HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Over 2,000 realtors swarmed Bushnell Park in Hartford Tuesday afternoon. In the shadow of the state Capitol building, they demanded to be heard by lawmakers.
“We sell Connecticut,” said Michael Barbaro, president of the Connecticut Realtors Association. “We need legislators to give us Connecticut to sell.”
Realtors from across the state gathered, all with the same common goals of keeping people in the state. The more people who stay or move to Connecticut, the more homes that will be sold.
“Last year we had about 20 listings that had gone on in about a month’s time for the spring market,” said Michelle Manter, a realtor with Keller Williams and president of the Midstate Association of Realtors. “Eighteen of our sellers were either already out of state or were moving out of state for work.”
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that Connecticut lost 14,434 residents between 2015 to 2016. That’s only 0.4 percent of the overall population, but every household is felt by those charged with selling the homes when they pack up to leave.
“We need growth in the state of Connecticut,” Barbaro said. “There’s one piece of commonality that every special interest has. And it’s that we all benefit from growth. If Connecticut prospers, we all prosper.”
The state’s fiscal situation only complicates the problem of growth and revenue. The state’s finances are about $5 billion in the red over the next two years.
The Connecticut Realtors Association is the largest trade organization in the state. Their members said if they can get help selling homes, the trickle down economy will benefit all.
“Home ownership is only going to make all industries better,” said Marilyn Hurteau, a Milford Realtor with Coldwell Banker. “We’re going to keep our contractors working, our painting contractors, our electricians going. Our retail environment. We need to keep people here to keep it robust.”