Home prices in Connecticut rise, but still far below 2007 peak

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Home sale prices in Connecticut got a welcome bump up in 2018, a new report Wednesday shows, but overall prices are still far below the peak prior to the last recession a decade ago.

The median sale price of a single-family house in Connecticut rose 3.2% in 2018 to $258,000, compared with $249,900 in 2017 — the third consecutive year-over year sale price increase, according to The Warren Group, which tracks real estate trends in New England.

The year-over-year sale price increase was the strongest in three years, but the 2018 median price — in which half the sales are above, half below — is still below 13% below the most recent peak of $295,000 in 2007.

“The median single-family home price achieved a five-year high in 2018, but it still has some ways to go before getting back to where it was at the housing market’s peak,” Tim Warren, chief executive of The Warren Group, said Wednesday, in a release.

Hartford, Conn.

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Hartford County did better than the state in sale prices for single-family homes. The median price rose 4.2%, to $227,000 in 2018, compared with $217,775 for 2017. Sales were slightly weaker than the state as a whole, down nearly 3% on a year-over-year basis.

Across the state, sales of single-family houses weakened slightly in 2018, down nearly 2% compared with a year ago. Typically, sales rise first in a housing recovery, followed by prices. Some real estate agents have said the price is being driven the sale of homes in the most desirable locations and condition, sometimes with multiple offers. But the agents caution the upswing in the median may not be indicative of broad-based trends in the market.

The supply of homes for sale — the inventory — also is constrained, so when a sought-after property does come on the market, there is a lot of interest.

Donald Klepper-Smith, chief economist at DataCore Partners in Durham, said he doesn’t expect huge swings in the home sale market in 2019. Sales, he said, could do a bit better because the state has added jobs, and now is closing in gaining back all the jobs it lost in the recession. The state labor department reported this month that Connecticut has recovered nearly 94% of the employment lost in Great Recession.

Klepper-Smith said he expects that home sales could tick up modestly, aided by job gains in the state and a somewhat weaker national economy that could keep mortgage rates affordable. Lower rates could be a boon to first-time home buyers, a key segment of the market, he said.

“But the changes that we are looking at here are incremental,” Klepper-Smith said.

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