This past summer, buying a house felt like you were competing on a game show. From overbidding to acting fast, it was a struggle for buyers and a big win for sellers. But now buying a home may be getting even tougher the inventory of homes in the greater Hartford area is actually down nearly 30%.
NBC Connecticut's Dan Corcoran sat down with Alexa Kebalo Hughes, the president of the Greater Hartford Association of Realtors to talk about the trends and what that lower inventory means.
Dan: "Alexa, thanks so much for being here. First off, a shortage of homes for sale sounds like a bad thing, but is it?"
Hughes: "So, there is a shortage of homes for sale. However, the demand of the buyers is actually pulled back a little bit as well. And you'll see that to be true because last year, at this time, there be multiple offers and every single property, every single home for above list price, but things have kind of settled down. And I think that it's really kind of easing things up and leveling off a little bit. For the consumer, whether it's the buyer or the seller, we're not having tremendous demand as we had. But we also don't have a tremendous amount of inventory. So things are kind of evening out and leveling out, giving more opportunities for buyers to get in, believe it or not."
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Dan: "What does this say about the Connecticut housing market as a whole and where it could be heading in the months ahead?"
Hughes: "You know, Dan, we had such tremendous appreciation towards the beginning of everything with Covid. As far as month over month, and year over year, a double-digit appreciation in value. Now, as you can see this last study over last year, this time, we're up only 3% over last year for our appreciation and value. Again, no one has a crystal ball. But the pendulum does not seem to be swinging the other way altogether. It is more of a slowdown in the rapid growth in the value that we're having."
Dan: "So we talked about the inventory there. But what about the prices themselves? Do buyers still have to think about budgeting a lot more money than they originally planned in order to actually land one of these homes?"
Hughes: "Great question, Dan. So we're not seeing the multiple offers that we did prior. Right. So we've definitely had a slowdown since the end of the summer. And I think it's very normal this time of year, just so everyone's aware. It's very normal. The market is very cyclical in the sense that things kind of settled down toward the end of the year, we're having more of that normal cyclical experience than we do in a normal market. Whereas last year at this time, it was just full steam ahead."
Dan: "And a lot of people were waiting on the sidelines just watching this the craziness of the market for the past several months or a couple years now. So what's your message to those who are looking to buy a home right now? And what do you say to those considering selling a home?"
Hughes: "Yes, so anyone that's looking to buy a home right now, do not hesitate. If you see a property that suits your needs, the interest rates are so competitive, you're able to lock it in. And don't forget the interest rate is the overall cost. That's really what matters, guys. Everyone lives in the monthly payment. We don't live in the purchase price, okay. You need to get your team together so that way when you see the home that fits your needs, you're able to make a move, make it happen, take action and get into the home before the holidays."