Westchester real estate breaks a bad streak

Luxury market prices are still falling
By Meenal Vamburkar | April 11, 2019 09:00AM

Among single-family homes, sales increased 6.8 percent versus a year earlier (Credit: iStock and Pixabay)

Among single-family homes, sales increased 6.8 percent versus a year earlier (Credit: iStock and Pixabay)

The Westchester sales market may have a rosier outlook.

After a string of declines, prices and home sales trended higher in the first quarter, according to Douglas Elliman’s latest market report. The number of sales climbed 9.2 year-over-year, while the median sales price rose 6.4 percent to $463,000. At the same time, inventory ticked up 0.4 percent.

“It is an improvement, but we’ll see if it’s sustained,” said Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel and author of the report. The results could stem in part from pent-up demand, as the tax law uncertainty lessened, he added.

Among single-family homes, which make up more than half the market, sales increased 6.8 percent versus a year earlier — though the median price trended down 1.2 percent to $600,000. Single-family sales rose after six straight quarters of declines.

The widening listing discount — which was 3.9 percent compared with 1.9 percent a year earlier — shows that negotiability in the market is increasing, Miller said. That data point shows that sellers and buyers are coming together, and may indicate the more positive quarter isn’t simply an outlier, he added.

Westchester’s luxury market showed more softness. Sales climbed 6.5 percent but the median sales price fell 8.7 percent year-over-year to $1.78 million. Listing inventory also grew 4.8 percent as the entry threshold to the luxury market fell 7.3 percent to $1.35 million.

While there are promising signs in the broader market, “it wasn’t as if there was some kind of light switch that went and all of a sudden the market has changed,” Miller said.