18 Courtland Street, Manchester

18 Courtland St, Manchester

Conveniently located in the West Side neighborhood, this move-in ready Colonial has fantastic curb appeal with plenty of updates and charm.

The traditional floor plan offers a formal living room with a wood burning fireplace and formal dining room for entertaining. The kitchen is updated and leads to a mudroom and sun porch overlooking the backyard.

Upstairs there are three bedrooms and a completely remodeled full bathroom.

An oversized, level, sunny backyard is fully fenced and perfect for gardening and play. Relax on the paver patio.

The lower level is partially finished and houses the laundry area. There is also a walk-up attic for additional storage space.

The home features many recent updates including a newer boiler and oil tank, vinyl siding, driveway, front entry stairs and paver patio.

18 Courtland Street is 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 1,350 sqft, and is available for $192,500. For more information, or to schedule a private tour, please contact Amy Bergquist at 860-655-2125 or AmyB@AmyB-RE.com. More details and a photo tour are available.

13 Courtland St, Manchester

13 Cortland

Conveniently located in a quiet neighborhood, this move-in ready Colonial has plenty of updates and charm.

The traditional floor plan offers a formal living room with a wood burning fireplace and formal dining room with a built-in hutch. The kitchen is updated and provides an eat-in space. There is a sun porch overlooking the backyard.

Upstairs, the master bedroom features a refreshed bathroom. There are two additional bedrooms and an updated hall bathroom.

Outside you’ll find an oversized, level, fenced backyard. A large deck is great for entertaining. The 2-car garage with auto-door openers makes it easy to store your cars.

The lower level is partially finished and houses the laundry area. There is also a walk-up attic for additional storage space. The home has hardwood floors, a newer gas furnace, and central air conditioning. There are replacement windows throughout and a newer roof.

13 Courtland Street has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and 1,350 sqft. The home is offered for $195,000. 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.

2013 Year End Data Review

Most of the year we avoid looking at prices when we analyze market statistics. Considering only a month’s (or even quarter’s) worth of data is risky because the sample size is too small, while making a more sophisticated model to account for the small sample size is beyond our abilities. However we are comfortable looking at a full year of data, and now that the calendar has turned over to 2014 we can look back on the past year to see what happened.

First, we noticed that real estate activity increased during the year. The number of closed transactions in 2013 was about 12% higher than in 2012. Deal count continues to be well below the consistent trend line that was established in the early 2000s, so there appears to be room for activity to increase even further.

2014-01-09 Hartford County Single-Family Transaction 2013

We also noticed that median prices have not shown nearly as much strength over the past two years as the activity levels. In 2013 the median single-family sales price rose less than 1% over 2012, and remains just below the median sales price for 2011.

2014-01-09 Hartford County Single-Family Prices 2013

Pricing traditionally lags behind deal count in the real estate market. We saw this clearly at the top of the market, where prices continued to rise in 2006 and 2007 even though the deal count peaked in 2005 and was already falling quickly. The bottom of the market appears to be following this same trend, with prices more or less stable since 2009.

The Hartford County single-family home market has many individual town markets, and even neighborhood markets, that are all recovering at their own pace. We see some towns that are well into a recovery, with price appreciation. Other towns are struggling to find a bottom and buyers have an opportunity to really negotiate on price for their choice of homes. 2014 will continue this dispersion trend – the differences in the individual markets are likely to increase this year.

The most difficult part of interpreting median price changes is understanding how the mix of homes sold at the various price points impacts the final result. Hartford County has an active single-family market at a very wide range of prices, from less than $100,000, all the way into the millions of dollars. The number of closed deals increased in all of the categories except the $1MM+ bucket.

2014-01-09 Hartford County Single-Family Price Bands 2013

We know that bank-owned homes continued to be listed and sold in 2013. However, it is difficult to know the exact number because not all agents mark them properly in the CTMLS. It appears that at least 787 of the closed single-family deals in 2013 were bank-owned, which represents about 11% of the overall market. There were an additional 332 deals that the listing agent described as a “potential short sale,” bringing the total distressed sale percentage up to nearly 16% of the overall market.

Our view is that high-quality homes are attractive to buyers and seeing rising prices. At the same time, an active distressed market, with associated distressed prices, is putting downwards pressure on properties that are not in top condition. Buyers looking to update a home are more likely to go after the cheaper bank-owned property than a non-distressed house of the same quality.

We expect the local real estate markets to continue to improve in 2014. We’ll postpone our detailed predictions for now, but the big-picture trends are positive in Hartford County. Please let us know if you have specific questions about your town/property – we’re happy to help. Next week we’ll provide specific, town-by-town data for Hartford County.

October Contracts: The Fall Market Arrives

The fall market that we were expecting to see, and then wrote off when it didn’t turn up, magically appeared in October. There were 678 contracts written during the month, which is a 15% increase over October of 2012 and a meaningful step up in activity from last month.

Hartford County Single Family Contracts in October 2013

Contract data at the individual town level continued to bounce around. Bloomfield and Bristol had big reversals of fortune from the September report, showing just how inconsistent small sample sizes can be. In addition to those two towns, Glastonbury, Manchester, New Britain, Suffield and West Hartford all had double-digit increases in the number of contracts that came together in the year-over-year comparisons.

What will November bring? This is typically the month when there is a sharp decline in contracts as buyers and sellers turn their attention to the holidays. Will the October excitement spill over into November? And this year Thanksgiving is very late in the month – will that mean a smaller decline?

Hartford County Single Family Contracts in October 2013 by Town

May Contracts: Extending Spring

Hartford County single-family contracts edged up in May to 855 deals, a 1% increase over April of this year.

Hartford County Single Family Contracts in May 2013

More impressively, the month was more that 14% more active than May of last year. The active season extended later into the spring before the deal count plateaued. Through May, the market is more than 7% ahead of the 2012 market in terms of deal count.

Hartford County Single Family Contracts in May 2013 by TownDrilling down into the individual towns, the numbers bounce all over the place. Manchester showed the largest increase in the number of deals, with +32 over May of 2012, and 76 total contracts. Five other towns had double-digit increases in deal count.

West Hartford was the most active market in May, with 102 deals, though the town was actually down slightly from the May 2012 activity level. This result in particular, when combined with the County-wide 14% increase in activity, suggests that we’re seeing more widely distributed market strength in the Greater Hartford region. Last year increased buyer activity was concentrated in specific towns, some of which even saw price increases. This year it feels like more towns are turning the corner towards a recovery, and are seeing the benefits of increased buyer activity – more deals and the potential for rising prices.

Inventory of available homes in the County increased from 5.0 months to 5.4 months, as the number of homes on the market increased from 3,153 to 3,465. South Windsor continues to have the fewest options for buyers, followed by Newington and West Hartford. As agents actively working with buyers in all of these towns, we can confirm that it is difficult to find quality properties for buyers. And when they are listed they can attract interest from multiple buyers, we had a client involved in a bidding war in South Windsor just last week.

As we move into the summer months, we’ll be looking to see how quickly deal activity falls off. The top chart shows that in 2012 it was a gradual decline through August and then a sharper drop through the end of the year. Or will 2013 look more like 2011?