Stronger sales in fourth quarter bring Westchester market into balance in 2019

Contributed photoOcean Drive, Larchmont

RYE BROOK — The Westchester County housing market has experienced a paradigm shift, and at last fell into balance in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Sellers came to terms with the need for overall price corrections and after a sluggish and challenging start, buyers found the improved value landscape that they have been waiting for, according to the Houlihan Lawrence Westchester Putnam & Dutchess Market Report released recently.

As a result of the slow start to the 2019 market, the number of closed sales remains slightly down. But there was a pronounced decline of inventory and a substantial increase of pending deals overall. The most notable increase in pending deals was in the $2-$2.5 million-dollar range. This increase in sales is largely due to sellers pricing their properties to better align with buyer expectations. Westchester County, however, continues to struggle in the $4+ million-dollar range where pending deals remain low.

The highest-priced sale in the County in 2019 was in Armonk for $8.1 million with Houlihan Lawrence representing the buyer. This was a sizeable shift down from 2018’s Westchester record sale of the Rockefeller Estate for $33 million, both sides represented by Houlihan Lawrence.

Pollena Forsman, the No. 1 ranked agent in Westchester single-family homes for the 6th consecutive year, noted that “Pending deals across Westchester are up 2019 versus 2018 overall, yet they are largely weighted to the under $2.5M market, where supply overall has become thinner while demand maintained versus pre-tax reform.”

She added, “For example, in the Sound Shore region, while a few luxury price points over $2M reveal a lift in pending deals, contracts remain in single-digit territory against double-digit supply. The pending deals in luxury largely reflect sellers’ reluctant tolerance of market conditions. In nearly all cases, these levels are discounted from original and/or current offer prices.”

While riding a positive real estate wave in Putnam County, an increased number of sellers have recognized that it is a good time to put their homes on the market. Listings, as a result, are up in general, albeit at times positioned too aggressively with their pricing. In the desirable price point of $600,000-$799,000, closed sales are up markedly. But a substantial increase in listings between $500,000-$599,000, resulted in a deep decline of pending sales in that range. The high-end pending deals between $1-$2 million are up substantially, where the perception of value became actionable. Overall, the median sale price increased slightly in 2019 over 2018.

In Dutchess County second home sales remain strong on the west side of the county along the Hudson River. There is limited supply and shorter marketing times in these villages for appropriately priced properties in close proximity to train stations. Listings in the county overall have declined slightly and pending sales overall are down but there are price ranges where pending sales have seen sharp increases. In the $400,000-$499,000 price range, for example, pending sales are up over 50%. Supply and demand in the county remain high up to the $800,000 range where there is less demand. Overall, however, the median sale price increased year over year.

Expanding northward, thanks to the Millbrook office, it is notable to mention that Houlihan Lawrence was the number one real estate company in Columbia County in 2019 and represented both sides of the highest sale in the county at $8,000,000.

MARKETS AT A GLANCE

Northwest Westchester

(Croton-on-Hudson, Hendrick Hudson, Lakeland, Peekskill and Yorktown)

Homes Sold: up 6%

Median Sale Price: up 7%

PUTNAM COUNTY

(Brewster, Carmel, Garrison, Haldane, Lakeland, Mahopac and Putnam Valley)

Homes Sold: Unchanged

Median Sale Price: up 2%

DUTCHESS COUNTY

Homes Sold: down 2%

Median Sale Price: up 6%

Southwest Dutchess

(Beacon, East Fishkill, Fishkill, La Grange, Poughkeepsie, City of Poughkeepsie and Wappinger)

Homes Sold: down 3%

Median Sale Price: up 6%

Southeast Dutchess

(Beekman, Dover, Pawling and Union Vale)

Homes Sold: down 1%

Median Sale Price: up 5%

Northwest Dutchess

(Clinton, Hyde Park, Milan, Pleasant Valley, Red Hook and Rhinebeck)

Homes Sold: up 5%

Median Sale Price: up 5%

Northeast Dutchess

(Amenia, North East, Pine Plains, Stanford and Washington)

Homes Sold: down 9%

Median Sale Price: down 2%

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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