The Hudson Gateway MLS statistics for single family home closings for the month of October indicate that the market is markedly better this year than last year, and is the most robust it has been since 2007. Both median price and the volume of closed transactions are up considerably and the number of pending sales is also up as well.
For the month of October, 2012, 348 homes closed at a median price of $561,500.
For the same month in 2011, 268 homes closed at a median price of $515,000.
That is a 10% increase in median price and a whopping 23% increase in transactions. It puts the yearly total well ahead of last years pace as well:
For the first 10 months of 2011, 3312 homes closed at a median price of $620,000.
For the first 10 months of 2012, 3777 homes closed at a median price of $600,000.
Transactions closed for the year overall are 14% ahead of 2011 and the median price is steady, albeit down slightly.
Another good sign is the number of transactions under contract and pending sale. There are 926 homes under contract at a median price of $521,950. Last year at this time there were only 674 homes under contract at a median price of $499,000. That is a 37% increase in homes under contract, and it is perhaps the best indicator of where we are headed than any other metric I know.
Median price is not the perfect barometer for true home values, but it does speak to the trend of price category that buyers are acting on. For example, the $521,950 median price of homes under contract does not mean that values have plummeted from the $600,000 median of the year to date; it does mean that more buyers are buying lower cost homes this time of year.
Perhaps the most significant takeaway from the results is that we are past the low point and entering a period of some stability and-brace yourself-some certainty. I do not expect prices to rise; I foresee flat values for the time being, but the number of sales is growing at a healthy pace. It is hard to argue with the talk of recovery in housing at long last. We were due for some good news, so we should enjoy it while it lasts.
For more real estate commentary, log onto Westchester Real Estate Blog, authored by J. Philip Faranda, broker and owner of J. Philip Real Estate. You can also connect on Facebook and follow on Twitter.