WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- First quarter real estate sales were surprisingly strong despite a snowy and frigid winter, according to statistics released by the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.
Sales climbed 6.2 percent for the first quarter in Westchester compared to the same period in 2014. The median sale price for a single-family home stayed flat at $600,000.
“Last year was a strong year and the fourth quarter was a wonderful surprise,’’ said Leah Caro, president and principal broker of Bronxville Real Estate and president of the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service. “We were expecting a full acceleration and the first three weeks of January were great. Then it snowed, and it didn’t stop. That slowed things down a bit. The numbers are pretty good considering how bad the weather was.”
Condominium sales rose 36 percent in Westchester County in the first quarter compared to last year. Single family home sales fell by 0.9 percent, cooperatives rose 0.6 percent and two- to four-family homes rose 43.4 percent.
Inventory for single-family homes fell by 8.1 percent compared to 2014 in Westchester County. Across all four housing sectors, inventory fell 10.4 percent. There were about 500 fewer properties on the market at the end of the quarter compared to 2014.
“I think what we’ll see now is that the spring market should re-engage,’’ Caro said. “The buyers will have to get back out there. Houses that are priced right are going to sell. We’ve seen highest and best offers pretty routinely, but only for certain segments.”
The rise in condominium sales could be an encouraging trend. Millenials, who sat on the housing sidelines during the recession and wrestled with college debt, are beginning to emerge as homebuyers instead of renters. Interest rates remain low, but rumors persist that they may rise by the end of the year, which could push more fence-sitters into the market.
Caro said homeowners thinking of selling “would be wise to get their houses in the best condition possible. Buyers are attracted to the ones with the least work required. Millenials for the most part don’t have the time or inclination to take on big projects.”
Click on the attached PDF for the complete report from Hudson Gateway.
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