How's CT's House Market? Depends Where You Look

Beautiful spacious six-bedroom home, centrally located in a quiet Cheshire community. In today's buyer's market, you would think a home like that would have no trouble drawing attention. At least that's what owner Marty Tyrrel thought.

"We put this house on the market in March at $830,000. We reduced it to $698,000 in December and it's still for sale," Tyrrel said.

Find housing prices for your community here.

Like many Connecticut homeowners, Tyrrel has had to drop his asking price by tens of thousands of dollars and apparently even those who are interested have their own issues to worry about.

"Obviously, we were chasing a down market last year. There has been interest in this house but the people who are interested often have something to sell and they're having trouble selling, so everything is kind of backed up," Tyrrel said.

But while Marty's mission to sell is certainly taking longer than he expected, buyers like Sharon Ruvane are finding hidden gems in places like New Hartford.

"There are certain areas and towns that are more expensive than others. I think if you take the time and look around, that you can be in a nice area," Ruvane said.

In fact, with the help of Prudential, Ruvane just closed on a house she hopes will be in the family for quite some time. She bought the home for her daughter, who is relocating from Pennsylvania.

"It was a tradition in my family. Mom did the same for us," Ruvane said. "We call it the bank of mom, so I'm lending money to my daughter and son-in-law and I can't think of a better investment, especially at this time."

In Simsbury, Coldwell Banker's Katie French has been selling homes in the Constitution State for more than 20 years.

French has seen the ups and downs of the real estate market. Connecticut is unique in the sense that there is no oversupply, she said.

According to the Warren Group, a real estate research firm, home sales in Hartford County have indeed gone down in the past year but Connecticut's drop hasn't been nearly as steep as the national average.

"There aren't as many foreclosures and things like that going on as people think in the area. We are a much more intimate community. We don't have new construction projects going on," French said.

However, for prime real estate such as West Hartford, finding a steal could still be hard to come by. Home sales between $200,000 and $350,000 in West Hartford, Wethersfield and Newington only dropped by 1 to 6 percent over the last year.

However, in Marlborough, Granby and East Windsor, for the exact same price range, the drop in sales has been dramatic. As much as 54 percent.

And let's say you are looking to buy in a higher price range. Perhaps a  home in the $350,000 to $500,000 bracket. 

Burlington, Farmington and Avon record between a 7-11 percent drop in sales. On the other hand, Canton, Simsbury and Glastonbury show as much as a 22 percent dip.

French said it's obvious that some areas have better deals right now than others, but it's important to be diligent and it never hurts to make an offer and see what happens because you just might get the bargain you've been looking for.

"Jump in the game," French said. "It's exciting. Don't be afraid, and if you want to buy a house and you really feel that you are ready to make the change, go make an offer on something you may be surprised."

As for Marty Tyrrel, he's holding out hope that 2009 is a better year.

"I do think things will turn around," he said. 

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