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.”
The fourth quarter was especially busy in Northern Westchester. Sales rose 47 percent in Bedford, 159 percent in Byram Hills, 13 percent in North Salem and 5 percent in Somers. Sales were down 5 percent in the Katonah-Lewisboro school district, but up 12 percent for the year.
The median sale price rose 19 percent in Chappaqua and 2 percent for the year. The median sale price fell in all of the other nearby communities, including an 18 percent drop in North Salem.
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.”