HOME SALES DOWN AS PRICES CLIMB

Connecticut Post - - BUSINESS - By Alexan­der Soule

“In­ven­tory con­tin­ues to stall our state’s real es­tate growth with fewer prop­er­ties be­ing put on the mar­ket, mak­ing it tough to keep up with the de­mand of buy­ers. Over­all, it is truly a seller’s mar­ket ... with im­pend­ing loan rate in­creases, high con­sumer con­fi­dence and (a) strong econ­omy.”

Can­dace Adams, CEO of Berk­shire Hath­away HomeSer­vices New Eng­land Prop­er­ties

De­spite a resur­gent res­i­den­tial real es­tate mar­ket in sev­eral towns, Fair­field County home sales dropped in the third quar­ter, which cap­tures the lat­ter half of the sum­mer sell­ing sea­son as fam­i­lies look to move in ad­vance of the new school year.

About 2,570 homes sold in Fair­field County be­tween July and Septem­ber, ac­cord­ing to Berk­shire Hath­away HomeSer­vices New Eng­land Prop­er­ties, about 40 fewer com­pared to the third quar­ter of 2017 for a 1.8 per­cent de­cline.

The price of the me­dian home sold climbed 8 per­cent from its equiv­a­lent a year ago, as cal­cu­lated by Berk­shire Hath­away, to $504,000.

Red­ding, We­ston and Sher­man led south­west­ern Con­necti­cut with sales trans­ac­tions up by about half from a year ear­lier. The Bethel mar­ket logged a gain of more than 40 per­cent.

Green­wich was tops among the larger mar­kets as home sales jumped 27 per­cent from a year ear­lier, ac­cord­ing to Berk­shire Hath­away, with Nor­walk and Wil­ton com­bin­ing for a 15 per­cent in­crease. Strat­ford was the only other mu­nic­i­pal­ity to reg­is­ter a dou­ble-digit per­cent­age gain at 11 per­cent.

Among south­west­ern Con­necti­cut cities, Bridge­port saw a slight de­cline in sales, with Stam­ford and Dan­bury record­ing steeper drops of 13 per­cent and 27 per­cent re­spec­tively.

Stalled in­ven­tory, de­spite de­mand

Through Septem­ber, home sales were run­ning 2.6 per­cent be­low the first nine months of 2017, with just un­der 8,800 trans­ac­tions. Statewide, 220 fewer homes sold in Con­necti­cut dur­ing the third quar­ter for a 1.7 per­cent de­cline to be­low 13,000 units, with year-to­date sales off 2.2 per­cent to less than 33,900 homes in all.

In the third quar­ter, new home list­ings in both Fair­field County and Con­necti­cut were down from 12 months ear­lier, at 3.3 per­cent and 1.3 per­cent re­spec­tively.

For sell­ers in the mar­ket, many ap­pear to be get­ting bet­ter of­fers than in pre­vi­ous years, with me­dian prices ris­ing in about twothirds of Fair­field County mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

“In­ven­tory con­tin­ues to stall our state’s real es­tate growth with fewer prop­er­ties be­ing put on the mar­ket, mak­ing it tough to keep up with the de­mand of buy­ers,”

stated Can­dace Adams, CEO of Berk­shire Hath­away HomeSer­vices New Eng­land Prop­er­ties, in an anal­y­sis ac­com­pa­ny­ing her firm’s re­port. “Over­all, it is truly a seller’s mar­ket ... with im­pend­ing loan rate in­creases, high

con­sumer con­fi­dence and (a) strong econ­omy.”

Af­ford­abil­ity hin­der­ing buy­ers

Real es­tate agents na­tion­ally gather in Bos­ton in early Novem­ber for the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Real­tors’ an­nual Real­tors Con­fer­ence & Expo, with 125 ses­sions on every­thing from a

look ahead from NAR’s chief econ­moist Lawrence Yun, to real es­tate con­sid­er­a­tions for ten­ants who are en­ter­ing the le­gal­ized mar­i­juana in­dus­try.

In dis­cussing last month the re­cent down­ward trend na­tion­ally in pend­ing home sales and trans­ac­tion clos­ings, Yun said buy­ers con­tinue to have dif­fi­cul­ties find­ing prop­er­ties at price

points they can af­ford. At the same time, the Fed­eral Re­serve has hiked mort­gage rates steadily in the past year-plus, cre­at­ing a longer term cost buy­ers must take into ac­count in de­cid­ing whether to pro­long their search.

“Af­ford­abil­ity is hin­der­ing buy­ers ... (and) is due to the lack of in­ven­tory,” Yun said in a video re­view of the na­tional mar­ket

posted by NAR. “Just a cou­ple of years ago, you (saw) 55 per­cent of sell­ers in­di­cat­ing it is a good time to sell. ... That fig­ure has climbed close to 80 per­cent to­day.”

Jor­dan Grice / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

A home listed for sale in Bridge­port ear­lier this year. About 2,570 homes sold in Fair­field County be­tween July and Septem­ber, ac­cord­ing to Berk­shire Hath­away HomeSer­vices New Eng­land Prop­er­ties.

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