Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Median Home Prices Up in September

Article is from the CT REALTORS®

In a press release to the media today, CTR reports that the single-family residential home median sales price is $250,000 which reflects a 2 percent increase from $245,000 in that same time period last year. Median indicates that half the homes sold for more and half for less. Single-family residential home sales in Connecticut decreased 0.6 percent comparing October 2017 to October 2016. The total units of homes sold were 2,919 in October 2017 and 2,936 in October 2016.

Townhouses and condominiums median sales price is $163,000 representing a 2.5 percent increase from $159,000 in that same time period in 2016. Sales in Connecticut decreased 1.3 percent comparing October 2017 to October 2016. Total units sold were 731 in October 2017 and 741 in October 2016.

Statistics released by the National Association of REALTORS® indicate total home sales nationwide (includes single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops) decreased 0.9 percent comparing October 2017 to October 2016; and the median national home sales price is $247,000. Regionally, Northeast home sales had no change from that same time period; with a median sales price of $272,800. do with the security deposit when a tenant who was under age 62 at the start of the lease turns 62 during the time of the lease.

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Greater New Haven Market Picks Up

Where were the buyers right after Labor Day?  We're not sure, but they are out now!  Open houses are busy, multiple offers have increased, and mortgage lenders are busy.  We've learned not to try too hard to predict what's going to happen in our market area, but we can certainly talk about what is happening, and we can certainly say that it is happening now.

This doesn't mean that everything is rosy--sorry to say.  Prices have continued to go down in many places, and still aren't back to 2008 levels in most parts of the State.   There is probably a good correlation, in fact, between low prices and high activity.  Especially if  you move here from another part of the country, a lot of our inventory looks like--and is--a bargain.  So sellers shouldn't expect that more traffic will mean higher offers.

As my father often said, "There is no tomorrow in real estate".  So I can't tell you that those buyers will still be out there next spring, or even next month.  Do what you have to do to get your property sold, and move on to the next stage of your life while you can.  It's good news that we have activity at this time of year, and it's better news if sellers take advantage of that to close transactions.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Connecticut Rental Rates Take A Breather After A Year of Increases

Article is from Article is from CT Real Estate and Construction, click here to read the article on their website.

CONNCECTICUT: Rents in cities across Connecticut saw a monthly dip in rent, running counter to a year long trend. New Haven county rents have posted the steepest annual increases, with New Haven and Meriden seeing annual increases of 5% and 7% respectively. Connecticut’s overall annual rent increase for 2016 is only 1.3%.
October showed a different direction with rents making modest declines in Hartford, New Haven and Stamford as well as other cities across the state Only Danbury registered an increase in rents for October [1.35%].
Currently, median rents in New Haven stand at $1,080 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,320 for a two-bedroom. Hartford is more affordable with only $820 and $1030 respectively.
Stamford remains the most expensive to rent among Connecticut cities with $1500 for a single bedroom and $1890 for a two bedroom.
New Haven and several of the cities have seen several months of modest declines but most of Connecticut have seen increases for the year. Danbury and Norwalk have both seen modest declines however.
According to cities nationwide have seen rents grow more modestly, or in some cases, even decline. But most Connecticut cities are still more affordable than most large cities across the country.
Several Connecticut cities have rents above the national average of $1,160. Nationwide, rents have grown by 2.7% over the past year compared to the 5.3% increase in New Haven, 2.7% in Waterbury, .7% in Hartford and a 1% decline in rents for the year in Stamford.
In spite of Connecticut’s increases, renters will find more reasonable prices in the state’s cities than most large cities across the country. For example, San Francisco has a median 2BR rent of $3,070, which is more than twice the price in New Haven.
Data from Apartment list is skewed toward luxury apartments and information that is available from data on private listing sites, including but not exclusively Apartment List says they are “committed to making our rent estimates the best and most accurate available. We start with reliable median rent statistics from the Census Bureau, then extrapolate them forward to the current month using a growth rate calculated from our listing data. In doing so, we use a same-unit analysis similar to Case-Shiller’s approach, comparing only units that are available across both time periods to provide an accurate picture of rent growth in cities across the country.”
Article is from CT Real Estate and Construction

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Explanation of absorption rate: The rate at which available homes are sold in a specific real estate market during a given time period. If you look at the number for New Haven you can say “If market conditions do not change and if no new listings come on the market it will take 6.1 months for the current inventory to sell at the current pace of the market. A balanced market’s absorption rate is typically between 5 - 7 months.”

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Generational Stalemate in our Real Estate Market

Article is written by David Stark, Real Estate Market Source of South Central Wisconsin


(earlier hopes that they were finally increasing did not materialize). Prices? Up, again (about seven percent year-over-year in Dane County). New construction? Still not enough to satisfy overall demand.

So, here we are. Not stuck, really, as that would imply things are bad. Far from it. While overall sales are not yet increasing year-over-year, they’ve settled in at a brisk and healthy pace. What’s frustrating—if that’s the right word—is that we can’t help feeling it could be even better. Better, if we could just find enough homes to sell to satisfy our region’s growing demand. And growing it certainly is. Steve Steinhoff, Deputy Director of the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission, reported in a recent talk that our region is growing at a rate of about 80,000 people every 12 years. That’s enough new people to fill Camp Randall Stadium. And it’s now well understood that many of those new arrivals in the Greater Madison area are Millennials—the largest age cohort in the nation’s history.

According to Zillow Group, Millennials nationwide now make up 42 percent of all homebuyers, and 71 percent of all first-time homebuyers. (So much for the theory that Millennials will never be home owners, a theory we’ve never subscribed to anyway.) These Millennial buyers are looking for homes primarily in the $200K to $350K range, which unfortunately is below the range where builders in our market can help fill the inventory gap (a fact we’ve discussed in a number of previous editions of the newsletter).

Where does this leave us, and what can we expect going forward? Do we have any further insight into the causes of our low inventories? Will we break out of the current situation any time soon? And if not, how do we manage it?


We’ve speculated, along with many others, about the root causes of today’s housing shortages. A lack of new construction has been the most frequently mentioned culprit. There’s no doubt it’s going to have to be a part of the solution. But there’s another theory we’ve heard recently that rings true to us.

Up until the Millennials came along, the Baby Boomers were by far the largest generation in our history. They’re also the longest lived. Most important for this discussion, Baby Boomers are also the generation staying in their homes the longest. According to an August 8th Bloomberg article by Prashant Gopal, “People 55 and older own 53 percent of U.S. owner-occupied houses, the biggest share since the government started collecting data in 1900, according to real estate website Trulia. That’s up from 43 percent a decade ago.”

Baby Boomers, in general, are healthier and more active than previous generations were at the same age. As a result, a growing number of them are choosing to ‘age in place.’ In other words, Baby Boomers are not selling their houses after retirement as quickly as previous generations. This contributes to the housing shortage we’re experiencing all over the country, including here.

There’s a wonderful irony in this, one that should remind all of us to take the predictions of pundits and prognosticators with a huge grain of salt (including those from yours truly). Back around the beginning of the 21st Century, a number of articles forecasted an impending housing bust. The reason? Baby Boomers, it was assumed, would begin to retire and start putting their homes on the market, downsizing or moving to retirement homes. A housing glut was predicted that would decimate home values.

In fact, what we have is the exact opposite. Boomers in greater numbers are simply choosing to stay where they are, hogging the supply of housing already built. Add in the fact that the Millennial generation is even bigger, and now entering prime home-buying age, and we have the perfect ingredients for a housing shortage.

It’s not just that simple, of course, and the obstacles we’ve outlined in previous editions that discourage new construction are still playing a role.


In our last edition, we speculated that some buyers were withdrawing from the frenzy of the spring market, perhaps to reappear in late summer or fall. We continue to believe this is true. Our own internal numbers are running slightly ahead of last year for offers-to-purchase; we’ve been ahead every month since a lackluster April. It would seem that many buyers have taken our advice to remain in the game beyond the spring market.

As is often the case, however, we did see a bit of a lull right after Labor Day. September seemed to get off to a very slow start, and there was a point where we wondered if we might be writing about a declining market to finish the year. We also started to see something we haven’t seen for a long time: the picky buyer. We heard a number of stories about buyers who made offers with somewhat of a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. Rather than playing the bidding war game, they were walking away if the first offer wasn’t accepted. We were hearing far fewer instances of multiple buyers bidding up the price on new listings, and even heard some stories about sellers who were surprised when their home didn’t fly off the shelf like most did in the spring.

As it turned out, it was short-lived. September ended with a flurry, and October is off to a very solid start. As we draft this edition in mid-October, we’re starting to hear stories of multiple offers and bidding wars again. While it seemed there was a brief window where buyers could perhaps exert a little more control during negotiations, the October push has, for the moment, drawn that window closed. We remain in a very strong seller’s market, and as long as homes remain scarce, buyers will be forced to compete.


If you’ve stayed active through summer and early fall, you’ve probably found it somewhat easier to navigate the market than in spring. You can perhaps afford to be a little pickier. But as always, don’t outsmart yourself. It’s still a seller’s market, and most sellers don’t have to capitulate to a lowball offer in order to sell. You can pass up some good values overplaying your hand, and if you don’t buy this year, you’ll be back in the spring market madness. Activity is still high for this time of year, and competition remains brisk for good new listings. But it’s far less busy than it will be in March. If you can find something now, the process will be much easier.