The Rockland County market surged again in the third quarter of 2016, with a dramatic increase in sales finally driving a meaningful yearly increase in prices.
Sales. Rockland single‑family sales were up yet again, rising almost 13% from last year’s third quarter and up 20% for the rolling year. We’ve now seen sustained rates of growth for over four years, with transactions up for eight straight quarters and 16 out of the last 17. Indeed, we eclipsed 2,000 single‑family sales in the rolling year for the first time in over 10 years, at the height of the last seller’s market. Sales were similarly torrid in the condo market, which was up almost 38% for the quarter and 15% for the year.
Prices. Rockland pricing is finally showing meaningful signs of price appreciation. As we noted in our last Report, the 10% spring spike in prices was not sustainable, and we saw pricing come back to earth a little bit in the third quarter: down over 2% on average, and up a tick at the median. But the rolling year single‑family prices are demonstrating the kind of appreciation that is sustainable over time, up about 3% on both the average and the median. Rockland homeowners should be happy with this trend.
Inventory. Available inventory continues to fall, with single‑family homes and condos both approaching the six‑month level that usually denotes a “tight” market. If inventory continues to fall, and buyer demand stays at its current levels, then we are likely to see continued price appreciation in the future as buyers chase fewer available homes.
Negotiability. Single‑family homes sold more quickly and for closer to the asking price, which is generally a sign that sellers are gaining negotiating leverage with buyers. The condo results were more mixed, with the listing retention rate falling slightly even while the days‑on‑market hit the six‑month mark.
Going forward, we believe that buyer demand in Rockland will stay strong through the end of the year, with prices still at attractive levels, interest rates low, and the economy generally strengthening. Indeed, we expect that Rockland will have its best year since the height of the last seller’s market.