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Connecticut Home Sales at Slowest Pace in 22 Years

Sales of single-family homes in Connecticut for the first quarter and for the month of March fell more than 20 percent from last year's levels, according to a report released Monday by New England real estate researcher ""The Warren Group"":http://www.thewarrengroup.com. Single-family home sales from January through March fell 27.7 percent to 3,568, down from 4,932 homes sold a year earlier. It was the slowest sales pace for a first quarter since The Warren Group began tracking Connecticut home sales in 1987. A total of 1,492 homes were sold in March, down 21.1 percent from 1,891 in March 2008.
The single-family median home price in Connecticut plummeted nearly 18 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, the steepest drop in home prices for any quarter since The Warren Group began tracking the state’s housing market. The median selling price for single-family homes fell 17.6 percent in the first three months of 2009 to $220,000. During the first quarter of last year, the median home price in the state was $267,000. The March median home price fell 18.1 percent. According to The Warren Group, Connecticut's monthly median home prices have been falling by double-digit percentages year-over-year for six consecutive months now.
Timothy M. Warren Jr., CEO of The Warren Group, said, ""Like Massachusetts, Connecticut’s housing market really struggled in the first three months of the year. The last quarter was the worst first quarter in terms of median home price declines and unit sales. There is some hope that incentives like the first-time homebuyer tax credit and low mortgage interest rates can help boost sales, but even those types of perks won’t bring a dramatic turnaround in sales if people are struggling with job loss and salary cuts.""
Fairfield and Litchfield counties had the most dramatic drop in sales and median home prices during the beginning of the year, helping to drag down the overall housing market in Connecticut. The Warren Group reported that single-family home sales in Fairfield County plunged 35.2 percent in the first quarter, while it's median home price dropped 27.2 percent to $370,000. Litchfield County’s home sales were 32.3 percent lower than last year, and its median home price was $205,000, a decline of 24.6 percent in the first quarter.
The Warren Group found that Connecticut’s condominium sales during the first three months of the year also fell to the lowest first-quarter level in at least 22 years. Condo sales plunged 39.5 percent compared to the first quarter of 2008. Based on the company's market data for the state, monthly condo sales have fallen by 20 percent or more year-over-year for the last 15 months. But, the research company noted, median condo prices haven’t retreated as much as single-family home prices. The first quarter median condo price fell only 6.3 percent to $178,000, down from $190,000 a year ago.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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