County home sales pick up, but volume still low

Sales and prices for New London County homes continued to increase in January compared with the same month last year.

According to new figures provided by Les Bray, principal of the Stonington-based real estate consultancy Sound Investment Consultants,129 single-family homes sold in the region last month, a 9 percent increase from a year earlier. And the median price of homes rose $3,000 to $178,000 during the same period.

Sales of homes were increasing at nearly every price point, except for real estate over $750,000, according to the statistics. Condo sales also saw higher sales numbers and prices, but on very low volume.

"It's still an improving situation," Bray said in a phone interview.

But Bray cautioned that there were a few storm clouds on the horizon - including the possibility of interest rates on mortgages rising and the chance that Congress will move to end tax deductions for real estate - that could negatively affect home sales later in the year. "I'm a little apprehensive about the long term," Bray said.

January is traditionally one of the slowest months of the year in terms of real estate sales, but there were more transactions last month than there had been in any January over the previous five years.

At the same time, January's median price was the lowest seen since the same month last year. But, averaging the median sales price over a rolling 12-month period, the typical home is now selling for $215,000 - $10,000 more than last year, according to Bray's figures.


REAL ESTATE: New London County, January 2013 v. January 2012

Single-family sales: 129, up 9.3%

Single-family median sales price: $178,000, up 1.8%

Condo sales: 14, up 14.3%

Condo median sales price: $148,450, up 12%


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