September Contracts: Falling Leaves and Deal Counts

Hartford County Single Family Contracts in September 2018

September was a down month for the Hartford County single-family market. The number of contracts signed declined more than 9% from the same month last year, leaving the County 4% behind on a year-to-date basis.

It appears that there will be a modest fall market in Hartford County this year. Other agents throughout the state are reporting similar observations about the market, so the deceleration does not appear to be unique to Greater Hartford.

I’ve heard a number of competing theories as to why we had a slow September, but it’s unfortunately impossible to know for sure why the number of deals moved downward this month. We cannot say for certain whether it is the local economy, rising mortgage interest rates, Connecticut’s political and economic situation, the national political environment, or something else entirely.

Most likely it is a combination of many factors.

Ironically, this may be an excellent opportunity for buyers to step in and find their new home. Let us know if you are considering a home search. We are always happy to talk real estate!

Hartford County Single Family Contracts in September 2018 by Town

307-309 New Park Avenue, Hartford

307-309 New Park Ave, Hartford

307-309 New Park is a two-unit building in an overlooked part of Hartford within sight of the West Hartford line. It is a short walk to the grocery store and Kane Street Fastrak station, providing easy public transportation to Downtown Hartford, New Britain, and all the stops in between. The convenient location is also close to the interstate and the local CTTransit buses stop.

The first-floor unit is two bedrooms and one bath. The upper unit encompasses both the second and third levels, providing a spacious apartment with 2 bedrooms on the second level and multiple additional rooms on the third level that have flexible uses. It’s being advertised as a four bedroom unit, but there are actually 4 rooms on the top level alone.

Both units are in good condition, with recent updates to the upstairs kitchen and downstairs bathroom. Both have laundry in the unit, and include heat in the monthly rent. Both units are currently occupied by tenants with leases. The upstairs tenant is long-term, and the downstairs tenant is related to the upstairs tenant.

The building has a newer roof and newer gas furnace. Aluminum siding means you won’t have to repaint as part of the regular maintenance. There is a small fenced yard out back, and a driveway that can fit two cars. Overnight on-street parking is allowed, and there is not much competition for the spaces.

Don’t miss this turn-key investment opportunity that makes landlording easy!

307-309 New Park Avenue is offered at $214,900. If you’d like to see this home, please have your agent arrange a showing or call Kyle at 860-655-2922 to schedule a visit. More details are available.

31 Woodland Street #2I, Hartford

31 Woodland, Hartford

Enjoy a bright and open living area with hardwood floors and neutral paint in this spacious unit at the Woodland House. The oversized bedroom is next to the full bathroom and has access to multiple closets. There is very little wasted space in this well-designed unit.

The monthly HOA fee includes heat, hot water, electricity, central air, cable TV, 24-hour security, the amazing swimming pool, the well-equipped fitness room, and the very large lounge and game room.

The community offers indoor or outdoor parking, depending on your needs, that is arranged through the association for an additional fee.

This property is a great value for a turnkey home – just move in and enjoy!

31 Woodland #2I is offered at $67,900. If you’d like to see this home, please have your agent arrange a showing or call Kyle at 860-655-2922 to schedule a visit. More details are available.

August Contracts: Typical End of Summer

2018-09-07 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in August 2018

Hartford County finished August with 779 single-family contracts, slightly behind the August 2017 total of 785 deals. It continues to be a strong year for the county, with the total deal count only off last year’s total by about 3.4%.

Real estate markets took the traditional late summer step back in August. The pool of buyers trying to time the school year cycle typically phase out of the market at about this time of the year. Since it usually takes 45 – 60 days for a deal to close, putting a home under contract in August is unlikely to result in a move-in date before early September … after the school year has begun.

From now through March, buyers and sellers are folks who choosing to move for reasons that not related to schools. Downsizing continues to be a big trend in the region as the population ages. Work relocations are common because the Hartford area is a commercial hub. We are still seeing people buying their first home as they take advantage of the stable economy and the attractive mortgage interest rates.

Town-by-town performance is always interesting to track, and at this time of the year the numbers tend to settle because there is a meaningful amount of data. Focusing on the year-to-date column below, East Hartford and Manchester are the two municipalities showing the largest drop in the number of deals. Both are trailing 2017 by 104 contracts as of the end of August.

In East Hartford, the City had a very slow run in June and July. Those two months accounted for 57 deals of underperformance, which is more than half of the total for the year. Inventory levels are on the low side, at 2.8 months overall, but are no longer so low that buyers don’t have any homes to consider purchasing.

Manchester’s underperformance is actually more about last year than this year. The number of monthly deals this year has followed normal seasonal patterns, though it has been slightly below each corresponding month from last year. The main difference in the overall total was caused by surprisingly high deal counts in January, March, and April 2017. This year has been more of a typical year for Manchester.

Suffield has shown the largest increase in deals over 2017, with 29 more contracts leading to 25.7% more activity. As a smaller town, Suffield’s monthly data is more erratic than the East Hartford or Manchester. Consistent monthly deal counts during the summer of 2018 created the surplus deals after a hit-or-miss summer in 2017.

There could still be some surprises between now and the end of the year. Whether there are or not, 2018 is very likely to be another strong year for the local real estate markets.

2018-09-07 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in August 2018 by Town

Introducting MeetingInfo.org

MeetingInfo.org

I’m excited to share a project that has been in the works for a while. It’s ready to take the next step, and needs your help.

MeetingInfo.org is a web service that organizes information about public meetings. It’s designed to help meeting organizers connect with their constituents by publishing their meeting information online.

As a quick example, the site is perfect for municipalities, with their dozens of Councils, Boards, and Committees. The City of Hartford has been using it to document some of their meetings online for a while now.

It’s even better for small community organizations that depend on public participation. The West End Civic Association uses it for their Board of Directors and their Planning & Zoning Committee meetings.

We’re interested in expanding the site’s reach in the Hartford area – this is where we need your help.

Are you part of an organization (as an employee or volunteer) that hosts meetings for the public? Publish on MeetingInfo.org to make your community efforts more visible and accessible.

Do you run a website that has a community focus? Copy-paste a little code and you can help promote meetings in the community by displaying an up-to-date list to your readers. Here are three examples of how it looks on different sites: Greater Hartford Real Estate Blog, HartfordCitizen.com, stand-alone page.

Interested in what’s happening in Hartford? Create a (free) account on the site and follow the various groups that interest you. You’ll receive automated alerts when those groups schedule meetings and publish documents.

Publishing service subscriptions are currently being offered for free to all Hartford organizations, and for a very reasonable fee to everyone else. Visit the site or email info@meetinginfo.org to learn more.

Communities need participation to keep them moving in the right direction. More awareness of public meetings is always better. Help spread the word about the MeetingInfo.org platform!