Stonington sold more single-family homes in 2012 than in previous year and at a higher median price, according to year-end data from the Eastern Connecticut Association of Realtors.
Single-family home sales are significant because they are considered a primary driver of the market. Data for 2012 showed homes sold at a higher median price. The median sale price rose from $280,000 in 2011 to $ 340,250 in 2012.
The $300,000 price point
Debra Chamberlain, a realtor in Mystic and the 2012 State Realtor of the Year, said most of the growth is occurring in homes priced around $300,000.
“We’re seeing people who have been on the sidelines sort of jumping in, and the price point that moving the fastest is under about $300,000,” she said.
The number of Stonington homes sold also rose from 131 to 170 in 2012, the data show.
“Where we see the hesitation in this recovery and this market is with the job issue,” Chamberlain said. “Jobs go home to houses. That’s really the bottom line. And if people are hesitant about their job, they’re going to be hesitant about making that jump (to buy a home).
“It’s a little bit of a hangover, if you will, of the recession.”
New London County as a whole
As a whole, New London County reported a 16.7 percent increase in the number of single family home sales from 2011 to 2012, and a 3.36 percent increase in the median sale price.
John Bolduc, chief executive officer of the Eastern Connecticut Association of Realtors, said that’s about where you want to be. Double digit increases in home appreciation are not desirable because a crash follows, he said.
The last normal year for home sales was from 2000 to 2001, he said.
“We’re not quite back to normal, but I expect that by the end of 2013, we will be back again,” he said. Foreclosures are still dragging down the market a bit, and those will continue for the rest of the year, he said.
Stonington’s neighboring towns also showed improvement in the number of single-family home sales and the median price.
For example, Ledyard sold 128 single family homes in 2011 and 179 in 2012 . The median price rose from $212,500 to $224,900.
Nearby Groton saw the number of home sales rise from 193 to 252, and the median home sale price jump from $220,000 in 2011 to $239,250 in 2012.
Chamberlain said one message is that if need to sell, you can. But you won’t sell a home in three weeks, even if it’s priced appropriately, she said.
“A normal market is at least a six-month selling cycle,” she said, adding, “People just need to get into that mindset.”