Good news in January 2023 for the Connecticut real estate market
Last month we reported that the reality of how the Connecticut single-family real estate market has been performing is both contrary to and far better than what and how the media reports their rendition of the truth.
And as we look back at how the first month of 2023 was, we remain optimistic and upbeat about where the real estate market is heading.
Fairfield County performed at the low end of the spectrum in 2022 in comparison to Litchfield County and the CT Shoreline. As we reported here the average sales price in Fairfield County in 2022 increased 1.5% over 2021 whereas Litchfield County increased by 8.2% and the CT Shoreline increased 12%.
We cannot compare how those markets did in January 2023 and January 2022 to how they did over the course of those full years, however, there may be some good news heading Fairfield County’s way.
In January 2023 there were 362 single-family homes sales in Fairfield County with an average sales price of $895,625. In January 2022 there were 606 sales with an average sales price of $857,953. That means that while there was a 40% decline in quantity of homes sold, there was still a 4.4% increase in the average sales price and a 5.45% median sales price increase. Homes are still routinely selling at or above asking price.
In January 2023 there were 745 single-family home sales on the CT Shoreline with an average sales price of $382,556. In January 2022 there were 1071 sales with an average sales price of $371,319. That means that while there was a 30% decline in quantity of homes sold, there was still a 3.0% increase in the average sales price and a .33% median sales price increase.
In January 2023 there were 120 single-family home sales in Litchfield County with an average sales price of $471,477. In January 2022 there were 173 sales with an average sales price of $455,987. That means that while there was a 31% decline in quantity of homes sold, there was still a 3.4% increase in the average sales price.
What Should You Do?
The numbers are clear: Connecticut remains and likely will remain a wonderful place to sell a home for the foreseeable future with multiple offers for many properties and buyers still very much aware that they will have to pay up at or above reasonable asking prices. Sellers that force their agents to ask a higher price than reasonable will still be faced with price cuts and buyers trying to negotiate the final deal. Sellers that trust their agent to price their homes at or just below the market value will get at least as much or more than asking price.
In fact, if you are seriously considering selling this season, you may want to act sooner rather than later. According to CT Insider, “Over the first few days of February into Friday morning…new listings were hitting the Connecticut market at a pace of more than 200 properties daily as tracked by Zillow, an escalated rate even from the final days of January.”
But this is also a good time to buy!
Not only have average mortgage interest rates been falling the past couple of weeks but additionally 2023 saw the debut of several helpful loan products, particularly for first-time homebuyers.
“There are several new and improved programs, particularly for first-time home buyers, that have favorable rates and new ways to qualify,” said Rand Pear, VP of Lending at Guaranteed Rate. “These new programs really open doors, even for condos and for purchasing multi-family homes as a primary residence.”
In addition to these new programs, average mortgage interest rates for new loans have been falling the past couple weeks. According to Freddie Mac the U.S. 4-week average for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 6.17%, but that has fallen this past week to 6.09%.
“The Federal Reserve may have raised the prime rate lately but the Fed’s prime rate and average mortgage rates do not always track together,” explained Pear. “Mortgage interest rates increased so much that it had such a dampening effect on demand that banks and lenders are now lowering rates to bring in more customers.”
 We define the CT Shoreline broadly as the counties east of Fairfield County stretching to Rhode Island.