Tough housing market: Pushing sellers into the arms of the DEP

That's what the AP says today:

The city last year signed contracts to either buy land or conservation easements on a record 11,309 acres of land around its upstate reservoirs, marking the second year-to-year gain of more than 30 percent in the 13-year-old program. Officials with the city’s Department of Environmental Protection say the brisk purchasing pace has continued through the first half of 2010.

City officials say they have not stepped up land-buying efforts on behalf of the water supply for more than 9 million people. Instead, municipal officials and others cite decreased competition from other buyers in a down market.

The crowds of New York City residents searching for second homes in and around the Catskills has thinned dramatically since the housing bubble burst and Wall Street melted down.

No kidding.

Local realtor David Knudsen recently wrote on his blog that the number of Sullivan County houses listed for sale on the MLS recently topped 1,300.

You can discount this as one of those arbitrary "mileatones" like the Dow 10,000 or the S&P 1,040. But what makes this significant is that it's the highest inventory on market in the Sullivan MLS since I've began tracking this metric in Jan. 2003. The previous inventory high was 1,292 single family homes listed for sale in the Sullivan MLS in August 2007.