July 6, 2018

CT housing posted moderate growth in ‘17

File Photo
File Photo
Fairfield County led the state in new housing permits in 2017, according to DOL.

Connecticut's housing market grew slower than expected last year largely due to modest economic growth, according to the state Department of Labor (DOL).

The latest monthly issue of Connecticut Economic Digest says municipalities in 2017 approved 4,547 permits for single- and multifamily housing valued at $1.18 billion. That represents a 17.4 percent and 25.2 percent decrease, respectively, vs. 2016 and 2015.

Permits for single-family dwellings surpassed those for multifamilies with five more more units. The labor agency says more than 54 percent of housing permits were for single-families, while 42 percent were multifamilies.

Fairfield County again had the largest share of permits (37.8 percent) in the state, ahead of Hartford County (21 percent) and New Haven County (16.5 percent).

Job creation and personal income are a few indicators that could affect the state's housing growth, DOL said.

In 2017, the state gained 1,800 non-seasonally adjusted jobs and seasonally-adjusted employment rose by 8,700 from April 2017 to April this year.

Meantime, Connecticut's unemployment rate was 4.7 percent last year compared to Hawaii's lowest rate nationally at 2.4 percent and Alaska's highest at 7.2 percent.

Personal income in the state, the highest per capita in the nation ($70,121), grew by 1.5 percent in 2017 after it increased 1.2 percent the year prior, the report says.

Connecticut's population, which also impacts the housing sector, grew by 1.7 percent, or 52,867, in 2017. But the state's population has shown modest growth since 2010, the report says.

DOL says the state has also been burdened by a shrinking gross state product (GSP) -- a measure of its output of goods and services -- mainly due to a decline in manufacturing. Connecticut's GSP has decreased since the recession, while neighboring Massachusetts and New York are up 14.3 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively.

However, recent data shows encouraging signs for Connecticut's housing sector. Median single-family home prices in April climbed 6.4 percent to $250,000 vs. $235,000 a year ago, according to Boston publisher The Warren Group.

As of May, single-family home sales totaled 8,478 transactions with a median sale price of $243,000.

Read the report here.

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