You cannot call a market with so many homes underwater, flat to mildly declining prices and a swollen shadow inventory of distress a recovery. However, with prices no longer falling, transaction totals surging, and inventory declining, we are no longer in the downward spiral that punctuated the crash from 2007-2011. The strong November numbers from the Hudson Gateway MLS for Westchester single family homes certainly point to what I would call a “precovery”, where the worst is behind us, as the results continue our strongest year since 2007.
For the month of November, 2012, 311 single family homes closed at a median sale price of $527,000.
For the same period in 2011, 252 single family homes closed at a median price of $520,250.
It is hard to find bad news here. Median price for the month is up slightly. The 24% increase in sales points to a resurgence at the most robust pace we have seen since before the crisis. Inventory is also shrinking (which happens when more homes sell), and, most importantly, the number of pending sales remains high at 880.
For the year to date, 4,088 homes have closed at a median price of $590,000.
For the same period in 2011, 3,564 homes closed at a median price of $610,000.
Transactions are up year to date 14.7%, which is the highest total since 2007. Median price for the year is down slightly, indicating more first time home buyers entering the market. I do not believe for a minute that real values are down in any substantive way. When we do get what those smarter than myself call a recovery it will be punctuated more by stability than crazy appreciation in values. That said, values will creep up eventually as the market gains strength from the higher sales pace. So we are in that time after the crash, prior to a recovery.