WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Signs point to an encouraging year for real estate in Westchester County in 2015 after a solid fourth quarter throughout the region.
Sales activity rose 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to 2013 in statistics released by Houlihan Lawrence. Average sale price (4.2 percent) and median sale price (1.2 percent) also posted positive. For the year, homes sold fell .9 percent while the average sale price (6.2 percent) and median sale price (4.1 percent) showed nice gains.
“The market in the fourth quarter finished what was a mildly disappointing year strong,’’ said Joe Rand, managing partner of Better Homes and Garden Rand Realty. “We expected it would take off. Instead it got a little overheated and got a little ahead of itself. It’s like we flooded the engine.”
Homes in the gateway to New York City -- Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Yonkers and Pelham -- saw a 1 percent decline for the year. The median sale price rose 10 percent in New Rochelle in 2014, while Pelham (8 percent), Mount Vernon (5 percent) and Yonkers (4 percent) also saw increases.
In lower Westchester, Eastchester saw a 13 percent rise in homes sold in 2014 and a 17 percent rise in the median sale price. The median sale price in Edgemont climbed 20 percent. Scarsdale jumped 15 percent in median sale price, and Bronxville jumped 9 percent to $1.8 million.
Bronxville had another strong year, said Joe Houlihan of Houlihan & O'Malley. ""The median single-family home price in Bronxville Village was not as affected by the 2008 market crash as was the volume of sales, which suffered a big hit,'' Houlihan said. "2012 was the year that sales volume roared back from pre-recession records to 61 homes. In 2013 the trend continued with 60 home sales. By year-end 2014, there was a repeat performance at the 58-unit level. The volume of sales for 2014 represents a 190 percent increase over 2008."
Lack of inventory has stalled housing momentum in many Westchester communities. The percent change in listings for homes under $700,000 in Westchester County declined by more than 15 percent in 2014.
“The inventory of single-family homes was the lowest level in four years, yet the median selling price for single-family homes increased to its highest level in the last four years,’’ said Wayne LaFranco, senior vice president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “This is an indication that the market is trending toward being more favorable for home sellers.”
Houlihan Lawrence’s quarterly report termed Westchester real estate “a Goldilocks market -- neither too hot, nor too cold.”
With low interest rates, and many millennials deciding that now is finally the time to stop renting and purchase real estate, 2015 could be a big year.
“Even with sales slightly below last year, prices were still up significantly,’’ Rand said. “Demand is still there and it’s going to be pushed up. I think we’ll see meaningful price appreciation in 2015.”
The Houlihan Lawrence fourth quarter report is attached as a PDF. Other fourth quarter reports are available online:
Westchester Real Estate, Inc.: Click here .
Douglas Elliman: Click here .
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's: Click here.
Coldwell Banker: Click here .
Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty: Click here .
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