Home sales, prices plunge in Connecticut

June 12, 2008 1:39:36 PM PDT
A research firm says house sales and prices in Connecticut dropped sharply in April. Home sales statewide plunged 26.7 percent in April from a year ago, according to The Warren Group, publisher of The Commercial Record newspaper. Fairfield County sales dropped 30 percent in April, compared with the same month last year.

The median sales price for a single-family home in Fairfield County in April was $500,000, down 19 percent from $616,500 a year ago. Statewide, the median price is $263,000.

"When the mortgage market dries up, it hurts everyone," said Timothy Warren Jr., chief executive officer of The Warren Group.

"With stricter underwriting guidelines, fewer people are able to come up with the down payments needed to buy," he said.

"Because Fairfield County has the highest median prices of homes for sale than anywhere else in Connecticut, that makes it much, much harder for young couples to qualify for home financing there."

Year-to-date sales statewide are down 27.32 percent, from 9,382 for the first four months of last year to 6,819 this year. In Fairfield County, year-to-date sales are down 32 percent, from 2,347 in the first four months last year to just 1,608 this year.

The median price of single family homes statewide in April dropped 9.8 percent, to $263,000 from $291,600 in April 2007. Year-to-date, the median price of single-family homes in Connecticut is down 7 percent, from $285,000 last year to $265,000 this year.

Condominium sales in Connecticut dropped 24.72 percent from 1,068 in April 2007 to 804 this year. Year-to-date condo sales are down 31.54 percent, from 3,856 to 2,640.

But condo prices were up 12.82 percent in April, from $195,000 to $220,000. The year-to-date median price rose 2.05 percent from $195,000 to $199,000.

"Although condo sales are down, buyers are flocking to quality," Warren said. "They are taking advantage of the real estate downturn to acquire the best condos possible, and that's been keeping median prices relatively stable - at least for now."


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