REAL ESTATE RECOVERY

In an article in The Journal News on Sunday, June 28, 2015, Bill Cary published an article entitled “Real Estate Market Takes Off”. He points out experts are saying that the multiyear real estate slump is finally over. According to Houlihan Lawrence in the Pelham’s “It’s the best market we’ve had since 2007, both in price and velocity of sales”. In Rockland County the number of home sales is up 16% for the Spring, 2015 vs. 2014. In Putnam County, sales shot up 23% compared to last Spring. Westchester County lags behind with an increase of 6% in sales in 2015.
Nationally, sales of existing homes rose 5.1% late 2015. The fastest pace since late 2009. According to the National Association of Realtors, this year is on track to be the best home sales since 2007 when the U.S. entered a recession. Accordingly to Brian Levine, Manager of Houlihan Lawrence in Irvington, “We’re seeing bidding wars and all cash offers”. The endless winters put a big damper on early Spring sales. But for parts of the lower Hudson Valley, the market has come roaring back to life in the last couple of months. Some realtors feel it’s a sellers’ market. At least 30 of 59 houses sold in Pelham had multiple bids.

Buyers demand remains strong locally and a shortage of homes on the market continue to be a problem in Yonkers. Houlihan Lawrence has seen a low inventory shortage. At the beginning 0f 2015, there were only 199 houses on the market in Yonkers. 45% of the sales in Westchester has been in the $700,000 price. In Rockland, 54% of the sales were for $300,000 or less. The people who are selling the smaller homes now have liquidity to step up to their next house. Fluid with cash, they can now buy a $600,000 – $700,000 home. In most years by June, you are at the end of the Spring market but in 2015, sales are still in the thick of it.

The closer to New York City the market is stronger. Pelham, Bronxville, Larchmont and the river towns, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington and Tarrytown, the market is driven by the City and it rolls north. The recovery shows a hot market in Southern Westchester. It becomes a little more tepid as you go North. In Rockland, the communities of Piermont, The Nyack’s, Grandview and Snedens Landing are very strong. In Westchester, the buyers of single family homes shows 54% are coming from within the County and 33% are coming from New York City and only 6% are from outside the tri-state area. Pricing and preparation are the 2 most important factors in selling a home. Preparation including cleaning out clutter, removing all family photos, empty the nightstand and put away clutter. All that is required in a sellers’ market is painting and cleaning out. Colonial type homes was no. 1 for Westchester and Rockland and no. 2 in Putnam. According to Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, the ranch style home is number 1 in Putnam County, number 2 in Westchester and number 3 in Rockland. Bilevel/raised ranches was number 2 in Rockland County.

Mr. Bill Cary continues to write about home sales recovery on Saturday, July 11, 2015 in The Journal News entitled “Home Sales are On the Move”. He points out that the lower Hudson Valley real estate market continue to charge ahead with the number of second quarter residential sales in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Orange Counties outperforming the same period in 2014 by 15%. Prices have remained relatively flat. The Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service reported 3669 closed residential transactions in the MLS four county territories 474 more than last year, a 12% first quarter gain from 2014.

In Westchester, the year to year median sales price for a single family home ticked up only 1.4% to $660,050. The median sales price of a single family home in Rockland was $410,000, only a third of a percentage point above 2014. Putnam County followed the same pattern with a 1.6% rise to $289,500.
Orange County is leading the charge in sales volume with a 30% increase in the number of year to year sales in the second quarter. Putnam had a 12% increase followed by Rockland at 11% increase. Westchester, which accounts for 60% of the four county sales volume had a second quarter increase of 11%. The branch manager for Houlihan Lawrence in Chappaqua compares the second quarter of 2013 another strong year with the number of houses sold in Chappaqua was up 54% for April, May & June over 2014. In the Westchester co-op market, the median price dropped 3.3% to $145,000 while the number of sales rose 8.2%. Medical condominium prices dropped 0.5% to $362,000 with a 17% increase in the number of sales.
If you, or someone you know, are in the market to buy or sell your residence, contact our firm for single family closings, condominium closing or co-op closings. 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.