Connecticut’s median single-family home price in February spiked 7.2 percent over the previous year, but the number of sales fell by 3 percent, according to the latest report from The Warren Group, publisher of the Commercial Record.
Meriden and Cheshire had increases in both the number of sales and sales prices, while Wallingford and Southington followed the state trend for the year.
“You’re seeing some strength in the marketplace,” said Diana McDougall, of Realty 3 in Southington. ”With new construction, prices have elevated because the prices of lumber and steel have gone up. Builders are getting squeezed. When you look at certain sales, $400,000 and up, it’s all new construction.”
A total of 1,688 single-family homes were sold in Connecticut in February 2018, compared to the 1,741 homes sold in February 2017, according to the Warren Group. Meanwhile, the median single-family home price increased to $237,000, compared with $221,000 a year ago. This marked the biggest year-over-year price jump since September 2013. Year-to-date, single-family home sales totaled 3,817 with a median sale price of $235,950.
“Sales may have slowed in February, but the rising price is a good sign for any current homeowners who are thinking of selling,” CEO Timothy Warren said in a statement. “The inventory of homes for sale is dropping in Connecticut and the tighter supply may be pushing up prices.
Closings from the spring real estate shopping season peak in the summer months. It remains to be seen if this trend continues or if homeowners rush to put their homes on the market to take advantage of higher prices, Warren said.
Condominium sales in Connecticut increased 9.3 percent in February with 496 transactions, up from 454 sold in February 2017. The median sale price for condos edged 1.1 percent higher to $145,000, up from $143,375 a year earlier. Year-to-date, condo sales totaled 1,124 transactions with a median sale price of $148,900.
“Here in Meriden, we’re just a bargain compared to surrounding towns,” said Sandy Maier Schede, of Maier Real Estate. “We have a good price point. Even with a modest increase in prices, (Meriden) is still a good deal comparatively in surrounding towns.”
More singles and millennials are getting into the home-buying market, Schede and McDougall said.
“When millennials first got out of college, they were living with parents and friends,” McDougall said. “They are making the jump into home ownership. The market builds from the bottom up.”
Inventory of lower-priced homes is tight in Southington, which drives prices even higher. But it may also drive some homebuyers to Meriden.
“It’s all good news for Meriden,” Schede said. “Supply is low coming off winter, and that may change in a month or two.”