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.
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.
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.
December is traditionally the least active real estate month of the year, as folks take a step back to enjoy the holiday season. Although we saw the expected slowdown in number of deals, the month had respectable totals showing that many buyers and sellers had happy holidays.
When looking at contracts, the month was nearly 15% ahead of last December for single-family homes in Hartford County. We finished the year with about 1.3% fewer contracts in 2018 than in 2017.
At the big picture level this was all very positive – the local real estate market remained near peak levels of activity for the 3rd consecutive year.
A key story throughout 2018 was listing inventory. We noted regularly that there were few homes for buyers to choose from in the most popular price points, which was potentially holding back sales totals. Here is what the County-wide inventory looked like as of year end.
The vertical axis in the chart is “months.” The height of the bar for each price band indicates the number of months it would take to sell all of the current listings at the pace of deals for that price band over the past year.
For example, there were 1,432 contracts signed over the past 12 months for homes with asking prices in the $300,000s. That translated to an average of 119 deals/month, so it should take about 3 months for the 362 listings currently available in that price band to find a buyer.
What I want to highlight is that inventory levels are lowest at the lowest price points, and steadily increase as the price point increases. This trend has been evident for years and, when combined with the deal totals, shows that the real estate market is active and working properly in the lower price bands that make up the majority of Hartford County’s housing stock. As a point of reference, over 70% of the contracts in 2018 were for properties with asking prices of $299k or less.
Since it is the end of the year, the next question we’ll investigate is related to pricing. How have prices changed during 2018? Look for an analysis of closed deals during the coming week.
November exhibited the typical 4th quarter decline in activity, but outperformed November of 2017 by 4%. There were 672 single-family home contracts in Greater Hartford during the month, a number that was comparable to the September 2018 result.
As we approach the year end, the chart at the top has basically finalized its shape. The months of June, July, August, and September feel out of line. It’s not that we’re questioning the data, rather we’re observing that those four months do not smoothly connect the May and October data points like they do in some years.
The reasons behind the abrupt market change are, unfortunately, not a mystery that we are likely to solve. We neither predicted the change, nor were able to explain it as it happened. Even now, a few months removed, hindsight has not provided any additional information. No single factor has emerged as the defining narrative for the summer months. As always, we prefer to acknowledge the uncertainty and factor it into our thinking rather than pretend to be able to explain it.
Even though the year isn’t quite over, we’ve begun the planning process for 2019. We’re looking forward to another active year in the real estate markets.
How can we help you with your real estate goals?