Windham County

I look forward to what 2009 has in store, I am cautiously optimistic that the spring season will usher in the calm.  (that would be my crystal ball report!)

But allow me to deal in some real numbers for the 3rd quarter of 2008 as compiled in very factual form by Prudential Connecticut Realty’s own Barry Rosa, I read the whole report and you can too at it is to the right of the main page (eleven pages long, per county separated by residential and condominiums).  For the purpose of my blog, I deal in residential sales in New London and Windham Counties:

New London County  (Groton, Bozrah and East Lyme all had modest price gains)

For nine months so far in 2008, here are the facts:

Days on Mkt                                     Median Sales Price                          Total # of unit sold

140                                                   $255,000                                        1316

For the same nine months in 2007, here are the facts:

Days on Mkt                                     Median Sales Price                           Total # of units sold

138                                                   $280,000                                        1903

Notes:  Median means just a many above as below, there is an 8.9% drop in house prices in year to year comparison, units sold are 30.8% less in 2008

Windham County (Wauregan and Woodstock both had modest price gains)

So far for 2008:

Days on Mkt                                    Median Sales Prices                           Total # Units Sold

138                                                  $205,000                                           613

Same months in 2007

Days on Mkt                                     Median Sales Price                             Total # of Units sold

143                                                  $230,000                                            717

Notes:  That is a 10.1% drop in house price and a 14.5% drop in total units sold

So, I suspect that now that it is being called a recession, maybe that means we are on our way out?  Cross your fingers and read the NAR economic report linked below.


My eight year old is playing in his first super bowl and I (we) are so proud!  Largely because he has made it through the learning curve, muddled his way through his first year largely playing special teams (kick off team) and occasional safety on defense.  He literally skips onto the field every time he gets put in…(so not football but really darn cute).  This is the same kid who explained bed sizes in this fashion; “if the big one is a King, medium is Queen, then this one must be a Jack, right mom?”  Who can argue with that…he’s right!

I am certain my boys glory years on the field are yet to come, but he has learned a lot and never got discouraged.  He missed only one practice and tried really hard.  I share this on my real estate blog to A) Brag about my terrific, hearty child and B) To suggest they can’t all be glory years, sometimes we just gotta learn.

The trick is applying what we have learned…So what has the current real estate climate taught us

1.  Neither the Highs or the Lows are all that good, sometimes being in the middle is just fine.

2.  The bigger they are…you know the rest.  Those McMansions have been hit hardest in this market, and many of the once mighty have fallen, got a little big for their britches.

3.  There are always going to be folks on the move, houses do indeed sell everyday.

4.  Real Estate is a long term investment!  It was never meant to have a short turn around time with fast cash.

5.  If it sounds too good to be true…read the fine print!  Be absolutely certain to understand your mortgage terms and conditions, rates, prepayments, etc.  If I had a dime for everyone who has said to me, “I didn’t know it said that” in the last 2 years….yikes!

6.  Whereas I am a firm believer in the investment value of real estate, it is a home first and foremost and that is absolutely priceless!

7.  The American Dream endures, even through less than ideal times.

So be fierce!  This is but a blip on the radar, it’ll pass!  Now go out and win the game :-)!

Music to everyone’s ears!

Summer is winding down and here are some town by town facts as to current under deposit numbers:

Canterbury – Total active listings 42

10 under deposit, show for backup or hubbard listings

Price at time of deposit = $145,000 to 575,000

Average price of pendings = $264,900

Average DOM prior to deposit = 113

Lisbon – Total active listings 35

4 Pending listings

Price at time of deposit = $199,900 – 595,000

Average price of pendings = $300,950

Average DOM at time of deposit = 94.25

Griswold – Total active listings 98

18 Pending listings

Price at time of deposit = $135,000 to 385,000

Average price of pendings:  $234,766

Average DOM at time of deposit: 101.72

Voluntown – Total Active listings 23

2 pending listings

Price at time of deposit = $219,000 to $259,900

Average price of deposits:  $239,450

Average DOM at time of deposit:  259.50

These are the facts!  Interesting is the ratios:  Canterbury is doing the best at 23% of its total inventory under deposit, Griswold is 2nd at 18% , Lisbon 3rd with 11% and Voluntown comes in 4th at 8%.  Sometimes numbers do lie, take for example Lisbon with an average price of $300 on pendings..of the 4 pendings 2 are at 199,900, 1 at 209,900 and 1 at 595,000 which dramatically brings up the average price.

Average price for all 4 towns, $260,016.50.

Disclaimer:  Pendings do not reflect final sales price, this information is not available until after closing of the property.  But what we do know, the properties that are drawing the buyers is the $260,000 and under market.

So the 2008 2nd quarter data has been tabulated…again by resident Prudential Connecticut expert Barry Rosa.  What I always find so fascinating is that the numbers just are not as bad as the media reports.

Here are some local town facts:  (real numbers, year over year ’07 to ’08, residential single family facts)

Town   Dom ’07   Dom’08  %change  Median Sale $ 07  Median Sale $ ’08  # sales ’07   # sale ’08

Franklin   88           192       118.2%      $231,000             $315,000                6                   3

Griswold   121        113       -6.6%        $233,000             $217,500                 65                 56

Lisbon      117         164       40.2%        $253,500            $246,000                 20                 21

Voluntown 148        136       -9.6%       $298,000             $250,000                 11                 18

Canterbury 158        150       -5.1%       $340,000             $235,000                 21                 15

The upshot…what I believe is the most important aspect; is there are less total units being sold.  Only 3 towns in New London County are experiencing increased unit traffic; they are Voluntown, Lisbon and the impressive Sprague at 125% increase in unit traffic.  4 towns in Windham County experienced increase unit traffic year over year.

You can view the entire State of Connecticut report, plus condo information at to the right of the home page, rightfully titled “The Market Report”.  Good Stuff!

Not quite…

Unofficially, summer kicks off this weekend so perhaps it is time to put that call into Mother Nature…she didn’t get the memo.

Out showing some houses yesterday…a 1900’s charming cape and grand contemporary in Canterbury, (of course)…it dawned on me that we are summer lacking this Memorial Weekend.  It is likely the winter coats worn by the kids that tipped me off and the cape has what is obviously a spectacular pool, patio, 3 season porch area which remains winter closed.  When the weather cooperates, that shall be a huge selling feature for the house.

Real Estate showings are so much more fun during the warmer months.  Every house has improved curb appeal, yards get far more scrutiny (it is far more pleasant to do so) and the focus shifts from steep driveways and heating costs to usable land and deck space.  Decks are huge; even REALTOR Magazine recently noted it as one of the best home improvements a seller can make.

Since I hear noone is driving anywhere at $4.12 per gallon (and I drive a Prius..still mad), why not work that yard, be sure to open that pool, pull out the deck furniture and focus on the outdoor living…even if you must do so in your parka :-)!

Happy Memorial Day!  Welcome to summer real estate!


Canterbury and I have become so close of late that my navigation system may be in danger of losing its job in this town!  It is incredibly odd how dependent I have become on this front seat driver–what would I do if she no longer nagged me to turn left in .2 miles on Lisbon Road?  Imagine if someone tried to pull that from the back seat?  But I digress…

Canterbury is of where I type!  Home of 38 active listings and 1 new one.  I have been stalking this town relentlessly for a couple of interested parties and while I have always been a fan of this Windham County town,  checking out the nooks and crannies has led me to fall in deep like.  I think I have a crush on what the town website dubs “a gem in Connecticut’s Quiet Corner”, Canterbury.

I have learned that Canterbury was previously part of Plainfield and was incorporated in 1703.  And another juicy tid bit, it is the birthplace of Moses Cleveland, founder of the City of Cleveland, Ohio.  It is the home of the Prudence Crandall museum which I must make a point to go visit. 

What I have seen is some gorgeous land with lots babbling brooks and streams.  The town covers some 40 square miles and its principal industries are dairy farms and small businesses.  It is true New England lovely; Canterbury does the small town thing quite well!

You can check out the official town web site at (some gorgeous pics are on this site)

And the real estate is:

Total Active Listings:  39                           Range of value:  $65,000 to $574,900

Total Pending Listings:  4                          Range of value:  $63,900 to $300,000

Closed in last 60 days:  5                          Range of value:  $74,900 to $565,000

Average days on market:  67.8

Average sales price:  $249,360

Real Estate style, of course!

We have officially wrapped up the first quarter of 2008 and the Pru resident expert of such things, Barry Rosa has compiled the data and submitted his report at (to the right of the home page under Market Report).  This is an interesting read on account that it further validates that all real estate is local.

In fact, the following is a list of towns in New London and Windham Counties that have posted increases to the median house prices year over year:  Bozrah, Groton (118%..nice), Lebanon, Ledyard, Salem, Stonington, Brooklyn, Chaplin and Wauregan.  Goes to show us that it is not all gloom and doom out there…some towns are quite perky!

And things are just starting to warm up…the second and third quarters are typically the busiest of the year.   After a lack luster November and December of 2007, the first quarter of this year has struggled to play catch up.  March and the first week of April posted stronger pending numbers. (this will not reflect in closed sales until the 2nd quarter)

The Good News??  Connecticut is outperforming the national numbers!  So please do not believe us a pea in a pod…certainly New London County is holding it own. 

Think locally, not nationally when it comes to your real estate perspective. 


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