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Real Estate Experts Encouraged By Latest Hudson Gateway Report

Sales volume increased 24 percent for the quarter ending in June for four counties listed in a report by the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.
Sales volume increased 24 percent for the quarter ending in June for four counties listed in a report by the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Monday’s second quarter residential sales report from the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors indicates a sustained recovery is underway in Westchester and other counties targeted in the report, according to several real estate experts.

Sales volume increased 24 percent from a comparable period in 2012 for Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange counties. The median sale price in the second quarter jumped 5.0 percent for Westchester homes, the highest second quarter median since 2008.

“We’re in the beginning stages of a sustained recovery,’’ said Phil Faranda, the vice president of the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service. “Consumer confidence has returned. The framework for people returning to the market was due to pent up demand. It’s been a long time coming. People are going to live their lives and put down roots.”

“I thought it was extraordinarily accurate,’’ added Diane Cummins, the president-elect of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. “We’ve had an increase in activity, but it’s a practical return. It’s not incredibly bubbled. It’s a nice flowing increase with our activity and our pricing.”

There were 3,445 closed residential transactions in the four-county MLS service territory in the second quarter. Westchester posted a 23.8 increase in the single-family house sector and a 27.8 increase in cooperative housing. Orange County led the way with a 34 percent increase in its single-family home sales.

The increased activity has resulted in shrinking inventory. There were 6,156 available properties at the end of the quarter in Westchester, a 13.1 decline from the same quarter in 2012. The figure was also lower than the number of available homes at the end of the second quarter in 2010 and 2011.

“The lack of inventory is a real thing,’’ Cummins said. “We’d sell more houses if we had more inventory.”

There were 1,425 sales of single-family homes in Westchester in the second quarter, 296 sales of condos, 391 coops and 113 multi-family dwellings. There were 2,202 single-family homes sold in the first six months of 2012 in Westchester, a 17.1 increase from last year and the highest figure in the past four years.

“It’s like someone flipped a switch and the pendulum swung from a depressing buyers’ market to an active sellers’ market,’’ Faranda said. “There was almost no transition period. The first quarter was a ‘pre-covery,’ and now I think we’re in a sustained recovery. Confidence is coming back and I don’t think it will go away any time soon.”

“I’ve done this for 30 years, and that’s the way it goes,’’ Cummins said. “Things turn for no reason at all. It’s quixotic. It’s amazing how fast we turn. When they say real estate can turn on a dime, they’re not kidding.”

Click on the attached PDF to review the full report.

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