This week, Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty is releasing its Quarterly Market Report for all the counties it services: Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, and Dutchess Counties in New York; and Bergen, Passaic, and Morris Counties in New Jersey. Below is an excerpt from the report, but you can get the full Report here.
Activity in the Orange County housing market continued to surge in the second quarter, with sales up and inventories tightening. But pricing is still a challenge, with prices continuing to deteriorate even with buyer demand increasing.
Sales. Orange County single-family sales spiked in the second quarter, with closings up over 30% from last year and the 644 sales in the quarter representing the highest second-quarter total since 2007. Similarly, the rolling year total of 2,503 sales was the highest 12-month total since early 2007. All this activity had its expected impact on inventories, with the months of inventory falling almost three months from last year.
Prices. Even with these surges in buyer demand, though, we’re still seeing downward pressure on pricing. Prices fell across the board in the second quarter, down 8.2% on average, 9.6% at the median, and 4.8% in the price-per-square foot. The rolling year results were not as stark, but average prices were still down over 5% for the full year.
Negotiability. The negotiability indicators similarly demonstrate a market that continues to transition. Sellers were forced to discount their homes a little more aggressively to get them sold, with the listing retention falling slightly. On the positive side, though, homes were selling a bit more quickly, albeit at a relatively slow rate overall.
Condominiums. The condo market surged dramatically in the quarter, with sales up a whopping 71.2% from last year’s second quarter. Again, though, all this activity isn’t driving up prices, with pricing down across the board.
The Orange County market is perplexing, mixing torrid sales growth with a tepid pricing environment. One explanation might be that the market is simply stronger in the lower-end, which is changing the mix of the properties sold and ultimately driving pricing down. We remain confident, though, that if buyer demand continues to grow, it is bound to eventually start driving positive price appreciation.