The Putnam housing market got off to a relatively soft start to the year, with both sales and prices falling in a slow first quarter of 2019. Single family home sales were down almost 5%, and average prices were down almost 4%, from the first quarter of last year, maybe as a result of a slackening of demand from the 2018 Tax Reform cap on state and local tax deductions (“SALT Cap”). That said, Putnam sales were only down about 2% for the year, and prices for the year were up almost 4%, so this first quarter might be a hiccup. Indeed, overall, Putnam sellers have reason to be optimistic for the spring market, with supply still below six months of inventory, interest rates near historic lows, and days-on-market still falling. We expect that at some point the SALT Cap impact will get priced into the market, and Putnam will show some more meaningful price appreciation in a robust spring.
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