Eastern Connecticut home and land sales increased in the third quarter, eliciting cheers from leaders in the construction and real estate industries.
Sales of single-family homes in New London and Windham counties combined rose 17.33 percent to 799 units from 681 a year earlier while land sales, an important indicator for new home construction, grew 147.37 percent to 47 units from 19, the Eastern Connecticut Association of Realtors reported Tuesday.
“Inventory is down and demand has been pent up,” said Renee Main, executive officer of the Salem-based Builders and Remodelers Association of Eastern Connecticut, which represents construction companies. “Hopefully, after the election, people will calm down and things will continue to get better.”
Single-family homes are the largest segment of the real estate market. New London County sales climbed 16.33 percent to 570 units from 490 a year earlier for the three months ended Sept. 30. Windham County posted a gain of 19.90 percent to 229 units from 191. Just as important is the firming trends in prices with New London County’s median sales price increasing 6.26 percent to $233,500 for the period while Windham County rose 3.44 percent to $165,500.
Median price for the two counties combined has risen for three consecutive quarters, noted John Bolduc, CEO of the Franklin-based Realtors association.
“I think consumer confidence has a lot to do with it,” he said Tuesday. “There has never been a better time to buy.”
Connecticut’s growing unemployment rate, including hundreds of recent layoffs at Mohegan Sun, could slow activity going forward, Bolduc said.
Foreclosures are weighing less heavily on the market, enabling prices to stabilize, Bolduc said. Yet it’s taking longer to sell homes with New London County’s average days on market for single-family sales rising to 109 from 94 in the third quarter while Windham County’s days climbed to 97 from 93.
The lower end of the market showed strength with mobile home sales doubling to 42 units from 21. Unit sales in all six market segments tracked by the Realtors association rose with sales for all segments combined rising 20.80 percent to 1,051 from 870, group statistics showed.
Activity is expected to slow in the fourth quarter because it is traditionally one of the year’s slowest quarters, Bolduc said. Financing is still proving difficult to obtain for some in the construction industry, Main said.