REAL ESTATE MARKET – SECOND QUARTER

We wrote about the real estate market on July 14, 2014 noting the news was mixed. We have now received the results of the second quarter, April through June, 2014 and the news is not good.

In an article in the Westchester Business Journal by John Golden, he writes “winter costs chill on regions house sales”. The second quarter housing sales in Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley showed a double digit decline from the second quarter of 2013. The Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service reported 3195 closing on residential properties in the second quarter across Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange Counties, a 9.2% decline in sales from the same quarter in 2013. Westchester and Orange Counties showed the deepest declines at 12% & 12.2% respectively. Only Rockland County had a second quarter increase in property sales with 463 sales of single family homes, coops and two – four family homes, a 6.2% increase in sales from 2013.

In Westchester, the region’s largest residential market, sales of single family homes dropped 13.5% from 201 with 1232 homes sold from April through June, 2014. Douglas Elliman Real Estate chartered 1194 closings on single family homes in Westchester, a 16.7% decline from 2103. Various realtors noted winter weather pushed first quarter pending sales into the second quarter which should have pushed the sales figures for the second quarter up, but it did not. Contracts on single family homes rose 3.9% from the second quarter of the last year and nearly 52% from this year’s first quarter. Well above the 35.5% average increase from the first to second quarters of 2012 & 2013.
The Hudson Valley Gateway Multiple Listing Service had 3913 single family homes listed for sale in Westchester at the end of June, 2014, a 5.7% increase from 2013, when the listings were the lowest. What is most interesting is that the quarterly decline in sales volume in Westchester was not accompanied by a drop in the median sales price for a single family home rose slightly to $651,250 from $650,000 in 2013. However, median price for a 3 – 4 bedroom home rose 13.4% and 16.8% respectively from one year ago.
In The Hudson Gateway Association in their quarterly analysis “ascribe at least some of the slowdown in sales here and nationally to exceptionally difficult winter weather conditions that discouraged prospective purchasers from getting out and researching properties of interest”. In a winter of heavy snowstorms and ice, both sellers and buyers shy away from the market. Sellers hold off on listing properties for sale in unfavorable conditions of blizzard and ice storms.

As the third quarter of 2014 begins, the realtors report the market is returning to seasonality in Westchester. July is usually really quiet because of vacations but this year, the realtors are encouraged because people are feeling food about life again following the deep recession. The realtors think the third quarter is going to be a telling quarter with the hopes that the drop in sales during the second quarter was just an aberration because of the really bad winter.

If you, or someone you know, are planning on selling or buying property, we request that you contact our office so that we can help take you through all of the necessary steps required to close on that property. You can reach us at (914) 288-0800. We look forward to helping you through this frustrating time and prevent you from becoming overwhelmed in the process.