In light of this article in Tuesday's NY Times on the poor October in real estate sales, I thought it worthwhile to inject a little sanity into the implications for local market conditions. According to the Empire Access MLS, in Westchester County in October 2010, there were 285 closed sales of single family homes at a median price of $576,500. In October of 2009, there were 336 closed sales in the same category at a median sales price of $575,000. That is a 15% drop in volume with virtually the same median price, albeit $1500 higher.
That is far below the national decline, and while any 15% drop is significant, it is safe to say that Westchester stunk it up far less than most parts of the country, which were down 40 and 50% according to the piece.
Consider the following:
2009: 2668 sales at a median price of $590,000 from 1/1/09-10/30/09
2010: 3461 sales at a median price of $640,000 from 1/1/10-10/30/10
Overall, sales volume is up by almost 800 closings, or 30%, and median price is up $50,000, or 8.5%. 2010 has already torched 2009. It isn't even close. There are currently 731 homes under contract, so eclipsing 4000 closed deals is well within grasp. That would make 2010 the best year since 2007, which had over 5000 closed sales-but here's the big asterisk- the sub prime meltdown didn't occur until later in 2007. There were barely 1000 closings the last quarter of 2007 because so many banks were failing, scuttling a ton of pending transactions.
What's it all mean? The numbers indicate that Westchester is overall ahead of the national curve, and is doing far better than last year. Beyond that you'll need to buy a fortune cookie.