As we have stated in some of our recent market reports, our areas have been experiencing increased momentum, and we are now excited to report that 2012 was a turning point for real estate in the markets where we operate. Our new annual market reports, available here for Westchester County, New York, draw a number of positive conclusions. With 13 months in a row of month-to-month pending sales increases and significant closed unit sales increases, both quarterly and for the year, we are feeling very confident about the road ahead.
2012’s healthy residential real estate market was a result of several key factors, including a rise in consumer confidence, pent-up demand from buyers, appealing prices and low interest rates. In addition, many buyers have turned their attention to purchasing new homes as rental prices have been driven up. Home values are also finally being viewed similarly by both buyers and sellers.
A particular bright patch was the months of November and December, where the market greatly outperformed expected results considering the combined factors of the election, the fiscal cliff and Hurricane Sandy. Increased activity in this period was due in part to buyers having a feeling that the timing was right as well as sellers wanting to complete deals before January 1 to benefit from lower taxes. As a number of sales were not yet completed by the close of the year, we expect quarter one of 2013 to see a strong supply of closings.
Considering all of the positive news, we are noticeably more optimistic looking forward to 2013. Though we aren’t making claims of a coming boom, we believe that prices will remain stable as sales keep improving toward pre-crisis levels. Our agents are telling us about significantly improved showing activity for properties at all price points, with buyers showing up already pre-qualified. Furthermore, strong numbers of properly priced homes are expected to arrive on the market in the coming months, and these will spur more buyer activity. Finally, buyers are just feeling better than they were before about their own financial situations. As you evaluate your own real estate prospects for the New Year, we hope you find our Annual 2012 Market Watch beneficial and informative.