2009 was an exciting year in the real estate world! On the following pages, I have provided a summary of the past 3 years’ average and median price performance by school district. Perhaps things are not as bad as they seem from reading national news reports. For example, if you had purchased the average priced home in Westchester in 2007 and sold it in 2009, you would have lost approximately 18.5%. That is a larger loss than the stock markets over the same time frame, though with much less volatility.
As the numbers show, prices have continued to decline throughout 2009 and it is taking longer to sell properties. However, there were still 280 transactions, on average, every month in 2009, so there was plenty of activity. Because the majority of purchases are financed, this sales activity means that banks are lending. Qualifying for a loan, though, continues to be a challenge for many people.
The “shadow inventory” of soon-to-be foreclosed homes is an issue for many parts of the country, though I believe it is much less of a factor in Westchester. According to a recent article in The Journal News, judgments that resulted in the loss of property declined 29% from 2008.
My outlook for 2010 is positive – I have seen a pickup in activity among buyers, though that might change when the home buyer tax credit expires on April 30. Mortgage rates are also a factor; most reports I have seen indicate a 50-100 basis point increase by the end of the year. I continue to believe that residential property prices are in the process of stabilizing and that the bottom is already behind us.
My goal for 2010 is to help as many buyers and sellers as I can. In these challenging times, it is especially important to be represented by a team of professionals who work strongly on their clients’ behalf. My team of attorneys, inspectors and other vendors will continue to provide you and your referrals with outstanding service.