Despite the pandemic’s impact on the economy, the Connecticut housing market is set for a robust year in 2021. How can buyers and sellers take advantage of this development? Here’s what to expect if you’re selling or buying a house in CT this year.
How did the Connecticut housing market perform in 2020?
As Connecticut Realtors prepared to commemorate their society’s 100th year coming into 2020, they instead spent the entire year combating the pandemic, finding innovative ways to list and show homes properties safely. Real estate was deemed an essential service in the state, with Realtors receiving a deluge of inquiries and offers as buyers from New York City drove demand for what would be Connecticut’s hottest market in years.
Realtors rose to the occasion, offering alternative and physically distant ways of transacting and showing properties, such as virtual staging, live video, conference calls, and more. Additional safety precautions were also observed for limited in-person home viewings, allowing buyers to view property features in a safe environment.
As a result, there was increased real estate activity, higher demand, steep price increases, and dwindling inventory across Connecticut, including the state’s largest markets. Homes are also spending significantly less time on the market.
Fairfield County, CT, for one, saw the number of homes sold increase by 39.5% in August 2020 compared to August 2019 while Hartford County, CT recorded a 17.52% increase in the same period, according to the Stamford Board of Realtors.
Realtors believe that a combination of anxiety, changing preferences, and a desire for stability and bigger living spaces during COVID-19 also helped attract an influx of out-of-state buyers. As more employers transitioned their employees to remote work and flexible arrangements, the rural parts of Connecticut became an even more viable and attractive location for many buyers.
The pandemic has seen residents moving away from urban areas and into suburban towns and vacation communities. NYC residents, in particular, viewed Connecticut as an escape from the congested metro area.
According to US Postal Service data and a July 2020 WFSB report, over 10,000 NYC residents had their addresses changed to Connecticut between March and June 2020, much higher compared to 1,200 from the same period in 2019.
Zillow also predicts that 2021 will be unlike any other year for real estate across the board, with various market conditions creating what could be the hottest spring shopping season in recent years. The real estate site believes that sales will take place quickly and most homes will sell above list price.
Their forecasts project annual home sales growth at its highest peak in over 40 years, especially as vaccine distribution and financial certainty bring more sellers to the market, and with technology allowing for faster and physically distant transactions with serious buyers.
Changing buyers’ preferences
As the pandemic upended lives and governments around the world imposed stay-at-home orders, buyers’ priorities, lifestyles, and preferences have also changed. Most buyers now look for homes with extra space for remote work, home schooling, and indoor exercise.
Properties with more expansive yards and swimming pools have grown in popularity, benefitting the housing markets in rural areas of Connecticut. With no end in sight for the pandemic, Realtors expect these trends to drive the market for most of 2021.
Connecticut real estate to stay strong throughout 2021
Realtors believe that this year will be just as active as 2020, if not more than, with many sellers taking their time to decide in 2020 before finally listing their homes in 2021 — and just as many buyers eager to see which properties have become available on the market. The Greater Hartford Association of Realtors believes that the Connecticut housing market will stay hot in 2021 for this reason.
For sellers, that means that it is a good year to list their homes – any doubts they might have had about selling in 2020 should come to pass this year. Sellers who also spent most of 2020 getting ready to sell their homes can also start listing this coming spring.
For buyers, dwindling inventory means that they need to act quickly and decisively when their dream home comes on the market. The demand for housing isn’t slowing any time soon, which is why serious buyers should work with an agent who can guide them through the process.
If you’re ready to achieve your real estate goals this year, contact Fazzone & Harrison Realty LLC at 860.307.7203 and 860-3540479, or email KHarrison(at)FazzoneAndHarrisonRealty(dotted)com to get started. We’re a boutique real estate agency offering bespoke services to clients of all backgrounds. With over 30 years of real estate experience, we’d be more than happy to assist you in Northern Fairfield and Litchfield Counties, CT.