//January collapse in Connecticut home sales raises fears

January collapse in Connecticut home sales raises fears

Connecticut’s real estate market was hit hard in January, with single-family home sales hitting their lowest level for the month in a decade, according to the latest data from the Massachusetts-based Warren Group.

There were 1,835 single-family homes sold last month in Connecticut, a 14.5% decrease from January 2018. That is the largest percent decrease in such sales in the state since January 2009, when Connecticut was in the midst of a recession and the housing market saw a 35.3% decline.

Timothy Warren, chief executive officer of The Warren Group, said the steep decline in single-family home sales last month wasn’t entirely unexpected.

“Last year the number of home sales fell in nine of 12 months and for the entire year sales fell by 1.9%,” Warren said. “However, no month in 2018 had a decline approaching the 14.5% decline that we saw last month. Homeowners and prospective buyers are standing fast with their current living quarters.”

New Haven, Conn.

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The median sale price of a single-family home in Connecticut last month was $235,000, a drop of 0.4%, or $1,000, compared to January 2018.

Donald Klepper-Smith, chief economist and director of research for New Haven-based DataCore Partners, said the January housing sales data is further evidence that “the Connecticut housing market pretty much peaked in 2018.”

“The labor market fundamentals are soft right now,” Klepper-Smith said. “The labor market is a function of the housing market and right now, there’s no traction in the labor market.”

Condominium sales in the state also were down significantly, falling 17.6 percent last month with 519 transactions. The median sale price for condominiums was the lone bright spot in January, increasing 2% to $153,000.

That is the highest January median sale price for Connecticut condominiums since 2015, Warren said.

“Despite the increase, the median sale price is still well below the peak price of $191,000 seen in January 2006,” he said.

New Haven County’s median single-family home sale price was down 7.4% — or $16,250 — to $196,500 last month compared to January 2018, according to Warren.

New Haven County condominium sales were down 10.7% in January compared the same period a year ago. The median sale price for condominiums in New Haven County increased by 6.7%, or $7,500, to $120,000.

Middlesex County’s housing market was the hardest hit in the state in terms of a percentage decrease for single-family home sales, off 19% last month compared to January 2018.

The single-family housing market in New Haven and Litchfield counties also was hit hard last month. Single-family home sales fell 18.7% in New Haven County and 18.8% in Litchfield County.

Median sale prices for single-family homes in Litchfield and Middlesex counties rose in January.

The median sale price in Middlesex County was up 9.9%, or $24,500, to $271,500; in Litchfield County it increased by 5.2%, or $11,000, to $221,000.

Tribune Content Agency