by Tom Renner, Yonkers Daily Voice
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. — Second quarter sales zoomed up 8.4 percent for single family homes in Westchester County compared to the same quarter in 2014, according to figures released by the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.
Sales escalated 14.8 percent in the four counties in the HGAR report. They are Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange. Realtors in the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, a subsidiary of HGAR, reported a total of 3,669 closed residential transactions in the four-county service territory, 474 more than last year.
While activity increased, price appreciation has been slow but steady. The median sale price for a single family home rose 1.4 percent in Westchester
Sales of single family homes rose 12.3 percent in Putnam for the second quarter with a price appreciation of 1.6 percent.
“It’s a tale of two inventories,’’said Leah Caro, President of the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service and President and Principal Broker of Bronxville Real Estate. “I think there are two distinct markets, well-priced homes and over-priced homes. Things are really taking off and buyers are lined up if homes are priced in the sweet spot appropriate for the region. If a home is over-priced, the homes are sitting there and could be on the market for a long time.”
Caro said the some sellers are misinterpreting data from the strong sales numbers. “A lot of sellers are concerned about leaving money on the table,’’ Caro said. “So they’ll price their home a little bit above the sweet spot. Buyers are looking at the inventory that is priced well and they’re not going to engage homes that are overpriced.”
Jennifer Maher, the HGAR Regional VP for Westchester and Putnam, said correct pricing has been hard to define in Putnam. “A lot of homes are under priced,” said Maher, the office manager in Mahopac for J. Philip Real Estate. “That causes bidding war on homes in the same price point. It’s hard to find the right zone. The numbers are all over the price.”
Westchester County led the way among the four regions in the Hudson Gateway report with 2,183 sales, about 60 percent of the region’s total. Multifamily property sales jumped 59 percent.
The median sale price for a single family home in Westchester is $660,500 and $289,500 in Putnam.
Caro said sales figures are a reflection of “Economics 101.” “There has been this pent up exuberance for the market to return,’’ she said. “There’s an over exuberance by some sellers. They’re hearing the numbers without understanding the background.”
Caro said sellers would be wise to price their homes appropriate for the region to get the best result. “The successful sellers are pricing them at the market price or even a little below,’’ she said. “Then buyers will purchase at market or a little more. The buyers’ mentality is that they will buy what somebody else wants. None of this is new. It’s just black and white.”
Maher sees similar trends for Westchester and Putnam through the remainder of the year. “It’s a stable environment with low interest rates and low unemployment,” she said. “I’ll think we’ll see this stability for the rest of the year.’
Click on the attached PDF for the complete report.