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Homebuyers were scarce last month, but prices paid for single-family homes in New London County crept up, according to new numbers released Wednesday.
The region saw a 20 percent decrease in home sales during January compared with the same month a year ago. But the $183,500 median price was up from $179,450 median recorded last January, though significantly lower than the middle price point seen throughout the past year, according to statistics released by Stonington-based Sound Portfolio Investments.
Les Bray, principal of Sound Investment Consultants, said he was at a loss about how to interpret January's relatively poor sales performance. He pointed out, however, that January is a slow time for sales and that a dramatic downshift during the month would have very little effect on the overall numbers for 2014.
"Maybe people are taking a breather and sizing up what to do next," he said.
John Bolduc, chief executive of the Eastern Connecticut Association of Realtors, pointed out that January numbers are largely reflective of deals struck during November, since it takes about two months to close on a home. He said November's relatively snowy weather may have affected January numbers.
"It's mostly about consumer confidence and jobs," Bolduc said.
Bray pointed out that the market is doing pretty well for high-end homes over $500,000 and modest homes below $300,000, but the middle ranges are lagging.
"More than 75 percent of all sales in the county over the last 24 months have been for less than $300,000," Bray said.
At the same time, there were 32 more sales above the $500,000 range than there were the previous year.
"There are two poles," Bray said. "The middle is squeezed."
New London County real estate, January 2014 vs. 2013
|Single-family sales totals||138||110|
|Single-family median price||$179,450||$183,500|
|Condominium sales total||17||19|
|Condo median price||$152,000||$114,000|
SOURCE: Sound Investment Consultants