81 Fern Street, Hartford’s West End

81 Fern Street, Hartford

Don’t miss 81 Fern, a stylish Victorian that has been updated to impress!

The home receives high marks for character, with an oversized front porch, double entry, natural woodwork, fireplaces, and turned stairs. The foyer, living room, and dining room are all open to each other, providing a comfortable environment to relax and a wonderful space to entertain.

However, it’s the thoughtful updates that will make you fall in love.

The kitchen features stone counters and stainless appliances as it wraps through the butler’s pantry to the dining room. Thoughtful features include a wine fridge, ample cabinetry, and a high-end gas range. The master bedroom has a fireplace, private balcony, walk-in closet, and an en-suite bath with double sinks and a luxury shower with rain head. A suite like this is rarely available in Victorian homes.

You’ll love coming home to this charming space with large rooms and a great feel.

Also included is a sunroom that overlooks the level back yard. There are two additional bedrooms, an office, and a hall bath on the second level. The top level is currently set up as an au pair suite with two large rooms, a full bath, and a kitchenette.

The home’s convenient location in the West End is close to parks, schools, coffee shops, and restaurants. Downtown Hartford and West Hartford Center are a short ride, with reliable public transportation available.

Come visit today … this is the property that you will want to call home!

81 Fern Street is offered at $385,000. If you’d like to see this home, please have your agent arrange a showing or call Amy at 860-655-2125 to schedule a visit. More details and a photo tour are available.

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

New “Coming Soon” Rules for Spring Market

2019-02-04 New Coming Soon Rules

Have you ever seen properties advertised as “Coming Soon” either online or with a sign in the yard?

That type of pre-market promotion has been like the Wild West for agents.

Individual agents each handled it a little differently since there was no real guidance. There were many misunderstandings, and some questionable practices, as both agents and buyers struggled to understand what “Coming Soon” meant on a property-by-property basis.

Although most agents promoted their listings responsibly, enough complaints were registered that someone decided to step in and act as a regulator.

Beginning today (February 4, 2019) new rules issued by the local Multiple Listing Service regulate how MLS members (basically all agents) must manage their listings at each stage of the listing process.

Specifically, two types of pre-market listings have been defined:

Delayed Listings: An owner has hired an agent, but the property is not ready for marketing. The agent is allowed to help the owner prepare the property during this time. However, the agent is not allowed to publicly market the home, and no showings are allowed. When the property is ready, then it is listed in the MLS and marketing and showings may begin.

Coming Soon Listing: An agent can publicly market a property before it is available for showings by entering it into the MLS in the “Coming Soon” status with a specific “Go Active” date. Although public marketing is allowed, showings are not allowed and the owner may not accept an offer until the “Go Active” date passes. Importantly, the “Go Active” date may not be moved up once it has been publicized. A property can only be in the “Coming Soon” status in the MLS for a maximum of 14 days.

Another new rule covers listings that are withheld from the MLS.

Withheld Listings: An agent can opt to not enter a listing into the MLS. This is discouraged since marketing properties in the MLS is the best way to maximize exposure to buyers. However, in some situations withholding a listing may be appropriate. An agent who withholds their listing from the MLS may not publicly market the property.

The new rules define “Public Marketing” to include open houses, displaying the listing anywhere on the internet, advertising the listing in written publications, placing a sign in the yard, sharing the listing on social media, or distributing the listing via email.

These rules mean that if you see a property advertised by an agent, whether it is “Coming Soon” or not, then you should be able to find out about that listing from any agent because there is a corresponding MLS entry. Public marketing is not allowed under these rules unless the property is already listed in the MLS. This is good for buyers, and it is good for agents representing buyers.

We’ll see how the new rules work in practice over the coming months. In order to be effective the agent community needs to know about the new rules, understand them, and buy in to the changes. There also needs to be a reasonable enforcement mechanism.

Amy and I have already discussed small changes to our pre-marketing strategy in order to make sure we comply. Our expectation is that other local agents will comply too.

That said, it will be interesting to see what happens this spring. The rules represent a meaningful reduction in the flexibility we previously enjoyed while building awareness of new listings.

2018 Condo Sales: Steady Market

2019-01-21 Hartford County Condo Sales

Hartford County condominiums maintained their pace of sales in 2018. The deal count increased by 2 properties from 2017 to finish with a total of 2,204 sales.

2019-01-21 Hartford County Condo Prices

The median condo sales price increased by 2% from the previous year, reaching $153,000. The positive direction was the first meaningful step upwards for the median price in a decade.

One of the reasons for the long-term downward trend in the median price is that developers have sold fewer “New Construction” condos in the current decade. The chart below shows that there was a wave of new properties built in the previous decade. Those new units, which represented more than 15% of the total number of deals in 2006, played an important role in pushing up the median price.

2019-01-21 Hartford County New Construction Condo Sales

The uptick in median price, and the level deal count, resulted in a reasonably steady distribution of sales by price band.

2019-01-21 Hartford County Condo Sales by Price Band

Finally, here is the breakdown of the number of deals and median prices by town. Condominiums are distributed throughout the County, so a number of towns have active condo markets.

2019-01-21 Hartford County Condominium Sales in 2018 by Town

Don’t hesitate to ask us your condominium questions. We’re experienced agents who are active the local condo market. How can we help you?

Strong 2018 Hartford County Single-Family Sales

Hartford County finished 2018 with a closed deal count in the mid-8,000s for single-family homes for the third year in a row.

2019-01-04 Hartford County Single Family Sales

Median single-family homes prices increased by 4.5% from $220,000 to $230,000. Average single-family home prices also increased, though by a smaller percentage.

2019-01-04 Hartford County Single Family Prices

Breaking the number of sales down by price band, we can see that number of deals at prices below $200,000 decreased, while the number of deals in the middle price bands increased.

2019-01-04 Hartford County Single Family Sales by Price Band

All of these observations are positive for the real estate market. Deal count is holding steady near the high points established in the early 2000s. Prices are rising as measured by both common valuation metrics. The decreasing number of deals at the lower price points are a result of the rising prices – properties moved up into the next price band.

Most interesting is that the market is behaving similarly to the first few years of the 2000s. The data shows stable deal count with upward pressure on prices. Price increases were driven by strength at the low end of the market, which represents the majority of Greater Hartford’s housing stock.

This year’s market checkup shows a healthy real estate market without any significant warning signs.