Published February 07. 2013 4:00AM
A seven-year skid for Connecticut home sales finally came to an end in 2012, a new statewide report confirmed Wednesday.
The Warren Group, Boston-based publisher of The Commercial Record, cited year-end statistics showing single-family home sales up nearly 15 percent statewide last year.
"An improved employment picture and consumer confidence boosted the housing market in 2012, and prices will slowly follow suit," Timothy M. Warren, chief executive of The Warren Group, said in a statement.
Prices last year were lackluster, down a bit more than 1 percent. But Warren, in a podcast, said this wasn't unusual in a real estate recovery, pointing out that in the late 1980s it took two years of increasing sales before prices followed suit.
"Perhaps we can expect a faster turnaround in 2013," Warren said.
Statistics showed that median prices began to escalate at the end of last year, with a 10 percent bump in December compared with the same month the year before.
"Prices have increased for three consecutive months, which is a promising sign for steady growth in 2013," Warren said.
New London County home sales followed the statewide trend, rising more than 9 percent, according to the publisher's figures. A previous report, by the Eastern Connecticut Association of Realtors, indicated that New London and Windham counties combined showed a 16.7 percent rise in sales last year compared to the same period in 2011.
In New London County, according to The Warren Group, prices rose more than 9 percent last year. Median prices that had been $206,000 for all of the previous year reached $225,000 last year, the statistics showed.
Statewide, sales of single-family homes were the best since 2009.
December sales statewide were up 18 percent from the year before. Sales showed increases in every month last year over the same period the year before, in contrast to 2011, when only two months showed increases.
"This recovery is the real deal," Warren said. "I see it as the product of pent-up demand."
Condominium sales also recorded a solid year in 2012, with transactions rising by 7 percent. But median prices decreased nearly 5 percent.