Sales also increased in Putnam (30.1 percent), Rockland (9.4) and Orange (33). The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, which comprises a four-county area, reported an 18.5 percent increase in residential sales across the four counties for the first quarter compared to the same time frame last year.
"I was a little bit surprised,'' said Marcene Hedayati, HGAR President and Associate Real Estate Broker with the William Raveis Legends Realty Group in Tarrytown. "I knew what was happening in the Westchester market. Rockland and Putnam are secondary for me, and I didn't realize they were having such a large uptick. They've been slower in coming back. It's nice to see that it's finally happening for them."
Sales of single family homes in Westchester County jumped 11.2 percent in the quarter, while condominium sales rose 15.7 percent.
In Putnam, single family home sales rose 31.5 percent, and condominium sales increased 21.4 percent. Single family home sales increased 16.8 percent in Rockland and condominium sales increased 8.9 percent.
The statistics marked the third straight year in which first quarter sales increased by 10 percent or more.
"I think it's a little bit of everything,'' Hedayati said. "Unemployment is down, interest rates didn't do what we all thought they'd do and the weather for winter was fairly mild. You add the beginning of the spring market, it fueled the market for a very good quarter."
While sales increased, the price of a single family home fell 5 percent in Westchester. The median sale price in Westchester County slipped to $569,950. The median sale price rose 10.5 percent in Putnam, to $300,000, and fell three-tenths of a percent in Rockland, to $399,000.
"We don't see that as a problem at all,'' Hedayati said. "The median sale price stayed flat in 2015. The decrease was minimal. We prefer to see markets that stay steady. When we see sharp increases, we get very nervous. As long as they don't decline severely and stay within a healthy margin, we're fine with that."
Interestingly, condominium sales rose nicely in all Westchester, Putnam and Rockland. Condo sales rose 21.4 percent in Putnam and 8.9 percent in Rockland. While sales rose, the median sale price for condos fell in all three counties. White Plains saw a small decline, .2 percent, to $335,700. The median sale price for a Putnam County condo fell 7.8 percent to $235,000. The median sale price for a Rockland condo fell 6.4 percent to $196,500.See Attachment
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