Real Estate Activity Decrease by Town – May 2010

May is a busy real estate month. More deals are done in the spring than in other times of the year, and the month of May is right there in the middle of the spring. In most years, the months of April and May have the two highest totals of contracts written (buyers and sellers agreeing on a sale). May usually edges out April, but not always. It depends on how the holidays fall, and whether there are other major events that distract buyers from the real estate market.

The chart below shows the contracts written by month for single-family homes in Hartford County. Data is shown for all of 2004 and the first five months of 2010. All data comes from the Connecticut Multiple Listing Service, and is considered reliable, but not guaranteed.

Hartford County Contracts Written by Month

May didn’t win this year, which isn’t much of a surprise. Everyone already knows why … tax credit. Nuff said.

But how about the individual towns? Did all of them show the same fall-off in activity? Did the tax credit matter more in some towns than in other towns?

Contracts Written by Town in Spring 2010This table shows the number of single-family home contracts written for each town in Hartford County. The percent change in the market activity between May and April is shown in the final column, and is used to sort the table.

There is a huge range of results; from apparently no impact in Burlington all the way down to a 75% decrease in activity in Canton, East Windsor, and Wethersfield. Scanning through the percent difference column, it’s interesting that there are towns throughout the whole range – they are not bunched together.

The results also don’t seem to follow median sales prices. Of the more expensive markets, Farmington, Simsbury, and Glastonbury showed smaller declines than most towns, but Avon had one of the largest. Of the less expensive markets, Bristol, Hartford, East Hartford, and New Britain were pretty evenly distributed throughout the middle of the range.

Despite the broad decrease in activity, buyers and sellers are still out there looking for homes. Buyers may have more of an advantage because there is less activity, but not in all cases. Desirable properties continue to sell with multiple offers if they are priced appropriately – just last week we had listing and buyer clients participate in multiple offer situations.

What’s your take based on your search or sale?