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Westchester Housing Market Continues Momentum

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – The Westchester real estate market enjoyed another round of increased residential sales in the third quarter, according to Westchester County’s Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, which just released its analysis for July 1 to Sept. 30.

Realtors reported 2,243 closed residential sales in Westchester County during the third quarter, an increase of 15 percent over the same period last year.

Condominium sales led the charge with a 19.5 percent increase in sales, followed by single-family homes with a 15.7 percent increase and co-ops with a 12.3 percent rise.

Gary Leogrande, broker for Keller Williams NY Realty and president of the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, said, “People are recognizing the value of living in the New York metropolitan area. They’re moving up from New York City or moving up from starter homes. Some are downsizing but staying in the area. It all adds up, and all the markets are strong.”

While sales were up, selling prices were not. The median price of a single-family house was $630,000 – a decrease of 7.9 percent from a year ago. Prices for co-ops were down by 6.6 percent, but the median price of a condominium went up by 3.6 percent to $349,750.

There were 6,398 residential units listed for sale in the Multiple Listing Service in Westchester at the close of the quarter, 10.2 percent fewer than last year.

The report suggests that the lower median selling price is mostly due to price concessions from the sellers, but it also cites the downshift in salable properties from multimillion-dollar residences to more modest properties.

Mike Graessle, former president of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, called this “a very active time.”

“It seems that people are much more comfortable with the economy,” he said. “If they didn’t lose their jobs over the last few years, now they’ll buy that house they were thinking about.”

“People are getting priced out of Manhattan,” Graessle added. “The average two-bedroom co-op in Manhattan is close to $1 million. You can get a nice house in Westchester for that.”

Consumer confidence in the economy is not yet strong enough to completely invigorate the real estate market, reports the Multiple Listing Service, but the benefit of lower mortgage rates encourages buyers.

If the current pace of sales continues, Westchester will end the year with about 7,000 sales in all residential categories, approximately 400 sales higher than when the real estate recession began in 2008.

The report concludes, “We are probably close to the point where buyers and sellers see eye to eye on the bottom line for prices, and where an increasingly active market generates its own energy for renewed health.”

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