Third quarter home sales outpaced expectations with closings being the most for any quarter since 2005, said the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, a subsidiary of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.
There were 4,579 completed sales for single family houses, condominiums, cooperatives and multi-family dwellings, according to the statistics released Tuesday morning. For the same period 2012 there were slightly more than 3,500 closings.
The percentage increase in final sales was the strongest in Westchester County at 31 percent, HGAR reported, followed by Rockland County at 26 percent and Putnam County at 22 percent.
Nationally, home prices jumped 12.4 percent in July from the same period in 2012, which is the greatest increase since February 2006, according to the recently released Case/Schiller study from Dow Jones. This report said the higher sales were in part due to a limited supply of available homes.
Local realtors agree that sales are booming saying that the trend is fueled by relatively low interest rates and improved confidence in the economy.
“I am not surprised at these numbers. We had a very powerful July and August—and August is usually quiet,” said Wayne LaFranco, regional vice president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. July and August , he said, were “powerful months.”
He agreed that low inventory is boosting sales but said it should change as the median home price is inching up and many are realizing it is good time to buy and sell.
Going into the last quarter he said there might not be a traditional holiday slowdown.
“I’ve told my agents to buckle their seat belts,” he said.
Diane Cummins, president-elect of HGAR, and branch manager for Douglas Elliman in Katonah, agreed that sales were strong in July and August, but noted there was a slight slowdown at the end of September.
“We did see hot spring and hot summer markets,” she said. “But there has been a little bit of a lull, sort of like a hiccup. People are taking a breath of air and I would say there is a breath and there may be a hot fourth quarter as well. “
She noted that it was a good market for high-end and unique properties and also a good market for those who want to buy a starter home or move-up from a condominium or co-op.