Renee Zurlo Takes on New Role as General Manager, Greater Hudson Valley Region for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty

Nanuet, NYBetter Homes and Gardens Rand Realty’s Renee Zurlo has been named General Manager of the Greater Hudson Valley region, covering Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster Counties. Renee will be overseeing 11 offices in her new role. Previously, Renee served as the Orange County Regional Manager at Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty. She has been a REALTOR® for over 24 years and has been with Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty for the past ten years.

“I am thrilled to share my experience and skills with an even larger scope of the Greater Hudson Valley Region,” says Renee.

June Stokes will continue in her role as Rockland County Regional Manager. “I look forward to working with Renee as we continue the company’s success in Rockland County,” says June.

According to Matt Rand, CEO, Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, “Our goal with this new management structure is to accelerate our growth in the markets where we have dominant market share, as well as to serve our agents at an even higher level and help them grow their personal brand and business.”

Posted on February 6, 2019 at 11:35 am
Nina Agro | Category: In the News, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , ,

Fourth-Quarter 2018: Real Estate Market Report – Orange County, NY

The Orange housing market closed the best year for homeowners since the financial crisis 10 years ago, with the full‑year pricing up sharply for both single‑family homes and condos. Orange is now in a fully realized seller’s market, with low levels of inventory holding back sales, even while driving robust price appreciation. For the full 2018 year, prices were up across the board: single‑family home prices rose 9% on average, 7% at the median, and almost 10% in the price‑per‑square foot, while condo prices rose 12% on average, 8% at the median, and over 12% in the price‑per‑square‑foot. Pricing is now the highest it’s been since the financial crisis of 2008‑09, although it’s still down about 20% from the height of the market in 2006-07. Going forward, we expect that Orange still has some room for growth, and that demand will stay strong through the winter and spring markets.

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 TwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Posted on January 22, 2019 at 9:31 am
Vincent Abbatecola | Category: Quarter Market Report, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

Fourth Quarter 2018: Real Estate Market Report – Lower Hudson Valley, NY

Sales in Westchester and the Hudson Valley housing markets were down throughout the region, even while high buyer demand, coupled with low levels of inventory, drove meaningful price appreciation in most of the regional markets.

Sales were down throughout the region. Regional transactions fell across the board in the fourth quarter, dropping almost 7% for single‑family homes and 5% for condos. We saw the same story for the full 2018 year, with sales down over 4% for single‑family homes and about 1% for condos. To put these numbers in perspective, though, we closed almost 15,000 single‑family homes and almost 3,000 condos in 2018, up from about 9,000 single‑family homes and 2,000 condos back at the bottom of the market 10 years ago. So we’ve had a pretty good run‑up of sales in the past 10 years and were due to plateau at some point.
Prices were up in most of the markets of the region, particularly in the lower‑priced market segments.

Essentially, we had a “tale of two markets” developing in the region, with pricing flat only for the highest‑priced property type in the region – Westchester single‑family homes – even while average prices were up for every other county in the region for the year: up 6% in Putnam, 5% in Rockland, 9% in Orange, and 10% in Dutchess. And full‑year pricing in the entry‑level condo and coop markets was up in every market: rising 6% for Westchester coops, with condos up 0.1% in Westchester, 15% in Putnam, 1% in Rockland, 12% in Orange, and 7% in Dutchess.

So what was holding back pricing for Westchester single‑family homes? We might be seeing the effects of the 2018 Tax Reform, which capped deductions for state and local taxes, and could be having a disproportionate impact on high‑end buyers in high‑property‑tax Westchester. Unlike buyers in the entry‑level condo and coop market, or in the lower‑priced counties, Westchester luxury buyers are more likely to itemize their taxes, so they might be feeling the bite of the cap more acutely. This could be reducing demand at the higher‑ends of the market, suppressing the price appreciation we are seeing in the rest of the region.

Going forward, we believe that the market is still poised for growth. Sales are falling mostly due to a lack of supply, not a lack of demand. Essentially, the market needs more “fuel for the fire” – more viable inventory for the buyers who are looking. And that might be happening: regional single‑family home inventory was up almost 10% from last year, rising for the second quarter in a row after 25 straight quarters of year‑on‑year declines. This makes some economic sense, of course, since we would expect that sustained price appreciation over a period of time should tempt more homeowners into the market. The question is whether buyer demand is strong enough to continue driving price appreciation, even while absorbing this increased inventory. Ultimately, we believe that the region is still growing as a seller’s market, which should allow for both increases in sales and prices in what will be a robust spring market.

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 TwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Posted on January 21, 2019 at 3:52 pm
Vincent Abbatecola | Category: Quarter Market Report, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty Announces Growth in Central Valley Office – Julie Piazza Joins Leadership Team

Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty has announced the promotion of Julie Piazza to Branch Manager of the Central Valley Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty office — the company’s top producing office in Orange County.

Prior to her new position, Julie was the Business Development Manager for all five of the Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty offices in Orange County, where she was responsible for recruiting, training and coaching agents. She began her career in real estate in 2004 and joined Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty in October 2010, where she quickly rose to become one of the company’s top producing agents.

“Julie has been a tremendous asset to our Central Valley office, as well as to our entire Orange County region,” said Renee Zurlo, Regional Manager for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty Orange County. “Her vast sales experience combined with her knowledge of our systems, technology and coaching techniques has helped our new and experienced agents thrive, meet their goals and quickly build successful businesses.”

Renee adds, “Julie has a strong team of hard working and extremely successful sales associates, who continually support and encourage each other to stay on top. I am confident that our Central Valley office will experience continued growth and success.”

Julie joins Renee Zurlo as the leadership team in Central Valley, with over 80 agents.

Says Julie Piazza: “I am looking forward to continued growth for the office as a whole and individually, and will work very hard to ensure that everyone feels supported and reaches their goals.”

Posted on December 27, 2018 at 4:25 pm
Vincent Abbatecola | Category: In the News, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Congratulations! Renee Zurlo: Realtor of The Year and Richard Herska: “Up and Coming” Award

Congratulations to Renee Zurlo, Orange County Regional Manager, named “Realtor of the Year” by the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors (HGAR) – and to Richard Herska, Real Estate Salesperson, Nyack office, who received HGAR’s “Up and Coming Award,” selected out of a pool of 15,000 other local realtors. Renee and Rich were honored in front of a crowd of 1,500 members and affiliates who were in attendance for the 102nd Annual Meeting and Member’s Day of The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors (HGAR). The event took place at the Doubletree Hotel in Tarrytown on Monday, October 29.

Renee has been a REALTOR® for over 24 years and has been with Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty for nine years. She has served as president of the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service since 2016 and will continue to serve as president into 2019, when a newly formed MLS—a merger between the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island, Inc. (MLSLI) and Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, is fully operational.

On receiving the honor of the HGAR Realtor of Year award, Renee said: “This award represents my many years of involvement in the real estate industry, building relationships and being able to give back to an industry that has given me so much. Throughout my career I have turned to many people for guidance, and I share this honor with them,” she added.

“Renee has truly earned the title of Realtor of Year with her exceptional talent, experience, skill and results,” said Matt Rand.

Says Marsha Rand, president of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, “Renee has been a huge asset to the Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty team. She is a real team player and loves to share her knowledge with others. There is no one more deserving of this award.”

Rich has been a REALTOR® with Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty for three years and is also an active member of the HGAR Board of Directors. He says that combining his two passions – interior design and real estate – has been “a perfect fit” and has helped to propel his career forward at Better Homes and Garden Rand Realty.

“I am both honored and humbled to receive this award,” he said. “This confirms that hard work, dedication and patience yields positive acknowledgment. I look forward to a long future in real estate and with the Rand Realty family.”

“Rich has accomplished so much at Rand Realty in the past few years,” said Marsha Rand. “His eye for design is impeccable, and he gives his all to every client. He is on his way to the top!”

According to Matt Rand, “Richard’s Up and Coming Award is well deserved. He is one of our rising stars and we so appreciate the interior design expertise he brings to our clients.”

“We are extremely proud of both award winners!”

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 TwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Posted on December 14, 2018 at 3:22 pm
Vincent Abbatecola | Category: In the News, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Real Estate Market Report: Third Quarter 2018 – Orange County, NY

The Orange County housing market soared yet again in the third quarter of 2018, with prices exploding upward. With inventory still very low, and demand high, house prices rose 14% on average, 8% at the median, and 12% in the price‑per‑square‑foot, while condo prices were up 17% on average, 12% at the median, and 14% in the price‑per‑square‑foot. More importantly, after years of frustrating stagnation, we’re finally seeing sustained appreciation trends in Orange County. This was the ninth straight quarter of rising house prices, culminating in a rolling year where prices were up 8% on average, 9% at the median, and 8% in the price‑per‑square‑foot. And we saw the same thing in condos, with the full-year prices up 12% on average, 14% at the median, and 10% in the price‑per‑square‑foot. Going forward, we believe that lack of inventory will continue to hold sales down, but will still drive meaningful price appreciation through the end of 2018 and into next year.

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 TwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Posted on October 10, 2018 at 10:33 am
Vincent Abbatecola | Category: Quarter Market Report, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

Real Estate Market Report: Third Quarter 2018 – Westchester and Hudson Valley

Despite concerns that the 2018 tax reform law would undermine housing values, Westchester and the Hudson Valley held steady in the third quarter, with prices rising throughout the region and up dramatically in some counties.

Some analysts have expressed concerns about the effects of the 2018 Tax Reform law on our regional housing market. The tax law capped the deductibility of state and local taxes and reduced the mortgage interest deduction, which particularly impacts high‑tax areas, like Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Indeed, those analysts might see evidence for this theory in the third-quarter results, with regional single‑family home sales falling almost 2% from last year, and down in almost every individual county.
For the most part, though, sales are down because of a lack of supply, not a lack of demand. Regional inventory levels have gone down 25 straight quarters, falling from a high of around 16 months to the current six months. Quarter after quarter, inventory went down until we reached a point where we have a shortage of desirable homes for sale. That’s what’s holding back sales – a lack of “fuel for the fire.”
How do we know that falling sales aren’t the result of slackening demand from the impact of tax reform? A couple of reasons:

First, this trend of declining sales predates tax reform. We’ve been tracking falling sales for almost two years, with regional sales down, in five out of the last six quarters, well before the passage of tax reform in late 2017.

Second, sales are down in all markets, not just high‑priced markets. Tax reform would not explain why sales are down even in the lower‑priced markets, where most buyers do not itemize taxes in a way that they’d be affected by changes in deductibility. And yet, quarterly sales were down more in Rockland and Dutchess than they were in Westchester.

Third, prices are up in almost every market segment. Regional average sales prices were up almost 3% for houses and 5% for condos in the third quarter and were up (in some cases dramatically) in every individual county for almost every property type. If tax reform had sapped demand in the market, we’d be seeing flat or declining pricing, not robust appreciation.

All that said, tax reform might be having a small impact on the very high end of the market, where the loss of deductibility for mortgage interest and local taxes hits the hardest. Price appreciation was more pronounced in the lower‑priced markets, with single‑family average prices rising 11% in Putnam, 6% in Rockland, 14% in Orange, and 7% in Dutchess. Meanwhile, Westchester’s single‑family home pricing was up just a tick on average, and only fell 1% at the median. We’re talking about a marginal, not a major, impact. Prices aren’t rising at the rate they are in the lower‑priced markets, they’re basically flat, not falling.

Moreover, inventory is starting to respond to these rising prices. For the first time since 2012, inventory levels went up this quarter, which illustrates fundamental economic market theory: If demand is strong, and supply stays steady (or goes down), prices will go up. And when prices go up, new inventory will come onto the market. That’s what we’re seeing now: After years of decline, single‑family inventory was up in almost every county in the region, stabilizing near that six‑month level that usually signals a balancing market.

Going forward, we believe that the appetite in the market can handle both the impact of tax reform and this increased inventory while still driving continued price appreciation. With strong economic conditions, relatively low‑interest rates (and the specter of rate increases on the horizon), and pricing still at attractive 2004‑05 levels, we expect a robust market through the end of the year.

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, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Posted on October 9, 2018 at 4:55 pm
Vincent Abbatecola | Category: Quarter Market Report, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Real Estate Market Report: 2nd Quarter 2018 – Orange County

Pricing in Orange’s housing market exploded again in the second quarter, driven by high demand and low supply. Unlike the other Hudson Valley counties, sales were actually up, with house sales rising 3% for the quarter and 6% for the year. Condo sales were down for the quarter, but were still up almost 10% for the year. The real story, though, was pricing. After years of slow leaks, Orange prices are roaring back, with quarterly house prices up almost 11% on average, 7% at the median, and almost 10% in the price‑per‑square foot. And condo pricing was up over 7% on average, 2% at the median, and almost 11% in the price‑per‑square foot. Going forward, we see these trends continuing through the end of the year, with low supply and high demand driving meaningful price appreciation through a robust summer and fall.

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, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Posted on July 24, 2018 at 9:28 am
Vincent Abbatecola | Category: Quarter Market Report, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,

Real Estate Market Report: 2nd Quarter 2018 – Lower Hudson Valley (New York)

The regional housing market in the New York City northern suburbs surged again in the second quarter of 2018, with high demand and low supply driving prices up throughout the area.

We are clearly in a “seller’s market.” The main story in the market right now is a textbook illustration of basic economic principles: when demand is high, and supply is low, prices go up. This is essentially what a seller’s market looks like, with low levels of inventory coupled with high demand holding sales down while driving prices up. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing throughout the region:

Sales are down. Regional single‑family home sales in the quarter fell almost 3%, and condo sales fell 7%, continuing a trend we’ve been watching for the past year ‑‑ indeed, the rolling-year sales were down about 2% for all property types. To put this in perspective, rolling-year sales had gone up in 24 out of the last 25 quarters prior to the first quarter of this year. And the decline is universal, with single‑family sales down in virtually every county in the region: falling almost 5% in Westchester, 4% in Putnam, and 10% in Rockland (sales rose slightly in Orange and Dutchess).

Prices are up. But all this demand, coupled with a lack of supply, is having its expected impact on pricing. Single‑family average prices were up across the board, rising over 3% for the region and up in every county in the region: up over 2% in Westchester, almost 3% in Putnam, over 8% in Rockland, almost 11% in Orange, and over 10% in Dutchess. And for the first time in over 10 years, single‑family average prices for the rolling year were up in every county in the region.

Inventory is low, but is starting to rise. The key to this market, of course, is the amount of available supply: the number of homes for sale in the market. Inventory has been falling for several years now, holding back sales and driving prices up. But that same economics textbook teaches us that as prices go up, eventually supply starts to rise. Why? Because rising prices attract sellers into the market.

And that is exactly what we’re starting to see: stabilizing inventory. Inventory is still low, but it’s starting to settle at about the six‑month level that signals a balanced market. Indeed, the months of inventory in the region was at 6.2 months, flat compared to the second quarter of last year. And inventory was actually up in both Westchester and Rockland. It might be too early to call a shift in the market, but this was a noticeable change after several years of sharp inventory declines quarter after quarter.

Going forward, we expect the market to continue to grow through 2018. The seller’s market is really just starting to hit its stride, where high demand meets higher supply and pushes both sales and prices up over last year. Higher prices might be tempting more sellers into the market, but we believe that demand is strong enough to accommodate this supply, and drive price appreciation through the end of the year.

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, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Posted on July 23, 2018 at 3:56 pm
Vincent Abbatecola | Category: Quarter Market Report, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Real Estate Market Report: 1st Quarter 2018 – Orange County, NY

Orange’s housing market was stifled by a lack of inventory, which fell 23% and is now down to 4.7 months. But continued demand drove average prices up sharply, rising almost 5% for single‑family and almost 8% for condos for the first quarter. We’re now seeing sustained price appreciation, with average prices up 4% for single-family and 8% for condos for the rolling year. Indeed, Orange has now had seven straight quarters of price appreciation for the first time since the height of the seller’s market. We expect that to continue in what will be a robust spring market.

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, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Posted on April 10, 2018 at 5:02 pm
Vincent Abbatecola | Category: Quarter Market Report, Rand Country Blog | Tagged , , , , , ,