The Putnam County housing market surged again in the third quarter of 2016, with sales way up and prices stabilizing after a summer spike.
Sales. Putnam sales were up again in the third quarter, with single‑family home closings up over 12% from last year and now up almost 22% for the year. The market is just sizzling, with transactions up in nine straight quarters and 17 out of the last 18. Similarly, condo sales were up almost 12%, and have risen almost 20% for the year. Putnam demand is strong right now.
Prices. Even with all this demand, though, we’re not seeing a dramatic impact on pricing. Single‑family home prices were basically flat for the quarter, down a tick on average and up almost 2% at the median. Condo pricing was downright scary, falling almost 20% on both the average and the median, but we caution that the Putnam condo market is very thin and can be skewed by outliers. Overall, though, it’s surprising that sustained buyer demand over almost five years has had so little impact on pricing.
Inventory. The good news for Putnam homeowners was that inventory was down again, falling almost 43% to 7.3 months of active single‑family listings and 4.7 months for condos. Anything below six months usually signifies a tight seller’s market, which would tend to drive the kind of appreciation we’ve been waiting for.
Negotiability. The negotiability indicators showed that sellers continue to gain leverage with buyers, with the listing retention rate rising and days‑on‑market falling for both single‑family and condo sellers. We would expect homes to continue to sell more quickly and for closer to the asking price if the market heats up.
Going forward, we do believe that the fundamentals of the market are strong, with demand high, prices at attractive levels, interest rates near historic lows, and a gradually improving economy. Accordingly, we expect the Putnam market to close the year strong, and to eventually drive some meaningful price appreciation.