WPCNR REALTY REALITY. Special to WPCNR from Houlihan Lawrence. October 27, 2020:
The COVID-19 pandemic has led many New York City residents to leave the city and head to Westchester County.
Houlihan Lawrence, reached deep into its real-time buyer data and analyzed which markets are experiencing a strong influx of homebuyers from New York City.
Houlihan Lawrence’s proprietary data indicates that 37% of the buyers in Westchester in the third quarter originated from New York City, an increase from 26% year-over-year.
Year-to-date, 54% of the NYC buyers were from Manhattan, and of those, 18% from Brooklyn. In neighboring Putnam County, the percentage of third quarter NYC buyers rose to 33%, nearly twice as many as last year.
The most popular Westchester markets for NYC buyers are the Sound Shore (Rye, Rye Neck, Port Chester, Harrison, Mamaroneck/Larchmont) and Northern Westchester (Bedford, Armonk, Chappaqua, Pound Ridge, North Salem). Communities which showed the significant percentage increase in sales by New York City residents were Rye, Mamaroneck, Bedford, and Irvington.
In Bedford, the percent of NYC buyers rose from 11% to 43%, a stunning 291% increase year-over-year. Homebuyer interest in Bedford and other Northern Westchester communities is being fueled by city buyers looking for more open space and amenities with less emphasis on proximity to NYC.
Brendon DeSimone, manager of Houlihan Lawrence’s Bedford/Pound Ridge office, said his office has seen incredible interest from New York City buyers in the past six months. “We heard many buyers say that they couldn’t imagine bringing their kids back to New York City. Here in Northern Westchester, their kids are hiking, farming, swimming in a pool or even a lake. They appreciate all that we have to offer and realize there is a desirable lifestyle outside the city,” he said.
“People can now work remotely at least half the time or more. They can commute to the city during off hours, attend a few meetings and get back home without the stress of a Monday through Friday daily commute. They like that option. It’s become the best of both worlds,” he added.
Terra Corning, manager of Houlihan Lawrence’s Larchmont office, also reports a steady influx of buyers from New York City. “The Brooklyn/Manhattan buyers have always been drawn to us. We seem to have just enough space, and yet not too much space. We are also very much a walking community which includes the neighborhood style elementary schools. And the train is never too far which is great for those optimistic about getting back into the City,” she said.
“Since March the New York City buyer segment is definitely driving sales in our communities, however the high end of the market – sales over $4M – have largely been local trade up buyers in Larchmont. I think the NYC buyer at the higher end price range is looking for newer construction more easily found in Rye and Greenwich,” she added.
Houlihan Lawrence’s proprietary data indicates the percentage of residents from New York City buying in the Greenwich market rose from 19% to 34%. Darien also showed a similar increase from 19% to 35%.
The migration of buyers from NYC has been reported anecdotally. Houlihan Lawrence’s data now quantifies the change in buying patterns on a local level.