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Report: Fourth Quarter Sales Boosted 2012 Real Estate Market Locally

Additional gains expected in 2013.

The pace of residential real estate sales picked up considerably in 2012 in the four counties of the lower Hudson region – Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange, according to the Realtor firms participating in the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service (HGMLS), a subsidiary of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.

The Realtors reported a regional sales aggregate of 11,481 residential units consisting of single-family houses, condominiums, cooperatives, and in the case of Westchester, 2 to 4 family buildings as well. This was a 15 percent increase over 2011’s total of 9,973 sales.

This movement halted the steady decrease in annual sales that started in 2004.   

Westchester, the most populous of the counties, and historically accounting for about two-thirds of the total sales activity in the region, posted a 14 percent gain in sales over 2011. Putnam, Rockland and Orange counties posted year over year gains of 9 percent, 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively.  Also in those three counties, the highest percentage sales increases were posted in the single-family house sector. 

In Westchester, where house sales picked up by 16 percent, that performance was bested by a 20 percent increase in condominium sales.

Sales in the region generally increased in each quarter of 2012 but were especially strong in the final three months, depending on property type, when transactions that had been negotiated or contracted in the summer months finally went to closings and were reported to HGMLS.  

The fourth quarter increase for single-family houses was 30 percent in Westchester and 10 percent in Orange. Rockland’s condominium and cooperative sector posted a 19 percent gain.  Only Putnam posted a decrease - Putnam has a very small housing stock and as a result, its market data are subject to larger swings from just a few transactions up or down, according to the HGMLS.

Looking forward, HGMLS contends the 2013 real estate market will likely accelerate from the momentum of the 2012 market as long as there are no economic or political catastrophes at the national level affecting unemployment, mortgage interest rates, tax treatment of housing, or the equity markets, that would destroy consumer confidence. 

Billy L January 14, 2013 at 07:38 PM
It's not the only factor. Banks have tightened their lending standards, as per recent legislation. Employment still remains above the national average as well. It is a big factor but not the only factor. Personally I hope prices stay where they are so I can buy more rental property.
Jack Moolick January 15, 2013 at 02:47 AM
The Affordability Index has never been more favorable since in was first conceived and calculated and interest rates are at historic 60 year lows. If it were not for our Region having some of the highest real estate taxes, sales would be through the roof. However if you purchase a home with a tax bill of $12,000 it is the equivalent to paying off another $230,000 mortgage. Put another way, if you buy a home for $500,000 with $100,000 down and finance the $400,000 balance over 30 years at 3.25%, your payments, including real estate taxes, is the equivalent to paying off a mortgage of $630,000 for A $500,000 home.
joe January 15, 2013 at 06:51 PM
Well put, but Florida has been crushed and their taxes are low. Their affordability index must be extremely low. The problem with westchester, is that 1) it is the highest taxed county of all 3500 counties in the nation, and 2) the population of taxpayers shrinks each year while the population of non taxpayers grows each year. This will keep upward pressure on property taxes. As long as the tax and spend polititians in Albany hit us with unfunded mandates, our best days are behind us.
Jeremy Milano January 17, 2013 at 09:36 AM
Hopefully this year Real estate industry will boost its sales. Lot of people nowadays are investing their money on property. More philippine condominium investment articles on http://www.myproperty.ph
alex marco June 18, 2013 at 02:26 AM
^ @Jeremy Real Estate Industry are really booming here in the Philippines. With more and more Filipino working abroad are now coming back to our home country looking for properties they can invest in. http://www.philrealty-showroom.com

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