First Quarter 2017 Real Estate Market Report – Rockland County, New York

ROCKLAND-NY_Q1-2017-QMRThe Rockland County housing market simply exploded in the first quarter of 2017, with a surge in sales and prices that drove the market to levels we have not seen since the height of the last seller’s market.

Sales. Single-family home sales spiked in the first quarter, rising almost 24% from last year, marking the ninth time out of the last 10 quarters with sales increasing from the prior year quarter. Indeed, the 2,132 sales over the past rolling year marked the highest 12-month total since the third quarter of 2004, and represented a 95% increase off the bottom of the market in 2011.

Prices. These sustained increases in buyer demand are starting to have a dramatic impact on pricing. Home prices were up for the quarter across the board, rising almost 5% on average, almost 7% at the median, and over 6% in the price-per-square foot. And we are seeing meaningful and sustainable price appreciation over the longer term, with the rolling year pricing up between 2% and 3% across the board.

Inventory. The story in Rockland County continues to be declining inventory. The months of inventory on the market declined again in the first quarter, dropping over 27% and now down to 4.8 months. Anything shorter than six months is considered a “tight” market, and Rockland is now well below that line.

Negotiability. Single-family homes again sold more quickly and for closer to the asking price in the first quarter, which is generally a sign that sellers are gaining negotiating leverage with buyers.

Condos. For the first time in years, we started to see some dramatic changes in the condo market. Sales simply surged, rising almost 39% from the first quarter of last year and now up almost 26% for the rolling year. And although pricing has been down the last several years, the combination of rising demand and falling inventory caused prices to spike across the board: up almost 13% on average, 12% at the median, and 2% in the price-per-square foot. With inventory down 40% and now below six months, we believe that this market will stay hot through 2017.

Going forward, we expect that Rockland will continue to sizzle through the traditionally robust Spring market. With prices still at attractive 2004 levels, interest rates near historic lows, inventory falling, and the economy generally strengthening, we believe that sustained buyer demand will continue to drive meaningful price appreciation through the rest of 2017.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on April 26, 2017 at 9:30 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , ,

First Quarter 2017 Real Estate Market Report: Westchester & Hudson Valley – Market Overview

New-York-OVERVIEW_Q1-2017-QMRThe regional housing market in Westchester and the Hudson Valley started to show the first signs of meaningful price appreciation in the first quarter of 2017, with prices up in most of the counties. Moreover, with inventory rates dropping, we expect this trend to continue through a robust Spring market and for the rest of 2017.

Inventory throughout the region continues to drop. Regional inventory fell almost 26%, and is now down to 6.3 months–right at the level that the industry considers a “balanced” market. But many of the individual counties in the region are now well below six months, moving into “seller’s market” territory. For example, Westchester is now down to 5.0 months for single-family homes, 4.6 months for coops, and 3.2 months for condos. Indeed, outside of Dutchess County, every single market segment in every county in the region is at or below 6.1 months of inventory.

The lack of inventory is continuing to stifle sales growth. Regional sales were up 5% from the first quarter of last year, marking 10 straight quarters of year-on-year sales growth. But that 5% increase was the smallest in that 10-quarter streak, indicating that the pace of growth is slowing due to the lack of inventory. Essentially, the market is capable of even greater sales growth, but only if it gets more “fuel for the fire.” All that said, buyer demand is as strong as we’ve seen in over 10 years, with regional sales up 11% for the year and reaching the highest 12-month sales total since the third quarter of 2005 — the height of the last seller’s market.

High demand and low inventory is starting to drive modest-but-meaningful price appreciation. In our last Report, we said that we were “about to witness ‘Economics 101’ in action,” explaining that rising demand and falling supply were poised to drive prices up. Well, from that perspective, we had a “textbook” result in the first quarter, with the regional average sales price up over 7% from the first quarter of last year.

Moreover, average prices spiked in several counties in the region, rising almost 7% in Westchester, 5% in Rockland, and 7% in Orange. Prices were down in Putnam and Dutchess, but even in those counties, the yearlong trend was relatively promising. Essentially, the market is capable of even greater sales growth, but only if it gets more “fuel for the fire.”

Going forward, expect big things for this market in 2017. Demand is strong, bolstered by near-historically-low interest rates, prices that are still near 2003-04 levels (without controlling for inflation), a generally strong economy, and sharply declining inventory. Given these conditions, we expect that prices will continue to go up in a robust Spring market and throughout 2017.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on April 25, 2017 at 1:33 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty Quarterly Market Report For 2016Q4 – Rockland County, New York

unnamedThe Rockland County housing market tapered off a bit in the fourth quarter of 2016, but still finished the year with significant increases in both sales and prices.

Inventory. The story in Rockland County is the declining inventory, with the number of homes for sale falling again, now reaching levels we have not seen in over 10 years. We calculate the “months of inventory” by measuring how long it would take to sell out the existing available homes at the current rate of sales. Anything shorter than six months is considered a “tight” market, and Rockland has now crossed below that line for the first time in years, with the months of inventory at 4.9 months for single-family homes and 5.6 months for condos.

Sales. We can see the impact of declining inventories in the sales activity, with transactions down almost 4% for single-family homes. This broke a two-year streak of eight straight quarters of year-on-year sales increases, and marked only the second time in five years that sales went down from the prior year quarter. Why? We do not believe it’s a lack of demand, but rather that many buyers simply cannot find the right home at these levels of inventory. Still, though, the overall market is healthy: single-family home sales have now gone up for five straight calendar years, are at their highest level since 2004, and are up 77% from their 2011 bottom.

Prices. The flip side of declining inventory is rising prices, and Rockland pricing is showing sustained signs of meaningful price appreciation. Although single-family pricing was relatively mixed for the quarter, home prices have now gone up for four straight calendar years, and are now up 9% from the bottom in 2012. That’s not dramatic, but it’s something. We expect that with inventory at these levels, we will continue to see price appreciation in 2017.

Negotiability. Single-family homes sold more quickly and for closer to the asking price in the fourth quarter, which is generally a sign that sellers are gaining negotiating leverage with buyers.

Condos. The condo market was mixed for the quarter, with sales up 20% but prices falling 10% on average even while rising over 5% at the median. The yearlong results were more consistent, with sales up 20% and prices down about 3% on average and at the median.

Going forward, we believe that buyer demand in Rockland will stay strong, with prices still at attractive levels, interest rates still near historic lows, and the economy generally strengthening. And with declining inventories, we believe that this demand will drive more meaningful price appreciation in 2017.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on January 10, 2017 at 9:37 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty Quarterly Market Report For 2016Q4 Overall: Westchester and Hudson Valley

unnamedThe story of the housing market in Westchester and the Hudson Valley at the end of 2016 was all about inventory. The number of homes on the market continues to decline, which is already negatively impacting the rate of sales growth, but is likely to positively impact price appreciation in 2017.

Inventory throughout the region continues to fall. As we have explained before in the Rand Report, we measure the “months of inventory” by looking at the number of available homes on the market, and then calculating how long it would take to sell them all at the current rate of absorption. In the industry, we consider anything below six months of inventory to be a signal of a tightening market that will tend to drive prices up. So it’s notable that region inventory at the end of 2016 was down to 6.2 months. But the decline was more striking if you look at the individual counties, with inventory down to 3.8 months in Westchester, 5.0 in Putnam, 4.9 in Rockland, and 6.4 in Orange. Indeed, if you take Dutchess (which is still in the double digits) out of the calculation, the overall regional average is down to 4.2 months of inventory. That’s extraordinarily low, especially when you consider that regional inventory was over 10 months just two years ago.

The lack of inventory is starting to have an impact on sales. Sales are still relatively strong, but the pace of growth is slowing. Single-family transactions were up for the region, rising 6% from the fourth quarter of last year, which now marks nine straight quarters of year-on-year sales growth. And regional sales were up sharply for the calendar year, rising over 14% from 2015 and crossing over the 15,000 transaction mark for the first time since 2005. Indeed, yearly sales are now up 78% from the market bottom in 2011. But we see some troubling signs. For example, that 6% rise in sales from last year is the smallest year-on-year sales increase in eight quarters. Moreover, although regional sales were up, individual counties were flat or down: Westchester was up only 1.4%, and Rockland was down 3.6%. Essentially, the market needs more fuel for the fire — without more listings on the market, we are likely to see sales flatten or even decline in 2017.

Prices continue to struggle throughout the region. The regional average sales price was down just a tick for the quarter, but fell almost 4% for the calendar year. How can that be? We are seeing sustained buyer demand coupled with declining inventory over the past few years, and sales totals that approach the tail end of the last seller’s market. Basic economics tells us that increasing demand and falling supply should drive prices up. And, well, they will. It’s just a matter of time. At some point soon, these high levels of buyer demand, along with the low levels of inventory, will start creating the kind of multiple offer situations and bidding wars that will drive prices up. In turn, as prices go up, homeowners watching and waiting from the sidelines will be tempted into the market, which will moderate the potential surge in price appreciation. In other words, we’re about the witness “Economics 101” in action.

Going forward, we remain confident that the market conditions are ripe for meaningful price appreciation in 2017. Demand is strong, bolstered by near-historically-low interest rates, prices that are still near 2004-05 levels (without controlling for inflation), and a generally strong economy. And supply is tight, at least until some price appreciation brings more sellers into the market. So in the short term, we might see some declines in home sales off the highs set in 2016. But over time, as high-demand-and-short-supply starts driving prices up, inventory will come back. And we will eventually see the return of sales growth, this time coupled with meaningful price appreciation.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate® – Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on January 9, 2017 at 1:25 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Real Estate Market Report: Third Quarter 2016 – Rockland County, New York

rockland-bhg_ny-west-hv_q3-2016-qmr-digitalThe Rockland County market surged again in the third quarter of 2016, with a dramatic increase in sales finally driving a meaningful yearly increase in prices.

Sales. Rockland singlefamily sales were up yet again, rising almost 13% from last year’s third quarter and up 20% for the rolling year. We’ve now seen sustained rates of growth for over four years, with transactions up for eight straight quarters and 16 out of the last 17. Indeed, we eclipsed 2,000 singlefamily sales in the rolling year for the first time in over 10 years, at the height of the last seller’s market. Sales were similarly torrid in the condo market, which was up almost 38% for the quarter and 15% for the year.

Prices. Rockland pricing is finally showing meaningful signs of price appreciation. As we noted in our last Report, the 10% spring spike in prices was not sustainable, and we saw pricing come back to earth a little bit in the third quarter: down over 2% on average, and up a tick at the median. But the rolling year singlefamily prices are demonstrating the kind of appreciation that is sustainable over time, up about 3% on both the average and the median. Rockland homeowners should be happy with this trend.

Inventory. Available inventory continues to fall, with singlefamily homes and condos both approaching the sixmonth level that usually denotes a “tight” market. If inventory continues to fall, and buyer demand stays at its current levels, then we are likely to see continued price appreciation in the future as buyers chase fewer available homes.

Negotiability. Singlefamily homes sold more quickly and for closer to the asking price, which is generally a sign that sellers are gaining negotiating leverage with buyers. The condo results were more mixed, with the listing retention rate falling slightly even while the daysonmarket hit the sixmonth mark.

Going forward, we believe that buyer demand in Rockland will stay strong through the end of the year, with prices still at attractive levels, interest rates low, and the economy generally strengthening. Indeed, we expect that Rockland will have its best year since the height of the last seller’s market.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on October 10, 2016 at 2:34 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

Real Estate Market Report: Third Quarter 2016 – Westchester & Hudson Valley Market Overview

overview-bhg_ny-west-hv_q3-2016-qmr-digitalThe housing market in Westchester and the Hudson Valley in the third quarter of 2016 defied the standard economic laws of supply and demand. Sales were up and inventory was down, but prices were flat across the board. Why? Maybe buyers are just leery of making a move during a tumultuous presidential election year.

Sales activity continues to increase throughout the region. Sales were up compared to the third quarter of last year in every county in the Report, ranging from a modest 2% increase in Westchester to a robust 18% rise in Orange. We’ve now seen sustained sales increases for almost five years, with regional yearonyear sales going up in 17 out of the last 19 quarters. And we’re reaching transactional totals we haven’t seen since the height of the last seller’s market, with the region hitting 15,000 singlefamily home sales for the first time since 2016. We did see some signs, though, that the pace of growth might be slowing: regional sales were up only 8% for the quarter, relatively disappointing in a rolling year where sales rose almost 17%.

Inventory continues to tighten throughout the region. The supply of homes for sale is falling throughout the region, down in almost every county in the Report: dropping 20% in Westchester, 31% in Putnam, 17% in Rockland, and 21% in Orange. And if you look at the months of inventory available given the current rate of sales, we are already approaching the sixmonth inventory level that usually signals a tight seller’s market. For singlefamily homes, Westchester is already below six months at 5.8, and the other counties are getting close: Putnam at 7.3, Rockland at 6.4, and Orange at 8.1. And for condos, it’s the same story: Westchester at 3.7, Putnam at 4.7, Rockland at 7.1, and Orange right at 6.0.

So with demand up and supply down, why aren’t prices rising?  Prices were down modestly throughout the region, and in most of the counties in this Report. We can think of three reasons.

  1. Disproportionate strength in the lowerend markets. The fact that sales were up 18% in lowerpriced Orange and only 2% in higherpriced Westchester might be a sign that demand is stronger at the entrylevel. That would tend to drive overall pricing down a bit.
  2. Buyers are still spooked by the financial crisis and meltdown of 200809. Maybe buyers aren’t yet willing to give in to seller demands for higher prices – that would blunt the impact of declines in inventory, and might also explain why sales increases have tapered a bit.
  3. The impact of a particularly tumultuous presidential election year. It’s tough to get data on this, because we have so few presidential election years to use as comparison points. But real estate agents have traditionally complained about the difficulty of selling homes during a presidential election – and we expect that this election is especially fraught for home buyers (on both sides).

Going forward, we are hopeful that the market will close the year well. The fundamentals of our regional market are strong: demand is high, inventory is falling, interest rates are near historic lows, and the overall economy is doing fine. Accordingly, we expect that sales will continue to outpace 2015 levels, and believe it’s only a matter of time before these falling inventory levels start driving meaningful price appreciation throughout the region.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on October 7, 2016 at 11:46 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Second-Quarter 2016 Real Estate Market Report: Rockland County

RocklandNY-Q2-2016-QMRThe Rockland County market surged in the second quarter of 2016, with another dramatic increase in sales coupled with an eye‑popping 10% spike in the average sales price.

Sales. Rockland sales were up yet again, rising over 28% from last year’s second quarter and now up 25% for the rolling year. We’ve now seen sustained rates of growth for four straight years, with transactions up for the last seven quarters and 15 out of the last 16. Indeed, we almost saw 2,000 single‑family sales over the rolling year for the first time in over 10 years, at the height of the last seller’s market.

Prices. After years of struggles, Rockland pricing finally broke through, with the average sales price spiking over 10% from the second quarter of last year. But that eye‑opening number comes with a couple of caveats. First, the increase for the rolling year was more modest (and sustainable), up about 6% on average. Second, the other pricing metrics were not as robust, with the median up 5% and the price‑per‑square‑foot up 6%. And third, the 10% increase in the average was skewed by a surge of activity in the high end, with $1M+ sales rising from 3 to 12 from last year’s second quarter. So although pricing is definitely trending upwards, we should not expect to see sustained double‑digit price appreciation going forward.

Negotiability. The negotiability indicators supported the view that the market is tightening. Inventory was down, listing retention was up, and the days‑on‑market were down – all indicating that sellers are gaining negotiating leverage with buyers.

Condos. The condo market in Rockland was up, but not at the pace of the single‑family market. Sales were up a robust 10%, but prices continue to struggle along, down on average and at the median. If single‑family homes continue to appreciate, though, that will expand the pricing gap between houses and condos, which would probably have a positive impact on the condo market.

Going forward, we do not expect Rockland to see sustained double‑digit price appreciation, but do believe that the market will continue to enjoy more modest pricing and sales increases. With prices still at attractive levels, interest rates low, and the economy generally strengthening, we believe that Rockland will have its best year since the height of the seller’s market.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on July 15, 2016 at 9:28 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

Second-Quarter 2016 Real Estate Market Report: Westchester & Hudson Valley Market Overview

OverviewWestHV-NY-Q2-2016-QMRThe Westchester and Hudson Valley regional housing market surged again in the second quarter of 2016, with sharply rising sales finally starting to have an impact on pricing, particularly in the mid- and entry‑priced markets throughout the region.

Sales. Activity continues to surge, with regional sales up over 26% compared to the second quarter of last year, and rising in every county in the Rand Report. We’ve now had sales going up for over four years, with regional transactions rising in 16 out of the last 18 quarters. Most importantly, we’re now seeing sustained sales increases driving sales totals to levels that rival the height of the last seller’s market, with almost 15,000 single‑family homes and 3,000 condos sold over the past 12 months.

Inventory. Available inventory continues to tighten throughout the region. In the real estate industry, we measure inventory levels by looking at the “months of inventory” available at any given time on the market, and consider anything under six months of inventory as an indicator of a “seller’s market.” Well, we are not yet under six months in any of our regional markets, but we’re moving in that direction, with months of single‑family inventory down 24% in Westchester, 38% in Putnam, 32% in Rockland, 39% in Orange, and 25% in Dutchess. Condo inventory was also down, falling 38% in Westchester, 48% in Putnam, 9% in Rockland, 29% in Orange, and 18% in Dutchess. Both Westchester and Putnam condos are now below six months worth of inventory, and other counties are closing in on the threshold.

Prices. These sustained surges in sales activity are not, though, yet having a widespread impact on pricing. You’ll notice on the accompanying graph that regional average prices have been ticking down for the past year or so. This is a little surprising, given that basic economics tells us that increasing demand coupled with falling inventory should drive prices higher. But we caution you not to read too much into the regional price decline, because the relative strength of activity in the lower priced markets (Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess) compared to Westchester has changed the mix of properties sold over the past year. Indeed, if you look at individual counties, we had price appreciation in Putnam, Rockland, and Dutchess, and mixed results in Orange. It was only in Westchester that we had prices go down, but even there we believe that the drop was largely caused by a relative lack of demand in the very high end of the market, for homes selling above $3 million. In other words, both the regional price decline and the price drop in Westchester are partly caused by the relative strength of lower‑priced markets compared to higher‑priced markets throughout the region.

Going forward, we expect a robust summer market. The fundamentals of our regional market are strong: demand is rising, inventory is falling, interest rates are near historic lows, and the overall economy is doing fine. Accordingly, we expect that sales will continue to outpace 2015 levels, and believe it’s only a matter of time before the sustained increases in buyer demand start driving meaningful price appreciation throughout the region.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on July 14, 2016 at 12:08 pm
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

First Quarter 2016 Real Estate Market Report: Rockland Market Overview

ROCKLAND_NY-Q1-2016-QMRThe Rockland County housing market started the year strong, with increases in both sales and prices that are now reaching levels we have not seen in over 10 years at the tail end of the last seller’s market.

Sales. Rockland sales were up again, rising over 16% from last year’s first quarter and now up over 20% for the rolling year. We’ve now seen sustained rates of growth for almost four years, with transactions up for the last six quarters and 14 out of the last 15. Indeed, sales totals are now approaching “seller market levels,” with the 1,880 rolling year sales the highest total in over 10 years.

Prices. This sustained increase in buyer demand is having its expected impact on pricing, with prices up almost 3% on average and almost 2% in the price.per.square foot, but falling a tick at the median. For the year, the results are more uniform, with prices up about 3% across the board. After the sharp decline following the financial crisis in 2008, and then a few years of bouncing around the bottom, Rockland prices are now starting their fourth year of modest but meaningful appreciation. They still have a way to go before they gain back the losses suffered after the financial crisis of 2008, but they’re trending in a positive direction.

Negotiability. The negotiability indicators showed that sellers are gaining a bit more leverage with buyers. We saw another dramatic decline in the number of homes for sale, for example, with the months of inventory falling over 21% and now reaching the six-month level that usually delineates a “seller’s market.” Similarly, the listing retention rate rose above 96% for the first time since 2006, and the days on market continued to fall. All together, a declining inventory, with homes selling more quickly and for closer to the asking price, tells us that we’re moving into a strong seller’s market.

Condos. The condo market in Rockland continues to struggle. Sales were up, but not as sharply as with single.family homes. And prices were down slightly, indicating that buyer demand in the market is not pushing appreciation. With condo inventory actually rising a bit, we’re not likely to see any meaningful price appreciation in this entry level market anytime soon.

Going forward, we expect a robust spring market that will continue to drive prices and sales upward. With prices still at attractive levels, interest rates low, and the economy generally strengthening, we believe that Rockland will have its best year since the height of the seller’s market.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on April 21, 2016 at 9:30 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , ,

First Quarter 2016 Real Estate Market Report: Westchester & Hudson Valley Market Overview

WEST-HV_NY-Q1-2016-QMR

The Westchester and Hudson Valley regional housing market in the first quarter of 2016 picked up where 2015 left off, with another surge in sales activity that is still not yet having a widespread impact on home prices. With inventory declining throughout the region, though, we believe that we will start seeing meaningful price appreciation before the end of the year.

In our last Rand Report, we welcomed readers to the next “seller’s market,” predicting that 2016 would be marked by increasing sales, declining inventory, and rising prices. So far, we’re right on two out of the three predictions: sales continue to go up, inventory continues to go down, but prices have not yet taken off throughout the region.

Sales. Activity continues to surge across the region. Transactions were up in every single county in the Report, and collectively rose over 23% compared to the first quarter of last year and over 18% for the rolling year. This is nothing new – we’ve been watching sales go up quarter after quarter for over four years, with regional transactions rising in 15 out of the last 17 quarters. Indeed, the region closed over 14,000 single-family sales over the past 12 months, which is the highest rolling year total since the middle of 2006 – at the tail end of the last seller’s market.

Inventory. Available inventory continues to tighten throughout the region. In the real estate industry, we measure inventory levels by looking at the “months of inventory” available at any given time on the market, and consider anything under six months of inventory as an indicator of a “seller’s market.” Well, we are not yet under six months in any of our regional markets, but we’re getting close, with Westchester, Putnam, and Rockland all under eight months. More importantly, inventory is tightening across the board, down sharply in most of the counties.

Prices. You’ll notice on the accompanying graph that regional sales prices have been ticking down for the past year, and went down again in the first quarter. How can that be? Why would prices be going down even while sales and inventory are going up? Well, the explanation is that it’s just an optical illusion. Don’t believe your lying eyes – prices are actually rising.

Here’s why: right now, the market is strongest in the lower.priced markets, which is disproportionately increasing the number of lower priced sales and thereby skewing the pricing. We see that most clearly in the countywide numbers, with sales up much more sharply in the lower priced markets. While sales in the highest priced market in Westchester are up only 9%, the other regional markets are spiking: Putnam up 21%, Rockland up 20%, Orange up 28%, and Dutchess up 29%. As a result, Westchester sales accounted for only 36% of the sales in the region in the first quarter of this year, compared to 40% last year and as much as 50% in prior years. So it follows that if higher priced Westchester sales are making up a smaller part of the overall transactional mix, then the average price for the region is going to drop.

Indeed, the average price was up in four out of the five counties in the region: rising 12% in Putnam, 3% in Rockland, 3% in Orange, and up just a tick in Dutchess. Prices were only down in – you guessed it! – Westchester, and we believe it’s for the exact same reason: strength in the lower end of the market. Even within Westchester, the demand was much stronger in the entry-level coop and condo markets, which had higher sales increases, rising prices, and lower levels of inventory. It follows that if the condo and coop markets were so strong, then the lowest end of the single.family market was probably also a lot more active than the middle or high end. So don’t read too much into the regional price drop, or even the decline in Westchester single-family homes.

Going forward, we expect a robust spring market. All the fundamentals point to a burgeoning “seller’s market,” with demand high, inventory falling, interest rates low, and a generally improving economy. Accordingly, we expect that sales will continue to go up, and that the strength in the lower priced markets will gradually extend throughout all price points.

To learn more about Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, visit their website and Facebook page, and make sure to “Like” their page. You can also follow them on Twitter.

Posted on April 20, 2016 at 11:51 am
James Troia | Category: Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,