The New York State housing market posted its strongest start in five years with first quarter sales reaching the highest level since the first quarter of 2008, according to preliminary single-family sales data accumulated by the New York State Association of Realtors (NYSAR). The statewide median sales price fell compared to the first quarter of 2011, but increased from the previous quarter.
“Strong affordability factors, improving consumer confidence and a mild winter increased buyer activity in the first quarter of the year as evidenced by our strongest start to the year since 2008,” said Duncan R. MacKenzie, NYSAR chief executive officer. “It is an encouraging sign,” he added, noting that the first quarter sales total of 14,408 was the highest since the 15,374 sales closed in the 2008 first quarter.
New York Realtors sold 14,408 existing single-family homes during the first quarter of 2012, an increase of 3.7 percent from the 2011 first quarter. The quarterly total represents a decrease of 23.1 percent from the 2011 fourth quarter. The March 2012 sales total of 5,099 represents a 9.8 percent increase from February 2012 and 1.8 percent decrease from March 2011.
“A recent report by the Siena Research Institute found that New Yorker’s confidence in the housing market reached a two-year high in the first quarter,” said MacKenzie. He noted that the survey also found the Empire State residents believe it is a “great time to buy” and that they have an improved outlook regarding the housing market.
“We believe that this renewed consumer confidence, along with historically low mortgage rates and solid inventory levels, will position the housing market to build upon this strong start during the typically active spring and summer seasons,” said MacKenzie.
The 2012 first quarter median sales price of $212,000 represents a decrease of 5.7 percent from the 2011 first quarter and a five percent increase from Q4 of 2011. The March statewide median sales price of $215,000 represents a 2.9 percent increase from the March 2011 median sales price of $209,000 and was unchanged from February 2012.