Home sales in Greater Hartford fall, but prices hold their own
In the thick of the pandemic in Greater Hartford, home sales took it on the chin, falling nearly 13% in May, compared with a year ago, but sale prices held their own, rising slightly, a new report shows.
The median sale price of a single-family house in May — where half the sales are above, half below — was $265,000, up nearly 2%, compared with $260,000 for the same month a year ago, according to the monthly report from the Greater Hartford Association of Realtors, an industry group.
Despite the monthly decline in home sales, closed sales through the first five months of this year remained relatively flat, compared with the same period in 2019. The median sale price in the same timeframe was $249,900, up more than 6%, compared with $235,000 a year earlier, the association reported.
In a release, the association said the pandemic certainly had affected May sales as Connecticut residents were strongly encouraged to stay at home during the period of mid-March through April. The sales that closed in May generally would have gone under deposit 30-60 days earlier.
However, the listings that were on the market were attracting buyers and giving a lift to prices, the association said.
There were signs in the association's report for May that sales could slow in the next few months. Pending sales fell more than 15%; and new listings, vital to giving buyers continued new purchase options, fell more than 31%, compared with a year ago.
The pandemic hit just as the spring home buying season hit its stride in the Hartford area, where there were hopes of further price recovery from the last recession a decade ago.
A low inventory of homes for sale — down more than 30% in May compared to the same month the previous year — is making it tougher to find a house. But when a sought-after property — a desirable location with an updated kitchen and baths — comes on the market, it can lead to multiple offers, helping to push up overall price levels.
The association tracks 27 towns and cities stretching from Suffield to Rocky Hill and from Canton to Willington.