Pricing in the Dutchess housing market soared again in the first quarter, with single-family home prices spiking from high demand and limited inventory. Average prices were up almost 19% from the first quarter of last year, and over 11% for the rolling year. We caution readers, though, not to read too much into that data, because the quarterly average price was skewed by a number of large-acreage multi-million-dollar sales that are not representative of the average homeowner experience. That said, while Dutchess will probably not continue to experience double-digit appreciation, the county still has room for growth based on longer-term historical trends. The more significant anomaly was the severe drop in sales, which were down over 15% for the quarter and almost 8% for the year. We don’t believe that this is an indication of a slackening of demand, not with prices going up like they have, but more likely is simply a result of low levels of inventory. We expect that sales will rise in the traditionally more robust spring market, but we’re skeptical that prices will continue to rise at this rate.
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