REAL ESTATE BLUES: NO RECOVERY. NO BOOM. NO BUST. LOW INVENTORY MELANCHOLY. Co-ops Attractive as Entry into Home Ownership.

WPCNR REALTY REALITY. From the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. October 9, 2019:

Overall residential sales decreased by 1.6% in Westchester County in the 3rd quarter of the year, due to a 16-1/2% decline in Co-op sales. (from 545 last year’s 3rd quarter down to 455 in July-August-Sept 2019).

Single Family Homes in Westchesterland grew 1% from 1,919 in July-August-September last year to 1,939 this year.

The median price of a Single family home grew 3% to $699,000 from $678,500 a year ago.  The average sales price of a single family home sold in this year’s third quarter is $907,900 compared  $879,313 last year, a slight rise of 3%.

Condominium sales rose 3.2% from 401-to 414, while the average sale price of a condo rose 2.4% to $467,396 up from $456,396 a year ago, pretty much of a “wash.”

The HGAR analyst are concerbed about low inventory: “There was virtually no relief from the low inventory numbers that Realtors have been bemoaning for several years and that continues to be a hindrance to sales growth. With a low inventory, buyers often find it difficult to find housing that fits their criteria.”

Leah Caro, President of Park Sterling Realty in Bronxville explained the drop in Westchester co-op sales was due to the popularity of co-ops which has increased the average price of co-ops on the market. “When sales go up, prices go up, and people wait until affordability goes down. Now is actually a great time to buy a co-op, but you have to have all your ducks in a row, prepared to meet the average down payment on co-ops which is 10% to 20%.”

Caro said generally co-ops will allow about 80% financing but you as the buyer have to have a cash reserve. Caro noted inventory of co-ops for sale is down, too contributing to the higher prices.

The report from HGAR was bullish on commercial developments: “The region is experiencing an active commercial market with several economic development projects in progress: LEGOLAND in Orange County and a $100 Million film studio in Yonkers.”

The average price of a co-op sold in the last three months was $212,251, up 3% over last year at this time (when it was $205,792. Co-op prices are the lowest priced residential ownership entry market . Caro said the price of a co-op can range from$50,000 to 2 Million.

HGAR touted Westchester County positives : “Tourism in every county in the region had significant increases for 2018 and unemployment remains at historic lows. A healthy economy with low mortgage interest rates indicates that the housing market is on solid ground for the foreseeable future.”

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