HGMLS: Home Sales in Hudson Valley Remained Strong in 2019

Real Estate In-Depth | January 2020

WHITE PLAINS—Sales of residential real estate in the lower Hudson Valley remained strong in 2019, according to the recently released “2019 Annual And 4th Quarter Residential Real Estate Sales Report—Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange and Sullivan Counties, New York” by the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, Inc.

Overall residential sales, which include condominium, co-op and two to four-family homes, saw some slight decreases in the lower Hudson Valley. Rockland County was the exception, experiencing an overall increase of 3.3%. Single-family homes, the largest segment of the market, increased by 5.5% in Rockland for a total of 2,027 sales as compared to 1,921 sales in 2018.

Westchester, the largest county in the region, had a decrease in single-family sales of less than 1%. Single-family sales totaled 5,832 compared with 5,883 in 2018. Interestingly, the median sales price increased .8% to $655,000. The median price in 2018 in Westchester County was $650,000. Orange County single-family sales declined by 4.2%, the first decline in single-family sales since 2011. Concomitantly, prices for a single-family residence in Orange rose 4.8% to $271,000 from $258,600 in 2018.

In Putnam County single-family residential sales rose by less than 1% to 1,048 units as compared to 1,041 units in 2018. The median price of a single-family home in Putnam County at the end of 2019 was $358,500, an increase of 2.4% from 2018. Sullivan County saw a 2.4% decrease in sales with an 11.3% increase in prices to $142,500. It would appear, as has been the unfolding theme for several years, that a dearth of inventory has impeded sales and put upward pressure on prices.

Co-op sales, which tend to represent approximately 20% of the Westchester market, decreased by 6.4% for the year. Nonetheless, prices for co-ops increased by 6.1% over 2018 with a median price of $175,000. Co-ops do not represent a significant portion of the market in the other counties in the region.

Sales of condominiums presented a mixed picture with sales in Westchester up 1.9%, down in Putnam 10.6%, down in Rockland 7.2% and up in Orange by 4.9%. Sales prices however were up in all but Putnam where prices declined by 1.8%.

Total condo sales for the region were 2,509 units as compared to 2,502 units in 2018 (Westchester-1,335 units, Putnam-126, Rockland-531, Orange-510).

It appears that, to date, federal limitations on state and local property, income and sales tax deductions (SALT) had limited impact on the lower Hudson Valley real estate market. This may in part be due to the ongoing economic development initiatives in the region. With a very low unemployment rate of 3.4% in November (New York Stat Dept. of Labor) and continuing economic expansion across the region, from a $2 billion NYS investment in infrastructure improvements in the Bronx, continuing bio-tech expansion and new luxury residential rentals in Westchester, LEGOLAND New York (scheduled opening, July 2020) and expansion of Woodbury Commons retail outlets in Orange and tourism development in Sullivan County, the region remains poised to continue to see a robust housing market in 2020.

Adding to optimism for a vibrant market is the enduring low interest rate environment which most economists see continuing into 2020. The one caveat to a continuing healthy market is low inventory, which continues to haunt our entire region.

The Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (HGMLS) is a subsidiary of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc. (HGAR). HGMLS’s principal service area consists of Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange and Sullivan counties. It also provides services to Realtors in Bronx, Dutchess, and Ulster counties. 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 activity. HGMLS does not provide data on sub-county areas but persons desiring such data are invited to contact Realtor offices in the desired areas. Prior reports back to 1981 as well as current market information and a directory of Realtor members are available on the Association’s website at www.hgar.com.