Today is the first day of 2011 and New Years Day affords us an opportunity to reflect on the past and look to the future. The final Ulster County home statistics for 2010 are in and 2010 proved to be roughly equivalent to 2009. An additional 13 single-family homes sold in 2010 (total of 1050) versus 2009 and the median home price increased by $1000 ($211,000). All of the statistics provided below are as reported by the Ulster County MLS.
Looking at a year-by-year comparison of homes sold since 2003, it shows that the volume of homes sold was far below the pace in 2003-2007. However, it was encouraging to see that the number of homes sold in 2010 exceeded both 2008 and 2009. Although the increase in 2010 was slight, it might signal a trend that the market is headed in the right direction. In 2011, I don’t expect any huge jumps in volume. I anticipate that the volume will actually decrease slightly in 2011 as there will not be the incentive of a tax credit that acted as a stimulus in 2010.
The City of Kingston had the highest yield of homes sold of any municipality in Ulster County by a substantial margin. The high inventory of homes at reduced prices certainly was a factor in Kingston leading the way. Popular second home towns (Woodstock, Saugerties and New Paltz) occupied the next three spots and demonstrate that the weekend home market is still alive and well. It was interesting to note that no sales were recorded in Hardenburgh–the least populous town in Ulster County.
The median price remained steady in 2009, but $211,000 was a far cry from the peak median price during 2007. The fall in the median price was not as precipitous as the drops in volume since 2007. I anticipate that the median price will hold steady in 2011 or even decrease.
Gardiner produced the highest median price for any town in Ulster County at $315,000. Gardiner was the only town with a median price above $300,000. Wawarsing and Ellenville had the lowest reported median prices. Again, the most popular second home markets were among those will the highest median price.
In my judgment, most of the same trends will carry on through 2011. Here are a few things to look for in 2011:
- Will the drop in volume be significant without the benefit of the home buyer tax credit incentive in 2011?
- Will the second home market from New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut remain strong?
- Will city buyers push further north for even better bargains?
- Will there be better financing options for local buyers to remain in the area?
- Will the downward pressure of foreclosures lower prices overall?
- Will property taxes continue to place an undue burden on local homeowners?