Connecticut homes sales turned in a lackluster performance in March, but those that did sell commanded some of the highest prices in nearly four years, a new report Tuesday showed.
The median sale price of a single-family house -- where half the sales are above, half below -- rose nearly 8% in March, to $248,000, from $230,000 for the same month a year ago, according to The Warren Group, which tracks real estate trends.
Sales fell nearly 10% in the same period.
The median price rose for the second month in a row and was the biggest gain since September 2013.
Connecticut inventory of homes is dwindling, even in the face of the spring home buying market, Timothy J. Warren, chief executive of The Warren Group, said . The higher prices, he said, may reflect the fact that buyers are willing to pay up for a decreasing number of desirable homes.
"If there is a tighter supply and fewer homes to look at, people are competing for the homes out there that are attractive," Warren said.
What is missing is the supply of houses coming on the market, which may be partly hampered by homeowners who bought at the height of the market and don't have enough equity to sell, Warren said.
Through the first three months of this year, sales fell 5% , while the median sale price rose nearly 6.5%, to $240,000, from $225,500 for the same period in 2017.
Connecticut's single-family home market has struggled to recover from the last recession, from March 2008 to February 2010.
Even with healthy sales in recent years the annual median sale price of $250,000 in 2017 was still 15% below the most recent peak of $295,000 in 2007.
Economists also have blamed sluggish job growth in Connecticut and deep-seated problems with the budget for running state government.
In Hartford County, sales of single-family houses fell nearly 3% in March, while the median sale price surged 14.5%, to $229,000, from $200,000, a year earlier, Warren Group reported.
Across Connecticut, sales fell in all eight counties in March on a year-over-year basis. But the median price rose is six of eight counties. In addition to Hartford, the median price rose in Fairfield, Litchfield, New London, Tolland and Windham.
Shifts in the median does not mean all sales are following the same trend or that home values are generally rising or falling. The median also can be influenced by the mix of houses sold. Prices can vary widely from town to town and even neighborhood to neighborhood.
The median sale price, however, does provide a broad, overall indicator in price trends for the state or individual counties.
In the smaller condominium market, sales fell more than 8% in March and the median sale price rose by more than 8%, to $162,500, from $150,000 for the same month a year ago, Warren Group reported.
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