We are excited to announce the release of our two Market Watch reports analyzing our residential real estate markets for the first quarter of 2013. The results supported our optimistic expectations about how the markets would perform as we entered the year. The picture of an increasingly healthy residential real estate market is confirmed by a number of relevant metrics, revealing the continuation of the upward trends experienced over the course of the 2012. Please click here to learn about the performance of the Westchester County, New York, market, and here for our report on Connecticut and the Berkshires.
Market vitality was the result of a genuine shift in psychology among both buyers and sellers. This shift was influenced partly by the media’s more positive reporting about the housing market, as well as the moderate economic growth seen throughout the country. Consumer confidence has increased significantly, and in combination with the 20% average reduction in property prices and the all-time low mortgage interest rates, has made for an optimal time to purchase a home. Furthermore, many families have used the past five years to organize their own personal financial situations and have come out of this period ready to enter the market.
In all markets, inventory levels are standing well below the median from the past three years, and days on market has been reduced from the past three-year median to 20% in Westchester County and 18% in Connecticut and the Berkshires. Pending sales have consistently improved in each of the past twelve months, and closed sales have improved for each of the past six. With prices reflecting good values, buyers are focusing on pursuing the best deals, while sellers have discovered that they are in a strong position to negotiate and come to a price that all parties find acceptable.
With the psychological shift in attitude, both buyers and sellers seem to feel that it is a good time to be in the market right now. We anticipate that these high confidence levels will continue in the second quarter, given the combination of strong first quarter data and the increased numbers of buyers who have entered the marketplace. Prices are remaining stable and sales are increasing across all price points, indicating that 2013 will be another year of growth. We invite you to view our market reports to learn more, and hope they may be useful to you as you consider your own real estate plans for the coming year.