WESTCHESTER COUNTY MARKET REPORT
Real Estate Market Overview
2ND QUARTER | 2011
The Westchester residential market continued its stabilization as a traditional buyer’s market in the second quarter, with seasonal increases in sales and prices but with declines from the home buyer tax credit fueled activity of last year. After years in which the market was buffeted by external and artificial forces like the credit crisis and the tax credit, Westchester is finally settling into a normal buyer’s market and behaving according to traditional models. For example, the 37% increase in transactions was right in line with the ten-year 41.5% average seasonal increase from the first to second quarter, demonstrating normal seasonality in the ebb and flow of buyer demand. Conversely, the 17.7% decline in sales from the second quarter of last year is simply an indication of the distorting effects of the home buyer tax credit on last year’s numbers.
Prices also continued to stabilize, up seasonally from the first quarter and also up from last year. Although some will take the price increase from last year as a sign that the market has fully recovered and moving into a period
where we might see appreciation in prices again, note that the increases from last year are partly due to a change in the mix of the properties sold over the quarter. Last year, with the tax credit in place, a disproportionate
number of sales in Westchester were in the lower-priced markets attractive to buyers eligible for the credit. With the elimination of the credit, higher priced properties made up a larger percentage of homes sold in the quarter,
driving up the average and median sales prices even while the average price per square foot declined slightly.
We expect that the market will continue to recover in the third quarter, with seasonality continuing to drive prices and transactions up. And now that we are a full year away from the tax credit’s effect of accelerating home
purchases, we expect that we will see a significant increase in activity in the latter half of this year.
With regard to the condo and coop market, we can see even more clearly the impact of the home buyer tax credit, which drove many buyers in these lower-priced markets to purchase last year. Although we had some small
increases over the first quarter, the dramatic declines from last year demonstrate how many buyers accelerated their purchases to take advantage of the credit before its June 2010 expiration.
Anthony Stokes Pereira, Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty
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Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate - Rand Realty, founded in 1984, is the No. 1 real estate brokerage in the Greater Hudson Valley with 25 offices serving Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam and Dutchess counties. Rand has more than 800 sales associates, as well as a commercial real estate company (Rand Commercial Services), mortgage company (Rand Mortgage), title company (Hudson Abstract Services) and insurance agency (The Hudson Group Insurance Agency). The company’s Web sites are: randrealty.com, randcommercial.com, randmortgage.com, www.hudsonabstract.com and www.hudson-group.com. Rand Realty is also on Facebook and Twitter. Anthony Stokes Pereira web site www.anthonystokespereira.com . Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.