How Strong Is Our Housing Market Right Now?

Strong sales but not stronger prices is the takeaway from the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service’s latest report.

The Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service has released its third-quarter housing report, showing mixed results for the market in Westchester County. The county saw 10 percent growth in home sales compared to the same time period last year, but posted a disappointing 1 percent drop in home sale prices.

According to the report, realtors working in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, and Orange counties reported a total of 5,231 closed transactions of single-family houses, condominiums, cooperatives, and multi-family houses during July, August, and September 2015, an increase of 687 units, or 15.2 percent, over the third quarter results of last year. On a year-to-date basis (January through September), there were 11,761sales—an increase of 1,581 sales or 15.5 percent over last year.

Westchester posted the lowest increase of the four counties, 10.3 percent, but because the County typically accounts for half or more of the total transactions in the region, the increase represented a substantial number of home sales—294 more than last year, bringing Westchester’s third quarter count to 3,157 sales.

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The rapid pace of sales all year long and into the third quarter put some downward pressure on the supply of available properties posted with the MLS. At the end of the quarter (September 30), the total inventory of all types of residential listings in all four counties together was 11,734 listings, a decrease of 625 or 5.1 percent from last year at that date. Westchester ended the quarter with a 4.3 percent decrease in inventory from last year.

Although the region’s inventory has been trending downward as a result of strong market activity, it has not shrunk so much or so rapidly as to put a crimp in the continuing market improvement, the report states. In Westchester for instance, the third quarter median sale price of a single-family house was $676,500, representing a price decrease of $6,000 or nearly one percent from last year.

What’s the outlook going forward? The report states that the region remains poised for more growth as conditions permit.

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