Connecticut Housing Market Picks Up

Home sales and prices are on the rise.

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    The housing market in Connecticut is bouncing back as sales and prices appear to be on the rise.

    In West Hartford, "For Sale" signs are common.

    Rachel Leventhal-Weiner is hoping to put her Griswold Drive home on the market this summer as her family searches for a larger home.

    "We were hoping to sell it when the market was really hot but the problem is that buying in a hot market is a really big challenge too because then you miss out on some houses," said Leventhal-Weiner.

    Home prices in Connecticut jumped more than nine percent in the first quarter of this year, up to a median price of $235,000, compared to the same time last year, according to the Warren Group.

    However, inventory remains low at a time more buyers are looking for homes.

    "You pair the two of them together and you just have a feeding frenzy out there," said Robert O'Meara, a realtor with Keller Williams Realty in West Hartford. "If you want to buy a home that's new to the market, that's in good condition, we're seeing multiple offers. We're seeing sales over asking price. I have several buyers who have written offers at full price that have not won out in the bids."

    Even though prices are on the rise, experts say buyers could still wind up with lower mortgage payments now compared to years and even decades ago when housing prices were lower. That's because interest rates remain below four percent.

    "People are feeling if I don't make the move now I'm going to miss an affordability that's never going to come around again in my lifetime," said O'Meara. "That's really key, the affordability level. We've hit an affordability level we've never seen."

    Besides prices, home sales appear to also be on the rise. The Greater Hartford Association of Realtors reports a 22-percent jump in pending sales of single family homes in March, compared to the same month last year. The organization says closings were up slightly during that same time.

    They're signs the once-stalled housing market is picking up again.

    "It seems like prices are only going to start going further up, so to get a better deal for us we're hoping to buy sooner," said Leventhal-Weiner.

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