March Contracts: Doppelganger

2019-04-07 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in March 2019

Hartford County finished March with 911 single-family properties accepting bids. The total was within 1% of the March 2018 total, and on a year-to-date basis the County is about 0.4% ahead of 2018. The first quarter was amazingly similar to last year, which bodes well for the remainder of the year.

An important trend so far this spring was the decline in mortgage interest rates. Buyers were getting loans at about 4.5% at the beginning of the year. Now lenders are offering rates that are closer to 4.0%. It’s a modest difference, but one that buyers appreciate.

Another trend is that inventory levels continue to be on the low side. Right now there are about 2,149 homes available for buyers, representing 2.7 months of inventory. This is less that the 2,271 properties and 2.8 months of inventory at this point in 2018, and the 2,471 properties and 3.0 months of inventory in 2017.

We are entering the most active part of the spring real estate market. This is the time to begin marketing you home if you are interested in selling, and to begin scouting properties if you want to buy a new home. We are happy to help with either – or with both!

Here are the latest stats for individual towns in Hartford County.

2019-04-07 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in March 2019 by Town

February Contracts: Poised for Spring

2019-03-05 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in February 2019

The Hartford County single-family market finished February with 706 contracts, a 2.2% increase over February of last year.

The year always begins with a slow ramp up of activity as new listings come onto the market, and buyers begin to think about the spring. Market data shows that the inventory of available homes is still quite low in many towns.

Buyers tend to behave in one of two ways when there are not a lot of properties to choose from. They either aggressively compete for the available properties, or they take a step back to wait for more homes to be listed. It mostly depends on how urgently they need to find a new home. We’re seeing some of each behavior at the moment.

This is the time of year to get your home onto the market. Pricing continues to be strong, mortgage interest rates continue to be low, and buyers are focusing more on their home search.

Give us a call for an evaluation of your property, we can give you a sense of your specific situation.

2019-03-05 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in February 2019 by Town

Real Estate Math

Real Estate Math

Of the various maths involved in residential real estate, calculating the value of home improvement projects is the most difficult. Return on investment is ultimately determined by the market. There are no definitive answers, unlike there are in the problem above.

A quick quiz: Which of these projects tends to provide the best return on investment for sellers?
   A. Back Yard Patio Installation
   B. Garage Door Replacement
   C. Minor Kitchen Remodel
   D. Window Replacement

Buyers are very much into move-in ready homes right now. They want what they see on TV, which is often updated, neutral, and sparse.

In most cases it does not make sense for a seller to do updates in order to list a home for sale. However, pretty much any seller can make progress towards making their home neutral and sparse.

We’re happy to help you decide how far to go as you prepare for the market, and to recommend contractors if you need help completing the work.

Our goal is to suggest projects that will either make you more money on the sale, or help the property sell more quickly, or both.

By the way, the Remodeling’s 2019 Cost vs Value Report says that answer B is the best response … replacing garage doors tends to provide sellers in the Hartford area the highest return on investment. Check out their website for the return on investment numbers for all 21 projects included in their report.

Shopping Around: $1,600/month Rentals

It’s always fun to survey different markets to compare prices. Today we have three $1,600/month rentals for your consideration:

Option 1 is a totally updated 2 bedroom at 33 Charter Oak Place in Downtown Hartford.

Option 2 is a spacious 3 bedroom in a great location at 151 Maplewood Avenue in West Hartford.

Option 3 is … whatever this is in NYC:

Clearly $1,600/month will get you different things in different locations!

January Contracts: Getting the Year Started Right

2019-02-05 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in January 2019

The Hartford County single-family home market opened 2019 with 604 contracts in January. The total matched last January’s deal count almost exactly, and set the stage for another strong year in the real estate market.

It is far too early to even consider looking at town-by-town trends in detail. We typically don’t even try to interpret the nuances of the market until after the majority of the spring market rush has passed.

At this point in the year we focus on the County-wide activity level and inventory. I like what I’m seeing in terms of the number of deals. The number of active listings is traditionally quite low at the end of January, so seeing 2.7 months of inventory looks about right (In last year’s report it was 2.6 months).

Now is the time to start thinking about your real estate goals for the year. We’re here to help – call Kyle at 860-655-2922 to get started.

2019-02-05 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in January 2019 by Town