right then and there buy them all. These investors give them a little updating, kill the homes charachter, then re-sell it for twice what they paid for it. Must be nice to have cash to throw around like that while the average person lives in an overpriced substandard apartment barely making ends meet.

  4. baborn3

    The end of April WTIC 1080 AM was running a news clip with someone from the CT Relators Association (or such) claiming that housing sales were on the rise, up 3%+, and that we’ve turned the corner.
    I should have known better then to think that WTIC was now actually vetting their news stories!

  5. flip0928

    My husband and I have bid on 3 homes in Glastonbury in the past month and lost out on each one. Each one had 6-10 other bids. I have heard similar stories in Tolland and in West Hartford. That said those are “affordable” homes in those areas and trust me there isn’t much. Houses priced too high, with a ton of work or updating or with unaffordable property taxes are just sitting there. Sure I can get a mortgage for X amount but do I really want to pay $15k in property taxes a year? So there is inventory but it seems every buyer is going for the exact same house. And yes, you are dealing with “investors” and people with cash so it’s very difficult and realtors are “urging” people to overbid so you can “renegotiate” with the appraisal.

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  7. Barbara Casey

    Reading all the previous comments, one wonders why people aren’t looking at Storrs. The new downtown development is almost complete, the resources and entertainment available at UConn makes Storrs a desirable place to live. Real estate is extremely affordable when compared to West Hartford, Avon, Simsbury and Glastonbury. It takes me 25 minutes to get into downtown Hartford and 45 to Simsbury from Storrs. Worth a check. Incredible ranch home for sale in Storrs 1 mile to Uconn, Downtown Storrs, the high school, the middle school. Fantastic location on nearly 7 acres of complete privacy.

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