EDITOR'S NOTE:Â This was originally published onÂ www.MonticelloNYS.com.Â For other recent posts visitÂ Monticello's Blog.Â
For the second month in a row, the latest capital region numbers show Albany real estate is on a rebound, and by many accounts the bounce is big.Â The Times Union quotesÂ James Ader, the Greater Capital Association of Realtors CEO, saying â€œsomething good is happening.â€Â Mr. Ader attributes the jump to â€œpent-up demand, low interest rates, rising consumer confidenceâ€ and maybe even the warm weather.
But before we get too excited, we need to temper this good news with a splash of skepticism. The numbers certainly outpace last yearâ€™s numbers, in part because February 2012 felt more like April 2011 than February 2011. The weather certainly can impact Albany real estate sales â€“ warmer weather brings out buyers. Time will tell if the warmer weather simply accelerated buyers who were already going to buy, or if the warmer temperatures brought new buyers into the market.
We will know in a few months whether the February sales numbers are part of a trend or an outlier. Until we have more answers, itâ€™s Â still worth proceeding with cautious optimism. Not only can the weather impact the Albany real estate numbers, but given the fragility of the economy, national and international events also can impact the capital region. Remember 2011, we saw this scenario play out before. Early 2011 looked promising but by the time April 2011 arrived, there was international crisis in Japan, the Arab spring in the Middle East, and looming economic calamity in Europe. All of these unexpected events extinguished the early year growth.
Finally, notwithstanding the record high stock market numbers, real estate sales nationally are lagging. Â The national numbers are underperforming when compared to the Albany real estate numbers.Â In sum, early positive economic indicators donâ€™tÂ guaranteeÂ future results.
So after some qualifiers and caution, letâ€™s go behind the the local Saratoga and Albany real estate numbers. Region wide capital region real estate sales were up 14%, Albany real estate sales were up 23%, and Saratoga real estate sales were up 16%. Even more telling, the leading indicator pending real estate sales showed huge growth. Pending sales data provides insight into how the coming month will perform. Albany real estate pending sales were up 47%, as compared to 45% increase in Saratoga real estate pending sales and 47% increase region wide.
Here is the latest Greater Capital Association of Realtors video on the February real estate sales numbers. As always if you have questions donâ€™t hesitate toÂ contact me.
For the full breakdown of numbers from the GCAR Skinny, click here.Â