A multitude of factors impacted residential sales in Connecticut during 2018; among them, an increase in outbound moves, a tumultuous election season, volatility on Wall Street, and a limited supply of available inventory. Despite these disruptors, the number of homes sold was only down slightly, average time on the market was 86 days, and the average selling price barely changed compared to 2017. Home sales in the $300,000 - $500,000 range were up 6.9% for the year and sold at a faster pace than in 2017. Overall, the luxury market was down, however, Greenwich, Lyme, New Fairfield, Wilton, Sharon, Stonington, Roxbury, Warren, Fairfield, and Groton experienced an increase in home sales priced above $2 million over the prior year. Greater Greenwich ended the year with increases at most price points and the number of homes sold was up 4.4% over 2017.
In the fourth quarter, Connecticut home sales were flat, average sale price decreased by 2.5%, and days on market dropped by 15% for all home types when compared to the third quarter, atypical for the end of the year. In towns where prices were in the sweet spot below $500,000, the number of sales kept up with inventory increases providing evidence that demand is still strong in this segment.
We see a number of bright spots as we enter the New Year. Factual and anecdotal data from our 1,800 real estate professionals suggest that there is significant pent-up demand by buyers on the sidelines, particularly luxury buyers, who are patiently waiting for asking prices to align more closely with their expectations of market value. Developers and builders are actively applying for permits in areas where there is a need for apartments and moderately-sized homes. Finally, interest rates are at their lowest levels in eight months helping to fuel robust demand that we expect to continue in 2019. Therefore, the primary issue for 2019 will be appropriate pricing.