These are, respectively, the number of closed single family homes for the second quarter (April 1-June 30) in Westchester County along with the median price for the years 2011 through 2017. All data is courtesy of the Hudson Gateway MLS.
Year Closings Median Price
2011 994 $618,000
2012 1158 $619,000
2013 1437 $650,000
2014 1254 $655,000
2015 1339 $660,000
2016 1652 $649,000
2017 1629 $670,000
Clearly, 2012-2013 were the beginnings of the recovery from the housing crash. I remember being surprised at the way 2013 evolved; I recall one listing that I was afraid to price any higher than $899,000, and after cautiously having the seller discuss $925,000 and then listing at $939,000, it sold for over $960,000 in a bidding war. 2013 ended up with a 45% rise in closed transactions and a solid jump in median home prices. Consumer confidence was returning and pent-up demand from the downturn contributed to the market roaring back.
Values increased slightly in 2014 but transactions were down 13% in what might be termed a slight hangover from the first happy year since the collapse. The law of supply and demand contributed as well, with demand cooling as prices went up.
2015 showed stable growth, with median price and transactions both showing modest gains.
2016 saw a small dip in median price but also an impressive 23% jump in closings. The declining median does not mean that values went down; it does mean that the higher purchase trended more toward less expensive starter homes.
2017 showed both a high transaction total and the highest median price since the Great Recession.
What does it all mean? A few things:
- Election year uncertainty is a thing. In both 2012 and 2016 values remained stagnant or declined slightly.
- Post-election years often show an increase in consumer confidence.
- 2013 was the most dramatic year of the recovery, as evidenced by the significant jump in both median price and closings. This is no shock; Not only was the election over and the recovery in the news, but the pent-up demand from so many buyers waiting, often living with parents or in shrinking quarters, there was going to be a breakout year.
- Growth and the health of the local housing market since the crash have been stable.
What isn’t in the numbers is that the recovery is uneven; southern Westchester is overheated. Northern Westchester and Putnam remain tepid at best, with higher valued homes taking longer to sell. Some communities are benefitting more than others.
Overall, however, the trend is encouraging. I raise this morning’s coffee to the growing health of the market.