The Hartford County single-family home market began 2014 with 519 contracts in January. The total was more than 4% lower than January of last year, though still higher than any other year since our data began in 2009.
January was the longest cold stretch that we can remember in Greater Hartford. There have been brief deep freezes, but our experience in the area is that the temperature rarely falls below 20 degrees for long. This winter temperatures of less than 20 degrees have been a regular occurrence.
We believe that the cold weather is keeping the market from looking ahead to spring. The deal count is currently being limited by the low number of homes that are available for sale. Owners who are looking to move are delaying their listing decisions, which has a ripple effect on buyers. The inventory column in the bottom chart shows that the options for buyers are very limited. And many of the homes that are available have been on the market since last year.
Supply and demand dynamics favor sellers in many towns. The weather may be limiting the number of buyers actively searching for a home, but there are still enough buyers in the market to create opportunities for sellers. Homes that are in very good condition, and that are priced appropriately, are attracting the most attention. Our buyer clients have been involved in competitive situations for properties, and we’re hearing from other agents that they’re seeing bidding wars as well.
This may be a good opportunity for owners who are looking to move to get their property on the market. We’re happy to share our thoughts on the particulars of a home, and can also help out in other ways as part of our advisory services. Only time will tell when the spring market truly starts. Now that we’re in February there seems to be a snow storm each week … another winter challenge for the local real estate markets.