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Westchester Home Sales Down from Last Year

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – Sales of single family homes in Westchester County are down compared to this time last year, according to Miller Samuel Inc., which released its quarterly Elliman Report Thursday.  The survey reports on the residential sales in Westchester County for home of different types and sizes.

“There is a pronounced shift in the mixture of smaller sales because of the drop in mortgage rates in the fall to record low levels,” said Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc.  “There’s much more of an immediate reaction to the lower price or entry level markets and that’s exactly what we saw in Westchester.”

The average Westchester single family home sale price was down 6.1 percent from $744,883 to $699,388.  The median sales price was down 9.1 percent from $577,750 at this time last year to $525,000 this year.  The number of sales was also down 5.4 percent from 840 closed sales to 795 this year. Single family homes were on the market 4.5 percent longer, with the average number of days up from 178 to 186.

Miller said he believes the drop in sales is an isolated incident, but the “jury’s out on whether it’s a trend or not.”  A number of factors led to the drop in single family home sales, according to Miller.

“I think the reason for that was what we saw happen in the fall,” he said.  “It started with the [Standard and Poor credit] downgrade, we had 400 point swings in the financial markets, we had European debt crisis and we had political gridlock in Washington about economic and housing policies.”

Westchester as a whole saw average sales prices decline nine percent from $576,512 last year to $524,722 this year for single family and two family homes as well as co-ops and condos. The median sale price was up 16.7 percent from $450,000 to $525,000 and the total number of sales was also up 1.6 percent from 1,373 to 1,395.

While sales may be down from this point last year in categories such as single family homes, Miller said he expects it to pick up again soon.

“The consumer was sort of barraged with all these factors in the fall,” he said.  “I think for some they just pressed the pause button.  Any time you have any kind of uncertainty people simply take longer to make decisions.”

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