There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Connecticut:
Should I buy a place or rent?
Well, we aren’t here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you’ll do the right thing and a buy a place 😉
And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in Connecticut, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Constitution State.
To do that we are going to look at places in Connecticut that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the “deals”.
The best deal in Connecticut at the moment? That would be Bridgeport according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Connecticut for 2019:
- Bridgeport (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hartford (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- New Britain (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Stamford (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Danbury (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Naugatuck (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Waterbury (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Norwalk (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Shelton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- New Haven (Photos | Homes For Sale)
The methodology that wen’t into this can be a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below.
If you’re not worried about finding a deal on good places to live, check out the most expensive places to live in Connecticut and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in Connecticut.
For more Connecticut reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Connecticut
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Connecticut
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Connecticut
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Connecticut for 2019?
We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we’ve put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.
So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we’d approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in Connecticut. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Connecticut with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.
To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2013-2017 and compared it to the previous vintage (2012-2016). Specifically, we used the following criteria:
- Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
- Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
- Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It’s still kinda cheap)
We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still “cheap” for Connecticut with the following caveats:
- Home prices had to be within 20% of the state average (Much lower than that and you get to some of the more dangerous places)
- Home prices increased in the last year, and
- Above 5,000 people (Bigger cities have more data points)
So of the 142 cities and towns in Connecticut, only 21 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 21 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a “best place to buy” index with the place having the lowest index being the best.
Turns out that Bridgeport is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Constitution State.
Read on for more on these places.
The first documented English settlement within the present city limits of Bridgeport took place in 1644, centered at Black Rock Harbor and along North Avenue between Park and Briarwood avenues. The place was called Pequonnock, after a band of the Paugussett, an Algonquian-speaking Native American people who occupied this area. One of their sacred sites was Golden Hill, which overlooked the harbor and was the location of natural springs and their planting fields. The Golden Hill Indians were granted a reservation here by the Colony of Connecticut in 1639; it lasted until 1802. |Bridgeport’s early years were marked by residents’ reliance on fishing and farming. This was similar to the economy of the Paugusset, who had cultivated corn, beans, and squash; and fished and gathered shellfish from both the river and sound. A village called Newfield began to develop around the corner of State and Water streets in the 1760s. The area officially became known as Stratfield in 1695 or 1701, due to its location between the already existing towns of Stratford and Fairfield. During the American Revolution, Newfield Harbor was a center of privateering.
Various tribes lived in or around present-day Hartford, all part of the loose Algonquin confederation. The area was referred to as Suckiaug, meaning “Black Fertile River-Enhanced Earth, good for planting.” These included the Podunks, mostly east of the Connecticut River; the Poquonocks north and west of Hartford; the Massacoes in the Simsbury area; the Tunxis tribe in West Hartford and Farmington; the Wangunks to the south; and the Saukiog in Hartford itself.|The first Europeans known to have explored the area were the Dutch under Adriaen Block, who sailed up the Connecticut in 1614. Dutch fur traders from New Amsterdam returned in 1623 with a mission to establish a trading post and fortify the area for the Dutch West India Company. The original site was located on the south bank of the Park River in the present-day Sheldon/Charter Oak neighborhood. This fort was called Fort Hoop or the “House of Hope.” In 1633, Jacob Van Curler formally bought the land around Fort Hoop from the Pequot chief for a small sum. It was home to perhaps a couple families and a few dozen soldiers. The fort was abandoned by 1654, but the area is known today as Dutch Point; the name of the Dutch fort “House of Hope” is reflected in the name of Huyshope Avenue.
New Britain was settled in 1687 and then was incorporated as a new parish under the name New Britain Society in 1754. Chartered in 1850 as a township and in 1871 as a city, New Britain had separated from the nearby town of Farmington, Connecticut. A consolidation charter was adopted in 1905.|During the early part of the 20th century, New Britain was known as the “Hardware Capital of the World”, as well as “Hardware City”. Major manufacturers, such as The Stanley Works, the P&F Corbin Company, and North & Judd, were headquartered in the city.
Stamford was known as Rippowam by the Native American inhabitants to the region, and the very first European settlers to the area also referred to it as such. The name was later changed to Stamford after the town of Stamford, Lincolnshire, England. The deed to Stamford was signed on July 1, 1640 between Captain Turner of the New Haven Colony and Chief Ponus. By the 18th century, one of the primary industries of the town was merchandising by water, which was possible due to Stamford’s proximity to New York.|In 1692, Stamford was home to a less famous witch trial than the well-known Salem witch trials, which also occurred in 1692. The accusations were less fanatical and smaller-scale but also grew to prominence through gossip and hysterics.
Danbury was settled by colonists in 1685, when eight families moved from what are now Norwalk and Stamford, Connecticut. The Danbury area was then called Pahquioque by its namesake, the Algonquian-speaking Pahquioque Native Americans, who occupied lands along the Still River. Bands were often identified by such geographic designation but they were associated with the larger nation by culture and language).|One of the original English settlers was Samuel Benedict, who bought land from the Paquioque in 1685, along with his brother James Benedict, James Beebe, and Judah Gregory. This area was also called Paquiack by the Paquioque. In recognition of the wetlands, the settlers chose the name Swampfield for their town. In October 1687, the general court decreed the name Danbury. The general court appointed a committee to lay out the new town’s boundaries. A survey was made in 1693, and a formal town patent was granted in 1702.
Naugatuck was settled in 1701 as a farming community in rural western Connecticut. As the Industrial Revolution commenced, Naugatuck was transformed into a hardscrabble mill town like its neighbors in the Naugatuck Valley.
The land was originally inhabited by Native Americans and according to Samuel Orcutt’s history, the colonial settlers of Waterbury “found it expedient to purchase the same lands from different tribes, without attempting to decide between their rival claims.” The original settlement of Waterbury in 1674 was in the area now known as the Town Plot section. In 1675, the turbulence of King Philip’s War caused the new settlement to be vacated until the resumption of peace in 1677, the following colony was west of the first settlement. The original Algonquin inhabitants called the area “Matetacoke” meaning “the interval lands.” Thus, the settlement’s name was Anglicised to “Mattatuck” in 1673. When the settlement was admitted as the 28th town in the Connecticut Colony in 1686, the name was changed to Waterbury in reference to the numerous streams that emptied into the Naugatuck River from the hills on either side of the valley. At that time, it included all or parts of what later became the towns of Watertown, Plymouth, Wolcott, Prospect, Naugatuck, Thomaston, and Middlebury.|Growth was slow during Waterbury’s first hundred years, the lack of arable land due to the constant flooding of the Naugatuck River in particular, discouraged many potential settlers. Furthermore, the residents suffered through a great flood in 1691 and an outbreak of disease in 1712. After a century, Waterbury’s population numbered just 5,000.
Norwalk was settled in 1649, incorporated September 1651, and named after the Algonquin word noyank, meaning “point of land”, or more probably from the native American name “Naramauke.”|The city boundaries originally included parts of the current municipalities of New Canaan, Wilton, and Westport. Ancient records describe the boundaries as “from Norwalk river to Sauhatuck river, from sea, Indian one day walk into the country”. Thus a disputing source, and common tradition, describes Norwalk’s name deriving from the northern boundary extending from the sea covering one day’s “north walk” into the countryside. An additional source found this analysis to be improbable, given that the name “Norwalk” was used by natives, who were called the “Norwake Indians”. Additionally a nearby river was known as the Norwake River when the area was first colonized. Roger Ludlow’s 1640 land purchase was from “the Indians of Norwalke” and the land is described as lying between “the twoe rivers, the one called the Norwalke, the other Soakatuck.” The earliest town records list the city name as Norwalke. Bradley’s Register describes that the early Colony Records call it “Norrwake”. Around 1847 the elderly used the ancient pronunciation “Norruck”.
Shelton was settled by the English as part of the town of Stratford, Connecticut, in 1639. On May 15, 1656, the Court of the Colony of Connecticut in Hartford affirmed that the town of Stratford included all of the territory 12 miles inland from Long Island Sound, between the Housatonic River and the Fairfield town line. In 1662, Stratford selectmen Lt. Joseph Judson, Captain Joseph Hawley and John Minor had secured all the written deeds of transfer from the Golden Hill Paugussett Indian Nation for this vast territory that comprises the present-day towns of Trumbull, Shelton and Monroe. Shelton was split off from Stratford in 1789, as Huntington. The current name originated in a manufacturing village started in the 1860s named for the Shelton Company founded by Edward N. Shelton-also founder of Ousatonic Water Power Company. The rapidly growing borough of Shelton incorporated as a city in 1915 and was consolidated with the town of Huntington in 1919 establishing the present city of Shelton.
Before Europeans arrived, the New Haven area was the home of the Quinnipiac tribe of Native Americans, who lived in villages around the harbor and subsisted off local fisheries and the farming of maize. The area was briefly visited by Dutch explorer Adriaen Block in 1614. Dutch traders set up a small trading system of beaver pelts with the local inhabitants, but trade was sporadic and the Dutch did not settle permanently in the area.|In 1637 a small party of Puritans reconnoitered the New Haven harbor area and wintered over. In April 1638, the main party of five hundred Puritans who had left the Massachusetts Bay Colony under the leadership of the Reverend John Davenport and London merchant Theophilus Eaton sailed into the harbor. It was their hope to set up a theological community with the government more closely linked to the church than the that in Massachusetts, and to exploit the area’s excellent potential as a port. The Quinnipiacs, who were under attack by neighboring Pequots, sold their land to the settlers in return for protection.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Connecticut for 2019
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Connecticut. And, to be clear, we aren’t necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.
In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 142 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
For more Connecticut reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In Connecticut