The real estate market in the Lower Hudson Valley has nearly climbed out from under the dismal days of the 2008-2009 recession.
In Westchester, the median cost of a single-family home was up 4 percent last year, from $610,000 in 2013 to $635,000 in 2014. That's just 7 percent below the 2007 peak price of $685,000.
In Rockland, the median cost of a single-family home was $400,000, a 3.2 percent increase. The median in Putnam was $310,000, up 0.6 from 2013.
The numbers come from the annual report by the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, which was released Monday. The group encompasses Multiple Listing Service members in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Orange counties.
"It really depends on the geographic area — each county is different — but overall I think the region is making the climb out of the hole," said Leah Caro, president of the Hudson Gateway MLS and president of Bronxville Real Estate. "Westchester probably was the first to show signs of life, followed by Rockland, then Putnam. Orange County has been slower to respond. But all are starting to get their legs back."
The luxury market in Westchester — $2 million and up — shot up 16 percent last year. This five bedroom waterfront home on Manursing Island in Rye is on the market for $9,250,000.(Photo: file Tania Savayan/The Journal News)
"We were very busy in the fourth quarter," she added. "The fourth quarter tends to be slow, because of the holidays and all. I think we'll see a very early spring market."
The condo and co-op market is also showing new signs of life, particularly in the fourth quarter, when the number of sales of condos rose 13.7 percent in Westchester and co-op sales shot up 24 percent. In Rockland, sales of condos during the quarter rose 27.6 percent.
The MLS group reported 14,169 residential closings (including condos and co-ops) in the four counties in 2014, the highest number for any year since the 2008-2009 recession and 1.1 percent more than in 2013.
Good news for Westchester sellers: The average number of days that a single-family house in Westchester sits on the market — 99 days for 2014 compared to 112 in 2013 — is close to the peak-market times of 2006 (95 days), according to the 4th Quarter Market Report by Houlihan Lawrence, the largest agency in the county. Further, sellers in the county are getting the closest to their asking price since 2005.
"I do think the pendulum is starting to swing" toward sellers, Caro said. "It's not a fierce swing that I see, which is good. You want a balance. No one wants to see another housing bubble."
A view of the Gardens at Pretty Penny, actress Helen Hayes' former home in Nyack, May 13, 2011. Mark Bloom, of Bloom River Gardens in Oregon, has shipped dozens of one-or-a-kind conifer trees (pines, cypress, spruce, cedar etc) here in recent years. ( Tania Savayan / The Journal News )(Photo: Staff)
Traditionally, Rye has been one of the strongest real estate markets in Westchester, and the 2014 numbers reflect that. In the Rye school district, the median price for single-family homes shot up 23 percent last year, from $1.487 million to $1.835. And the median number of days homes sat on the market in Rye plummeted to a 10-year low of 70 in 2014, compared to 126 the previous year.
Interestingly, there was a 25 percent drop in the number of home sales in Rye, which Fiona Dogan, an agent with Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty, attributes primarily to the decline in inventory of homes priced below $1 million.
"The median price increased due to the popularity of new construction and renovated homes in the $1.5 to $2.5 million range," Dogan said. "New and newer construction homes are still the most sought-after homes in the Rye city school district, and with over 40 new construction homes either planned or on the market in 2015-2016, this trend is certain to continue."
Luxury market up
Beyond Rye, the luxury market in Westchester — $2 million and up — had a huge surge at the end of the year, shooting up 28 percent in the fourth quarter vs. a year ago, according to the Houlihan Lawrence report. For the whole year, the luxury market was up 16 percent.
And the inventory of luxury homes in Westchester remains high, with a 25 percent year-over-year increase.
Fourth-quarter closings were strong across the board in all four counties, up 6.9 percent compared to the same period in 2013.
Year over year, the number of single-family homes sold in Westchester (5,394) dipped about 1 percent in 2014, from 5,442 in 2013. Rockland had a similar decline — 1,514 last year vs. 1,523 in 2013. But in Putnam they were up about 6 percent (719 to 763).
Top price for the year? That honor goes to Ron Howard, whose 32-acre property in Armonk and Greenwich went for $27.5 million, making it the highest residential home sale in Westchester history.
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Article from: http://www.lohud.com/story/money/real-estate/lohud-real-estate/2015/01/12/lower-hudson-valley-housing-numbers/21649215/