Another Perspective on Active Listings

The number of active single-family home listings in Hartford County continues to be well below historical trends. The chart below shows the monthly total since 2017 as measured by SmartMLS.

2022-10-24 Single-Family Actives in Hartford County - SmartMLS Stats

The seasonal fluctuations in active listings are clearly visible in each year except 2020. Inventory is highest in the summer and lowest at the very beginning of the year.

What the chart shows is that the number of homes available to buyers is still trending downwards. The last data point on the chart (September 2022) is roughly equal to the January 2021 low point of that cycle. There are very few owners currently willing to sell their homes.

On February 4, 2020 we wrote that we were concerned about the low levels of inventory relative to the number of contracts signed that January. The SmartMLS data set shows 2,166 active listings in January 2020. That is double the 1,079 shown for September 2022 despite January being the low point of the seasonal cycle.

The line on the chart has been jumping around recently, a departure from the smoother lines that define 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021. Only 2020 shows similar fits and starts. We think this indicates stresses in the market that are keeping it from functioning smoothly.

There are more buyers than sellers, causing desirable homes to continue to sell for high prices. There are also opportunistic owners marketing their homes, which includes them in the total of active listings, but seeking a premium value and sitting on the market. Of the currently active listings, about 25% have been on the market for 90 days or more, and about 50% have been on the market for 30 days or more. Buyers are passing on these properties despite there being so few alternative options.

Navigating the real estate market is more tricky now than it has been in a while. Supply and demand imbalances are different in each town and neighborhood. Prices have risen quickly over the past two years. Mortgage interest rates have also increased sharply. All of these factors need to be considered by both buyers and sellers as they participate in the local real estate market.