Buyer demand for single-family homes in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties increased during the third quarter of 2020 compared with the same period last year, according to a report released today by real estate brokerage Houlihan Lawrence.
Demand for other types of housing was mixed, however.
The median sale price of single-family homes in Westchester was up 16.2% over the third quarter of 2019 to $812,000, while in Putnam it was up 11% to $411,000 and in Dutchess it was up 10.2% to $347,000.
The average sale price in Westchester was up 13.2% from $906,876 to $1,027,010, a lower percentage change than in Dutchess, where it was up 30.5% from $338,629 to $441,995.
The report says that buyers leaving New York City as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have been driving real estate activity in the three counties.
In Westchester, 11.7% more single-family homes were sold in the third quarter of 2020 than in the same quarter a year ago. In the third quarter of 2019 there had been 1,940 single-family homes sold; in this year’s third quarter it was 2,167.
In Putnam, there was a 9% increase from 317 to 345 single-family homes sold; in Dutchess, the increase was 3.9% from 717 in the third quarter of 2019 to 745 in the third quarter of 2020.
Westchester’s condominium market showed a 20.2% drop in unit sales, with 331 units sold in the third quarter of 2020 compared with 415 in the comparable period last year. Both the average and median sale prices were up 6.4%, at $496,673 and $425,000 respectively.
Co-ops also showed a decline in Westchester, with 26.3% fewer units sold in the third quarter of 2020 than in the same period in 2019, down to 336 from 456. The median sale price changed by only $1,000 from $180,000 in the third quarter of 2019 to $181,000 this year.
Condo sales in Putnam went up from 39 units in the third quarter of 2019 to 50 this year, an increase of 28.2%. The median sale price dropped by 2.5% to $248,500 while the average price was down 9.5% to $246,849.
In Dutchess, condo sales dropped 14.9% from 134 in the third quarter last year to 114 this year. The average sale price went up 12.9% to $263,001 while the median price was up 8.9% to $228,500.
No co-op sales were shown for either Putnam or Dutchess.
“New York City buyers leaving the city have rewritten the rules of what today’s buyers want and need,” said Elizabeth Nunan, president and CEO of Houlihan Lawrence. “As entire families work from the same home, additional space is a necessity, and the safety of lower density communities during the pandemic has driven demand to historic levels in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties. Homes on large parcels that will accommodate extended family with space for one or more home offices represent the new ideal home.”
Houlihan Lawrence reported that numerous buyers have indicated that they will continue to work from home on a full- or part-time basis even after the danger of the virus has passed. It said that with commuting time to New York City being less of a factor, some of the more remote locations in the three counties have seen an increase in sales.
In the lower Westchester communities of Bronxville, Eastchester, Edgemont, Scarsdale and Tuckahoe the number of single-homes sold was up 14% over a year ago with the median sale price increasing 7%.
In Westchester’s river towns of Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings, Mount Pleasant, Pleasantville, Tarrytown, Briarcliff Manor, Elmsford, Irvington Ossining and Pocantico Hills the number of homes sold was up 19% with the median sale price rising 7%.
In the White Plains area, including Greenburgh and Valhalla, there was a drop of 19% in the number of homes sold but an increase of 6% in the median sale price.
White Plains stood in sharp contrast to the Northern Westchester communities of Bedford, Byram Hills, Chappaqua, Katonah-Lewisboro, North Salem and Somers, which saw a 50% increase in the number of homes sold with the media sale price jumping 21%.
“At the end of the third quarter, pending sales have exceeded expectations throughout our markets. Inventory will be essential moving forward if we are to meet the exceptional buyer demand,” Nunan said. “Maintaining low levels of the virus is most important as we enter the fall and winter so the economy and our communities can maintain some semblance of normalcy.”