Connecticut’s home sale market turned in lackluster price growth in 2019, at less than 1% compared to the previous year — and Hartford County fared even worse, with a slight price decline.
But across Hartford County’s 29 towns and cities, there were bright spots on the price front. The Courant analyzed data from The Warren Group on the largest segment of the home sale market — single-family houses — and found where the median price gains were the strongest in Hartford County. The median is the mid-point of sale prices, half above, half below.
In a bit of a surprise, Hartford came in third, with a 7% increase, rising to $144,500, compared with the previous year.
Low mortgage rates could further boost the activity once the spring market kicks off next month. The spring homebuying market — traditionally the busiest of the year — informally starts when Daylight Saving Time begins and clocks are pushed ahead one hour. The market increase in Hartford isn’t likely to be driven solely by investors buying houses to rent them.
Some towns with more houses priced on the upper end showed little to no increase or even a decline, compared with 2018.
West Hartford Real Estate, for instance, was flat, though the town is one of just a handful in Connecticut that has fully recovered from the housing recession of a decade ago.
Avon Real Estate also was essentially flat, off 0.2%, and Glastonbury Real Estate was down 1.4%, both a year-over-year basis. Both of those towns have not fully recovered from the housing downturn.
Economist Donald L. Klepper-Smith cautioned that smaller samples of sales can skew the results, perhaps because the mix of houses sold has changed in a particular year.
Even so, shifts — up or down — in median sale prices are a well-watched indicator in the housing market.
Here are how the top 10 list for Hartford County shapes up:
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2018 median sale price: $180,501
2019 median sale price: $195,000
Pct. gain: 8%
No. of sales in 2019: 147
Median household income: $67,072
One thing to know: Windsor Locks was home to oldest company on the New York Stock Exchange until 2000, when the Dexter Corp., which manufactured paper goods, split into three separate corporations.
2018 median sale price: $191,500
2019 median sale price: $206,000
Pct. gain: 7.6%
No. of sales in 2019: 242
Median household income: $73,593
One thing to know: Thomas Hooker Brewery, Back East Brewing and Waypoint Spirits are located in town.
2018 median sale price: $135,000
2019 median sale price: $144,500
Pct. gain: 7%
No. of sales in 2019: 287
Median household income: $33,841
One thing to know: The first payphone was installed in Hartford on the corner of Main Street and Central Row, just to the south of the Old State House. A plaque on the Hartford Connecticut Trust Co. building — recently renamed the Stark Building — marks the spot.
2018 median sale price: $284,000
2019 median sale price: $303,000
Pct. gain: 6.6%
No. of sales in 2019: 147
Median household income: $105,777
One thing to know: Originally called “Southfield,” Suffield was settled as a town in Massachusetts in 1670. But it later determined that the town actually was within the boundaries of the Connecticut Charter. Suffield has been a part of Connecticut ever since 1749.
2018 median sale price: $216,000
2019 median sale price: $230,000
Pct. gain: 6.2%
No. of sales in 2019: 318
Median household income: $79,181
One thing to know: At 16 feet, Newington’s Mill Pond Falls is the smallest natural waterfall in Connecticut.
2018 median sale price: $265,000
2019 median sale price: $279,900
Pct. gain: 5.6%
No. of sales in 2019: 243
Median household income: $105,986
One thing to know: John Fitch, credited with designing the first practical steamboat, was born on a farm that is now part of South Windsor. Fitch’s steamboat designs ultimately were not commercially successful. South Windsor is also the home of Venture One Realty.
2018 median sale price: $178,000
2019 median sale price: $185,000
Pct. gain: 3.9%
No. of sales in 2019: 603
Median household income: $64,586
ne thing to know: Bristol was a major center of clock-making in the 19th century. Today, the American Clock & Watch Museum in the town promotes its display as one of the largest in the world, numbering over 5,500.
2018 median sale price: $155,775
2019 median sale price: $161,900
Pct. gain: 3.9%
No. of sales in 2019: 501
Median household income: $52,049
One thing to know: Originally, jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney was located in Hartford, but in 1929, a massive plant was built on an 1,100-acre site in East Hartford to accommodate a rapidly expanding business. The development included an airfield for flight testing its engines. The airfield — Rentschler Field — is now the site of a 40,000-seat stadium.
2018 median sale price: $230,520
2019 median sale price: $239,000
Pct. gain: 3.6%
No. of sales in 2019: 389
Median household income: $81,452
2018 median sale price: $179,400
2019 median sale price: $185,451
Pct. gain: 3.4%
No. of sales in 2019: 542
One thing to know: Colonial Wethersfield was a hotbed of witch hunts well before the more well-known Salem, Mass. witch trials some four decades later. In all, there were nine documented accusations and three executions between 1648 and 1668.
This article was inspired by an article written by the Hartford Courant.
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