The Rockland County market surged in the second quarter of 2016, with another dramatic increase in sales coupled with an eye‑popping 10% spike in the average sales price.
Sales. Rockland sales were up yet again, rising over 28% from last year’s second quarter and now up 25% for the rolling year. We’ve now seen sustained rates of growth for four straight years, with transactions up for the last seven quarters and 15 out of the last 16. Indeed, we almost saw 2,000 single‑family sales over the rolling year for the first time in over 10 years, at the height of the last seller’s market.
Prices. After years of struggles, Rockland pricing finally broke through, with the average sales price spiking over 10% from the second quarter of last year. But that eye‑opening number comes with a couple of caveats. First, the increase for the rolling year was more modest (and sustainable), up about 6% on average. Second, the other pricing metrics were not as robust, with the median up 5% and the price‑per‑square‑foot up 6%. And third, the 10% increase in the average was skewed by a surge of activity in the high end, with $1M+ sales rising from 3 to 12 from last year’s second quarter. So although pricing is definitely trending upwards, we should not expect to see sustained double‑digit price appreciation going forward.
Negotiability. The negotiability indicators supported the view that the market is tightening. Inventory was down, listing retention was up, and the days‑on‑market were down – all indicating that sellers are gaining negotiating leverage with buyers.
Condos. The condo market in Rockland was up, but not at the pace of the single‑family market. Sales were up a robust 10%, but prices continue to struggle along, down on average and at the median. If single‑family homes continue to appreciate, though, that will expand the pricing gap between houses and condos, which would probably have a positive impact on the condo market.
Going forward, we do not expect Rockland to see sustained double‑digit price appreciation, but do believe that the market will continue to enjoy more modest pricing and sales increases. With prices still at attractive levels, interest rates low, and the economy generally strengthening, we believe that Rockland will have its best year since the height of the seller’s market.