Connecticut’s Top 10 Cities for Real Estate Investment

Connecticut is one of the smallest states in the United States but has a lot to offer. As per the 2010 census, it has the highest per-capita income and the second-highest level of Human Development in the United States.

It is one of the original 13 colonies that made up the US and is full of American history. Connecticut has earned the nickname “The Constitution State” due to its colonial constitution of 1639. This is the first constitution in America and possibly the world, predating the U.S. constitution by close to 150 years.

It is home to the first public library in the United States, the first dictionary, and claims to be the Hamburger’s birthplace.

It is the southernmost state in New England and is part of the tri-state area comprising New Jersey, and New York. While Connecticut has its own urban centers, it is roughly halfway between the larger cities of Boston and New York City. Many residents commute to these larger cities daily for employment.

As a New England state, Connecticut has an outstanding public schooling and higher education system. While it may not have as many Universities as Massachusetts, it is home to the world-famous Yale University. Additionally, there is also the highly noted University of Connecticut or UConn located in Mansfield.

Connecticut is also known for its great nature, forests, beaches, and rolling hills. Many make their way to the state to watch the colorful leaves in Autumn or the pristine beaches during the summer. Others make the drive to grab a good lobster roll and seafood.

Like New York and Boston, some residents of Connecticut have migrated elsewhere during the Covid-19 pandemic. The state should be up for a comeback, as work-from-home edicts are ending.

Economy of Connecticut

The largest industries in Connecticut are finance and insurance. Many large banks are major employers in the state. The aerospace industry is also big in the state, with Sikorsky Aircraft, United Technologies Corporation, and Pratt and Whitney employing many. The fishing industry is also somewhat big in the state.

Honorable Mention – West Haven

Just 3 miles west of the larger city of New Haven sits the aptly named city of West Haven. They are separated by a small river called West River. It is a college town of sorts with Yale West Campus, and the University of New Haven within its borders. West Haven is also home to a few stunning beaches and parks, including Sea Bluff Beach and Bradley Point Beach.

West Haven is home to 53,795 residents as per 2022. This is a minor decline of 3.19% since the 2010 census. Despite being a college town of sorts, the average age is roughly average at 36 years old. Average housing prices have gone up by 19% since 2021 and cost $291,000 on average. Housing is listed as $1,164 per month.

10 – Waterbury

Waterbury Connecticut
Waterbury Connecticut Source: Wikipedia

Between the larger cities of New Haven and Hartford sits the city of Waterbury. The city is split into east and west by the Naugatuck River, which runs through the city. Waterbury is sometimes called “Brass City” due to it being a hub of watch manufacturing in the past. Today it is home to Post University, and four regional campuses of other Universities. Waterbury was listed by USA Today as one of the best cities to raise a family in 2008.

Waterbury’s population has declined slightly in recent years and is now home to 105,903 residents. The rate of homeownership is rather low and only 41% of the population are homeowners. Housing prices have increased by 24% in the past year and the average property now costs $209,377. Rent averages at $1000 per month.

9 – Bridgeport

Bridgeport is the most populated city in the state of Connecticut and has one of the most active ports in the region. The city offers a multitude of beaches and an iconic lightower, as well as museums, amphitheaters, and the University of Bridgeport. The city of New Haven is just 20 miles away and tends to be a short drive.

Bridgeport has declined by 1% since the 2010 census and is currently home to 143,280 residents. The rate of homeownership is rather low at 41%. This could be due to the high number of college students in the area. Housing prices have climbed by 20% in the past year and currently stand at $305,000 on average. Rent tends to be around $1,163 per month.

8 – Woodmont

West of West Haven, sits the tiny municipality of Woodmont, Connecticut. It is a small community nestled on the beach. Technically Woodmont is listed as one of the nine boroughs of Connecticut. The city is mostly residential and many work nearby in Milford or West Haven. Woodmont is a rather affluent area with many large houses on the stunning beaches or a short walk away.

Woodmont has grown by 4.28% since the 2010 census and is home to just 1,561 residents. The population is older with an average age of 51, which suggests many pensioners and seniors living in the city. Homeownership is above average at 76% and the average home costs $477,000 on average. Rent is listed as $1,390 per month.

7 – Shelton

Shelton is a small municipality located on the Housatonic River, between Bridgeport and West Haven. It used to be a big manufacturing hub, but since the 70’s many have relocated elsewhere. While the Bic Corporation remains, today the town is better known for office spaces and a revitalized downtown area, with many restaurants and cafes.

The local population of Shelton has grown by 3.85% since the 2010 census and is home to 41,132 residents currently. The average age of the locals is 47 which suggests a high senior citizen population. This and the lack of college kids may explain the high rate of homeownership which stands at 80% currently. Housing prices have increased by 15% in the last year cost $459,000 on average. Rent is listed as $1,466 per month.

6 – New Haven

Lightower New Haven
Lightower New Haven Source: Canva

One of the oldest cities in the United States, New Haven was founded by English Puritans in 1637. Currently it is the third largest city in Connecticut and home to a few notable universities. This includes Yale, South Connecticut State University, Albertus Magnus College, and Gateway Community College. New Haven is also notable for its great food and has even been listed as the best foodie city in 2014.

New Haven has grown by nearly 1% since the 2010 census and 131,000 people call it home. The average age is listed as 30, probably due to all the young college students. This may also be the reason that homeownership stands at just 28% while the majority rent. House prices have increased by 17% but are still affordable and costs $265,000 on average. Rent is listed as $1200 per month.

5 – Norwalk

Located on the coast a tad southwest of Westport and close to the border with New York is Norwalk. The city is home to a picturesque marina, plenty of beaches, golf courses and country clubs. There is also an aquarium and a children’s museum, making the city great for families. The city is part of both the greater New York metropolitan area and Bridgeport metropolitan area with many residents commuting to both.

The city has grown by 2.47% since the 2010 census and has over 88,000 residents. The average age is a bit above average, at 40 years old. Despite this, the rate of homeownership is 58% which is a bit below the national average. Housing prices have increased by 15% since 2021 and now stand at $382,000 according to Zillow. Rent is also a bit pricey and is roughly $1,685 a month.

4 – Norwich

Norwich City Hall
Norwich City Hall Source: Wikipedia

Not to be confused with Norwalk, Norwich is a city on the other end of Connecticut near the border with Rhode Island. The municipality is roughly halfway between the larger cities of Hartford and Providence, Rhode Island. It’s mostly a small suburban community with a handful of parks, rivers and museums. Norwich was also the birthplace of the famous Revolutionary War general Benedict Arnold.

Norwich is home to 40,541 residents which is a tiny decrease from the 2010 census’ numbers. The population seems to be a bit more blue collar than other parts of Connecticut based on education statistics. The rate of homeownership is rather low at 51% but despite a 15% increase in 2021, housing is affordable and costs $225,000 on average. Rent costs $1,061 on average.

3- Jewett City

Like Woodmont, Jewett City is technically one of Conncticut’s nine borough’s. It is a tiny municipality east of Norwich, close to the Rhode Island border. Jewett City is surrounded almost entirely by water, to the west by the Quinebaug River, to the east by Ashland Pond, and to the north by Aspinook Pond. It is also somewhat halfway between Hartford and Providence.

Jewett City has declined slightly since the 2010 census and is home to 3,321 citizens. The population is a bit younger than average, and homeownership is a bit low at 45% as well. Housing is rather inexpensive despite a 16% increase in 2022 and costs $214,000 on average. Rent is also on the low end and averages at $1000 per month.

2 – Danbury

On Connecticut’s western border with New York sits the city of Danbury. The city used to be the center of American hat manufacturing during the 19th and early 20th century and earned the name “Hat City”. Today it is mostly known as an affluent suburb with over 10 nature parks and 57 marinas. It is home to Danbury Fair Mall, one of the largest shopping centers in the state. Danbury was also voted as #2 by USA Today in “best cities to live in” in 2015.

Danbury has grown by 4.23% since the 2010 census and has a population of 84,751 civilians. The rate of homeownership is 58% which is a bit below the national average. Housing prices are on the higher end of this list. Prices have climbed by 15% as most other cities in Connecticut, and stand at $396,000 as per Zillow. Rent is also above average at $1,500.

1 – Stamford

South of Danbury, on the coast sits the city of Stamford. It is Connecticut’s second largest city by population. The city is part of the greater New York City Metropolitan area. Stamford hosts a large financial district which is the second largest outside of New York City. Education is also big in the area with UConn Stamford and Norwalk Community College.

Stamford has grown by 5% since the 2010 census and is home to 129,000 residents. Many of the residents are highly educated with a majority holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. Possibly due to the higher education centers or pricing, homeownership is rather low at 51%. The average home costs $602,000, the highest seen on this list and rent is also high at $1,800.

Connecticut & Real Estate

The great state of Connecticut got hit rather hard by the macro effects of Covid-19 as far as demographics go. Many students didn’t need to live in the state due to remote studying. The same can be said about the many employees that didn’t need to physically be in an office. That being said, the Constitution State is bound to make a big comeback in the next few years as normalization returns.

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