July Contracts: Mixed Signals

2018-08-02 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in July 2018

Hartford County finished July with 868 single-family home contracts, a decline of more than 15% from the July 2017 total. On a year-to-date basis the County is a little less than 4% behind where it was at this point last year.

The comparison month, July 2017, was an outlier in last year’s data. The chart above shows that the deal total unexpectedly jumped last July, unlike the total from July 2016. Because of the odd behavior in the 2017 data, we’re inclined to not worry about last month’s result appearing to be such a big miss. 2018 continues to be a solid year, if not quite as active as 2017.

Scanning through the year-to-date performance by town in the table below, it looks like most of the towns in the Farmington Valley are having a better year than last year. On the other hand, some of the urban towns that we repeatedly highlighted last year as strong performers are showing signs that this year is a step backwards.

Inventory levels vary widely from town to town, but remain on the lower end of the spectrum. It’s possible that low inventory levels are acting as a drag on the market.

Consider East Hartford, which is more than 22% behind last year’s pace for deals. They are currently at 2.3 months of inventory, which is a seller’s market. Buyers need a reasonable selection of homes to choose from as they consider their options. And perhaps there just isn’t a good enough selection in some of the towns with low inventory. Greater Hartford is unfortunately not the type of market where people will buy any property at any price.

All of the towns that have more than 10% gains in the deal count have inventory levels of at least 4.8 months, putting them in the neutral market category. It’s a trend that we’ll monitor as we think about how to put the decrease in deals in proper context.

2018-08-02 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in July 2018 by Town

608 Inlet Lane, Windsor

608 Inlet Ln, Windsor

You must see this pristine free standing Ranch condo at Rivertown Village, Windsor’s premier 55+ community.

Situated at the end of a cul-de-sac, the home boasts an oversized .31 acre lot which backs to the woods. Enjoy privacy and owning the land, while the homeowner’s association takes care of yard maintenance and snow removal for you.

Inside you’ll find lots to love including vaulted ceilings, oak floors, fresh paint, and plenty of closet space. A short walk from the entry foyer you’ll enter the heart of the home, a grand central room where the living room, dining space and kitchen are connected. The kitchen has lots of cabinetry, granite counters, a tile backsplash, and undercabinet lighting. There is a gas fireplace in the living room. Adjacent to this space is a lovely four-season sunroom, a rare find for this floor plan.

The master bedroom is spacious with a walk-in closet featuring built-in drawers and shelving. The en-suite bathroom is updated with granite-topped cabinetry and a unique vessel sink. A second bedroom is nicely sized. It’s adjacent to a second full bathroom, which also services the living space.

Laundry is tucked away on the main level in a large closet. The basement is perfect for finishing or for storage. The unit has an open front porch, as well as a large rear deck, perfect for entertaining. An attached 2-car garage, central A/C, low monthly fees ($235), a community clubhouse, and close proximity to I-91 add to the appeal of this fantastic home.

608 Inlet Lane is 2 bedrooms, 2 bathroom, 1,576 sqft, and is available for $289,000. For more information, or to schedule a private tour, please contact Amy Bergquist at 860-655-2125 or AmyB@AmyB-RE.com. More details and a photo tour are available.

June Contracts: On Trend

2018-07-10 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in June 2018

Halfway through the year, the real estate market is in good shape. Activity levels are in line with the previous two years, which were both strong years for the market.

Hartford County finished the month of June with 969 single-family contracts, which was about 3% fewer than the total from last June. On a year-to-date basis the first half of 2018 was about 1.6% behind the first half of 2017.

One of the important trends of the first half of the year was an increase in mortgage rates. We started 2018 with buyers getting mortgages with interest rates at about 4.0%. Rates jumped to just below 4.5% in the first quarter, and crept up a little more in the second quarter. We’re seeing rates in the mid-to-upper 4% range right now.

The increase in mortgage rates is relatively modest in the overall scheme of things, and rates are still at very low levels historically, but these types of changes do have an impact on buyers. Monthly interest payments tick upwards, reducing the monthly budget available for actually buying the house or covering the other costs that go along with home ownership. At the margin the change in rates will have a cooling effect on prices.

Despite the increasing rates, we fully expect the real estate market to continue to be active for the remainder of the year.

2018-07-10 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in June 2018 by Town

18 Courtland Street, Manchester

18 Courtland St, Manchester

Conveniently located in the West Side neighborhood, this move-in ready Colonial has fantastic curb appeal with plenty of updates and charm.

The traditional floor plan offers a formal living room with a wood burning fireplace and formal dining room for entertaining. The kitchen is updated and leads to a mudroom and sun porch overlooking the backyard.

Upstairs there are three bedrooms and a completely remodeled full bathroom.

An oversized, level, sunny backyard is fully fenced and perfect for gardening and play. Relax on the paver patio.

The lower level is partially finished and houses the laundry area. There is also a walk-up attic for additional storage space.

The home features many recent updates including a newer boiler and oil tank, vinyl siding, driveway, front entry stairs and paver patio.

18 Courtland Street is 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1,350 sqft, and is available for $192,500. For more information, or to schedule a private tour, please contact Amy Bergquist at 860-655-2125 or AmyB@AmyB-RE.com. More details and a photo tour are available.

109 Girard Ave, Hartford’s West End

109 Girard Ave, Hartford

An open floor plan offers great flow in this West End colonial, just steps from the UConn Law School and Hartford Seminary.

Lovely perennial gardens and mature plantings welcome you and invite you to spend some time on the front porch. Inside you’ll find a library with built-in bookcases and a formal living room that opens to a dining room with a fireplace and built-in. The kitchen has eat-in space, stainless steel appliances, and leads to a pantry with storage cabinets, the laundry room and a half bath.

On the second floor, the master bedroom has a remodeled en-suite full bath and large closet. There are two additional nicely sized bedrooms and a renovated hall bathroom.

The third floor features a fantastic oversized room with a cathedral ceiling and skylight, making it light and bright. This space offers so many possibilities; a family room, an office, an art studio. The fourth bedroom is also on this floor.

The backyard has a deck, a 1-car garage, and the yard is fully fenced.

The home has gas heat and hot water, central air conditioning, an architectural shingle roof, and the interior has many freshly painted spaces.

109 Girard Avenue is 4 bedrooms, 3.1 bathrooms, 2,710 sqft, and is available for $325,000. For more information, or to schedule a private tour, please contact Amy Bergquist at 860-655-2125 or AmyB@AmyB-RE.com. More details and a photo tour are available.