April Contracts: It’s a Miss

2017-05-07 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in April 2017

Hartford County finished April 2017 with 967 single-family contacts. The total was a 6% decrease from April 2016, putting the County about 2% behind last year on a year-to-date basis.

April was a miss. It was a surprising decline in market activity from the March 2017 total. Deal counts are usually highest in April, May, and June. March is also generally an indicator as to how the spring will go. How did March get it so wrong?

I believe that the answer is in the supply of available homes. The number of active listings is down compared to previous years. The CTMLS includes a statistics function that reports historical monthly data on the number of active listings. The chart below shows the number of active single-family listings in Hartford County during April going back to 2007.

2017-05-07 Active Hartford County Single Family Listings in April 2017

From 2007 through 2014 there were right around 5,000 active listings in April. The total dropped to about 4,000 in 2015 and 2016. This year is even lower still, with only about 3,500.

The low supply is also visible in the inventory calculation included in the table below. At the current pace of sales, it would only take 3.3 months for buyers to put all the active listings under contract. A “seller’s market” is generally defined as being 3 months of inventory or less, so Hartford County is quite close to that threshold. Twelve individual towns have a inventory of 3.0 months or less.

We don’t have an answer to the big question … why are there so many fewer listings this spring?

One hypothesis is that owners of starter homes are content to stick with their smaller spaces rather than moving up to larger homes. Another hypothesis is that rising interest rates are trapping homeowners in their current properties since higher financing costs make their next home less affordable. A third possibility is that homeowners are being squeezed financially on other fronts (higher costs for taxes, healthcare, utilites, food, etc.), encouraging them to stick with their current housing option.

At this point we just don’t know, though we keep an eye out for articles, studies, and surveys that investigate this question.

Despite the decrease in the number of deals in April, Hartford County real estate markets are doing well. It’s possible that we will see price appreciation in the lower price bands, which have the largest mismatch between supply and demand.

2017-05-07 Hartford County Single Family Contracts in April 2017 by Town

140 Elizabeth Street, Hartford’s West End

140 Elizabeth, Hartford's West End

Welcome to a stately Tudor, adjacent to historic Elizabeth Park in Hartford’s West End.

140 Elizabeth greets you with a spacious foyer with new hardwood flooring and grand stairs. The front to back living room features a charming fireplace with an insert, and continues to a sunroom overlooking the park. The dining room is a nice size for entertaining, with a French door leading into an office with built-ins and another fireplace with stove.

The updated kitchen has an eat-in counter, stainless appliances, and silestone counters. There is a large window that connects the space to the private patio just out back, ensuring easy access to the grill. The main level is completed with a powder room, and access to the attached 1 car garage.

Upstairs, the master suite awaits with sitting area, walk-in closet, and en-suite bathroom with double vanity and jetted tub. The second level has three additional bedrooms, and a full bath. The top level includes three bedrooms, a full bath, and generous storage areas.

Pride of ownership shines through at every turn, with numerous updates and thorough maintenance. The landscaping is thoughtfully designed and lovingly maintained. There is central air conditioning on the first and second levels.

Step across the street to enjoy the benefits of Elizabeth Park, including the new playground, free movies in the summer, and the energetic community life.

140 Elizabeth Street has 7 bedrooms, 3.1 baths, and 4,114 sqft on 0.31 acres. The home is offered for $495,000. 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.

93 Lancaster Road, West Hartford

93 Lancaster Rd, West Hartford

Welcome to a charming Colonial that is centrally located in West Hartford, and is in the Bugbee school district.

The enclosed porch is an outdoor room with space for a table, seating, and even a swing. Inside, the foyer opens to a large living room with fireplace. Pass through a wide opening into the spacious dining room with built-in cabinet and chair rail. The kitchen includes eat-in space, newer appliances, and a comfortable layout for cooking. A powder room completes the main level.

Upstairs, the master bedroom features double closets. It opens directly to another small bedroom that could be a lovely nursery or office if the space is not needed as the fourth bedroom. Two more bedrooms and a full bath complete the second level.

A full staircase leads to the third floor, which is currently used for storage, but could be converted into something more. The lower level is divided into two areas, and has finishing potential.

The back deck, right off the kitchen, is a nice outdoor space overlooking the yard. The home has a two car garage, gas utilities, and replacement windows.

Walk to many of West Hartford’s top destinations from this convenient location. It’s a short stroll to the restaurants on Park Road and Farmington Avenue. Blue Back Square and West Hartford Center are both about a 15 minute walk, which is about how long it takes to drive, park, and then walk to your destination. There’s a great path through the Kingswood Oxford campus that means you can avoid the busy streets. Don’t miss this lovely home!

93 Lancaster Road is offered at $275,000. If you’d like to see this home, please have your agent arrange a showing, visit the open house on Sunday 4/30/2017 from 1:00 to 3:00, or call Kyle at 860-655-2922 to schedule a visit. More details and a photo tour are available.

131 Beacon Street, Hartford’s West End

131 Beacon St, Hartford

Here’s your opportunity to own an outstanding smaller home in the West End.

An oversized front porch welcomes your guests and is a perfect spot to relax and connect with neighbors and friends. Inside, you’ll find a traditional Colonial floor plan with great natural light. The entry foyer opens to a spacious living room with wood burning fireplace and lovely period lighting. The formal dining room is made for entertaining. A short hallway from the dining room leads to an updated powder room and on to the renovated kitchen. The kitchen features plenty of cabinets and workspace, an eat-in area, and a desk space.

Upstairs offers a flexible floor plan. A spacious bedroom with large closet at the rear of the home is adjacent to a remodeled full bathroom, which would make a lovely master suite. There are three additional bedrooms and another renovated full bathroom, which also conveniently houses the laundry.

Outside there is a patio, landscaped garden beds, and a 1-car detached garage.

The home offers gas heat and hot water, hardwood floors throughout, and original detailed moldings.

131 Beacon Street is offered at $254,900. If you’d like to see this home, please have your agent arrange a showing, or call me at 860-655-2125 to schedule a visit. More details and a photo tour are available.

126 Kenyon Street, Hartford’s West End

126 Kenyon St, Hartford

Plenty of space and original architectural charm make this home a great West End opportunity. The sunny enclosed porch is a quiet space to read and watch the world go by. Step inside and you’ll be wowed by the beautiful hardwood floors, original woodwork, stained glass windows, and pocket doors.

The first floor plan is open and perfect for entertaining. The foyer connects the formal living room, formal dining room, and den. There is a large kitchen with eat-in space and an original butler’s pantry. A small office, powder room, and mudroom complete the first floor.

Upstairs, the second level has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. One of the full bathrooms can accommodate the washer and dryer. There is a fully finished third floor which has three additional bedrooms, an extra finished space, and a full bathroom.

The fenced back yard features a mahogany deck, plenty of green space, and a 2-car detached garage.

The home has a new roof, Buderus heating system, updated electrical, and low maintenance vinyl siding.

126 Kenyon Street is offered at $349,900. If you’d like to see this home, please have your agent arrange a showing, visit the open house on Sunday 4/23/2017 from 1:00 to 3:00, or call me at 860-655-2125 to schedule a visit. More details and a photo tour are available.