Monday, August 30, 2010

New York City Recession Less Severe than National Average

Just read an article in Crain's New York with some interesting statistics. Though this is certainly a serious recession, and many people have been directly affected, it may not be as severe as one would assume, listening to gloom and doom media reports.

The 18-Month Recession

From the time the recession hit the city in August 2008 until hiring resumed in December 2009, the city lost 184,500 jobs, a 4.8% decrease. It fared far better than the U.S. as a whole, which lost 8.4 million jobs, a decrease of 7.3%.

Industry's Revenue Stars

Despite the financial meltdown, the 10 city institutions with the most revenues brought in over 10% more in '09 than in '05. However, only six institutions from the earlier list remain.

So there is definitely change afoot, and there is definitely need for an overhaul of both financial and governmental sectors with true accountability, and more clarity.

August Real Estate Update/Westport, CT.

August 2010 Real Estate Update
‘Keeping it Real’

In light of today’s news about a major drop in U.S. home sales , I wanted to weigh in on what I think is an inaccurate picture of what is happening, at least in terms of local real estate.

For the sake of simplicity I decided to look at recent sales in Westport and make some comparisons between June and July, 2010 (which was the basis of the figures used in today’s housing report), and to get a better understanding of the bigger picture, to also look at the figures for June and July 2009 sales.

It is also important to keep in mind, and I have not heard this cited anywhere yet, that July is typically a month that has fewer sales than June. Also in this particular year, the $8000 first time home buyer tax credit expired on June 30, 2010, and that deadline created a larger than usual number of sales in June. Therefore it should not have been totally unexpected that there would be a comparative drop-off in July in terms of national real estate. In terms of local real estate, the $8000 tax credit had a much smaller impact in Fairfield County than it did in many parts of the country due to the higher real estate values.

In June, 2010 there were 49 sales of single family homes in Westport. The following month in July there were 51 sales, or an increase of 4%. In June of 2009 there were 29 sales compared to 49 this year. In July 2009 there 49 sales compared to 51 this year. Again an increase of 4%.

Despite uncertainties about our economy there are currently 37 properties under binder. This is an indication of current activity. It does represent less activity than in July, but August typically has less activity than does July. There are also an additional 49 properties currently under contract.

The year to date sales total 265 in Westport. This compares very favorably to 164 sales at this point last year. In fact if we add on the existing bindered and pending sales to year to date sales this totals 371 sales compared to 284 total sales for all of 2009. That is in and of itself 31% more sales than in 2009, and there is one quarter of the year left.