Job market recovery may improve home values in Westchester, NY

Homebuyers may want to invest in real estate in Westchester, NY, to take advantage of record-low home values and mortgage rates. The area has had its fair share of housing market turmoil, and with house prices reaching their lowest point since 2002, the time to find great deals on property is now.

In February 2012, home values reach new post-bubble lows according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller home price index of 20 cities. The report found declines of 3.5 percent from 12 months earlier in a variety of markets, pointing toward foreclosure rates as the reasoning behind the downturn, CNNMoney reports.

The markets hit the hardest were Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Las Vegas and New York, according to the source. While these areas may be facing unique challenges in recovery, many have already begun to see increases in transaction activity, including New York City and the Westchester county regions.

With short sales and foreclosures playing an influential role in value declines across the country, many homebuyers have been able to find great deals on in-demand properties. These houses have depreciated in value, but the structures and locations are still appealing factors many people consider. It is expected that Westchester, a typically affluent area, will appreciate over time as the national job outlook continues its way back to the top. New York City has created new jobs in the first quarter of 2012, edging closer to a thriving market once more.

In addition, New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) recently announced six awards totally $3.5 million that will directly go to helping nearly 10,000 New York homeowners avoid foreclosures, the National Council of State Housing Agencies reports. The grants will be used to provide outreach, education, financial counseling and legal representation to citizens struggling to manage mortgage concerns.

Westchester is in the midst of a housing market transition and the for-sale properties may be priced relatively low, but they have the potential to rise at any point in the coming months. The area is approximately an hour away from downtown New York City, so as more people find steady employment opportunities in the Big Apple, available homes in Westchester County may look a lot more attractive to buyers and values are projected to be restored to pre-recession rates.