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.
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.