The Real Deal New York

Westchester home sales are seeing a
‘steady erosion’

The multifamily segment was the silver lining
By Meenal Vamburkar | January 10, 2019 11:10AM

Greystone on Hudson in Westchester

Westchester’s luxury market has taken a hit.

For Westchester’s residential real estate market, the fourth quarter wasn’t the season for giving. In the final three months of the year, the median sales price of luxury homes in Westchester slid 12.2 percent to $1.8 million from $2.05 million a year earlier, according to Douglas Elliman’s latest market report. At the same time, the number of sales in the luxury segment plummeted 32.2 percent.
The broader market saw some pronounced shifts, too. Overall, the median sales price dipped 11.8 percent to $470,000, while sales fell 22.2 percent. In the single family market, the price dropped 11 percent, with sales declining 29.9 percent. That marked the sixth straight quarter of year-over year declines.

“It’s a steady erosion of activity,” said Jonathan Miller, author of the report and CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel. “In a declining market, the sellers are late to the party — and in a rising market, they’re ahead of the party.”
The decline stems from factors including interest rate increases, tax law changes and housing affordability issues, Miller said. While some buyers may be more motivated after seeing their tax returns, the macro environment won’t change — so the trend in Westchester is also unlikely to change drastically.

In the condominium market, sales decreased 22.3 percent with the median price falling 2.3 percent.

On the other hand, there was shift in more multifamily sales, which ticked up 7.5 percent. A previous report noted that multifamily properties were “selling like hotcakes.” The surge was attributed to being able to avoid the $10,000 cap on state and local property tax deductions with investment properties. The cap doesn’t apply to multifamily homes being rented out for income only.