Because the holidays can often be a busy time of year – starting in November and lasting through the early weeks of January – home and mortgage sales can be limited. However, in New England, the holiday spirit came in the form of closings, as a bevy of home buys took place.
Some of the most active real estate markets were in the southern part of the region. In Connecticut, single-family home sales rose nearly 16.5 percent in November, totaling approximately 2,200 properties, according to data from the Warren Group. During the same month in 2014, just under 1,900 single-family units were purchased.
Median drops in Connecticut despite sales surge
Interestingly, however, the growth spurt in homes sales didn't signal an uptick in list prices. The typical single-family residence was listed at $229,000 in Connecticut, the Warren Group reported, up from $250,000 one year prior. In fact, February and March were the only months in which the median was greater than the corresponding period in 2014.
Timothy Warren, CEO for the Boston-based real estate brokerage, pointed out that contrary to other parts of the country, Connecticut has been a buyer's market for almost all of 2015.
"With prices falling moderately, more people are able to get into the market and buy homes," Warren explained. "Much of the growth in November were in Connecticut's smaller cities and urban areas."
These included towns in Fairfield County, Hartford County and New Haven County. Approximately 492,000 single-family home sales derived from New Haven, up from 425,000 last year over the same 11-month stretch.
Rhode Island sales up 25 percent
In neighboring Rhode Island, home sales were even more robust in terms of growth. Purchases rose by more than 25 percent from year-ago levels. However, unlike Connecticut, the median sales price notched higher, reaching $220,000 from $214,500, a rise of 2.6 percent.
Warren said noted it's clear that New Englanders wanted to take advantage of the favorable weather conditions, as limited snowfall led to increased interest.
Not all interest was increased, though. The financial type held below 4 percent in November, as historically affordable mortgage rates enabled more people to buy homes. The highest mortgage rate during the 30-day period was 3.98 percent, according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
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