The Multiple Listing Service statistics for July closings in Ossining and Croton indicate good news for market watchers. Comparing data from this past July to July 2010, Ossining is way up, and Croton is virtually identical. July is typically a high volume month in the market cycle due to the weather and school year schedule, and despite an overall malaise in the industry, local results give reason for optimism.
In July 2011, MLS data shows that Ossining had 14 single family home closings at a median sale price of $378,000. In July of 2010, only 8 homes closed, and the median price that month was a paltry $269,000. What is significant about this rebound beyond the numbers is that last July was still in the stimulus period- the deadline for contracts was April 30 technically, but buyers had until September 30 to close. Despite the absence of this incentive, 2011 had a huge improvement in value and transaction volume.
Croton was a different story, although encouraging nonetheless. In July 2010, MLS data shows that Croton-Harmon schools had 6 single family homes close at a median price of $502,450. This past July, 6 homes again closed, and the median price was $500,000, a virtual statistical dead heat in value. In a market where the overall trend is downward, holding steady is a sign of resilience.
Whether this is a one month anomoly or an indication of recovery is unknown. What we do know is that when consumer confidence is as low as it has been, and lenders still seems like they are looking for any reason they can to deny a mortgage, strong numbers are welcome news. We still face a growing shadow inventory of foreclosed and distressed homes that have yet to be put on the market, stingy lenders and cautious buyers. But if the results can be this encouraging in such a climate, parhaps a recovery is not as far fetched as it might seem.