Although nationally there has been a huge recovery in real estate prices this past year, New Haven is one of only six cities in the country that did not report higher real estate prices from May 2013 to May 2014.
This stagnation in home prices has caused concern from realtors and city officials who said this may be a troubling indication of the state of New Haven’s economy. In response to this news, city officials said that their plans to improve living standards in the city should help fix the problem.
“The city is working on a number of initiatives that would indirectly improve the market. Bringing jobs to the city, improving the public school system, keeping city streets safe would all have an indirect effect on home prices,” said Laurence Grotheer, Director of Communications at the Office of the Mayor of New Haven.
But in the meantime, realtors are struggling to come to terms with a difficult financial situation. Last year there was an initial rush of buyers, but the market has since slowed and prices have not risen, said Linda Schauwecker, the co-owner of Real Estate Two Inc.
John Cuozzo, Principal and Broker of Press|Cuozzo Realtors, has experienced similar problems providing his services in the Greater New Haven area. Cuozzo said the lower real estate prices are a product of Connecticut’s slow recovery from the 2008 financial crisis.
“Connecticut has not rebounded as other states have and the real estate market in New Haven is suffering as a result,” Cuozzo said.
Stagnating home prices throughout New Haven have not impacted University Properties, according to Bruce Alexander, vice president for New Haven and state affairs. He added that University Properties owns downtown property but doesn’t participate in home sales.
“Our objective in the University’s community investment program is to improve the state of the New Haven economy, not depend on it, ” Alexander said in an email.
University Properties, he added, has not experienced any difficulty in recruiting or retaining new tenants.
This data may not be cause for despair, Mark Abraham, the Executive Director of DataHaven said in an email. Housing price trends should be observed over many years, especially in a relatively small market, Abraham added.
Furthermore, family home prices may not be related to other real estate projects, such as commercial development or other types of housing, Abraham said.
Cuozzo and Schauwecker are more apprehensive than Abraham. They argued that an improvement in the economy as a whole is a prerequisite in raising housing prices, and they have not seen promising economic indicators.
“People having jobs is the big factor here,” Schauwecker said. Cuozzo said that home real estate prices will improve once people feel more confident about their employment, receive consistent pay raises and the economy improves in general.
Hartford also did not record an increase in housing prices last year.
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