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Jan 13, 2020

Market report: Home sales in Westchester level off as luxury market correction ensues

A year-long price correction in home prices and decrease in mortgage rates in Westchester County made for an unusually active fourth quarter in the county.

According to an end-of-the-year market report from brokerage firm Houlihan Lawrence, single family home sales in Westchester increased gradually in 2019, while overall sales decreased slightly when compared to 2018.

“Mortgage rates have been low and I think that has been very helpful to [buyers], but that doesn’t solve all problems,” Deborah Doern, regional vice president for Houlihan Lawrence, told The Journal News/lohud. “At the beginning of the year, the changes in the tax law was something that gave people pause. Our taxes are high nationally and I think that was a final straw for people to hit the pause button and to see how it would affect them.

“At the same time, sellers had to adjust because of the added cost to some buyers because of the changes in the law,” she said. “And it took a little while for the adjustment.”

The number of single-family homes sold in the fourth quarter in Westchester increased 3.4% to 1,408 on a year-over-year basis. Median sale price also increased for the quarter by 2.2% to $615,000 on year-over-year basis.

Total sales for the year in Westchester dropped by 1% to 5,832 while median sales price for the year increased by less than 1% to $655,000.

“In Westchester, where the $2 million price range was struggling for a while, once [price] adjustments were made, that was one of the biggest upticks we had in pending deals,” Doern said. “[Buyers] know a value proposition and what is not. Once they perceive that value, that is where we see the activity. We still continue to struggle with $4 million and  up, though.”

The number of single-family homes sold in the fourth quarter in Westchester increased 3.4% to 1,408 on a year-over-year basis. Median sale price also increased for the quarter by 2.2% to $615,000 on year-over-year basis.

Total sales for the year in Westchester dropped by 1% to 5,832 while median sales price for the year increased by less than 1% to $655,000.

“In Westchester, where the $2 million price range was struggling for a while, once [price] adjustments were made, that was one of the biggest upticks we had in pending deals,” Doern said. “[Buyers] know a value proposition and what is not. Once they perceive that value, that is where we see the activity. We still continue to struggle with $4 million and  up, though.”

Luxury market correction continues

After a 25% decrease in sales of residences priced over $2 million in the first half of 2019, the Westchester luxury market closed the last year of the decade at a 6.3% decrease in total sales in a year-over-year basis.

Houlihan Lawrence reported the number of closed sales in the fourth quarter grew by 28.6% over the previous year to 63. Median sales price for luxury homes decreased by 1% to $2.7 million, the brokerage firm reported.

“The ultra-luxury segment of the market — $5 million and higher — was level with 2018, but a sharp drop in selling prices made 2019 look very different from 2018,” the brokerage firm said in a prepared statement. “In 2018, Houlihan Lawrence’s sale of David Rockefeller’s estate sold for 50% over asking price and closed at a record-setting $33M. That same year five sales surpassed the $10M price mark.

“In 2019 there were no sales over $10M and the highest sale, originally offered at $12M, closed at $8.1M. Most ultra-luxury sales took one or more price reductions and sold on average 26% off the original list price, underscoring buyers’ value-driven mentality at the high-end and conservative attitude towards real estate.”

Published by LoHud.com

 

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