Home sales in Connecticut surged more than 9 percent in February compared with a year ago, a new report Tuesday shows, far stronger than the activity reported for the Hartford area alone.
Statewide sales of single-family homes rose to 1,532, compared with 1,404, according to the report, from the Connecticut Association of Realtors.
The statewide statistics contrasted sharply with a report last week from the Greater Hartford Association of Realtors that showed home sales in the association's 57-town area rose just 1 percent for the same period. The association covers an area from Enfield south to Middletown.
Both sets of numbers are drawn from Multiple Listing Service data.
Sales that close in February represent purchases that generally went under deposit in the previous 45 to 60 days.
The statewide surge in February could bode well for the spring home-buying season, traditionally the strongest of the year. Last year, however, was disappointing, with statewide home sales ending up flat. Real estate professionals had expected a third year of gains to boost the state's recovery from a housing recession dating to 2007.
Home sales picked up last fall, again raising hopes for this spring.
Sandy Maier Schede, the association's president, said February's activity could provide an early indication of trends for the spring.
"The positive signs we saw in the market appear to be resulting in real growth," Schede said in a written statement.
In February, the statewide median sale price — in which half the sales are above, half below — for single-family houses was nearly flat. According to the association, the median slipped less than 1 percent in February to $225,000 from $227,000 for the same month a year ago.
The decline in median does not necessarily mean that the value of all homes are flat. The market can vary widely from town to town, even neighborhood to neighborhood. The median also can be influenced by the mix of properties that are sold.
The trends in February for Greater Hartford did show some positive signs. Pending sales of single-family houses in February — properties that went under deposit — jumped more than 14 percent compared with the previous year.
Pending sales are another well-watched indicator of future sales activity.