I live in a small CT town with a population of about 23,000 persons. According to City Data.com, we have 8,300 houses in town. According to Zillow.com & Realtor.com there are currently about 225 properties for sale in town including SF homes, condos, a few multi-families and some land lots. Every Sunday, the local paper lists recent sales in area towns. For the past 5-6 weeks no sales have been reported for our little town. Last Sunday, the paper reported that 24 properties were sold; 30% of which were sold to the bank for a $1. I did a quick check of neighboring towns with lower populations, similar demographics and higher housing density and their figures seemed to be comparable.
Then I read a blog by CTNewsJunkie that cites a report by the state Labor Department and Economic Development Department that seems to blame the housing market for the pain we suffer. The report contends that “if the slowdown in housing, which began in the summer of 2013, continues, job growth will slow this year and again in 2015. They forecast job growth in CT will “slow to fewer than 20,000 new jobs from YE 2013 to late 2015.” Now that’s new jobs statistics and doesn’t consider a contraction of the total work force due to job losses particularly in the Financial Services and Goods Producing sectors.
It has been my contention for the past few months that the Spring Home Buying Season in CT is a Bust. Homes aren’t selling and Buyers aren’t buying because:
o Mortgage interest rates have risen.
o Investor demand for good deals pushed home prices up
o Home values are optimistic in relationship to inventory and demand
o Job security has turned would be buyers and sellers into “Fence Sitters”
o Job growth in CT has been hampered by a lack of any government initiatives to promote a business climate that would create jobs
Now I’m glad I have an extensive network of referral sources to keep me busy! But I am interested in your take on all this. Are you a First Home Buyer, a Mover Upper, a Down Sizer? Or why are you a Fence Sitter? Is this the banner year you expected? Is it a Buyer’s or a Seller’s market? Is the CT housing market out of the woods yet? I am interested in your feedback and welcome your comments.