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Report: Westchester Residential Sales on the Rise

MLS stats show second quarter produced 13 percent increase in sales over the same period a year ago.

Statistics for residential real estate sales in Westchester County showed a 13 percent year-over-year increase for the second quarter of 2012, according to the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service.

Realtors participating in the Westchester-Putnam division of the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service reported 1,788 closed residential sales in Westchester County, and 177 sales in Putnam County, during the second quarter of 2012.

By the numbers:

  • In Westchester, single family house sales led the improvement with a 16.7 percent increase.
  • Condo sales were up by 12.8 percent and co-op sales by 7.0 percent.
  • On a seasonally adjusted basis, the second quarter sales in Westchester were equivalent to an annual sales rate of some 6,810 units, an increase of about 2 percent from the prior quarter.
  • Taking the first quarter of 2012 into consideration as well, the likely year-end total if this pace of sales persists will be in the range of 6,700 – 6,900 units in Westchester and 650-700 units in Putnam, making 2012 the strongest year since the real estate recession gripped our region in 2008.

Prices started to level out

The second quarter median sale price of a Westchester single family house was $619,000—a slight decrease of 0.6 percent from last year, according to a report out today from Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service. The $156,250 cooperative median was also down by 0.6 percent and the condominium median of $338,000 was down by 3.0 percent from a year ago. Mean (average) sales prices were down by roughly the same percentages; for example, the mean sale price of a Westchester house was $852,636, a decrease of 0.5 percent from last year. 

When all the averages track in the same direction together, it often signifies that all price ranges and property types are being affected the same way, in this case, by ever more gradual price reductions that appear close to bottoming out, according to the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service. High-end properties, defined as those selling for $1 million or more, amounted to 22.7 percent of all single family house sales in Westchester, nearly the same ratio as was posted during the second quarters of 2011 and 2010, according to today's report. 

There were 7,081 residential units listed for sale in the Multiple Listing Service in Westchester at the close of the quarter, 11.5 percent fewer than last year. The closings that are the subject of today’s report were largely listed and negotiated during the 2011-12 winter months and early spring. At that time, mortgage interest rates were quite low—in the range of 4.2-4.3 percent for 30-year conventional loans, according to Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service.

Rates have since dropped below 4.0 percent. However, Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service says the current inherent affordability of mortgage financing is offset to some extent by much tighter lending criteria.

The Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service Inc. is a subsidiary of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors Inc.

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