WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – The recent trend toward recovery in the Westchester real estate market continued in the first quarter of 2013, according to a report released Wednesday by the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service.
"We're moving in the right direction," said Diane Cummins, president-elect of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. "Prices are coming back nicely, and in a very realistic manner. It's a much rosier future than what it was a year ago."
The number of home sale closings in the first three months of 2013 were up 7 percent over the same period last year. The transactions that have taken place so far this year were mostly properties that were listed and marketed during the winter and early spring months of 2012-13. The sales were concentrated among condominiums and cooperatives.
In comparison with other nearby counties, Westchester was highly competitive. Orange County saw the best performance, at 16 percent, with Rockland at 5 percent, and Putnam at 2 percent.
"I'm feeling very optimistic," Cummins said. "Prices seem to be moving in a gentle incline up, and days on market are decreasing."
The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors attributed the continued recovery to direct factors, such as favorable interest rates attracting both first-time buyers and others, and indirect factors such as historical highs in the stock markets and a stable (though high, at 7 percent) unemployment rate in Westchester.
Sale prices are improving or at least remaining stable in Westchester, with the median for a single-family house up 2 percent over 2012, at $515,000, and the condo median remaining stable at $313,500.
Sales of homes priced at more than $1 million continued to remain stable, making up about 16 percent of sales. That’s the same as last year but still below the 20 percent and higher that was the norm in previous years.
Although Realtors are not reporting shortages of inventory in Westchester overall, there are areas that remain tight, likely due to potential sellers still feeling hesitant about the market.
The recovery in the Westchester real estate market has reached the point where current owners need to consider whether it's worth continuing to hold out for better prices, Cummins said.
Young families that bought their first home at the height of the market may still be looking to recoup that investment before selling, Cummins said. But it's getting to the point now, for growing families, where it's worth selling now to take advantage of current prices and interest rates when buying their next bigger home.
"They should look at the return on their investment," Cummins said. "It may be worth it to take what they can get now for their first home, to be able to get a better deal on their next home."
You can read the full report in the attached document.
The Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service Inc. is a subsidiary of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors Inc. The reported transactions do not include all real estate sales in the area or all sales assisted by the participating offices, but they are fairly reflective of general market conditions. Prior reports dating back to 1981 are available on the Realtor Association’s website, www.hgar.com; click on Market Statistics. A membership directory searchable by municipality is also available on that site.
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