WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Activity rose in Westchester County real estate for the 14th time in the past 16 quarters, giving the region a 6.2 percent boost for the year in the sale of single family homes over 2014.
“Things are looking very positive,’’ said Gail Fattizzi, Executive Director at Westchester Real Estate. “The number of sales is rising, which is good news. Prices are staying stable, which is also good news. You don’t want to see any unbridled exuberance. I think overall, we’re in a pretty good place.”
Westchester Real Estate reported a 12 percent rise in sales in the fourth quarter of all home types, including a 13 percent rise in single family homes. The median single family home price in Westchester was $565,000, down .5 percent from $568,000 in the fourth quarter in 2014.
Fattizzi and other real estate executives believe more homes could have been sold with more inventory. Single family home inventory is down 2.2 percent and condo inventory is down 6.6 percent from the fourth quarter in 2014.
Joe Rand, Managing Partner for Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, said the sales pendulum among buyers and sellers is trending toward the sellers’ side. “It’s a basic economic principle,’’ Rand said. “If you have diminishing supply and stable demand, that will drive prices up.”
Mount Vernon saw a 56 percent rise in fourth quarter single family sales compared to last year, according to the quarterly report from Houlihan Lawrence. New Rochelle (26 percent) and Yonkers (23 percent) also reported healthy increases. Pelham fell 23 percent in the quarter, but saw a 19 percent increase for the year.
Sales rose 50 percent in the fourth quarter in Bronxville, but fell in Eastchester (19 percent) and Scarsdale (17 percent).
The median sale price varied widely throughout lower Westchester. For the year, Pelham (6 percent) show the sharpest gain. Bronxville’s median sale price fell 23 percent in the past 12 months.
Trends helping drive real estate activity include millennials finally entering the housing market and life transition for buyers who are moving up and down. “We’re seeing a mix,’’ Fattizzi said. “Some people are moving up to single family homes. We’re seeing some downsizing and maybe some empty-nesters that don’t want the property and home maintenance upkeep. Smaller homes without a lot of property are very appealing right now.”
With the spring market right around the corner, Douglas Elliman Executive Vice President Roberto Vannucchi sees a promising year ahead.
“As long as we’re able to get the inventory I think we’re headed for a pretty solid year,’’ Vannucchi said. “I don’t see any reason why there should be a slowdown in the market.”