May was another strong month in the Hartford County real estate markets. Single-family homes sales totaled 1,125, which is the highest monthly count that we have ever reported, narrowly beating out May 2017. On a year-to-date basis the market is about 1.7% ahead of where it was through the first five months of 2018.
Breaking the year-to-date activity down by price shows that the majority of the activity gains have been realized in the middle price bands. Price points from $100,000 up to $399,999 have seen an overall increase in the number of contracts. The other price bands (both higher and lower) are flat, or have seen modest declines.
Analysis of the inventory of available homes continues to show strength in the lower parts of the market, with relative weakness at the higher price points. The County is squarely in “Seller’s Market” territory for price points under $200,000, and clearly in “Buyer’s Market” territory for price points above $500,000.
As always, there are town-by-town and neighborhood-by-neighborhood differences in market activity. There continues to be a premium on higher quality homes that have been nicely updated.
Building on that point, it is sometimes difficult to know whether an owner should invest in improvements before listing their house for sale. Buyers will always react better to a home that’s been cleaned up, but the cost those improvements may outweigh the benefits. This is a question that we’re always happy to help with as you consider a sale.