As we begin the new year, the crystal balls have come out and there have been a wide range of predictions for how the housing market will perform in 2012. I have read that this year we will see a minor recovery, that pent up demand will drive a major recovery, that prices will fall through the first half of the year but pick up, starting in June, that prices won't begin to rebound until 2013, and so on. You get the picture.
While overall forecasts may be useful in determining the state of the economic recovery, they are not really relevant for the home buyer or seller. The numbers that should be important to them are the statistics for their local market.
According to NAR, 2007 existing home sales posted the largest drop in 25 years, while in Westport, this segment showed a 6% gain. The precipitous drop did not hit Westport until 2008, when a third fewer single-family homes (existing and new construction) sold, compared with the previous year. By 2009, only half as many homes sold, than in 2004. The downtrend was not as steep for prices. Median sale price peaked in 2007, at $1,400,000 and only showed a 4% decline, the following year. By 2009, however, median sale price fell to $1,188,500, below 2005 levels.
The trend line for unit and dollar sales began to diverge in 2010. That year, the number of Westport single-family homes sold surged 40% vs. 2009, although remaining considerably below the highs posted in the first half of the decade. 2011 sales were relatively flat, with only a 2% decline. At the same time, median sale price continued to trend down.
The median sale price for a single-family home was $1,085,625, in 2011, roughly equal to the median selling price in 2004. At this point, there is no evidence that prices are rebounding, any time soon.
This data is compiled from the Consolidated Multiple Listing Service and may not always be accurate. No warranty is made as to the accuracy of this information. You should verify any information that is important to your buying.
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