WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Westchester County real estate experts found the first quarter provided firm footing for a springboard they expect will be a solid second quarter.
Sales of single-family homes fell 1 percent compared to the first quarter in 2014, according to the first quarter report of Houlihan Lawrence. The median sales price slipped by 0.4 percent compared to the first quarter in 2014.
“For both buyers and sellers, this is a rock solid market that should inspire the confidence to move forward,’’ the Houlihan Lawrence report said.
“The weather definitely had an impact,’’ said Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman. “It was freezing and there was a lot of snow. People were hesitant to come out. I think the spring market was delayed a bit, but now you’ll see some consistency.”
Sales fell 5 percent in Northern Westchester, which is defined in the Houlihan Lawrence quarterly report as Bedford, Byram Hills, Chappaqua, Katonah-Lewisboro, North Salem and Somers. The median sales price for a single-family home in those communities increased 29 percent.
Chappaqua saw a surge in home buyers, with 41 homes sold in the first quarter. There were just 21 sales last year in the first quarter, an increase of 95 percent. Sales fell dramatically in Bedford (52 percent) while Somers saw a 21 percent decline compared to the first quarter last year
The median sales price rose 28 percent in Bedford, 21 percent in Somers and 13 percent in North Salem compared to the first quarter last year. Katonah-Lewisboro saw an 8 percent increase. The median sales price fell slightly in Chappaqua (3 percent).
Realtors are hoping more homes come on the market during the next few months since inventory is tight. There are fewer homes for sale in nearly all pricing sectors and 8.4 percent less than at the end of the first quarter in 2014.
Cathleen Smith, the president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Westchester and Connecticut, said homes in the $750,000 to $1 million are especially coveted.
"That's a real hot spot,'' Smith said. "There was just recently a home that was listed for under $1 million and in three days it had multiple offers and went for more than $1 million. There's a lot of activity at that price point."
Buyers also are being selective in the homes they purchase. Many newcomers to the market are seeking homes that are turn-key ready.
“Buyers frequently pass these days on homes that could use a little TLC,’’ said Barry Graziano, branch manager and associate broker for Houlihan Lawrence who is based in Chappaqua. “They don’t seem to be jumping at every house.”
Elliman’s Herman said steady growth, which is what Westchester County has experienced the past few years, is the model realtors prefer.
“Sustainable growth is what you want to see,’’ Herman said.
Graziano added homeowners considering selling need to have their property perfect.
“Preparing your home and showing value will help you sell faster,’’ he said. “Buyers today are looking for value.”
Click here for the first quarter report from Douglas Elliman.
Click here for the first quarter report from Houlihan Lawrence.
Click here for the first quarter report from Julia B. Fee.
The first quarter report Westchester Real Estate, Inc. is attached as a PDF.
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