The State of the Putnam’s Housing Market: Where It’s Been and Where It’s Going
Clayton Livingston | October 2016
As you all may know, the real estate market in our area has become strong again within the past few years. We also know that this is primarily due to “supply and demand,” coupled with historically low mortgage rates. The low interest rates are motivating many buyers to get out and buy before there is an increase in rates. Additionally, many new families and Millennials are now qualifying for mortgages, further stimulating the demand for affordable homes.
Many of these buyers cannot afford the price and property tax combination found in Westchester County, so they come over the line into Putnam County looking for affordability.
Putnam County is a great option for buyers looking for lower prices than homes available for sale in Westchester. Putnam County still offers these buyers a reasonable commute to New York City. Historically, the natural progression of the real estate market starts in New York City and expands out to Long Island, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties. This market is driven by a south-to-north increase in activity and price point. Last year, the median single-family home price for Putnam County averaged about $350,000. Homes priced at more than $400,000 were not selling very quickly.
The lack of affordable inventory in relation to the number of buyers has helped push prices in Putnam County higher of late. In 2016, the median home in Putnam County was priced at $400,000. Within the past two years, we have started to see bidding wars reappear, which we have not seen in years. Let us keep in mind that, again, the higher-priced homes (over $450,000 in 2016) have taken longer to sell. The higher the price, the longer it is taking, unless the property was underpriced for what it had to offer. This tightening market typically applies to houses that are priced correctly and in good condition. Bank-owned properties are still prevalent, although not to the same extent as last year.
Another factor that has made Putnam County appealing is the new trend to work remotely. A good number of recent buyers do not need to commute on a daily basis, and are therefore amenable to a farther commute. Once buyers begin investigating Putnam, they come to realize that Putnam County has so much to offer, including boating, fishing, golfing, hiking, skiing, fine dining and so much more.
Another reason people are choosing to buy a home in Putnam County is its intrinsic natural beauty from the banks of the Hudson River to the Connecticut state line. Only six towns make up the entire county. They each possess different attributes from the golf courses and boating of Garrison to the antique shops sidewalk cafés and bed and breakfasts of Cold Spring along the Hudson River. Recreational opportunities are abundant at the Fahnstock State Park, Lake Oscawana in Putnam Valley, Putnam County Veteran’s Memorial Park in Kent, Lake Mahopac in Carmel, as well as the Thunder Ridge ski slopes and Appalachian trail of Patterson to Tilly Foster Preserve and Green Chimneys farms in Brewster.
The expansion and extension of the rail trail from the Yorktown border in Westchester now extends through Mahopac and Carmel and Brewster to connect the trail for walkers, runners, and bikers from Valhalla to Northern Westchester and now through Putnam County to Duchess and Connecticut. The state designated wetlands surrounding the brooks streams and rivers feeding the ponds, lakes and reservoirs offer not only a variety of outdoor sporting activities, but also privacy and views that will remain protected.
Putnam County’s allure continues to drive home sales higher. The latest statistics from the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors points to a continuing strong sales market in Putnam County going forward.
Putnam’s total sales of 378 properties were up by 17% in the third quarter and its end of quarter inventory was down by a substantial 29%. The median sale price of a Putnam single-family house was $340,000, an increase of 1.5% from last year.
When recently asked, Grace Vinciguerra of RE/MAX Classic Realty quipped, “In terms of next year’s outlook, let me briefly consult my crystal ball… I see all good things! One of my buyers recently told me, ‘It all depends on the elections.’ However, I am not convinced that the outcome of the election will have a noticeable impact on the market. I have been selling real estate since 1985. History has taught me that homes that are priced correctly and are in good condition, sell. The economy tends to affect the median price range of the homes, which readily sell. The lower priced homes sell, as they are more affordable. The higher priced homes sell when the economy is good. However, sooner or later, they all sell!”