CT is seeing a historically low number of real estate listings

Connecticut continued to see historically low listings for homes for sale in April, helping to prolong a sellers’ market that is keeping prices above pre-pandemic levels — but with very few people putting their homes on lockdown, creating an ongoing crisis for those who are looking to buy.

Just over 3,800 homes and apartments were put on the market in April, according to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties, about 1,800 fewer than in April 2022 for a 32 percent decrease. The spring market is busiest as parents look to move in and kids settle in before the start of the next school year, with Realtors saying buyers remain out of steam this year.

“Inventory is still very low — it’s 50 percent of what it was before the pandemic,” said Greg Wagner, senior vice president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties whose main office is in Wallingford. “If it hasn’t been contracted within a week, you probably haven’t priced it right.”

Sales transactions fell by the same margin in April, with just over 2,400 properties changing hands in Connecticut. With just over 90 deals in April, Stamford has extended its lead over Bridgeport as Connecticut’s busiest market so far in 2023, with 480 properties sold, down 34 percent from the start of 2022.

“There are buyers, but sales can’t improve until there are more properties for sale,” Paul Prionych, CEO of Stamford-based William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty, said in an introduction to a real estate analysis released last month. “A quick look at the new listings taken during the quarter indicates that the inventory situation has not changed yet.”
There were isolated exceptions this year in small pockets of the state, particularly the communities fronting the Long Island Sound from Guilford to Old Saybrook and linking the west bank of the Connecticut River to Chester. In those eight cities, there have been about 20 new listings in total this year compared to the first four months of 2022, an increase of 5 percent.
In Westbrook, 10 more homes sold this year than in 2022, an increase of 70 percent according to Berkshire Hathaway. Westbrook sellers are due in about three weeks this year, about 12 days faster than last year. An indoor mini-bungalow that was put on the market last Friday for about $250,000 has racked up over 1,800 views and 125 “saves” on Zillow after its first weekend.

“You look at where all these ‘dots’ are—they’re all over town, but there’s a lot more… south of I-95,” Wagner said. “It really is the effect of the shoreline.”
In the first four months of this year, the median price of a home sold in Connecticut was $330,000 versus the $10,000 equivalent property the year before. Many properties have had price cuts going back to last summer, but prices are still higher in many cases than what sellers could have expected before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
But many buyers are also facing the highest interest rates since the real estate bubble of 2007 and 2008, along with inflation that makes it more expensive to hire contractors for any work needed in a new purchase, and other costs such as furniture. And buyers need to find landing spots themselves, which complicates any idea of ​​putting their home on the market.

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