Are CT real estate prices finally coming down? ‘There’s a lot of wildcards out there’

Are CT real estate prices finally coming down? ‘There’s a lot of wildcards out there’

Roger Pettingell Sarasota Real Estate

The New Fairfield ranch was on the market at $375,000, and the buyer happened to be stateside while visiting from the United Kingdom. After two years of house-hunting, Marlyn D’Amico’s client liked what she saw in the Candlewood Lake town where her family had spent time in her youth, and put in a cash offer at the asking price to get the keys.

D’Amico, a Bethel-based agent with Re/Max Right Choice Real Estate, says she is seeing evidence that housing prices in western Connecticut are starting to come back within reach of some who were unable to swing a deal in the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“She saw the market change right before her eyes, and she was getting a little bit more anxious to get something,” D’Amico said of the New Fairfield home buyer. “A lot of the buyers that are actively looking now have missed out on opportunities, … because they just were not competitive. We’re seeing more typical, first-time home buyers finally getting their offers accepted because they’re not dealing as much with the hyper-demand that we had.”

Just over 21,700 residential properties sold in the first six months of 2022 in Connecticut, according to a preliminary count published by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties. That was a 16 percent drop from the first six months of 2021 that represented the peak wave of relocations and secondary home purchases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the first six months of this year, the median-priced home in Connecticut sold for $375,000 — more than 200 sold at that price as tracked by Zillow including the New Fairfield ranch — which was about $25,000 more than the median property in 2021.

Pockets of Connecticut were able to improve on the 2021 spring market, however, including Hartford where transactions shot up 20 percent in the first six months of 2022 compared to the same period a year earlier; and New Haven where sales climbed 5 percent. Both cities’ real estate markets are dominated by rentals.

Most Fairfield County communities fell significantly off the torrid sales pace of 2021, though Stratford home sales were flat from the first half of last year, and Danbury saw just a 4 percent decline. Stamford led the state with nearly 780 transactions, down 18 percent from the first six months of 2021.

“I think it’s definitely a transitional quarter — there’s a lot of wildcards out there with the economy nationally and globally,” said Paul Breunich, CEO of William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty based in Stamford. “A lot of people stepped out of the market when they lost three, four or five deals. There’s a whole potential demand pool out there, who got burned out.”

Breunich and brokers with other firms say New York City residents continue to show up at open houses — many with the cash to beat out competing offers. In the first six months of this year, Connecticut sellers got 3.1 percent more than their listing prices on average as reported by Berkshire Hathaway.

A Round Hill Road estate in Greenwich was the top sale of the first half at $17.7 million. That number would be eclipsed if Darien completes the proposed purchase of the privately owned Great Island for $100 million. That would rank as the second largest U.S. residential sale this year according to Real Estate Gurus, after Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s deal to acquire a Palm Beach, Fla. property for $173 million.

Includes prior reporting by Raga Justin.

Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman


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