Hartford County finished May with 1,163 single-family contracts, a total that was in line with the past two years. On a year-to-date basis 2021 is on the fastest deal count pace since we’re been reporting stats.
The market was constrained by low levels of available inventory. As of the end of the month the number of active listings had inched up to 752, corresponding to 0.7 months of deals at the recent pace of sales. The total was not nearly enough to support the very high level of buyer demand. The imbalance between supply and demand ends up meaning that buyers in the hottest markets face auction-like environments when new homes are listed.
It is difficult to tell just how much demand exceeds supply. In the past couple weeks we have heard about homes receiving 20 bids, which means that there were 19 buyers that did not get the property. That level of interest is extreme, but it has been common to have 5 bids on a home in many markets.
We’re always looking for clues about two key questions:
1. How many buyers are getting frustrated with the market and opting out? Some certainly are, though it currently appears that even more are settling in for a longer search than they expected. Patience is the best approach for those who are looking to be owners instead of renters over the long-term.
2. How will the pace of listings change as we enter the summer months? Our best case scenario is that the number of new listings continues to be strong throughout the year to help build up inventory levels. Many of those sellers will be able to find a buyer for their home, which is a great outcome for them. Some may not, but that’s sort of what the market needs to begin moving back towards equilibrium.