It’s a balmy 50 degree day as I report on the January contracts. The weather so far in 2016 has not followed traditional winter patterns. One meager snow storm so far, with about 3 inches of snow at our house. It really hasn’t been that cold either.
The real estate market seems to be taking its cues from the weather. There were 611 single-family contracts in Hartford County in January, an 18% increase over last January. If the weather continues to trend on the warm and dry side, then we may be in for an early and active spring real estate season.
Activity has been distributed over all the price bands in a reasonable manner. There are not obvious gaps in the market where buyers and sellers are out of sync. Inventory metrics continue to show more supply at the higher price points, though the overall average is a modest 4.0 months of homes available for sale. More and more homes will come onto the market each month, building inventory totals until buyer activity eventually catches up with sellers in the late spring.
Individual towns showed a lot of variation in activity, as usual. Manchester got off to a strong start. Its 45 contracts is well above their typical January total, and continues a strong run from the end of 2015. Simsbury’s 32 deals is perhaps even more surprising since it is basically equal to the April and May totals from 2015. No towns had an especially bad month, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed that January is a sign that 2016 will be an active real estate year.