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2012 Real Estate Data Portends Better 2013

Another good month for the Capital Region housing market.

Pending home sales hit a five year monthly high in November 2012. A total of 589 homes went under contract in November, up 4.8% from November 2011 – the highest November pending sales number since 2007. Inventory has also dropped from historic November numbers to 7,497 homes for sale, a 13.9% decline in active homes for sale from November 2011. Notably, this is the lowest inventory reading for any month since February 2010. If you’ve read my analysis before, or ever read the business section you know what’s coming. Prices, you guessed it. Prices rose in November 2012. The median November home sales price was up 6.1% to $198,000 – this compares to $186,600 in 2011, $185,000 in 2010, and $178,001 in 2009. This was the tenth consecutive month of prices gains.

Malta NY Real Estate Home Prices Increase 2012

In other words, prices rose every month in 2012 as compared to the same month in 2011, from February to November. Ten straight months of solid price gains is why locally and nationally, just about all analysts are now talking about the housing market as a key player in the nation’s recovery. The odds prices continue to increase in 2013 are good and here is why.  The monthly supply of housing inventory is a great metric to gauge the health of the real estate market. The monthly supply of housing measures how quickly the current rate of sales will exhaust the total inventory of homes for sale.

Monthly Supply of Homes for Sale Malta NY Real Estate

At the current rate of sales, it would take 10.4 months to sell off all of the homes for sale in the Capital Region, this is a startling 26.6% decline from November 2011. Just 12 months ago, the monthly housing supply was 14.2 months. When taken all together, the increase in pending home sales and the declining supply of inventory portend improvement in the 2013 real estate market.

Below are short summaries of a few select Capital Region real estate markets, with links to the monthly market pages for each city and town as well as the active homes for sale in each area.

In the City of Albany, the median home sales price inched up every so slightly since the beginning of the year, up 0.3% to $156,750. At the same time, sales increased 4.2% year to date, and inventory of homes for sale (click for active listings) declined 4.2% year to date. As sales continue to pick up and inventory declines, prices should likely rise in 2013.

In Bethlehem and Delmar, the median home sales price increased 2.2% year to date to $250,000. Total home sales jumped 24.7% for the year, but inventory of homes for sale (click for active listings) also climbed 10.7% most likely due in part to new construction.

In Clifton Park, the median home sales price grew 4.5% year to date to $277,992. Total Clifton Park home sales jumped 16.3%, all while the inventory of homes for sale (click for active listings) grew 17.8%. New inventory in Clifton Park as well as other towns in Saratoga County is heavily influenced by new construction and the growing demand from GlobalFoundries Malta NY employees.

In Malta, the median home sales price grew 7.7% year to date to $309,000. Total Malta NY real estate sold in 2011 grew 14.8% year to date, all while inventory of homes for sale (click for active listings) grew by 12.3%. Again, similar to Clifton Park, Malta NY real estate is benefiting from a surging local economy that can sustain home price increases even as inventory of Malta NY real estate grows.

In Saratoga Springs, otherwise known as the City of Saratoga, prices fell 8.9% year to date to $297,000. Total Saratoga Springs home sales exploded by 20.6% year to date, and inventory of homes for sale (click for active listings) declined just slightly by 0.5% – essentially flat.

UPDATE: Just after I published this post the WSJ ran an article titled: “Home Prices Poised for Growth in 2013.”