The residential real estate market for the Greater Woodstock market area strengthened in 2019 versus 2018. The area saw 242 sales of single-family homes, nearly matching the 244 sales that sold/closed in the break-out, record-setting year of 2017. Homes that sold during 2019 were on the market for an average of just five months before selling, down from a high of nearly 10 months in the middle of the last recession in 2012.
Prices rose in the town of Woodstock itself for regular/non-luxury homes. For example, buyers paid either at or above a seller’s list price in 25% of the transactions. This created special challenges for financed deals because appraisers often could not find a “comp” for the home being sold. Some of these at/above list price cash deals became helpful for appraisal on subsequent financed deals. As other evidence of the tightness in the area, the average negotiating discount – the % difference between a home’s list price and sale price – was just 4.53%, down from 6.33% for 2018 and a record low since we started compiling detailed, quarterly statistical data over 10 years ago. The town of Woodstock was the leader in the 2019 strength, but several of the area towns – namely Hartland, West Windsor, and Bridgewater – also saw more homes sold/closed in 2019 than in 2018.
Supply of single-family homes continued to decline gradually for nearly every town in the Greater Woodstock market, following a trend that has been observed over the past several years. Specifically, there were just 152 houses actively listed on the market at the conclusion of 2019 compared to 164 at the end of 2018, down significantly from the post-recession high of 269 in 2013.
The luxury market in the Greater Woodstock market area was solid in 2019, with 13 sales over $1 million. This is an historically “normal” level of sales but well below the break-out post-recession peak in 2017 when 23 luxury properties sold/closed in the Greater Woodstock market area. Of the 13 lux sales in 2019, nine were in the town of Woodstock itself and the other three were in the town of Barnard. While the inventory of homes listed for over $1 million continued to decline, there is also a “shadow inventory” of luxury properties that are available but not visible on MLS. Overall, we estimate there to be a three to four-year supply of luxury homes for sale (or available) in the Greater Woodstock market area. This has kept a lid on prices in our area as prices on luxury properties has been soaring elsewhere, and therefore offers buyers some very good values for luxury properties in our market. With the stock market rising steadily, we have been seeing savvy investors sell stocks and buy choice luxury properties in our area. We expect this trend to continue in 2020.
Buying activity for the Greater Hanover-Lebanon market area continued to be strong in 2019, essentially matching the pace of 2018 and with several new records being set for the market. The market saw 338 sales of single-family homes in 2019, compared to 350 in 2018. While the number of transactions in Hanover, Lebanon, Hartford, and Lyme were either flat or saw an increase compared to 2018, Norwich saw a 30% decrease from 46 sales in 2018 to just 32 sales last year. While surprising, this reduction is almost certainly due to the very limited supply of homes in Norwich at the onset of and throughout last year.
Prices continued to rise with Hanover, Hartford, and Lebanon each seeing record highs in regard to the average price of sold homes. In 2019, the average price of sold homes in Hanover was up 2% from the previous year and just shy of $750,000, Hartford was also up 20% at $277,000, and Lebanon was up 3% at $295,000.
Another sign of continued strength in the Greater Hanover-Lebanon market area was the average negotiating discount, which has been steadily decreasing from a high of 5.85% in 2010 to a record-low of just 2.48% in 2019. To put this differently, 39% of homes that transacted during 2019 sold either at or above a seller’s asking price. This was even more pronounced in Lebanon, where 50% of homes sold at or above the asking price. The homes that sold in 2019 were on the market for an average of just 2.3 months before they were purchased, the lowest duration on record.
Supply of single-family homes was significantly diminished at the conclusion of 2019. Specifically, there were just 84 homes actively listed for sale on December 31 of last year, compared to 148 on the same date in 2018, a 43% reduction. In Norwich, the decrease was even more pronounced as there were just three homes on the market at the end of 2019, a 73% decrease compared to 2018. Norwich, along with every town in the market area, will need a significant replenishment of new supply early this year to satisfy seemingly unending buyer demand.
Luxury property sales in the Greater Hanover-Lebanon market area were very solid in 2019. There were 15 homes that sold for $1 million or more, down slightly from 2018 which saw 17.
Click on any of the following towns to view market analysis for the full year of 2019 and historical statistics.
Greater Woodstock Market Area
Greater Hanover-Lebanon Market Area