Home Sales Fall Sharply in First Quarter In The Bronx and Lower Hudson Valley

Real Estate In-Depth | April 11, 2023

WHITE PLAINS—Coming off of a rocky end to 2022, the real estate industry was hopeful for a better market at the start of 2023. However, the data recorded in Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan and Bronx counties paints a different picture, even when compared to pre-pandemic numbers. While the cyclical nature of the residential market normally results in low sales in the first quarter ahead of the traditional “spring selling season,” the numbers show a market that continues to struggle due to high interest rates and low inventory.

Total residential sales, which include single-family homes, condominiums, co-operatives and 2-4 family multi-family homes, decreased across the board in the first quarter of the year when compared to the first quarter of 2022, with Rockland County seeing the largest drop at 38%. Westchester County had a decrease in residential sales of 32.7%, Putnam County saw a decrease of 31.7%, Orange County’s sales dropped 35.1% and Sullivan County’s sales were down 31.6%. Bronx County saw the smallest decrease in Q1 residential sales, at 24.8%, according to the 2023 First Quarter Real Estate Sales Report Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, and Bronx Counties, New York released by the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors on April 11.

Single-family median sales prices continued to rise in Westchester County (4.3% increase), Rockland County (4.2% increase) and Orange County (5.2% increase). Putnam County saw a 5.3% decrease in the median sale price, Sullivan County saw a 5% decrease, and Bronx County saw a 2.5% decrease in the first quarter of 2023.

For the first quarter of 2023, the median sales price for single-family homes in Westchester County was $760,000, the median sales price in Putnam County was $450,000, the median sales price in Rockland County was $625,000, the median sales price in Orange County was $394,500, the median sales price in Sullivan County was $254,500, and the median sales price for single-family homes in Bronx County was $585,000.

When it comes to average days on the market (DOM) there were a few bright spots in several counties, especially for 2-4 family multi-family properties. Sullivan County saw the largest decrease in DOM for this property class, with a 41.6% drop. Rockland County saw a 31.4% decrease and Putnam County saw a 26% decrease in the same property category. Bronx County and Orange County saw an increase in DOM for all property classes this quarter, and Westchester County saw an increase in all categories except for condominiums, which had a marginal decrease of 0.7%.

Available inventory continues to fluctuate, with inventory being down in all markets except for Orange (+11.3%) and Bronx (2.9%) counties, compared to availability at the end of Q1 2022. However, most of the HGAR market area saw already low inventory levels continue to decline as compared to a year earlier, with Putnam County’s inventory falling 34.9%, followed by declines in Westchester (-18.6%), Rockland (-12.0%) and Sullivan (-6.5%).

Looking forward, on the plus side of the ledger, HGAR member firms are saying that buying demand remains high. However, buyer confidence has been shaken by the recent banking crisis, high interest rates, inflation and predictions by some economists of an impending downturn or recession later this year.

However, there has been some good news lately as mortgage rates have declined recently and many predict the Federal Reserve may be nearing the end on its policy of raising rates to battle inflation. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun recently said, “Though week-to-week rate changes can move up and down, the longer-term prospect on rates is for further improvement, with a clear possibility of going under 6% by the year’s end. This is because, with so much apartment construction, the new empty units steadily hitting the market will limit rent growth and calm overall consumer price inflation. The Federal Reserve can therefore stop tightening. With lower rates, more homebuyers will steadily appear. That is why it is critical to ensure more housing supply to help meet the recovering demand.” Click Here for the Full Homes Sales Report

Data for the 2023 First Quarter Real Estate Sales Report Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, and Bronx Counties, New York was provided by OneKey MLS, one of the largest Realtor subscriber-based MLS’s in the country, dedicated to servicing more than 46,000 real estate professionals that serve Manhattan, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. OneKey MLS was formed in 2018, following the merger of the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service and the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island. Click Here for the Full 2023 Q1 Residential Real Estate Sales Report.