Rand Predicts Record Home Closings in September Regionwide
John Jordan | September 2020
NANUET—While the third quarter 2020 residential sales numbers will not be released by OneKey MLS until next month, Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty executive Joseph Rand in a sneak preview said the region is currently enjoying a very robust sales market.
“The (sales) surge continues,” Rand said. He noted that in August, new deals in contract were up dramatically based on significant pent-up demand. However, although listings were up sharply for the month, inventory was still low and below last year’s levels.
He believes that the market has just about caught up with the transactions delayed during the several months of virtual shutdown in the spring due to the coronavirus.
In a Facebook live event this morning (Sept. 4), the managing partner of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty noted that activity in August reflected sales transactions in progress during the months of May, June, and July after most of the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.
He noted that attorneys, title insurance companies and Realtors are very busy dealing with the transaction pipeline from the spring and early summer.
“Right now, scheduling closings is unbelievably hard. Everybody is overworked. There are so many transactions that are trying to close this month. It has been nuts,” Rand related.
Looking ahead, Rand said, “September will be the biggest closing month in history.” He later added that third quarter closings will be up sharply from last year and will result in the region reaching third quarter 2019 levels, despite the market pause in March and April due to the pandemic.
In the brokerage firm’s New York market region, which includes Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess and Bronx counties, new contracts were up 50.9% in August as comparted to 12 months earlier.
In its New York region, after new contracts fell 53% and 42% in April and May, contracts rose 10% in May, 59% in June and approximately 51% in August. Listings on the other hand were down 73% in April, 40% in May and then rose 3% in June, 46% in July and 40% in August.
Closings regionwide were down 33% in April, 25% in May, 33% in June, 12% in July and were off just 2% in August.
A key data point from Rand’s presentation is that all of its New York markets, with the exception of the Bronx, are currently seeing double-digit percentage increases in the median sale price as compared to 2019. The Bronx, which has been hampered somewhat by the troubled Manhattan market, has still seen an average median price increase of 9%, according to the Rand presentation, which was based on figures supplied by OneKey MLS.
One market that appears to be struggling is the condominium and cooperative market in Westchester County, with sales down a combined 32.8% in August, according to the presentation.
Rand also addressed the issue of New York City residents fleeing for the suburbs. He said that there has been an increase of approximately 40% in the firm’s transactions involving New York City residents purchasing homes in the northern suburbs as compared to last year.
However, he believes that will be a short-term and not a long-term trend, adding that these city residents were likely considering a suburban move and were pushed by the onset of the coronavirus to make the move now rather than later.