Demand is up and supply is down. It’s as simple as that, and Westchester real estate prices reflect that.
It’s the same story playing out across the nation. More people are trying to buy fewer homes, and home values have skyrocketed as the real estate market settles into a new normal.
In 2019, the median sale price of a home in Westchester County was $630,000. In 2021, that number had increased to $750,000, and in 2022 the upward trend will no doubt continue.
Westchester County’s population has been stagnant over that time period, but prices and demand continue to tick up, which means that current residents are being priced out of the county as buyers from elsewhere make offers above asking price, driving up property values across the county. In 2021, some Westchester cities and towns saw more than 50 percent of their new buyers come from NYC.
According to a report by Houlihan Lawrence, even though inventory of homes in Westchester County is down almost 30 percent year over year, the number of luxury sales (defined as a sale greater than $2 million) in Q1 of 2022 is up almost 20 percent over this time last year.
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Forty percent of all luxury listings in the county closed at above asking, and the average time a listing stays on the market has dropped by almost 20 percent.
The luxury market is something of its own beast. In one instance, a sale was made for $1 million above asking price, but, as demand at the top of the market grows, pressure increases across the board, and wealthy buyers vacuum up properties that once might have been considered affordable.
The most expensive home sale in Westchester County so far in 2022 was a property in Harrison, in excess of $8 million.
It’s a seller’s market. A homeowner not content with the offers they receive can simply sit back and watch the value of their property increase in real time, and until there is a serious push to build more housing in Westchester County, these conditions will continue.
Of almost 400,000 housing units in the county, less than six percent were built in the last 20 years; the median house in Westchester was built in 1956. More than a quarter of the county’s homes were built before 1939.
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With every year that passes, older properties become more expensive to maintain, and the more money that goes into them is expected back upon sale.
In a healthy housing market, new construction would introduce an ample supply of homes to relieve pressure and replace the aging housing stock, but in Westchester these homes are not being built, and the burdens often fall on the aspiring Westchester homeowner. Above all, if the Q1 findings are any indication, Westchester’s real estate market remains the place to be for sellers and a competitive jungle for buyers.