While the real estate markets in Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties are very different, they have one thing in common for the third quarter of 2020: they are all thriving.
Pending sales are up substantially, listings are down across the board, and the median sale price has risen, according to the third quarter market report from Houlihan Lawrence.
The coronavirus pandemic has escalated buyer demand to an unparalleled degree, said Stephen Meyers, chairman, and Liz Nunan, president and CEO of the real estate firm in their introduction to the report.
Basically, buyers leaving the city have re-written the rules of what today’s buyers want and need, they said. “Homes on large parcels that will accommodate extended family with space for one or more home offices represent the new ideal home.”
They report that demand is at historic levels in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties. Even houses that were struggling to sell previously have seen a resurgence of interest because they fit the new criteria. The criteria are more important than the community.
In Westchester, the median sale price for a single-family home jumped 16 percent, to $812,000 from $699,000 in the third quarter of 2019. The northeastern corner of Westchester was the winner, with the number of houses sold jumping 50 percent over this time last year and median sale price up 21 percent.
In Putnam County, the median sale price for a single-family home rose 11 percent in the third quarter, to $411,000 from $372,000 in 2019.
In Dutchess, the median sale price for a single-family home went to $347,000 from $315,000, an increase of 10.2 percent. The northeastern corner of Dutchess County was by far the winner, with sales jumping 87 percent (73 homes were sold) and the median sale price up 36 percent year over year.
Nunan and Meyers noted that commute time to NYC has dropped in importance, with many buyers saying they’ll continue to work from home on a full or part-time basis.
“Thus, a longer commute time is less of a trigger and has fueled sales in some of the more remote locations in the counties,” they said.
They expect continuing demand and note that the inventory of houses for sale has constricted.
“Maintaining low levels of the virus is most important as we enter the fall and winter so the economy and our communities can maintain some semblance of normalcy,” they said.