Market October 9, 2012

September 2012 Westchester Real Estate Market Report

The results are in for the month of September for single family home sales in the county and they are mixed. According to the Hudson Gateway MLS data, September 2012 was slightly weaker than the same time period in 2011, but overall 2012 is still well ahead of last year’s pace. Median price is down slightly, but we are almost 400 transactions ahead of the first three quarters of 2011.

For the month of September, 2012, Westchester had 363 closed sales at a median sale price of $545,000.
For the month of September, 2011, Westchester had 383 closed sales at a median sale price of $600,000.

Volume was down slightly, and median price was way down, but the transaction total for the year to date, 3428, remains far ahead of the 3044 that closed last year in the first three quarters. Median price for the year is down slightly, from $630,000 to $600,000, but that just means that the lower priced sector is moving at a more rapid rate.

There are currently 917 homes under contract or pending sale at this time, so the number of closings is not showing any signs of weakening. The last quarter does look to be strong in transaction totals. That said, the median asking price of the pending deals, just $524,000, means that less expensive starter homes are the bulk of the volume. What that means looking forward is that the median price for the first quarter of 2013 may shoot up as sellers of starters move up to more pricey digs. We’ll see if I am right and that happens.

I do not believe that values truly are down because of anecdotal experience in my own practice- buyers are far more eager to make deals in this environment than in years past. When buyers are more flexible, there is less downward pressure on prices. The more demanding buyers of 2009-10 created steep price drops. That is not happening now. There are just more starter homes selling than higher end properties.

I believe that overall, we are in the infancy of a modest recovery. That does not mean that happy days are back again, but it does mean that the decline is most likely behind us.