August was another strong month for Greater Hartford real estate, with little decline in activity from July. The CTMLS shows 679 single-family deals coming together during the month, which is an increase of 27% over last year. Year-to-date the County is 24% ahead of 2011.
The market is not really unstoppable, of course. It will slow down over the winter months following the traditional seasonal cycle. The question is more about when buyers and sellers will begin to take a step back. Will it be sometime in November once the weather turns cold and the holiday season arrives? Or will it be sooner?
Our broker is concerned that the final weeks of the presidential campaign will bring an early end to the real estate markets. Everyone will be more focused on understanding what the election might mean to them personally, or the economy, rather than shopping for homes. We shall see … what’s clear right now is that the market is still very active.
The activity level in individual towns shuffled around a little bit from July. For example, West Hartford dropped from the most active market in July with 60 deals to the eighth most active market with 31 deals. On the other hand, East Hartford jumped from 36 contracts in July to 49 in August – good for second place.
County-wide inventory continued to fall and is now at about 6.4 months, which is just into buyer’s market territory. There are about 500 fewer homes on the market right now compared to last year at this time (4,209 last year versus 3,719 right now). Over the trailing 12 months there have been over 1,000 additional contracts written compared to the previous year at this time (5,943 last year versus 7,021 this year). Both are big changes, and show a meaningful improvement in the activity level of the local real estate markets.
There continue to be areas with too little inventory at the individual town level, which is perhaps part of the reason that West Hartford’s deal count fell. Newington edged back into the lead for the lowest inventory of active homes for sale – or said another way, the town most favorable to sellers.
How will the year finish? September seems to be off to a strong start with an uptick in listings and plenty of deals coming through the CTMLS. We’ll be interested to see how it all plays out, and in the meantime continue to focus on the day-to-day.