April single-family contracts came in at about the same level as Hartford County saw last month. Activity remains much higher than we observed in 2011, and the month-to-month count of negotiated contracts seems to be following the same pattern as last year.
We’ve already commented on much of what we’re seeing in the market right now. Some towns are very active, and multiple offer situations are common. Inventory is on the low side, so buyers feel they need to follow the market very closely in order to have a chance at the “good” homes. And buyers are much more inclined to pay extra for a move-in ready home than take on a renovation or two.
Just this week we learned that mortgage rates are once again at historic lows. Attractive rates for purchases, combined with the challenge buyers experience in borrowing money for renovations, goes a long ways towards explaining why move-in ready homes are in such high demand. Why not spend a little more to get a home that’s already been updated? For most buyers it’s an easy decision since they don’t want to deal with renovations and don’t have the cash available even if they were open to a property that needed a little work.
We learned one other interesting tidbit the other day. Apparently about 20% of contracts have been blowing up recently. This is not a stat that we are able to research and calculate, but it was reported to us from a reputable source – our broker got it from the people who run the local MLS. We’re not surprised by the number, as we regularly see homes return to the market in the MLS, and have had a few of our own deals fall through.
Happy spring … and feel free to write or call with all of your real estate questions.