Region lags behind state in home sales, prices

New London County bucked a statewide trend of rising real estate prices and sales in May.

Home sales across the state rose modestly but prices continued a strong rebound, according to real estate numbers released Tuesday by The Warren Group, publisher of The Commercial Record.

Statewide, single-family home sales were up nearly 3 percent in May compared with the same period last year. But the median price of a single-family home shot up more than 8 percent, according to the new numbers.

"Median prices have increased for eight straight months and show no signs of slowing," Timothy M. Warren, chief executive of The Warren Group, said in a statement.

New London County was the only region in the state to show a decline in prices for both the month and so far this year. May's median price of $227,000 in New London County was off about 7.5 percent from the same month last year.

Condominium prices also are slumping in the region, down nearly 13 percent on the year and off nearly 18 percent in May.

Statewide, the number home sales in May reached its highest level since 2010. A total of 2,356 single-family home sales were recorded in May, up from 2,290 a year ago.

It was the first time since January that sales volume had increased on a year-over-year basis. Sales in the state so far this year are down 2 percent.

"Now that we're well into the prime spring selling season, activity is increasing for sales volume as expected," Warren said.

The statewide median sales price of $268,500 — the highest monthly number of the year — compared with $248,000 a year ago.

Warren said in a podcast that he was a little worried about the rapid rebound in prices. He said personal income would have to grow at a similar pace for the price bump to be sustainable.

"I'm not worried about another bubble in real estate prices unless this rate of increase accelerates and continues for another two years," Warren added.

Statewide, condo prices hit $175,000 in May, a 4.8 percent increase from a year ago. Year to date, condo prices have risen 3 percent statewide, and for the second straight month condo sales also increased.

Warren said price increases are understandable in the context of an improved economy, stronger consumer confidence, a tight inventory and fear that interest rates will rise.

"The spring market is certainly getting robust," he said. "I expect further gains throughout the summer."

Single-family home sales2,3562,290+2.9%
Single-family median price$268,500$248,000+8.3%
Condominium sales605599+1.0%
Condo median price$165,000$160,000+3.1%


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