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As we say goodbye to 2011 and look ahead to the New Year, how did inventory levels and average home prices compare to the previous year? Here’s a look at where we stand in terms of inventory and home prices as well as what we can hope to see happen in the coming 12 months.
Inventory Finally Beginning to Stabilize
The big news we are seeing is that finally, after a long time of increasing inventory, our current inventory levels are beginning to level off. Based on our Multiple Listing Service data, we reported home listings at about 14.5 months as of November 2011. Considering the year prior, in 2010 it was 14.8 months – not much different.
*The number of months reported as inventory translates to the number of months it would take to sell currently listed homes if the selling pace were to remain at the present rate.
Home Prices Dropped a Small Amount
Not surprising news, the average overall selling price of homes sold in the Long Island area including the borough of Queens, dropped 3.2% year over year from November 2011 as compared to 2010. In terms of actual price, the figures went from an average of $426,000 in 2010 down to $412,000 in 2011.
Nassau County home prices came in at a 1% drop from the same time last year – from $503,000 in November 2010 versus $498,000 in 2011. In Suffolk County, the drop was a bit steeper at 2.7% with prices going from $371,000 in November 2011 to $361,000 on average the same month in 2011.
Looking Forward to the Year Ahead
All indications seem to point to similar trends this year, with some leveling but not any significant price appreciation. The good news is that we are closer than we were just a few years ago when the mortgage meltdown crisis occurred in early 2007. The bad news is that it will still take at least five or six years before we can expect similar home values and average price levels – but it will happen eventually.
In summary, though it is still somewhat of a softening market in terms of pricing, the situation is not as bad as many people had anticipated. With the spring market a few short weeks away beginning in February and lasting several months, we can expect to see heightened activity in the market. Unemployment rates have slowed as well so all indications seem to signal better times ahead. Given that home appreciation values generally coincide with the job market because the more people earn, the more they can afford to spend on housing, lower levels of unemployment is a strong sign for a better future in our real estate market.
If you are considering selling your home, be sure to contact a qualified, reputable Realtor that knows your prospective area well and has the proven experience to show it! Please do not hesitate to contact our office for a customized consultation as to how we can fulfill your real estate needs today. We look forward to hearing from you!