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Connecticut is a popular place to live among the New England region of the US. With its high per capita income, close proximity to well paying jobs in New York City, and low taxes compared to New York City, Connecticut has made a name for itself as a great place to call home. Known as the “Constitution State” or “Nutmeg State,” Connecticut’s residents are most densely populated along the southwest corner of the state, so as to easily live, work, and commute within the Tri-state area.
Connecticut is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. Connecticut is part of New England, but it isn't uncommon to have it grouped with New York and New Jersey to make up the Tri-State area. It is the third-smallest state by land area, and the twenty-ninth most populous state in the nation. The state was originally three colonies that merged into one larger crown colony, and Connecticut was also one of the original thirteen colonies that revolted against British Rule during the American Revolution.
Connecticut has the highest per capita income of any state, and it also has the third-largest number of millionaires per capita of any state. Finance and insurance are the two largest economic influences in the state, and people come here for the broad range of jobs available. Connecticut has large cities, smaller communities, and more rural areas to choose from.
Connecticut is known to be one of the safest states in the nation, and this prompts people to move here each year. No matter where you live in Connecticut, you're usually no more than an hour away from a large city, and this makes finding work easy for people who are just starting out in their careers. There is also a variety of higher-paying jobs in the area, and the housing market is pretty stable since it has started recovering from the housing market collapse.
People move out of Connecticut because the cost of living is higher than the national average. The state's income tax rates are also putting a strain on residents, and they're taxed on income they make in the state and out of the state. It goes by a tiered system, and on average, residents make around $72,000 annually:
People who are in their mid-30s to their early 40s find Connecticut an attractive place to live because they're usually secure in their career choices and established enough to be able to afford the higher cost of living and the yearly income taxes. Younger people may find the area attractive as well if they come from families with money or they get a high-paying job.
The state of Connecticut has about 3.5 million residents, but it has high real estate prices and a steep property tax. It is still trying to recover from the mortgage crisis more than a decade later, although this situation does create a buyer's market. Home ownership rates peaked across the state at 73% in 2003 and fell to 64.2% in 2016.
Major metro areas had close to the same historic real estate trends as the state of Connecticut did as a whole. The early 1990s saw the real estate market on a downward slope that began to level out at the start of 1992. This trend continued until the end of 1993 when the market fell, hitting a low point in the first quarter of 1995. This marked the beginning of a slight climb that peaked in the middle of 1996, only to quickly drop off once again.
However, the end of 1996 brought the start of a climb for the real estate market, and this continued until 1998 when the market began to climb at a steeper rate. This continued largely uninterrupted until 2004 when it hit a slight peak. This leveled out quickly, and the market resumed its climb and started a more gradual climb in 2006. This led to the first peak, and the first signs that the housing market was in trouble.
Connecticut fared well during the housing market crash. Markets did fall, but they fell at a slightly more gradual pace than the rest of the nation. The first quarter of 2006 showed the first slight signs that the housing market was in trouble as the steep climb the market had been on previously slowed to a much more gradual climb. This continued until the market hit its first peak in the first quarter of 2007.
Once it hit this peak, it began to go on a gradual descent with its second peak in the first quarter of 2008. The market quickly resumed its drop until it peaked again in 2009. From the first to the third quarter of 2009, the market dropped rapidly, only to plateau out and up slightly throughout 2010. It dropped off once again from the first quarter of 2010 until the second quarter of 2011, and it rose to a final peak in the fourth quarter of 2011. The market varied from the national trend as it didn't hit its lowest point until the first quarter of 2014. Since then, it has slowly begun to climb back up, but it is still nowhere near the numbers it was at before the crash.
The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk Metro had a similar story as Connecticut overall. The housing market hit its peak early in the second quarter of 2006 before dropping into a slight plateau that lasted until 2007. From 2007 to 2008, the market dropped at a gradual descent, and they fell at a slightly more rapid pace once the first quarter of 2008 came and went. It dropped until 2009 when it hit a slight peak that quickly dropped off once again until the third quarter of 2009 when it began a more gradual descent.
This descent ended at the start of 2010, and the market climbed until the third quarter of 2010 when it started to drop again. It hit one more slight peak at the start of 2011 before falling again. The market leveled out, and it finally hit its lowest point in the first quarter of 2014. Since then, it has very slowly been recovering. However, it is nowhere near the numbers it was at before it fell in 2006.
The New Haven-Milford Metro also began to see early signs that the housing market was in trouble as early as 2006. The market hit the highest point in the first quarter of 2007 and began to gradually descend until it hit a slight peak in 2008. This dropped off quickly, and the market resumed its fall until it hit a slight plateau in 2009. This plateau ended with another fall that rose into a small peak in 2010 before dropping and hitting a plateau that lasted all of 2011.
It dropped once again, and it finally hit its lowest point in the first quarter of 2014. The market stayed around its low point throughout 2014, and it has been rising very slowly since. The market in this metro isn't very healthy yet, and it is continuing to stay very low. The current housing market numbers are far removed from where they were prior to the crash.
The Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford Metro did well during the housing market collapse. It too started showing signs of trouble in early 2006 followed by a peak in 2007. It dropped slightly after this peak, but it didn't really begin to fall until it hit another peak in 2008. After this peak, the market fell until the first quarter of 2009, when it peaked again.
It fell again until it hit a short plateau at the end of 2009. This plateau ended quickly, and the market resumed its fall. 2010 and 2011 both saw rapid peaks followed by falls, with one final small peak in 2012. It dropped off again and hit its lowest point in the fourth quarter of 2013. Since then, the market has experienced a rocky trend with rises and drops. As of 2017, the market is rising, but it is still very low.
Condominiums and townhouses in Connecticut are much more affordable than single-family homes, with a median selling price of just $176,000. Prices in this category, however, are growing faster compared to single-family dwellings, with a 5% year-over-year uptick.
While prices of condos and townhouses are rising in Connecticut, the number of sales is decreasing. At last count, they were decreasing at about 3% annually. Because Connecticut is such a small state, only about 900 units in this category are sold each year.
Sales of single-family dwellings have been on the rise lately. The most recent year saw an increase of around 4% from previous figures. The number of homes sold in the state is also rather low—less than 4,000 every year.
The number of sales of all home types throughout the United States has been increasing at 0.2%. In the Northeast, the rate is a significantly higher 1.4%. So Connecticut is experiencing strong growth in the category of single-family homes.
RealtyTrac, an organization that monitors home foreclosures throughout the United States, pegs Connecticut's rate at 1 out of every 1,282. This is much higher than the national average of 1 out of every 2,100 homes.
The Connecticut Association of Realtors estimates that the median home price in the state hit an all-time high in 2007 at $315,000. Values began declining and didn't bottom out until 2012, but dropped again in 2014.
In 1985 the homeownership rata across the state stood at 69%. Ownership fell to a cyclical low of 63.8% in 1994 before peaking at 73% in 2003. By 2005 ownership fell to 70.5% and hovered in that range until 2011. Since then owership has slid consistently and fell to a low of 64.2% in 2016.
Prices hit another bottom in 2015, a year in which many other areas had recovered from the mortgage crisis. For example, home values in the Seattle metro area were almost at pre-crisis levels in late 2015.
According to the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, the number of lis pendens filings, which are indicators of foreclosure activity, almost doubled in the three years from 2006 to 2009. Even more shocking, nearly 1 out of every 14 mortgages in the Constitution State was at least 90 days past due or in some phase of the foreclosure process.
As the economy worsened, more people found themselves in the unemployment line, which further exacerbated the state's housing problems. As the number of foreclosures increased, the housing market was flooded with too much supply, which put more downward pressure on prices.
The amount of time for a home to sell in Connecticut reached its peak in late 2008 and early 2009, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Existing homes took 11 months to sell during this period, while new homes took a longer 12.4 months.
In August of 2009, the number of existing single-family homes for sale reached a peak, according to NAHB. In October of the same year, the number of new homes for sale reached a low of 239,000, the lowest number Connecticut had seen since 1971. Such a low number indicates that housing construction in the state slowed substantially when the mortgage crisis was at its worst.
There is a broad range of real estate prices throughout the state of Connecticut with prices lowering as you go further to the central and eastern parts of the state. Home values in the Constitution State today are still below pre-Recession levels. They have been increasing since 2016, but not nearly fast enough to reach 2007 prices. At the rate they are currently increasing, it could be a decade before pre-crisis values are achieved. Many hedge funds based out of Greenwich and the upper income Connecticut commuters who work in NYC have helped Connecticut to have the second highest number of million dollar homes after California and skewed median home prices to much higher levels.
The median home value in Connecticut is higher than the national average. The typical selling price in the Constitution State is roughly $276,300. This figure reflects a greater than 2% increase from previous data. Home prices in Connecticut tend to increase the closer you get to the state’s shared border with New York. This area is home to Greenwich, which hosts the headquarters of several hedge funds. Also stationed in this area are upper-income commuters who work in Manhattan.
The median selling price throughout the United States is approximately $262,200. This makes Connecticut slightly more expensive than the rest of the country, although the Constitution State is less expensive than many other areas, including the West Coast.
Connecticut is also less expensive than the Northeast as a whole. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the median selling price in this region is roughly $452,000, which is over $105,000 more expensive than the Constitution State.
Through the first 3 quarters of 2020 real estate held up far better than it did during the 2008 housing recession. Central banks and politicians reacted faster and much more aggressively to the COVID-19 crisis than they did to the 2008 recession. Many novel and unconventional policies which began in response to the prior recession were used much more aggressively in this recession. For instance, here are some of the policies which were enacted:
On November 24, 2020 the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) raised conforming loan limits by 7.42%, reflecting strong annual growth in the nationwide FHFA House Price Index (HPI).
The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts (TCJA) bill limited a taxpayer's deduction of state and local taxes (SALT) to $10,000. This dramatically increased the cost of state taxes in states with high marginal income tax rates and relatively high property taxes. A home of modest means in a middle-class neighborhood on the outskirts of the Bay Area can cost $7,000 a year in property taxes. While campaigning Joe Biden stated he wanted to set the top marginal tax rate at 39.7% and re-impose FICA taxes on any income above $400,000. This would effectively make the marginal Federal income tax rate 55% for those in the top bracket. Add in the 13.3% top marginal rate in California and taxpayers could pay a 68.3% marginal rate on income above $1,000,000. That income tax rate would be before other taxes and fees like property taxes, vehicle licensing and registration, and sales taxes.
Some high-income earners like bond investor Jeffrey Gundalach have considered moving out of high-tax states like California due to escalating income taxes coupled with incompetent government leading to rolling brown outs. Low-tax or no income tax states like Florida, Texas, Tenneessee and Nevada have seen net migration from high-tax states like California, New York and New Jersey. Lockdowns destroyed many small businesses while lowering the appeal of cramped living places in big cities. Those combined with the realization that much work can be done remote has many businesses and successful business owners migrating. California legislators proposed a wealth and exit tax.
In the early 1990s Connecticut benefitted from prior tax migration as many financial services workers from New York City lived in the Bridgeport and Greenwich areas. The 2017 TCJA limiting SALT deductions to $10,000 meant local state taxes took a big bite out of top earners. Some wealthy hedge fund managers who resided in Connecticut like Paul Tutor Jones moved to Florida to bypass state income taxes. Some wealthy people who have not moved, like Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio, have also decided to open family offices in Singapore and other foreign jurisdictions.
The COVID-19 Crisis Led to Record Income Inequality
American income inequality was at a 50-year high before the COVID-19 crisis took hold. Wealthier people with higher incomes have a higher likelihood of being able to continue to work from home, whereas many low-wage hospitality workers were hit hard by lockdowns. Some small business owners without access to credit saw their businesses fall apart due to the impacts of lockdowns and demonstrations.
Central bank intervention has led the domestic stock market to recover quickly from the COVID-19 crisis, but many middle class and lower class consumers hold little stock and are still struggling with unemployment. The country has reached record wealth and income inequality which exceeds both that of the gilded age and many third world countries.
|CT Rank||US Rank||Metropolitan Area||2016 Pop||2010 Pop||Change||% △|
|1||47||Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford||1,206,836||1,212,381||-5,545||-0.46%|
|3||58||Worcester, MA-CT Metro Area||935,781||916,980||18,801||2.05%|
The largest city in the state of Connecticut is also a seaport city, and Bridgeport had a population of 145,936 people as of 2016. This population makes Bridgeport the fifth most populous city in New England. It is part of the larger Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk Metro, and as of 2016, this Metro had a combined population of 944,177 people. As the most populated city in Connecticut, Bridgeport is known as the “Park City,” and is located along the Long Island Sound. It boasts itself as the birthplace of the Frisbee and one-time home of P.T. Barnum, the world famous circus promoter. Currently, the city is under massive redevelopment to attract new residents.
Bridgeport is rather small by national standards. Because it is only an hour and a half drive from New York City, Bridgeport is often considered to be part of the NYC metro area; and the local economy is closely connected to New York's. Jobs in Bridgeport are provided by local hospitals and the University of Bridgeport.
Bridgeport has been gradually shifting to the service industry since the decline of the industrial sector over the past 20 years. Education, finance, and healthcare currently make up large cornerstones of the city's current economy, and two of the largest employers in the city are healthcare-based. These larger sectors are helping to breath new life into and boost the economy.
This city is located between the humid continental and the humid subtropical climate zones. This means that June through September experience very hot and humid days with temperatures sitting in the low-90s, and December through February are the coldest months with temperatures sitting in the mid-20s. March and April bring wet, rainy months and the winters are cold and snowy. This city also experiences large temperature fluctuations year round thanks to the two climate zones found here.
Bridgeport is a city with a large performing arts, museum, and entertainment venues scattered throughout the city. The Klein Memorial Auditorium has over 1,400 seats and it features musical performances, plays, and it is home to the Greater Bridgeport Symphony. Thousands of people come to this city each year to experience a week long camping, music, and arts festival known as the Gathering of the Vibes. Finally, tourists can visit the Barnum Museum which celebrates the city's history along with the circus. Some of the state's best museums and zoos are located in Bridgeport as well.
The Bridgeport Public School District has over 30 schools and serves over 20,800 students with over 1,000 staff. There are also higher education opportunities located throughout the city including University of Bridgeport. Students can also choose to attend the Housatonic Community College or St. Vincent's College as well.
As we mentioned earlier, the healthcare industry had a large influence on this city. The largest employer in Bridgeport is St. Vincent's Medical Center with over 3,000 staff members. The second-largest employer in the city is the Bridgeport Hospital with over 2,200 staff. Finally, the third-largest employer in the city is People's United Bank with over 1,150 employees.
Currently, the economy in Bridgeport isn't doing very well. It has an unemployment rate that is over 3% higher than the national average, and it has only seen job growth of 1.4% in the past year. However, this may change as the city is slated to add over 34% more jobs in the coming decade.
The local median home value in Bridgeport is around $168,000 with a price per square foot of $118. These prices have risen by over 7% in the past year, and they're projected to rise another 3.3% in the coming year. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk Metro has a local median home price of $178,000 with a price per square foot of $254. The U.S. Census Bureau reports a median household income in the city of $43,000. Compared against the city’s home prices, we see a price-to-income ratio of well above 4.
The local real estate market is likely to see a boom for a couple years as some high-income New York City residents establish a local residence in response to the new federal tax bill which puts a $10,000 cap on state and local tax payments.
The second-largest city in Connecticut is New Haven with a population of 129,934 people as of 2016. It is part of the larger New Haven-Milford Metro, and the combined population of these areas is 856,875 people. This city was settled in 1639 by Puritans, and the original foundation site is now the center of the Downtown District of this city. From 1701 until 1873 New Haven was Connecticut's capital city.
The local economy relies heavily on the education industry with healthcare, engineering, finance, and retail trade building a solid economic base. Professional services like architecture and legal both make up essential parts of the local economy as well. This city has always had a strong education background, and it is home to an Ivy League school.
New Haven straddles the line between the humid continental climate zone and the humid subtropic climate zone. Summers are very hot and humid with temperatures reaching into the high 80s from June through September, and the winter months bring cold weather and snow with temperatures sitting in the mid-30s from December through February. Springtime brings rain and thunderstorms to the region.
The city is known for its many highly-rated restaurants. This city has been named as one of the cities for food, and it features several award winning restaurants. Louis' Lunch has been serving food to the area since 1865. There are several theaters in the city including the large Yale Repertory Theatre that puts on numerous performances each year with the drama club. Tourists can also visit the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, or take in one of the many music festivals in the summer months including performances by the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Besides Yale, other cultural attractions in New Haven include a large selection of theatres and museums. There is also the New Haven Green, a private park that is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.
This city is served by the New Haven Public Schools with over 5,000 enrolled students. New Haven is also a city that is dedicated to higher learning, and it is home to the prestigious Yale University. It is also home to several other top-ranked universities including the Southern Connecticut State University and the Gateway Community College.
The largest employer in the city is also one of the biggest economic contributors, and Yale University employs over 4,400 staff members. The second-largest employer is the Yale New Haven Hospital with over 3,000 staff members. Finally, the third-largest employer is the Hospital of St. Raphael with over 1,400 employers.
The economy in New Haven isn't doing very well as it currently has an unemployment rate that is over 2% higher than the national average with less than 1% job growth in the past year. However, this may change as New Haven is slated to add over 24% more jobs in the next decade.
The local median home vallue for New Haven is $157,000 with a price per square foot of $128. Over the past year, this price has decreased by 2.4%, and it is only supposed to rise by 0.3% in the coming year. The local median home price for the New Haven-Milford Metro is $174,950 with a price per square foot of $154. New Haven has a median household income of $39,000 and a median home listing price of $191,000. These figures produce a ratio of 4.90.
The third-largest city in Connecticut is Stamford with a population of 129,113 people as of 2016. This population makes Stamford the seventh-largest city in New England. Stamford is part of the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk Metro, and as of 2016, this Metro had a combined population of 944,177 people. You can find this city approximately 30 minutes from Manhattan.
Stamford has a large concentration of Fortune 500 companies and a thriving business district. It also has nine Fortune 1000 companies and 13 Courant 100 Companies as well. These companies give this city one of the largest corporation concentrations in the nation outside of New York. The insurance industry plays a major role in the city's economy with many companies operating there. Aetna, The Travelers Companies, Lincoln Financial Group, and The Hartford all have offices or headquarters there. The healthcare industry also provides jobs in the city.
This city also lies in the broad transitional zone between the humid continental and the humid subtropic climate zones. The warm to hot months start in April and run through October with temperatures around the mid-80s. The winter months are generally mild to cold with snow and temperatures sitting it the low 20s from December through March.
Stamford has a thriving art and music scene with dozens of performances, venues, and museums spread all over the city. The Stamford Museum and Nature Center draws hundreds of tourist through each year, or you can visit the Connecticut Grand Opera. Artists and interior designers are drawn to the creative Stamford Waterside Design District, or you can take a day trip and visit the Alive @ Five summer festival.
Currently, the largest employer in Stamford is the City of Stamford itself with over 3,100 employees. The second-largest employer in the city is Stamford Health with over 2,700 employers. Finally, rounding out the top three largest employer is Stamford Town Center with 1,800 year-round employees and 2,200 seasonal employees.
Stamford's economy is doing very well with the unemployment ranking below the national average and a recent job growth of around 1.5% in the past year. Over the next ten years, Stamford is looking to improve its economy by adding over 34% more jobs.
The local median home value in Stamford is $467,300 with a price per square foot of $271. These figures have increased by 2.3% over the past year, and they're slated to increase another 1.9% in the coming year. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk Metro has a local median home price of $178,000 with a price per square foot of $254.
The fourth-largest city in the state of Connecticut is Hartford with a population of 123,243 people as of 2016. This city also acts as the capital city to the state of Connecticut. Hartford is part of the large Hartford-West Hartford-East Metro, and it had a combined population of 1,206,836 people as of 2016. This city was founded in 1635, and this makes it one of the oldest cities in the nation. Hartford has the nickname of the “Insurance Capital of the World” due to the many insurance corporation headquarters found here. Recently, Hartford has seen a resurgence of development around its downtown area and along the riverfront.
The local economy relies heavily on the insurance industry, and it is home to several large corporate headquarters. There are also several Fortune 100 Companies and Fortune 500 companies as well. In addition to this, healthcare, research, education, and medical research make up important parts of the local economy.
Hartford is solidly in the humid continental climate zone. The months of May through October are traditionally hotter with high humidity and temperatures in the upper 80s. November through April is cooler months with December through February being the coldest with temperatures in the mid-30s. Spring usually brings rain and thunderstorms to the city as well.
There are dozens of cultural points of interest found all over this city that tourists and residents can visit. The Xfinity Theater is a large indoor/outdoor amphitheater venue that hosts events year round. The Connecticut Science Center is a 154,000 square foot museum with dozens of exhibits to enjoy. This city is also home to the nation's oldest public museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum. There are also several festivals that take place year round including the Greater Hartford St. Patrick's Day Parade.
Hartford is home to several world-renowned secondary education schools. Students can choose to go to Trinity College or to Capital Community College. There are also several other colleges and universities including the University of Connecticut's Hartford Campus. Additionally, Hartford Public Schools is the second-oldest public school system in the nation.
The largest employer in Hartford is United Technologies Corporation with over 20,000 employees. The second-largest employer is Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. with over 12,500 employees. Finally, the third-largest employer in the city is Aetna with over 7,500 employees.
The unemployment rate in Hartford is over double the national average and Hartford is rated as one of the worst economies in the nation. Around over three out of ten people in Hartford live below the poverty line. It had recent job growth of 1%, and it is projected to add another 35% more jobs in the next decade.
The local median home value for Hartford is $103,600 with a price per square foot of $96. These numbers have actually declined over the past year by 2.6%, and they're only projected to rise another 1.6% in the coming year. The Hartford-West Hartford-East Metro has a local median income of $139,900 and a price per square foot of $150. The Census Bureau gives a median household income in the city of $68,000. These figures produce a relatively reasonable price to income ratio compared to other metro areas across the state.
The fifth-largest city in the state of Connecticut is Waterbury with a population of 108,202 people as of 2016. This population puts Waterbury as the ninth-largest city in New England, and it has the nickname of “The Brass City.” This city has a quickly growing population, and the economy is expanding as well.
The economy of Waterbury has long had ties to the industrial and manufacturing sectors. It was the leading city in the nation for brassware manufacturing including clocks, castings, finishing, and watches. The city's motto is Quid Aere Perennius? and this means “What is more lasting than brass?”
Waterbury is located in the humid continental climate zone with four distinct seasons. Summer typically brings hot, humid weather with June and July being the hottest months of the year with temperatures staying in the mid-80s. The winter in this region is cold and snowy with December through February being the coldest months with temperatures in the low 20s.
People come to see the Union Station Clock Tower, and this tower remains one of Waterbury's most prominent landmarks. The Mattatuck Museum Arts and History Center is also another large tourist attraction and this is the only museum to celebrate and showcase Connecticut-only artists. You can spend the day shopping at the Brass Mill Center & Commons, or take in a show at the Palace Theatre.
The Waterbury Public Schools serves this city, and it has a total of 42 schools throughout the system. There are also a few secondary education colleges and universities located in and around Waterbury for students to choose from. They can attend Naugatuck Valley Community College or Post University.
The City of Waterbury is the largest employer with over 3,800 year-round employees. The second-largest employer is Waterbury Hospital and it has over 1,500 employees. Finally, the third-largest employer in the city of Waterbury is St. Mary's Hospital with over 1,200 employees.
The local economy is Waterbury isn't doing very well as the unemployment rate is currently over 3% higher than the national average and there has only been 0.36% growth in the past year. This may change in the next ten years as the city is looking to add around 31% more jobs into the local economy.
The local median home price for Waterbury is $105,500 with a price per square foot of $90. These prices have increased by 3.2% over the past year, and they're projected to keep increasing by at least 1.7% in the coming year.
The fastest growing city in Connecticut is Danbury, which lies about 50 minutes northwest of Bridgeport. It is one of the few areas of the state that is actually increasing in population. According to The Connecticut Mirror, the state overall has actually been losing residents in the past few years. Danbury lies about 65 miles from Manhattan. The healthcare industry provides many local jobs, and of course the city is closely connected to New York's economy.
Danbury is known for its many outdoor activities. The city has hiking trails, parks, and museums. It also has an active ice rink and several semi-minor league sports teams.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports a median household income in Danbury of $68,000. With a median home selling price of $289,000 from the Bureau, we see a metric of 4.25.
Stamford, Norwalk, and Danbury have shown themselves to be a few of the fastest growing Connecticut cities due to their low cost of living in relation to the surrounding Connecticut areas that are within commuting distance to New York City. Each is part of Fairfield County, which has one of highest per capita income levels of any county in the US.
As of July 1, 2016 the state of Connecticut has an estimated population of 3,576,452 across 4842.36 mi² yielding a population density of 738.58 people per mi² across the state.
The following table highlights the July 1, 2016 populations of cities, towns & Census Designated Places (CDP) with over 2,500 residents based on United States Census Bureau estimates. For Census Designated Places (CDP) where there was no population estimate available for 2016 the 2011-2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates data was used.
All table columns are sortable. Click on the column headers to sort by that column. Click again to sort low to high. Cities with higher levels of population growth typically see the increased demand drive faster real estate price appreciation.
|Rank||Geography||County||2016 Pop||2010 Pop||Change||% △||Land mi²||Pop Den mi²|
|2||New Haven||New Haven||129,934||129,779||155||0.12%||18.68||6,955.78|
|16||West Haven||New Haven||54,516||55,564||-1,048||-1.89%||10.75||5,071.26|
|17||Milford town||New Haven||54,054||52,759||1,295||2.45%||22.18||2,437.06|
|Milford city (balance)||New Haven||52,536||51,271||1,265||2.47%||21.9||2,398.90|
|26||Groton town||New London||39,261||40,115||-854||-2.13%||31.03||1,265.26|
|30||Naugatuck borough||New Haven||31,392||31,862||-470||-1.48%||16.31||1,924.71|
|35||East Haven||New Haven||28,807||29,257||-450||-1.54%||12.3||2,342.03|
|40||New London||New London||26,984||27,620||-636||-2.30%||5.62||4,801.42|
|48||North Haven||New Haven||23,709||24,093||-384||-1.59%||20.84||1,137.67|
|61||East Lyme||New London||18,886||19,159||-273||-1.42%||34||555.47|
|Wallingford Center CDP||New Haven||17,710||18,209||-499||-2.74%||7.26||2,439.39|
|78||North Branford||New Haven||14,198||14,407||-209||-1.45%||24.76||573.42|
|Conning Towers Nautilus Park CDP||New London||9,814||8,834||980||11.09%||4.98||1,970.68|
|106||Groton city||New London||9,134||10,389||-1,255||-12.08%||3.08||2,965.58|
|Southwood Acres CDP||Hartford||7,731||7,657||74||0.97%||4.07||1,899.51|
|116||Old Lyme||New London||7,469||7,603||-134||-1.76%||23.02||324.46|
|New Milford CDP||Litchfield||6,915||6,523||392||6.01%||3.38||2,045.86|
|Old Greenwich CDP||Fairfield||6,764||6,611||153||2.31%||1.98||3,416.16|
|Cos Cob CDP||Fairfield||6,433||6,770||-337||-4.98%||2.07||3,107.73|
|124||Beacon Falls||New Haven||6,095||6,049||46||0.76%||9.67||630.30|
|Branford Center CDP||New Haven||6,015||5,819||196||3.37%||1.88||3,199.47|
|Simsbury Center CDP||Hartford||5,926||5,836||90||1.54%||4.56||1,299.56|
|Cheshire Village CDP||New Haven||5,730||5,786||-56||-0.97%||3.37||1,700.30|
|Sherwood Manor CDP||Hartford||5,457||5,410||47||0.87%||3.14||1,737.90|
|129||North Stonington||New London||5,271||5,297||-26||-0.49%||54.25||97.16|
|Pawcatuck CDP||New London||5,242||5,624||-382||-6.79%||3.41||1,537.24|
|Stafford Springs CDP||Stafford||5,061||4,988||73||1.46%||6.37||794.51|
Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2016
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division
Release Date: May 2017.
As of 2021 the conforming loan limit across the United States is set to $548,250, with a ceiling of 150% that amount in areas where median home values are higher. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area of Fairfield county has higher loan limits than the rest of the state.
|County||Metropolitan Designation||1 Unit Limit||2 Unit Limit||3 Unit Limit||4 Unit Limit|
|All Others||Rest of the State||$548,250||$702,000||$848,500||$1,054,500|
The Constitution State has many homes that cost over $1,000,000, and jumbo loans are frequently used to finance these luxury properties. Jumbo loans charge higher rates of interest than conventional loans due to the fact that they are harder to liquidate on the mortgage industry’s secondary market. As a result, mortgage interest rates in Connecticut may appear slightly higher than the national average. Homes with values below $500,000 should be quoted average interest rates, however.
Fixed-rate loans are very common in Connecticut due to the stability of the monthly payment. There are various terms ranging from ten to thirty years. The 30 year mortgage is the most widespread loan due to it having the lowest monthly payment. Shorter-term loans have lower APR’s but higher monthly payments because the principal is paid back in a shorter amount of time. High income households may choose 15 year fixed loans.
An adjustable-rate mortgage, as the name implies, has an interest rate that can vary. ARM’s offer lower interest rates than fixed-rate products, but this low APR is guaranteed only for a short period, such as one, three, or five years. When this introductory term expires, the interest can change, either up or down, once or twice per year. Balloon mortgages are another route for aspiring homeowners. Balloon mortgages are when a large portion of the borrowed principle is repaid in a single payment at the end of the loan period. Balloon loans are not common for most residential buyers, but are more common for commercial loans and people with significant financial assets.
In the state of Connecticut, second mortgages and home equity lines of credit are available as well. A second mortgage can help to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is mandatory for a down payment smaller than 20%. Interest rates for second mortgages are higher than for firsts as the first loan has a senior position in defaults.
The banks that provide these loans give their best terms and rates to borrowers with credit scores above 740, on a scale of 350 to 850. Of course, loans are available for scores under 740, but fees and APR's could be higher. Mortgage lenders also want to see a debt-to-income ratio of 40% or lower, and a down payment of 20% or higher. As a general rule of thumb, coming to the table with a 20 percent down payment is usually the best approach. This down payment requirement does not apply for Federal assistance programs such as FHA, in which applicants can have a lower credit score and income but still receive financing.
If you don't qualify for a mortgage from a private lender, the U.S. federal government offers a couple of home loan programs that are very attractive. The first is from Federal Housing Administration. The FHA offers mortgages to borrowers who are able to put 3.5% down. A credit score of 580 is required for this loan. FHA loans are also available to borrowers with scores under 580, but a larger down payment is required. For any loan with a down payment less than 20%, the FHA requires private mortgage insurance.
The Veterans Administration manages the VA loan program. Amazingly, the VA does not require a down payment or mortgage insurance. The agency does charge a funding fee, however, and it ranges from 1-3%. Making a down payment will reduce this fee. As you might expect, borrowers under the VA program must have eligible military service.
USDA loans can help people with low incomes in rural parts of the state qualify for a subsidized low-interest loan.
Through the Connecticut Department of Housing, a variety of real estate assistance programs are available. The Rental Assistance Program helps low-income families find housing in the private sector. Townhouses, apartments, and single-family dwellings are all eligible. Connecticut has several home loan programs in place to help first-time home buyers along with low or moderately low-income households afford a mortgage.
Home of Your Own Program
The Home of Your Own Program is designed to help people with disabilities who are first-time home buyers who want to secure a mortgage loan that has interest rates below the market rates. This mortgage comes with a 30-year fixed rate term, and the interest rates are as low as 3%.
Any applicants will have to meet certain income limits unless they purchase a home in the specially designated target area. Applicants will also have to prove their disability with documentation, the property must be the applicant's primary residence, and you can't use the property for commercial purposes or as a rental property.
Smart Move Second Mortgage Program
The Smart Move Second Mortgage Program is financed through the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA). It is designed to help low to moderately low-income households afford a mortgage by helping with a down payment or closing costs. You must also reside and want to purchase your new home in New Haven County, Fairfield County, or part of Litchfield County.
The funding for this program comes in the form of a low-interest second mortgage. Home buyers can use this program's funding to pay for a down payment or to help pay the closing costs on their new home. The CHFA will also provide the first home mortgage as well, and this second mortgage means the homeowner won't have to pay mortgage insurance, and the interest rate is 3%.
The state of Connecticut has a very low risk of earthquakes & tornadoes.
Most of the state has a very low risk of hail damage. Fairfield & Hartford counties have a low risk of hail damages, while Litchfield county has a moderate risk of hail damage. Damage from hail is typically covered by home insurance policies.
Most of the state also has a very low risk of wildfires, while Fairfield county has a moderate risk.
Most natural disasters other than earthquakes and flooding are typically covered by standard homeowner's insurance policies.
Homeowner's insurance policies typically do not cover flooding. Here are counties across the state which have a risk profile above very low for either flooding or hurricane storm surges.
“The NFIP does not charge nearly enough to cover the expected costs of its liabilities. The assessments are not sufficient to build any buffer to cover an extraordinary year, such as what occurred with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 or Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Because homeowners don't incur the full cost of building in a flood zone we end up with more houses there than if homeowners incurred the full cost of the flood risk, which exacerbates the government's costs in the next disaster.”
Typically, homes built after 2002, when building code regulations tightened, are subject to lower insurance rates than older homes. On the other hand, homes without hurricane straps, with roofs that do not meet current standards for wind, with older plumbing or with outdated electrical systems may be difficult or very expensive to insure.
Homeowners who live in lower risk areas & are not required to purchase flood insurance heavily cross-subsidize homeowners who are in areas where floods are more common.
Connecticut has the second-highest property tax rate in the nation behind New Jersey. On average, homeowners should expect to pay around $4,738.00 per year on a home with an assessed value of $291,200. This price works out to around 5.51% of the homeowner's annual income, and this is the fourth-highest in the nation.
Connecticut assesses property at the city and town level (there are no county governments), and the effective tax rates that home owners pay are among the highest in the country. Residents of New Haven County pay 2.01%, while New London County is at 1.56%. The state average was around 2% in 2016. By comparison, the national average is roughly 1.24%. With above-average home prices, residents in Connecticut pay a lot in property taxes.
Connecticut is a state that has a generous homestead exemption law. If a homeowner is under financial strain and they file bankruptcy, there is a certain amount of property they can set aside as a Homestead Exemption. If they do this, the property in question is untouchable by creditors who are trying to satisfy any outstanding debts the homeowner may have.
In this state, a homeowner is allowed to set aside property that is valued at $75,000 and below. This set aside amount is in equity, and it counts for your real property, co-op, or a manufactured home. You have to occupy the home you claim for the Homestead Exemption when you file for bankruptcy. If you're married, you can double the amount and set aside $150,000 in property equity.
Connecticut is a state that uses “lien theory” when it comes to lending and real estate. This means that the property is used for security against the loan, and that the lender has a lien on the title of the property until the loan has been paid off in full. In Connecticut, the type of document used to place the lien on the property is called a mortgage.
Unique to Connecticut is that the mortgage documents create a similar legal setup as a deed of trust, with legal title to the property being held by the lender, and equitable title going to the person receiving the loan, which is also referred to as the equity of redemption. This legal arrangement is more common with “title theory” states that don’t require foreclosures by judicial review. Whereas, Connecticut does require a judicial foreclosure process before the home can be sold or turned over to the lender.
There are two different judicial foreclosure processes in Connecticut. They are known as “strict foreclosure” and “foreclosure by sale.” The judge will decide which is used depending on the equity of the home in question. Foreclosure begins when the lender records a lis pendens, which puts a cloud on the title of the property. All parties with an interest in the home must be given 12 days notice of the complaint before a claim is filed with the court and a trial date is set. The judge will determine the type of foreclosure process at the trial.
If you live in Connecticut and you go through a foreclosure, this process must be done through the court system. The mortgage lender is required by law to sue the defaulted borrower in court in order to obtain a foreclosure case. Home foreclosures in the Constitution State follow the judicial process, and there are two types: strict foreclosure and foreclosure by sale. The judge can decide to have a strict foreclosure process, and this means they transfer the title of the defaulted property straight to the mortgage lender, or they can choose to do a foreclosure by sale. If they do a foreclosure by sale, the property will be sold in an auction, and the money will go to the mortgage lender.
Under the strict system, the home is not sold. This option is normally used when the home has no value above the mortgage balance. The judge will give the home owner a deadline (called a law date) to submit missed payments, and in the event the home owner fails to do so, the judge will grant ownership of the home to the lender. During the strict foreclosure process, the homeowner may be allowed to stay in the property for a short time and reclaim the deed to the property by paying off the entire remaining mortgage balance. This short time frame is called the Right to Redemption, and if the homeowner doesn't redeem the property, it'll go into foreclosure. The judge determines how much the property is worth, and the mortgage lender will be entitled to get the difference between the total debt amount and minus the amount the court determines the property is worth.
Under foreclosure by sale, as the name implies, the home is auctioned off to the highest bidder. This system is used whenever there is a federal lien or when the home has equity that exceeds the amount owed on the mortgage. There is also a redemption period for the borrower in this case, and it can be extended under some circumstances.
Deficiency judgments are allowed under Connecticut law. They can be used in both foreclosure types whenever the mortgage balance exceeds the appraisal value (strict foreclosure) or auction price (foreclosure by sale). Connecticut is a recourse state with restrictions, and this means they can sue the defaulted homeowner for the deficient funds, however this is capped. Before the foreclosure sale the court will send an appraiser to the property to determine what the property is worth. If the property sells for the appraised value or above, the mortgage lender is allowed to sue for the full deficiency. However, if the property for an amount below the appraised value, the court deducts one-half of the difference between the appraised value and the foreclosure sale price from the deficient amount.
Connecticut has some important advantages, especially for people who work in New York City, but don't want to live there. For further details on the state's property market, point your browser to the following sites:
US 10-year Treasury rates have recently fallen to all-time record lows due to the spread of coronavirus driving a risk off sentiment, with other financial rates falling in tandem. Homeowners who buy or refinance at today's low rates may benefit from recent rate volatility.
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