The fourth-quarter report on Westchester’s housing market from Rye Brook-based brokerage firm Houlihan Lawrence describes a “paradigm shift” taking place with sellers accepting that sale prices have been softer than in the past and buyers finding improved values among the houses that have been brought to market.
Stephen Meyers, Houlihan Lawrence’s chairman, along with CEO Chris Meyers, predicted that there also will be great opportunities coming to market in early spring for buyers who are ready to buy.
“The Federal Reserve has indicated that interest rates are expected to stay low, so 2020 presents optimism that many more deals will come together in the markets north of New York City,” they said.
A separate report from Houlihan Lawrence focusing on the luxury market in Westchester along with Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan in Connecticut found the year ending on a mixed note.
In Westchester, luxury home sales, classified as those $2 million and higher, were down by 25% in the first half of 2019, but up by 28.6% in the fourth quarter to close the year off by 6.3%. There were 298 luxury homes sold in Westchester during 2019 compared with 318 in 2018. In 2019, there were no sales over $10 million reported and price reductions resulted in typical sales in the ultra-luxury end of the market taking place at an average of 26% lower than the original listing price. Total dollar volume for 2019 in the Westchester luxury market was $890.5 million, compared with $986.6 million in 2018. The median sale price was $2,667,500 in 2019 compared with $2.65 million in 2018.
In Greenwich, luxury sales in the price range of $3 million and higher were down with 126 homes sold, versus 155 in 2018. Dollar volume for 2019 was down to $633.8 million compared with $769.2 million in 2018.
The Darien luxury market was up in 2019 with 60 homes valued at $2 million or more sold, compared with 56 in 2018. Dollar volume increased to $192.9 million from $179.4 million in the prior year. The median sale price was down to $2.5 million. It had been $2,676,250 in 2018.
In New Canaan, there was a drop in luxury home sales of $2 million or more in 2019 with 46 sold, compared with 59 in 2018. Dollar volume sunk to $123.6 million in 2019 from $168.1 million in 2018.
In Putnam and Dutchess counties, luxury home sales are classified as those of $1 million and higher. Those counties showed a combined 23.8% decline in luxury sales for 2019 as compared with 2018. Luxury dollar volume dropped to $53.1 million in 2019 compared with $87.4 million the year before. The median sale price was down to $1.4 million in 2019 from $1,478,105 in 2018.
Houlihan Lawrence’s report covering all Westchester single-family home sales showed a drop from 5,883 houses sold in 2018 and 5,832 sold in 2019. The average sale price in Westchester was $849,512 in 2019 compared with $856,675 in 2018. The median sale price rose slightly to $655,000 in 2019 from $650,000 in 2018.
A 10-year market history for Westchester indicated that while the average sale price in 2010 was $827,687, by the end of 2019 it had risen to $849,512. During 2010, 4,020 houses had been sold. In 2019, the number of sales in Westchester was 5,832. A comparative bright spot was that back in 2010 the average number of days a property was on the market had been 176 while in 2019 it had shrunk to just 77.