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Houlihan Lawrence: Region sees double- and triple-digit gains in luxury home sales in Q2

Second-quarter sales of luxury homes in the region posted double- and triple-digit gains compared to Q2 2020, according to the latest Houlihan Lawrence Luxury Market Report.

Luxury sales in Westchester ($2 million and higher) rose 174% while luxury sales in the Putnam-Dutchess market ($1 million and higher) rose 172.7%. The Greenwich luxury market ($3 million and higher) increased 138% while the Darien and New Canaan luxury markets for $2 million and higher soared 227.8% and 277.8%, respectively.

Meanwhile, median sale prices in Westchester and Putnam-Dutchess markets rose 10.6% and 14.5%, respectively. The Greenwich market saw the median sale price up 18.1% while the median sale price fell 0.7% in Darien and rose 0.5% in New Canaan.

Due to the effect of Covid-19 last year, the realty conceded that the percent gains may render a skewed analysis of the luxury markets. A more meaningful comparison, it said, is the number of closed sales in the first half of 2021 (post-Covid) vs. first half of 2019 (pre-Covid). In every area north of New York City, the number of luxury sales is higher in the first half of 2021 vs. the same period in 2019, indicating the Covid effect is still impacting the luxury markets.

According to the report, pending sales provide the most relevant data points to best analyze luxury markets in the northern suburbs. “The absorption rate of homes for sale north of New York City is strong,” it said. “Buyers are motivated and decisive due to limited supply, and competitive bidding is not uncommon. Approximately 30% of luxury sales closed over asking price in Westchester County since the beginning of 2021.”

“The duality of the market – competitive bidding alongside price-sensitive buyers — appears contradictory,” Houlihan Senior Vice President, Director of Private Brokerage Anthony Cutugno said.

“However,” he added, “price is always a primary consideration in real estate decision-making. Value has to be displayed even when supply is tight, and often, multiple offers signal to a potential buyer that strong demand now may be a precursor to future strong demand as well.”

Cutugno said increasing vaccination rates and eased restrictions in the city have led to feelings of life returning to normal. “The energy has returned and New York City is back on the radar for buyers, an about-face from last year,” he said. “Simultaneously, Wall Street is summoning its employees back to the office, voicing the competitive advantage of interacting and collaborating under one roof.

“It will be interesting to see how this affects the luxury housing market north of New York City and those buyers who purchased with the intent of commuting less and continuing to work from home more,” he added.

“Market conditions are healthy and all indicators point to more of the same for the remainder of the year,” Cutugno concluded. “However, we are reminded that the speed with which a collapse occurred in early 2020, and the amazing recovery that followed, are unlike anything in recent history.”

Q2 MARKETS AT A GLANCE 

Westchester County Luxury Home Sales /$2M and Higher

Homes Sold: Up 174%

Median Sale Price: Up 10.6%

Highest Sale Price: $8,500,000 Scarsdale

Putnam and Dutchess County Luxury Home Sales /$1M and Higher

Homes Sold: Up 172.7%

Median Sale Price: Up 14.5%

Highest Sale Price Putnam: $3,600,000 Garrison

Highest Sale Price Dutchess: $2,190,000 Rhinebeck

Greenwich Luxury Home Sales /$3M and Higher

Homes Sold: Up 138%

Median Sale Price: Up 18.1%

Highest Sale Price: $27,750,000 

Darien Luxury Home Sales /$2M and Higher

Homes Sold: Up 227.8%

Median Sale Price: Down 0.7%

Highest Sale Price: $7,450,000

New Canaan Luxury Home Sales /$2M and Higher

Homes Sold: Up 277.8%

Median Sale Price: Up 0.5%

Highest Sale Price: $7,850,000

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