The Westchester real estate market cooled a bit in the third quarter, if only in comparison to the torrid pace set earlier in the year. Sales were up, but just slightly, and prices were a little soft compared to 2014.
Sales. Single-family sales were up slightly, rising 5.7% from the third quarter of last year, and are now up 4.9% for the rolling year. We’ve now seen sustained sales growth for almost four years, with year-over-year transactions going up in 14 out of the last 16 quarters. And sales totals are slowly returning to seller market levels, with the 2,060 quarterly closings the highest since 2003 and the 5,570 yearly sales the highest since 2006.
Prices. Even with these higher levels of activity, prices were down slightly, with the average down 2.6%, the median down 0.3%, and the price-per-square-foot down 0.6%. For the year, prices are more mixed, with the average down just under 1% and the median and price-per-square foot up slightly. We do not think this is anything to worry about – prices spiked prematurely in 2014, rising almost 7% in one year, so they’re easing just a bit now.
Negotiability. The listing retention and days-on-market indicators both indicated that sellers are gaining negotiating leverage. Homes are starting to sell for closer to the asking price, with listing retention up to almost 98%, and they’re selling more quickly, with the days-on-market now down to under 5 months.
Condos & Coops. The condo and coop markets were both strong, with sales up sharply and prices generally rising. Activity was way up, much more than with single-family homes, with coop sales rising 12.3% and condo sales up 21.6% from last year. This is consistent with what we saw across the region, with relatively stronger growth in the lower-priced markets.
Going forward, we expect that the Westchester market will continue to outpace sales levels from last year, and that prices will eventually start to gather momentum. With inventories tightening and interest rates near historic lows, we believe that the market is poised to finish the year strong.