Home sales in Greater Hartford rose in July but did not come close to matching the double-digit gains of the previous month, a new report Wednesday showed, a sign that the spring home buying season lost some of its momentum as it came to a close.
Sales of single-family houses rose nearly 4 percent, to 1,086, from 1,045 for the same month a year earlier, according to the Greater Hartford Association of Realtors.
The median sale price — at which half the sales are above, half below — slipped 1 percent, to $235,000, from $237,4000 in July 2013, the association reported. The group covers 57 towns, roughly from Enfield to Middletown.
"Although closed sales aren't increasing as much as we would hope, the market is favorable for buyers," Jeff Arakelian, the association's president and chief executive, said.
Arakelian said prices remain low, and the array of purchase options remains varied. In July, new listings of single-family house rose more than 12 percent, to 1,853 from 1,649 a year earlier.
Sales in July reflect homes that would have gone under deposit in the previous 60 to 90 days, in the thick of the spring market.
New listings helped push the area's inventory of homes for sale to 7,833, a 16.5 percent increase from 6,720 a year earlier, the association said.
Based on the sales in July and the inventory numbers, there is about a seven-month supply of houses on the market, still a buyer's market. Traditionally, a buyer's market gives purchasers the upper hand in negotiations because there are other attractive alternatives in the market. But July's supply is coming close to six months, which is said to favor neither buyer nor seller. Less than a six-month supply is considered a seller's market.
Pending sales fell a little over 1 percent, to 1,016 from 1,030, indicating there may not be any significant upswing in the next few months.
Through the first seven months of the year, sales of single-family houses rose 1.25 percent. That compares with a 12.5 percent increase for the same seven-month period in 2013.
Home sales in Greater Hartford registered double-digit, year-over-year gains in both 2012 and 2013. In 2013, sales jumped 11.5 percent compared with 2012. Prices stabilized last year.
Agents say fall could provide a bump, although it is not traditionally as strong as the spring home buying season.
The housing market is tied closely to the job market, and there has been more encouraging news this year. In Connecticut, employers added 2,400 jobs in July — the sixth consecutive month of job growth in Connecticut. Those jobs were heavily concentrated in Fairfield County.