The total number of single-family home sales decreased in Hartford County by just under 18% from 2021 to 2022. Nearly 10,000 sales was reduced to just over 8,000 sales – a very significant drop.
Despite the slowing pace of sales, 2022 was a strong year for the local real estate market. We consider the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021 to be outliers. There were more deals in each of those years than our area has historically shown the ability to sustain.
The two best years of the prior cycle, 2004 and 2005, had just over 9,000 sales per year. But from 2001 through 2006, and from 2016 through 2019, a strong year in Hartford County looked more like 8,500 sales per year. Since there has not been a meaningful amount of single-family new construction since 2001, it is reasonable to compare deal counts over multiple decades.
With that context in mind, the 8,117 sales observed in 2022 are remarkably close to the sustainable 8,500 deal/year level considering the prior two year exceeded the target by about 1,400 deals/year. The seller pool is exhausted, limiting the number of new listings that were available in 2022, which in turn limited the number of possible transactions.
Our analysis of December Contracts found that inventory continues to be alarmingly low. That’s another data point supporting our view that the bottleneck in the 2022 market was the number of listings available for buyers to consider.
As of the time this article was published there were 427 active single-family listings in Hartford County. Back in October we looked at the trend in active listings over time, and the situation has not improved in any meaningful way.
Of the current active listings, 163 have been on the market for 90 days or more. 38% of the options buyers have to consider are consistently being ignored by all of the buyers. There are still plenty of buyers scouring the market for opportunities, and houses should sell within a couple weeks if they are priced properly. So it seems fair to assume that 38% of the sellers are holding out for a premium price for their property. Only 167 of the listings (39%) have been on the market for 30 days or less.
Despite the drop in deals, 2022 continued to be a seller’s market. Buyers competed for the best properties, and there were more buyers in the market than sellers.