Putnam County Market Overview 2014

Putnam County Market Overview 2014

Well, what do you know? According to data from the Hudson Gateway MLS footprint of Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange counties, the Putnam County housing market is holding its own.

A year to date comparison over 2012 indicates a 13.8% percentage increase in closed transactions and a 2.8% median sales price increase in Single Family Houses. Our inventory shows a slight decrease 0f 3.8% while neighboring Westchester boasted a 9.5 % decrease in inventory. All in all the numbers point to a market going in the direction of a steady recovery.

Breaking down the data by price ranges gives a little more insight into Putnam County’s strengthening market.

By the end of the 4th quarter, 316 homes were sold at prices ranging from $100k-300k, which means there were 316 REAL buyers. Currently, there are 227 active listings with an absorption rate of 8.63 months.

This is quite a contrast to homes in the $850k to $1million range with 34 currently active and 16 sold in 2013, which means 16 REAL buyers and an absorption rate of 25 months.

Continuing with homes in the $300k to $500k range with 231currently active and 274 sold in 2013, which means 274 REAL buyers and an absorption rate of 10 months.

And lastly homes in the $500k to $800k range with 124 currently active and 95 sold in 2013, which means 95 REAL buyers and an absorption rate of 16 months.

The contrasting numbers by price range are a reflection of the market boom in the early 2000s, where the shortage of higher end homes in Westchester caused a price hike and a new construction boom in Putnam and perhaps an oversupply of homes over $500k before the economy took its downturn.

That said, Putnam County does possess some things in its favor when it comes to attracting buyers in all price ranges.

•We have a low unemployment rate of 5.8%.

•We are an affluent community with an median household income of $92,711.

•Since 2009, Putnam County’s crime rate has decreased 34.2% making it the most improved county in New York State in this metric.

•Our home ownership rate is 83.4% which is much higher than surrounding counties.

•We are still a small, closely knit community with our population just under 100,000.

There is room for even more optimism. Our current County administration works hand in hand with our EDC/IDA, Chambers of Commerce, and Tourism and is focused on quality of life issues such as infrastructure improvements, revitalization, smart development, and transportation improvements. The county has even partnered with local Realtors to sell county owned properties. Putnam County is a place that has astutely avoided overdevelopment and over commercialization and instead is famous for its bodies of water, parks and mountains. As we well know the county still lies within a short, easy commute to Manhattan.

2014 is shaping up to be a banner year as far as sales volume is concerned. We know that the health of the housing market relies heavily on the greater economy. National political debates involving Health Care reform, the recent government shutdown, the sequester and debt ceiling surely do not help things. The fact that Putnam County shares the region’s issue with continually increasing taxes, offers less services than neighboring counties, and has a less developed infrastructure makes it a challenge to attract more buyers to the county.

Luckily, these issues are balanced by the pleasant lifestyle offered by the open, green spaces, bodies of water and privacy we have to offer. Putnam County is poised for growth. We have many revitalization and infrastructure improvements in the works such as Envision Brewster, a new sewer district in Kent, improvements in downtown Mahopac being discussed. Coupled with our beautiful surroundings and demographics we will continue on our path of housing recovery.

This is where we as the Realtor community come in. I encourage more fellow HGAR members to get involved at a local level to watch dog our municipal governments and partner with our

elected officials to slow down the tax increases, and foster sustainable improvement to the quality of life.

We can make a difference. While we face our challenges, Putnam County should enjoy a favorable real estate market in the near future, while active community leaders work together to build an even stronger community and an attractive place to live, work and play.

Jennifer Maher,

Associate Broker J. Philip Real Estate LLC

Broker/Managing Partner J.Philip Commercial Group

Chairwoman Putnam County Chambers of Commerce