The Westchester County housing market has experienced a paradigm shift, and at last fell into balance in the fourth quarter of 2019. Sellers came to terms with the need for overall price corrections and after a sluggish and challenging start, buyers found the improved value landscape that they have been waiting for, according to the Houlihan Lawrence Market Report released this week.
As a result of the slow start to the 2019 market, the number of closed sales remains slightly down. But there was a pronounced decline of inventory and a substantial increase of pending deals overall. The most notable increase in pending deals was in the $2-$2.5 million-dollar range. This increase in sales is largely due to sellers pricing their properties to better align with buyer expectations. Westchester County, however, continues to struggle in the $4+ million-dollar range where pending deals remain low.
Luxury sales ($2M and higher) dipped by 25% in the first half of 2019, a symptom of buyer malaise and concern about tax reform. Buyers returned to the market after tax returns were filed and the impact of tax reform on their personal balance sheet was clarified. Sales moved into positive territory in the third quarter and momentum continued to build in the fourth quarter. Second half gains offset most of first half declines and luxury sales in 2019 posted a modest decline.
Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester, said that housing was vital to economic growth in Westchester, in particular the need for more affordable housing.
“Housing is a key ingredient to a healthy economy in Westchester,’’ said Gordon. “We need a full spectrum of housing and that includes some affordable housing for young people and our workforce. Our Data Exchange contains information on the most recent housing needs assessment which shows that we need some 82,000 units of affordable housing in Westchester.’’