Westchester home sales increase on the backs of low-end buyers

February 10, 2012 10:00AM

Westchester towns known for their million-dollar homes are bristling with sales activity — from buyers seeking homes for half that amount.

The New York Times reported that well-heeled towns like Scarsdale, Bedford, Armonk, Pelham, Larchmont and Irvington are experiencing unprecedented activity in the $500,000 to $600,000 price bracket.

In Scarsdale, though the median sales price of a single-family home in 2011 was $1.23 million, the Times honed in on a family that just purchased a dilapidated three-bedroom home on a corner lot for $500,000 whereas just a few years ago it would have gone for $700,000.

In Bedford the median sales price of a home has declined 27 percent since 2007 to $775,000 last year, and brokers are reporting an uptick in the aforementioned $500,000 to $600,000 market. Most of those buyers are young family’s drawn by the suburban lifestyle and well-regarded school districts. Those market conditions have compelled Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty in Larchmont to begin listing more homes in the price range.

Overall, 336 homes priced under $500,000 were in contract in Westchester as of Dec. 31, 2011, a 39 percent increase from a year earlier and the highest year-end total since 2002, according to Houlihan Lawrence. [NYT]