By John E. Baer, SRES, SRS
Single family home sales in Westchester County were up 3.4% when comparing the fourth quarter of 2019 to 2018 and down less than 1% year to date. The delayed spring market and low interest rates created steady increases in the last three months of 2019. Days on the market increased slightly to 76 days.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the nation’s largest real estate company, reported a high level of activity among buyers and sellers alike. Since Labor Day weekend, open houses have been busy with buyers, specifically those looking to make a purchase quickly. The luxury market will still be somewhat sluggish, but with low interest rates, now is the ideal time to sell and buy in Westchester.
The median single-family home sales price increased .8%, condo sale prices increased 1.9%, and co-op sales prices increased 6.1% over 2018. This trend is expected to continue in Westchester as we enter the spring market.
According to National Association of Realtors (NAR), “...optimism fared well in the third quarter of 2019 as 63% of people said they believe that now is a good time for a home purchase,” with 34% of those respondents strongly believing in this statement. County statistics also share these sentiments. The $500,000 - $1 million range showed the strongest sales this quarter, with nearly 9% more homes sold year over year.
The vast majority of housing economists project that mortgage rates will remain below 4% in 2020, causing sales to increase in 2020. With growing demand and a limited supply of inventory, prices will continue to appreciate, while the threat of an impending recession seems to be softening. It looks like 2020 may be a solid year for the real estate market.
2020 will prove to be the most challenging year for buyers, not because of what they can afford but rather what they can find
With a historic low inventory of Westchester homes on the market, now is an excellent time for empty-nesters and others thinking of downsizing to list their homes. However, right pricing across all home types will play a significant role, combined with property condition and proper home staging as to the number of offers home sellers will receive for their homes. Buyers know they have choices and prefer to wait for value properties that need minimal work for move-in. The vast majority of homes that do not sell, do not sell because they are overpriced.
As one of only 2% of real estate agents, nationally, who has been designated by the NAR a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), I work with many empty-nesters who want to know the value of their home and if now is the time to list their home for sale.
With a strong New York City economy and one in five millennials in the city anticipated in 2020 to purchase their first suburban home, not to mention mortgage rates predicted to remain below 4% for the next year, I believe now is an excellent time for empty-nesters to consider listing their homes.
John E. Baer, SRES, SRS is a NYS licensed real estate salesperson associated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Westchester Properties of Scarsdale and Larchmont. He can be reached for questions at 914/600-6086 or at 914/844-2059. His website is www.WestchesterHomes.info.