Falling Inventory Continues to Put Downward Pressure on Home Sales in Hudson Valley
Real Estate In-Depth | April 2018
WHITE PLAINS—Sales of residential housing during the first quarter of 2018 in the lower Hudson Valley market served by the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, while still strong when compared to the last several years, were flat to somewhat lower as compared to the first quarter of 2017.
Sale prices continued to strengthen in all four counties in the region while the days on market were down, a clear indication that the continuing erosion in inventories is negatively affecting sales activity while putting upward pressure on prices, according to the “2018 First Quarter Residential Real Estate Sales Report for Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Orange Counties, New York” report authored by the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service Inc.
Inventory of a single-family residence was down 7.3% in Westchester, 12% in Rockland, 21.5% in Putnam and 17.1% in Orange County as compared to the first quarter of 2017.
Putnam County, which is the least populous of the counties in the region, actually had an overall increase of 7.2% in residential sales as well as the largest percentage increase in price (9.4%) for a single-family home. This translates to a median price of $323,750 as compared to $296,000 for the first quarter of 2017.
Westchester County, the most populous of the counties in the region, experienced an overall drop of 2.3% in residential sales. This seemed to be more in keeping with activity in the region at large. Co-op sales in Westchester, however, continue to be resilient and, in fact, increased by 1.1% for the quarter while sales of a single-family residential home totaled 1,034, a decrease of 5.6% over the first quarter of 2017. Nonetheless the median sale price for a single-family residence in Westchester rose 2.2% to $613,250 from $600,000 in first quarter of 2017.
Rockland County experienced the largest decrease in residential sales in the region with a drop of 13.7%, the only double-digit change in the region. The median sale price of a single-family residence in Rockland rose 2.4% to $435,000, the second highest median price in the region. In Orange County, sales of a single-family residence dropped a minuscule 0.5% while single-family home sale prices rose 4.3% to a median of $240,000 from the previous year. The median sale price of a single-family home in Orange County at the end of the first quarter of 2009 was $310,000, which likely explains why Orange County is now experiencing some of the larger percentage gains in price in the four-county region.
First quarter sales for the region were largely the result of transactions negotiated during the last quarter of 2017, a period of uncertainty given that the Federal Tax Reform bill was actively being negotiated in Congress with no clear picture as to how the bill would affect real estate. This uncertainty could be a contributing factor, along with low inventory, to the flat sales numbers in most of the region in the first quarter.
Another possible dark cloud on the horizon is an increasingly volatile stock market. However, with mortgage rates remaining attractive, unemployment low, and economic development activity high in the region, the prospects for another healthy year for real estate sales in the region remain bright.
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Editor’s Note: 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 and Orange counties. It also provides services to Realtors in the Bronx, Dutchess, Sullivan 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, www.hgar.com.