WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Single-family home sales rose 10.4 percent in the first quarter of 2016 in Westchester County as the market stayed steady, driven by the influx of millennials and first-time homebuyers into the marketplace.
Westchester Real Estate Inc.’s first quarter report showed overall sales were up 13.2 percent compared to the first quarter in 2015. Co-op sales jumped 16.9 percent and condominium sales rose 14.3 percent.
The increased activity was tempered by a decrease in single family home pricing. The price for a single family home in Westchester County fell 4.6 percent compared to the first quarter in 2015, according to the report. The median single-family home price was $569,950, down from $595,500 in the first quarter of 2015. In the last quarter of 2015, the median single family home price was $676,500.
“The market feels good this spring, buyer activity is very strong,’’ said Gail Fattizzi, Executive Director of Westchester Real Estate, Inc. “Inventory seems to be picking up. I wasn’t expecting sales to increase that much, because it felt like inventory was tight. The number seemed stronger than I anticipated.”
Single family home sales in Northern Westchester were varied. Sales rose 63 percent in Somers, and 78 percent in Bedford. But sales fell dramatically in Chappaqua (46 percent) and Byram Hills (39 percent). Sales in North Salem grew 10 percent.
The median sale price for a single family home fell 21 percent in the Northern Westchester region, led by a 28 percent dip in Somers and 27 percent declines in Bedford and North Salem. Home prices in Chappaqua rose 1 percent.
Barry Graziano, brokerage manager for Houlihan Lawrence in Armonk, Chappaqua and Croton, finds buyers are willing to wait to purchase the perfect home. “We’re getting a lot of showings,’’ he said. “People are looking at every level. But they want more than 100 percent and they’re not making exceptions. If the houses are not updated and pristine, they’ll wait until they find something they love.”
The real estate mantra forever has been “location, location, location,’’ Graziano said. That seems to be changing as buyers now want value.
“I’m seeing some buyers pass up a home because they want a new kitchen,’’ he said. “They want that instant gratification. They will pay more for a house that is turn key than a house in a better location that requires some work.”
“Today’s buyers are saying if ‘I’m going to spend that much money, I want it perfect,’’’ Fattizzi added.
Sales of 2-4 family homes rose 21.8 percent in the first quarter, according to the Westchester Real Estate report.
Both real estate experts expect the momentum to continue through the second quarter, and perhaps beyond.
“Overall, every indicator for 2016 points to continued strength and cause for optimism,’’ Fattizzi said.
“Based on what we’ve seen, we’ll have another very active year,’’ Graziano said.See Attachment