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 sold declined 4 percent in the Northern Westchester markets, as defined by the Houlihan Lawrence fourth quarter report. The median sale price for the region grew 2 percent.
Single family home sales rose 13 percent in Bedford, but fell in Chappaqua (19 percent) and Somers (13 percent). Sales also slid 13 percent in the Byram Hills School District, which includes students from North Castle, Bedford, Mount Pleasant, and New Castle.
The median sale price, however, grew 12 percent in Bedford, and 8 percent in North Salem and Somers. Chappaqua home places stayed flat for 2014, and homes in the Katonah-Lewisboro School District fell 3 percent.
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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