The Putnam County housing market exploded in the third quarter, with sales up sharply and prices spiking. Although the current rates of growth are probably not sustainable, Putnam still has room for both sales and price increases through 2016.
Sales. Putnam sales surged again in the third quarter, rising 23.8% from last year and coincidentally up that same 23.8% for the year. Indeed, we have now seen sustained growth in Putnam sales for almost four years, with closings up for five straight quarters and 13 out of the last 14. And we are now seeing sales totals creep up to the seller market levels, with the 291 sales the most since the third quarter of 2005.
Prices. This sustained surge in sales activity had its predicted impact on pricing, with prices up across the board: 9.9% on average, 4.7% at the median, and 7.0% in the price-per-square-foot. For the year, prices were up, just not as sharply, rising 3.4% on average, 2.5% at the median, and 0.4% in the price-per-square-foot.
Negotiability. The negotiability indicators were more mixed, with the listing retention rate up to 95.5% but the days-on-market rising 6.1%. For the year, listing retention was up and days-on-market were down, supporting the view that sellers are gaining more negotiating leverage.
Condominiums. The condo market exploded in the third quarter, with sales up over 50% and prices up across the board. This is consistent with what we saw throughout the region, with lower-priced entry-level markets experiencing the strongest growth. The yearly numbers, providing a larger sample size, are also impressive, with sales up 34% and average prices up 7.0%.
Going forward, we do not believe that the current rate of sales growth is sustainable, especially given that we’re now seeing sales at rates commensurate with the last decade’s seller’s market. But we do think that Putnam still has room for both sales and price growth, and expect that to continue through the end of the year and into 2016.