Local real estate giant Houlihan Lawrence recently released its third quarter market report for Westchester County, confirming that rising price tags and the mass exodus of those who can afford to leave Manhattan and Brooklyn are a trend we are likely to see continue for some time to come.
Combined with the influx of city-dwellers desperate for more space in the era of social distancing, native-county buyers are still putting a premium on new in-home features like home offices and multipurpose living spaces. Increased demand has consequently lowered supply, driving up the median sale price of Westchester homes by a shocking 16.5% with the average home how selling for $812,000.
“New York City buyers leaving the city have rewritten the rules of what today’s buyers want and need,” says Houlihan Lawrence CEO and President Elizabeth Nunan. “As entire families work from the same home, additional space is a necessity, and the safety of lower density communities during the pandemic has driven demand to historic levels in Westchester.”
Over the past three months, sales volume across the county has increased as well, by 11.7% overall. Volume only shrank in northwestern towns (down 10%) and the understandably crowded White Plains area (down 50%). All other regions saw significant grown, led by the more rural/suburban northeastern Westchester, which saw 50% more sales year-over-year and 21% growth in sales prices.
For homes priced between $700,000 and $1 million, pending sales to active listings form an almost perfect 1:1 ratio. For homes priced under $500,000 the number of sales pending is almost double active listings, with Houlihan Lawrence classifying every price point in the county under $4 million as “high demand.” Put simply: It’s a seller’s market right now.
“Homes on large parcels that will accommodate extended family with space for one or more home offices represent the new ideal home,” Nunan says. Where these parcels are located is actually less important with parents and students working online. For the first time in the history of real estate, the most important thing is not “location, location, location.”