Greater Hartford Home Sales Up 11 Percent In June

The Hartford Courant

Home sales in Greater Hartford rose 11 percent in June, an encouraging sign after the spring home buying season got off to a slow start.

Home sales in Greater Hartford rose at a double-digit pace in June, a new report Wednesday shows, an encouraging sign after the spring home-buying season got off to a disappointingly slow start.

Sales of single-family houses in June rose 11 percent, to 1,071 from 968 for the same month a year ago, according to the Greater Hartford Association of Realtors.

The median sale price — at which half the sales are above, half below — slid a little more than 1 percent, to $234,000 from $236,700 a year earlier, the association reported. The association covers 57 towns, roughly from Enfield to Middletown.

"The month of June was a rebound for closed sales," said Jeff Arakelian, the association's president. "It appears the market is correcting after a slow spring."

Statistics for the first six months of 2014 show just how slow the market has been. Through June, sales of single-family houses increased less than 1 percent compared with the same period in 2013, the association reported.

Donald L. Klepper-Smith, an economist at DataCore Partners Inc. in New Haven, said the increase in sales in June might reflect gains in jobs — albeit modest ones — in recent months. Despite those gains in the statewide labor market, Klepper-Smith said that would-be buyers remain cautious, and that measures of consumer confidence remain lower than would be expected in a recovering economy, he said.

"We're not in a gangbusters scenario, the job market won't allow for it," Klepper-Smith said. "For these houses to move, they have to be priced properly and people have to be confident in their jobs."

Sales that closed in June reflect homes that would have gone under deposit in the previous 60 to 90 days. Real estate agents say that July will provide more insight into the spring market, usually the busiest month of the year and a barometer for annual home sales.

And, agents say, fall could provide a bump, although it is not traditionally as busy as the spring.

Home sales in Greater Hartford posted double-digit, year-over-year gains in 2012 and 2013, and last year prices stabilized. The trends were an encouraging sign that the area was beginning to hit a stride recovering from the housing downtown.

Pending sales in June rose nearly 4 percent, to 1,120 from 1,080 for the same month a year ago. Those figures show that sales could remain in positive territory for the next few months, although not all homes under contract reach closings.

The association's report indicated that more property owners had confidence that their homes would sell. New listings in June rose by nearly 20 percent, to 2,084 from 1,737 a year ago.

Inventory — the total number of homes on the market — jumped by 17 percent, to 7,787 from 6,655 a year ago.

Based on sales in June and the number of homes for sale, the area has a seven-month supply of single-family houses — just barely a buyer's market, favoring purchasers over sellers. A six-month supply is said to favor neither buyer nor seller.

Sales of condominiums also were strong in June, rising nearly 23 percent, to 275 from 224 a year earlier. The median sale price inched up less than 1 percent, to $155,000 from $154,000 for the same month in 2013.

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