The pace of residential real estate sales picked up considerably in 2012 in the four counties of the lower Hudson region – Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange, according to the Realtor firms participating in the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service (HGMLS), a subsidiary of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.
The Realtors reported a regional sales aggregate of 11,481 residential units consisting of single-family houses, condominiums, cooperatives, and in the case of Westchester, 2 to 4 family buildings as well. This was a 15 percent increase over 2011’s total of 9,973 sales.
This movement halted the steady decrease in annual sales that started in 2004.
Westchester, the most populous of the counties, and historically accounting for about two-thirds of the total sales activity in the region, posted a 14 percent gain in sales over 2011. Putnam, Rockland and Orange counties posted year over year gains of 9 percent, 11 percent and 9 percent, respectively. Also in those three counties, the highest percentage sales increases were posted in the single-family house sector.
In Westchester, where house sales picked up by 16 percent, that performance was bested by a 20 percent increase in condominium sales.
Sales in the region generally increased in each quarter of 2012 but were especially strong in the final three months, depending on property type, when transactions that had been negotiated or contracted in the summer months finally went to closings and were reported to HGMLS.
The fourth quarter increase for single-family houses was 30 percent in Westchester and 10 percent in Orange. Rockland’s condominium and cooperative sector posted a 19 percent gain. Only Putnam posted a decrease - Putnam has a very small housing stock and as a result, its market data are subject to larger swings from just a few transactions up or down, according to the HGMLS.
Looking forward, HGMLS contends the 2013 real estate market will likely accelerate from the momentum of the 2012 market as long as there are no economic or political catastrophes at the national level affecting unemployment, mortgage interest rates, tax treatment of housing, or the equity markets, that would destroy consumer confidence.