Many publications are marking the one-year anniversary of the pandemic's start, so here's ours for Greater New Haven real estate. Connecticut shut down earlier, and more fully, than most other states, so we immediately felt the effect. While our offices were forced to close until March 23rd, many things were cancelled or postponed right away--except closings. Attorneys and lenders pushed to get those sales through before the "lockdown", and they largely succeeded.
After that, our offices were largely shuttered until July. Some agents worked, some did not. Few had showings at the beginning, and there were no open houses. New listings slowed to a trickle for those first few months. Once the weather got warm, and the infection rate declined, things changed again.
We started to see a movement toward open space, yards, home offices and gyms, and the suburbs, beginning in the second quarter. While most who moved out of NYC were choosing Fairfield County, we did see some sales, especially for vacation homes. What we also saw were local buyers, moving into space that they could work and live in, for the foreseeable future.
When the lack of listings combined with the demand for more space, the market heated up. Prices began to rise, and multiple offers were legion. Even relocating buyers from other parts of the country, whom we thought were gone, jumped into the action. Soon, we were selling almost everything we could list.
The third and fourth quarter saw a continuation of that increased activity, with each month outperforming its corresponding month from the year before, and no typical seasonal slowdown. We worked right through the holidays, and are seeing strong demand as we head into what would have been the typical start of the spring selling season.
Low interest rates, stimulus checks, and continued employment for many have added to the mix. It's a great time to buy, and our prices are still lower than in many other regions, leaving room for appreciation, even at a higher sales price.
What it Means?
When will the party end? When we run out of product. Just as a social gathering can wind down when the refreshments run out, we need more to sell, if we are going to continue to satisfy buyers. Connecticut is still third on the list of outmigration states, so people are leaving. Let's hope enough of them sell property here to keep up with the demand caused by household formation, upsizing, and transferring in to our beautiful region.