- More than 300 people lined up to take a peek inside a 1,168-square-foot home in Durham, Connecticut.
- Listing agent Claudia O’Connell expected competition, but said she’s never seen anything like this.
- This home is a rare find, as supply in this area is tight and it was somewhat recently renovated.
A quaint home in Durham, Connecticut, that hit the market for $299,000 in early March was visited by over 300 people during a one-day open house, harkening back to the feverish housing market of only a couple of years ago.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in Connecticut,” the listing agent for the home at 51 Birch Mill Road, Claudia O’Connell, told Insider.
O’Connell, who works on The Huscher Team of William Raveis, said she had to establish a queue and let only eight people into the 1,168-square-foot home at a time. A photo on Reddit from the open house shows a long line of prospective buyers waiting their turn.
Durham is in central Connecticut, 30 minutes from New Haven. It’s also about a two-hour drive to both Boston and New York City, making commuting to either feasible — a theory as to why so many found the property appealing, O’Connell said.
Another theory: its size.
The house comes with a 520-square-foot garage that has been converted into a studio or workspace. Also, the home sits on 3.45 acres with a septic tank that has the ability to accommodate a three-bedroom house, giving buyers with imagination flexibility.
“A lot of people want to expand the property,” O’Connell said.
Homes in this price range are hard to come by in the area
A diverse group of prospective buyers, some who traveled from as far as the Midwest and Florida, came to view the property, according to O’Connell. They included first-time homebuyers, retirees, real-estate agents, and even those hoping to turn it into a short-term rental — although O’Connell said most people there were planning on living in the home themselves.
The property, which was originally built in the 1940s and was remodeled in 2015, is unique in many ways. According to Realtor.com, it’s the only one-bedroom home currently for sale in Durham. Two miles away, a two-bedroom fixer-upper is listed for $225,900, but it has been on and off the market for over a decade.
Both are being offered well below Durham’s median home listing price of $389,500.
Seventy-five private showings were also requested, and O’Connell has received so many offers on the house that she had to cap the number by setting a hard deadline of Wednesday, March 22 at 9 a.m. — only three days after the open house.
There have not been any dizzyingly high offers well over the asking price, but O’Connell believes they’re in great shape to move forward.
“I felt really good between $300,000 and $400,000,” O’Connell said. “I thought we’d get just north of $350,000.”
This open house harkens back to the feverish housing market of 2021 and 2022
The open house’s attendance is reminiscent of the housing market early on in the pandemic, when mortgage rates fell giving prospective homebuyers an opportunity to enter markets they normally couldn’t.
Home seekers dove into the market in droves — that is, where they could find homes to purchase — leading prices in some markets to rise.
In some instances, homes that were fairly priced received swarms of visitors and closed at figures much higher than they were listed for. A three-bedroom home in Raleigh, North Carolina, that was listed in February 2022 attracted dozens of prospective buyers. It was listed for $260,000 and, according to Zillow, sold for $330,000 a month later.