Never one who was big on remembering or quoting verse from the Bible, I do sometimes think of Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, Verses 1-4. You know, the passage about the appropriate times to do this or that, when to mourn or rejoice, and all that? It’s gotten me through the low spots when I’ve thought, oh, okay, I guess this is one of those down times when I should just lie low or, I guess this is when I can kick up my heels.
During 2013, we realtors were able to say, this is the time to rejoice and this is the time for homeowners to sell and buyers to buy. At least that’s what the report of the Multiple Listing Service, released last week, confirmed that we should do.
The good news was that the real estate business was better in 2013 than it had been since we laid a big fat egg after 2007. Westchester posted a 21 percent sales increase from 2012 to 2013 and Putnam posted a 17 percent increase, and to paraphrase a certain Dickens novel in a skewed kind of way, it was the best of times to buy and it was the best of times to sell a house.
Those of my colleagues who were able to survive in the real estate business (and a significant percentage of us didn’t) are glad we stayed the course, and in 2013, many of us had our best year yet, despite certain limitations, such as a decreased inventory which tended to crimp our style when a buyer client would desperately want a property only to find that there were multiple bids at play once again.
In Westchester, the housing inventory dropped from 2,570 units in 2012 to 2,327 units in 2013, a 9.5 percent decline. In Putnam County, the number dropped from 708 in 2012 to 681 in 2013, a decline of 3.8 percent.
This all augured well for home values. In Westchester, the median sales price of a single family rose 3.9 percent, from $587,00 in 2012 to $610,000 in 2013. In Putnam, the median sales price rose 2.8 percent to $308,500. Quizzically, however, the average prizes in the year-end report in most towns decreased while the number of sales went up simply because many more homes in the lower end that were sitting on the shelf during the recession came on the market.
To read more about what sales in 2013 reveal about the higher priced towns in Westchester county, see my latest post at TheHomeGuru.com.
Bill Primavera is a Residential and Commercial Realtor® associated with Coldwell Banker, as well as a publicist and journalist who writes regularly as The Home Guru. For questions about home maintenance or to engage him to help you buy or sell a home, he can be emailed at Bill@TheHomeGuru.com or called directly at 914-522-2076.