Home Economy Houlihan Lawrence’s report shows weaker luxury home sales

Houlihan Lawrence’s report shows weaker luxury home sales

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Luxury home sales in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, as well as key Fairfield County communities continued to decline in the second quarter of 2019, according to a report released today by Houlihan Lawrence.

luxury homes
Westchester’s luxury home market declined in the second quarter.

The report blames SALT, the loss of full deductibility for state and local taxes from federal income tax returns, along with softness in the New York City real estate market and changing buyer attitudes toward luxury properties for the declines.

For Westchester, the second quarter of 2019 was the third consecutive quarter that luxury homes sales in the $2 million and higher category went down. In the second quarter of 2019, 87 homes luxury homes were sold in Westchester, compared with 105 for the second quarter of 2018. The total dollar volume dropped from $311.1 million in the second quarter of 2018 to $245.8 million in the second quarter of 2019. 

The softness is seen in Connecticut, where Greenwich experienced only 41 luxury homes in the $3 million and higher category sold during the second quarter of 2019 compared with 53 in the same period last year. Dollar volume was down $50 million with sales of $201 million in 2019 compared with $251 for the second quarter of 2018.

In Darien, 20 luxury homes in the $2 million and higher range sold in the second quarter of 2019 compared with 23 a year earlier. Dollar volume was down to $58.1 million from $76 million in the second quarter of 2018.

New Canaan saw a drop in $2 million or higher luxury homes sold in the second quarter of 2019 as compared with the same period for 2018. Eleven units sold in 2019, while 15 had sold in the second quarter last year. Dollar volume was down from $43.8 million in the second quarter of 2018 to $29.3 million in the same period this year.

In Putnam and Dutchess, nothing was sold in the $2 million and up category, while the second quarter of 2018 saw three homes sold in that price range. There were four homes sold that were worth between $1 million and $1,999,999, compared with 11 sold a year earlier. 

Anthony Cutugno, senior vice president at Houlihan Lawrence, pointed out that market softness is not confined to this geographic area.

“Luxury home sales have declined not only north of NYC, but in many luxury markets including NYC, the Hamptons and Miami,” he said. “Bigger is not always better and renovating or restoring a period home is the desire of a scant few. Their expectation about the future value of real estate influences the demand for luxury homes. Though this shift is in its early stages, its impact is tangible.”

The most expensive home sale in Westchester reported by Houlihan Lawrence was in Bedford at $6.5 million. Next was Scarsdale with one at $5.9 million and Harrison at $5,685,400. In Southern Fairfield, Darien led the pack with a sale at $7.4 million followed by Westport with a home selling for $6.3 million.

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