How national housing trends compare to local real estate readings in NYC

In the United States, the housing market continues to strengthen, with price gains shown among the least expensive homes. According to the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Index, an annual gain of 1.2 percent in the price of single-family homes across 20 cities in July 2012 indicates real estate recovery is more apparent nationwide than in the past few months. The latest report supports the idea that the nation's housing market has finally bottomed out.

In addition, while there was little difference in the number of homes sold in August 2012, prices rose significantly, which is another sign of economic improvement in the U.S., CNN Money reports. New homes sold at an annual rate of 373,000 - down 1,000 from July 2012. The latest metric is 28 percent above levels from a year ago.

What's more, the median price of a new home in the United States jumped 11 percent from July 2012 to $256,900 - a 17 percent year-over-year increase.

"Even though this report did not show a significant headline increase, the persistent low levels of inventories and increasing prices are encouraging signs and in line with our view of a broader housing recovery," Barclays Research economist Cooper Howes said to CNN Money.

How have recent economic events affected real estate in New York, New York?
Housing inventory levels are still down in the Big Apple, which has helped median asking prices for single-family homes remain stable for much of the past few weeks. According to The Department of Numbers, the median asking price in New York City as of September 24, 2012, is $339,900, which is flat month-over-month and down 2.6 percent year-over-year. However, home inventory is down 653 listings from August 27, 2012, and stands at 41,730 properties. This reading is 1.5 percent down month-over-month and down 17.2 percent below year-over-year readings. If inventory levels continue to decline, value will inevitably rise as buyers compete for available homes and drive values upward.

Homebuyers interested in the future of the New York City housing market should note the decline in available properties as an indication of the renewed strength of the market. If trends continue in the direction they're heading, New York City has the potential to become, once again, a real estate leader in the United States.