Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Listings in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties hit record lows last quarter.
Westchester listings sank by 25 percent year-over-year to an all-time low in the first quarter, continuing an extended period of scarce inventory in the region, according to a quarterly report by appraisal firm Miller Samuel for Douglas Elliman.
The lack of listings is constraining sales and powering the third-fastest market pace in the past 40 years. Bidding wars accounted for 35 percent of all sales last quarter.
“Inventory is falling faster than sales, which is keeping the market at a blistering pace,” said report author Jonathan Miller. “The best way to characterize inventory levels is they’ve essentially collapsed.”
Pressure has been particularly acute in the luxury market, where inventory fell annually for the 12th consecutive quarter, causing prices to rise sharply above pre-pandemic levels.
The average sale price for the top 10 percent of homes sold increased by 18 percent to $2.9 million from $2.5 million a year ago. The median price rose at the same rate to $2.6 million, up from $2.2 million last year.
The median home price across all sales rose 1.8 percent year-over-year to $565,000, though it fell slightly from the fourth quarter of last year, when inventory was at an all-time low for any quarter.
Miller said that while a hike in interest rates has contributed to the hot market, higher rates should eventually bring more balance.
“It always takes consumers, especially sellers, a while to adapt to a new market,” Miller said.
A similar trend is playing out in Dutchess and Putnam counties.
In Putnam, the historically low inventory has pushed prices to record highs. All price trends rose annually and the median sale price of just under $450,000 was a record high, up 20 percent from last year. Inventory fell sharply for the eight straight quarter to 177, a 29 percent annual decline.
Record low inventory in Dutchess restrained sales last quarter. Sales fell year-over-year for the first time in six quarters as listing inventory fell for the 10th straight quarter to another record low. The median sale price rose to $380,000, the third highest ever, up from $359,500 last year.