Prices in the Westchester housing market surged forward in the second quarter of 2017, even while a lack of inventory stifled potential sales growth.
Sales. Home sales were basically flat through the second quarter, falling just about 1% from the second quarter of last year. This marked the first quarter in almost three years where sales fell from the prior year, reflecting the lack of inventory available in the market. Still, though, sales are at levels we have not seen since the last seller’s market in 2005, and up almost 90% from the bottom of the market at the end of 2009.
Prices. Low levels of inventory also had an impact on prices, which were up significantly over last year. Home prices rose across the board: up over 7% on average, almost 4% at the median, and 3% in the price-per-square foot. Over the longer-term, we’re starting to see some meaningful price appreciation, with average prices up almost 3% for the rolling year.
Negotiability. The negotiability indicators continue to signal the emergence of the seller’s market. Inventory declined again, falling almost 12% and now at the lowest level of inventory we have had in Westchester in over 12 years, since the height of the last seller’s market. Similarly, the listing retention rate was up a full percentage point, exactly what we would expect when sellers start to gain negotiating leverage.
Condos and Coops. The condo and coop market was mixed. Sales of coops were up over 12%, but condo sales were down over 6%, the clear result of constricted inventory levels. But that shortage of available condos and coops is having its expected impact on pricing, which was up across the board for both property types.
Going forward, we expect that Westchester is going to continue to see meaningful price appreciation through a strong summer market. With inventory still tightening, pricing at 2004-05 levels, and interest rates still near historic lows, we expect that buyer demand will stay strong for the rest of the year.