Milford housing demand outstrips supply

MILFORD — Even with prices soaring, potential home buyers continue to flock to Milford.

According to Kevin Weirsman, owner of Total Realty Services, LLC, the median sale price of a house in the city increased nearly $43,000 from 2021, to 2022. But that still doesn't prevent houses from receiving multiple offers, he said.

"Over the past two years, we have seen the demand for properties in Milford far outweigh the number of available homes," Weirsman said. "This has certainly been the major driving force on the increase in home values and the median sale price increase."

According to data from SmartMLS, a Milford-based listing service, the median sales price of a house in Milford rose from $407,250 to about $450,000 in 2022.

"The median sales price increase is a true indicator of the strength of our core Milford real estate market," said Weirsman. "The strong desire to live in Milford has increased the price home buyers are willing to pay."

Weirsman said the median sales price increase accurately indicates the strength of the core Milford real estate market.

Dave Ellison, a partner at Ellison Homes Real Estate, said in 2007, the median sale price was $350,000, and after the financial crisis hit, it took until 2020 to get back to that level.

"It took 13 years to break out even again," he said. "Then you go from 2020, the break-even point, ahead two years, and now we are at $450,000. The same number of single-family homes were sold in 2007 and 2022 (540), and the market has increased only 28.6 percent from 2000 to 2022. That's only 1.69 percent per year compound in interest over 15 years."

Despite the increase in average sale price, the number of sales dropped from 692 in 2021 to 540 in 2022, according to Stephanie Ellison, team leader with Ellison Homes Real Estate.

"Partially, people who want to downsize don't have anywhere to go. They don't want to go to a rental in between, so they are staying put," she said.

Dave Ellison said the high demand and low supply has resulted in homes selling quickly.

"(Buyers) have a big fear of not being able to find something because there are so few listings because of the low inventory right now," he said.

He said the median time on the market for a house in 2022 was 16 days, compared to 28 days in 2021.

"They go quickly, and there are multiple offers on those homes," he said.

The current rental market is also a factor in people looking to buy homes, Stephanie Ellison said, with people looking to buy rather than pay high rents.

Currently, the $450,000 range is the most competitive price point because of a combination of people looking to downsize, and first-time buyers generally looking for about that price range, she said.

The $450,000 sales price is the most competitive price range, stated Stephanie, not just because some homeowners want to downsize but because first-time buyers are also looking into the same price range.

Historically, November and December are slow months when it comes to buying homes, but once January starts, the home buying resumes, she said.

"Everybody says 'When is the spring market?' and I tell them it usually starts on January 1," she said. "This year has been exceptional, and we are seeing the same trends from last year, multiple offers on a home, needing more inventory, and going way over the listing price."

Homes on the market listed at less than a half-million dollars are generating five or six offers within days, Dave Ellison said.

"During the first two days on the market, sometimes there's a line at the door, and we have to wait until the next person finishes to go in," he said. "I don't think anybody thought with interest rates doing what they did that this would happen in January."

Weirsman said an important detail to remember is that the mortgage rates, though higher than the past few years, are still below the 40-year average.

"I think most people thought the interest rates were affecting the demand, but they raised the rates in January, and people are still out," Stephanie said. "We have buyers say to us they're waiting for the market to drop, and then they are going to buy. But the biggest takeaway is demand is so high right now, and I think it will continue because all these people need to find something."