Latest Housing Numbers: Prices Down, But So Is Volatility

On the surface, the housing numbers from the latest Elliman Report for Q2 2015 could look a little disappointing. With both median sales and average sales prices in Westchester down overall, you might be a little glum after reading. However, fret not, says Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc., who prepared the analysis for this report—there are positives to draw from the report.

“We are seeing less volatility now and more stabilization which means fewer surprises,” says Miller. “And remember, access to credit like mortgage lending, hasn’t really normalized since the financial crisis began so we have that too look forward to down the road, hopefully.”

Miller attributes the sales number declines to smaller property sizes as opposed to drops in property value. This is a trend that has been consistent in Elliman Reports for other national regions. For the near future, he predicts more stability and not many surprises. “Barring something we can’t anticipate, our regional economy is improving so I’m not really certain we’ll see much change for the market during the remainder of the year,” Miller notes.

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Here are some of the top trends from the report:

  • The overall median sales price has dropped 5.5 percent from $490,000 in the second quarter of 2014 to $463,000. 
  • The average sales price in Westchester also dropped 1.3 percent to $647,844 during this same period.
  • The decline in median sales price is present in multiple housing categories including co-ops, condos, and two-to-four family houses.
  • Single family houses, which also represent the majority of Westchester’s sales at 61 percent, stayed stable from last year. They remained at an identical median sales price of $650,000 from 2014.
  • The only housing category to receive significant gains in median sales price was the “luxury” category, which only counts the upper 10 percent of single family sales. Luxury sales went from a median price of $2.165 million in the second quarter of 2014 to $2.198 million a year later, for an increase of 1.5 percent.
  • The total number of sales actually went up in Westchester County. The total went from 1,905 sales to 2,009 for an increase of 5.5 percent from last year. (Interestingly enough, this is the opposite of the trend currently occurring in New York City’s market right now.)
  • In the second quarter, houses have been on the market for an average of 104 days from the original listing date. Down from the 112 average days on the market from a year ago.

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