Thursday, July 24, 2008

Westchester Market: "Troubled Condition"

The Westchester-Putnam Multiple Listing Service (WPMLS) released the second quarter report this week and the news was pretty bleak. The number of sales county-wide was down 24% from the same time last year. On the bright side, this is an improvement over the fist quarter, in which sales were down 31%. The median sales prices was also down, although by a modest 4%. The big bad news for the second quarter was that inventory was up a whopping 11% over a year ago, bringing the supply of homes on the market to the highest number since 1997. This is a marked contrast to the first quarter, in which the number of homes on the market was actually down by 14% from the previous year. The report postulates that while more people were waiting out the market at the beginning of the year, the general decline in the economy has forced a growing number of owners to sell. While county-wide data is of questionable value in understanding local markets, the general thrust of the report matches my armchair observations of things in Northern Westchester. Certainly, the number of listings coming on the market in the early spring far outweighed the number going to contract. The supply of new listings appears to have decreased lately, but that is pretty standard for mid-summer.

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