We knew that we were working hard this past year; now we know just how hard. 2014 was our best year ever as a firm, with gross hours up by 24% over 2013. This is a good thing for us, but also for the overall economy.
Our office is an early economic indicator. About 95% of our hours in 2014 were spent on zoning and land development matters. This activity takes place one to two years before inventory can be put on line (e.g., units made available for sale or lease). Our clients, therefore, are seeing an improving local economy and want to be there when end-buyers are ready. Quite a number of projects that were put on hold after the debacle of 2008 have been placed back into the approval pipeline.
The numbers bear this out. A couple of weeks ago, Greater Hudson Valley MLS reported that housing prices for single-family houses, condos and coops had all but returned to pre-recession prices. With 30 year mortgage rates at historic lows entering the Spring selling season, the upward curve should continue.
We’re looking forward to an even better 2015!