Active Rain February 13, 2011

So How are We Doing?

Just in case you’re up late and licking your chops about the market change toward equilibrium I just blogged about, I did a comparision of the first 6 weeks of 2010 compared to the first 6 weeks this year. 

In 2010, the first 6 weeks had 377 closings for single family homes at a median sales price of $605,000.

In 2011, the first 6 weeks this year we have had 321 closings at a median sales price of $560,000. 

Should we panic? 

No, we shouldn’t panic. And we shouldn’t blame the weather, because anything that closed in January went under contract long before the severe winter hit. If anything, the weather will affect things next month. We just aren’t out of the woods yet. Six weeks is a valid sample and should not be dismissed as an anomaly, but we can make up that 56 sale deficit in the next 46 weeks. 

I’m not worried about the median price; Westchester values are so huge that a slight shift in the high dollar sector can skew things there. To me, the metric of progress is the number of closings. In 2005, for example, the first 6 weeks had 545 closings. In 2006, it was 477, and in 2007 we closed 489 in the same period. 

What I am encouraged about is the number of buyers I am seeing. Showings are way up, and even if they are mostly lookers, more showings equals more buyers. 

I modestly predict that by the end of 2011 we’ll surpass 2010’s numbers. However, we won’t pass 2010 until after at least mid year, because 2010’s numbers are skewed by the stimulus, which had that year start out stronger and end weakly.The distribution of demand was uneven because transactions went way down after it ended April 30. Look for a more  even distribution this year. And keep your fingers crossed that the economy is in a sustainable recovery.