“Home sales and prices surge!” blares the headline in the Danbury News and thus serves as yet another example of why headline writers shouldn’t be allowed near a newspaper. NYC’s ABC news came by to ask about it this morning and we put Fudrucker in front of their camera because he’s better looking and because he actually knows something about the Bridgeport housing market. My knowledge of the Park City is limited to knowing, I think, that it’s somewhere east of Stamford, wherever that is.
You can catch the Frankie this evening but here’s the deal: of the 43 sales reported in Bridgeport last month, all but one were short sales or sales of bank-owned properties.
These types of sales take months to negotiate so the fact that sales spiked last month merely means that banks and buyers were busy last summer scraping the bottom of the barrel. How low did they scrape? A typical sale was that of a house last sold for $345,000, new construction, selling last month in the low $100′s. No wonder activity is up.
Here’s what the report actually says:
The Warren Group of Massachusetts said Tuesday that 1,291 single-family homes were sold in Connecticut in February, compared with 1,013 in February last year. The group, which publishes the Commercial Record, said the median price for a home sold in the state in February was $227,000, an increase of 3.6 percent compared with the median price of $219,104 the same time last year.
Although it is a positive sign, Timothy Warren Jr., the group’s chief executive officer, said the market is far from recovering the prices it gave up since the recession hit in 2008.
“The median price in 2006 was $345,000,” Warren said. “Last year it was down to $285,000. You lost somewhere between 15 (percent) and 20 percent. It will take three or four years before you get back to being whole.”
Warren said Fairfield and New London counties saw the biggest surge in sales volumes in February. Sales of single-family homes in Fairfield County increased 53 percent, rising from 206 in February 2009 to 315 in February of this year.
Bridgeport was a big player in that sales volume. Sales in the Park City were up nearly 80 percent, according to the report. There were 43 homes sold in the city. Prices in Bridgeport also were up compared with 2009, but are far removed from the price apex of a couple years ago. The median sales price in Bridgeport is $150,000.
“Bridgeport got killed,” said Jared James, of RE/Max Right Choice in Milford. “The people who are feasting on this market are investors.”