Listings shrink as housing sales surge in Westchester and region

By John Golden

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Brokers in Westchester County and the lower Hudson Valley reported house sale closings in the second quarter that amounted to a five-year high in volume for the region. In Westchester, the number of second-quarter sales this year was the second highest for the quarter in a decade, according to market analysts.

But the continued “excellent run” in the market described by the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors could be affected by a shrinking inventory of market listings. That inventory of single-family homes, condominiums, cooperatives and two- to four-family houses was down 20 percent at the start of July from a year ago in the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service region that includes Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange Counties.

Westchester’s inventory of single-family houses fell 12.5 percent at midyear from a year ago, with 3,387 homes listed on the market at the start of July, according to the Hudson Gateway quarterly report. The county’s overall housing listings dropped nearly 16 percent at the end of the second quarter, with 945 fewer properties on the market than a year ago.

Market analyst Jonathan J. Miller in his quarterly Elliman Report noted that listing inventory in Westchester at the end of the second quarter fell year-over-year for the seventh time in eight quarters.

That growing imbalance between active buyers in the market and available properties could result in price increases or diminished sales volume – or both, according to Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors CEO Richard Haggerty in his quarterly market analysis.

Except in Westchester County, median sale prices for a single-family house rose throughout the region in the second quarter.

Putnam County, with a median price of $314,000, was up 8.5 percent from a year ago in the single-family market. Rockland County’s median sale price of $430,000 was up nearly 5 percent from the second quarter of 2015. The median price of a single-family home in Orange County was $222,500 in the quarter, up 6 percent from a year ago.

In Westchester, regularly the state’s highest-priced market for single-family houses, the median sale price was $650,000 in the second quarter, a 1.6 percent drop from the median price of $660,500 in the second quarter last year.

Housing sales closed by Hudson Gateway brokers in the second quarter across the four-county region were up 23 percent from a year ago, with single-family house sales accounting for most of the surge. Closings on single-family homes were up 37 percent in booming Orange County, with 837 second-quarter sales, and rose by nearly 34 percent in Putnam County and by 28 percent in Rockland County.

In more populous Westchester, 1,643 single-family houses were sold in the second quarter, a 23 percent increase from the same period last year, Hudson Gateway reported. The county’s condo market saw a 21 percent jump in sales from a year ago, with 376 units sold in the second quarter.

Sales of all housing types rose 20 percent in Westchester from the second quarter of 2015, with 2,617 deals closed from April through June.

Miller in his quarterly analysis said the second-quarter surge in buyers in the Hudson Valley was largely created by the New York City housing market, where prices have reached a threshold where it is no longer affordable for many city residents.

 

 

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About the author

John Golden
The Business Journal’s senior writer, John Golden directs news coverage of the county and Hudson Valley region as Westchester bureau chief. He was an award-winning upstate columnist and feature writer before joining the Business Journal in 2007. He is the author of “Northern Drift: Sketches on the New York Frontier,” a collection of his regional journalism.

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