The last time we looked at the real estate recovery was on July 20, 2015 (see our previous blog – Real Estate Recovery).  On July 27, 2015, in the Westchester County Business Journal, Bill Fallon published an article “survey finds first time home buyers entering market”.  TD Bank with 19 facilities in Westchester County surveyed 1000 people and nearly one in five potential first time home buyers were actively looking to buy and nearly two-thirds would like to have a payment of 20% or more.  The data also revealed 62% of the potential first time home buyers think they will purchase a home within the next two years.  Among millennials surveyed, 67% plan to buy a home within two years.  43% of the people surveyed were looking to purchase their first home in a suburban area.

On October 26, 2015, The Westchester & Fairfield County Business Journals published an article by Colleen Wilson entitled “millennials entering home buyers  market”.  Millennials are those born from 1982 through 2000.  They have become the largest generation in US history at 83.1 million strong.  Westchester real estate markets are hoping to attract these potential buyers as millennials are transitioning from renting to buying.  Philip Farada, a real estate broker who owns Phillip Real Estate in Briarcliff Manor, NY estimated that more than 1/2 of his firm’s buyers are millennials.  Nationally, the millennial age group is estimated to make up a third of the home buying market.  This report considers millennials to be anyone under 34.  Millennials are dealing with expensive priced areas of Westchester in addition to high house prices and student loan debt.  Anne Marie Gianutson, a digital director of Houlihan Lawrence Real Estate with 20 offices in the suburbs, north of New York City, states trends in millennial home buying are counter to those of the previous generation.  “Overall millennials have accumulated less wealth in their lives than previous generations”. She said “we notice people wanting to live beneath their means rather than stretch more than what they can afford”.   Martin Ginsberg, found of Ginsberg Development Companies said millennials might be more likely to remain renters because they saw their parents deal with the housing crisis during the great recession.

In USA Today – The Journal News on December 30, 2015, Paul Davidson published an article entitled “home prices climb back to pre-recession peak”.  The article points out that singe family house prices in 40% of 401 metro areas were at or above pre-recession peak in the third quarter of 2015.  Nationally, home prices are still about 12% below peak up from a nearly 30% deficit in early 2012.  Homeowners are benefiting from steadily rising prices largely because of tight housing supplies.  Another benefit of the milestone is that it can coax more homeowners to put their houses on the market alleviating the supply crunch.

In the Journal News on January 4, 2016, an article entitled “home sales are up throughout the state” by Karen Roberts points out that newly released housing market numbers show home sales in New York state rose by 7.1% in November, 2015 in comparison to 2014.  The total number of New York sales from January through November, 2014 was 105,709, a 7.8% more than November, 2014.  Home sales in 2015 were nearly 8% higher than in 2014.  “The Empire State is posed for this to be the strongest market since 2007”.  In New York State, the median price for a home was $230,000 in 2015, a 2.2% increase over November, 2014.  For Nyack based R&M Realty, Inc., broker Kenyatta-Hones-Arietta states “the housing market in Rockland has been amazing”.  We experienced a lot of activity in both the first time home buyers sector as well as homeowners looking to update.”  The month’s number of houses for sale was down 16.5% at the end of November, 2015, compared to 8.1% month’s supply versus 9.7% months in November, 2014.  Westchester relator, Mary Ann Giacoble states she has seen movement from couples leaving New York City to start families in the suburbs.  “Young couples are starting to have babies and it’s time to start looking for a house”.

All of the above articles of good news in real estate has culminating in the lower Hudson Valley housing market with the total number of homes sold in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties, up more than 11% according to an article in the Journal News by Akiko Matsuda on January 12, 2016.   In three counties, a total of 12,842 units were sold in 2015.  Westchester saw 9401 sales up 9.2% from 2014; Putnam 1064 sales in 2015, up 19.4% from 2014 and Rockland 2377 sales up 15.6%.  The report also includes Orange County, sales were up a whopping 25% over 2014.  The article points out the 2015 median sales price for a single family home in Westchester was $628,875 about 1% lower than 2014, $635,000.  The 2015 median sales price for a single family home in Putnam was flat at $310,000.  The 2015 median sales price for a single family home in Putnam was flat at $310,000.  The 2015 median sales price for a single family home in Rockland was $415,000 and a 3.4% increase from 2014’s $400,000.

More condominiums and co-ops were sold in 2015 throughout Westchester and experts tied the increase to millennials and empty nesters attracted to their affordability.  A total of 1,814 co-ops and 1315 condos were sold in Westchester in 2015, up by 6.1% and 19.9% respectively from 2014.

As can be seen from all of these articles on real estate sales, 2015 has been a banner year and realtors expect the trend to continue in 2016.

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in 2016, contract the Law Firm of Dominick J. Robustelli & Associates, PLLC at (914) 288-0800 or on our web site White



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