WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Single family home sales slowed in the second quarter, but Scarsdale, Bronxville and some other lower Westchester communities saw a significant increase in home values.
“Scarsdale is a bellwether community, and it’s as hot a market as we’ve seen,’’ said Chris Meyers, managing principal for Houlihan Lawrence. “There’s a wide variety of product in Scarsdale and all of them are doing pretty well. That’s as good a sign as any.”
Home sales fell during the second quarter in Westchester compared to last year. Houlihan Lawrence reported a 12.1 percent drop in home sales from the same quarter in 2013, and Douglas Elliman reported a 15.4 percent decline. The HL report is online . The Elliman report is attached as a PDF. The quarterly report from William Pitt Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty is also online .
However, Scarsdale, Bronxville and some other Lower Westchester communities saw significant activity and escalating prices. The average sale price for single family homes in Westchester increased 2.2 percent, according to the HL report.
However, the median sale price for single family homes in Scarsdale increased 12 percent in the second quarter to $1,450,000. Eastchester (13 percent) and Bronxville (10 percent) also saw double digit gains, according to Houlihan Lawrence. The Edgmont section of Scarsdale saw a 33 percent rise in single family home prices, according to Houlihan Lawrence.
“The properties that are priced well are getting offers,’’ said Leah Caro, who added some homes went above asking price and had multiple bids. “People are removing their contingencies. It’s robust. Buyers are feeling like they’re not overpaying, like they’re getting a fair deal.”
The news was good, in terms of rising prices, in other lower Westchester towns, too. Single family median prices grew 10 percent in Mount Vernon, seven percent in New Rochelle and nine percent in Pelham compared to the second quarter in 2013, the HL report said. Yonkers declined by two percent. Caro said the However, the Crestwood section of Yonkers was generating a lot of interest among homebuyers.
Real estate agents generally believe the harsh winter was to blame for the slide in home sales. “We often start the spring market in February,’’ Caro said. “I knew it would start late. We were hoping it would extend into May and June, and that’s what happened. It was just a later spring market. I suspect the third quarter statistics will be stronger because of that late start.”
Stability was the word most real estate agents kept coming back to in discussing the second quarter. Some pockets in Westchester rose, and some declined. However, looking at the big picture real estate agents like what they see.
“Stability is a good word after the wild swings we’ve had over the last 10 years,” Meyers said. “We had a market I call the steroids era from 2004 to 2007, kind of like what was happening in baseball, that was juicing our numbers. It was unsustainable and was followed by the sharp correction. I look at last year as being the first normal year in 10 years. I’d expect this year it will be close to 2013 in that feels like a sustainable market environment. It’s not too hot or too cold. It’s the Goldilocks effect.”