Westchester home sales hit historic high in 2020

Pandemic brings high demand, low supply after year of lagging sales

After years of lagging sales, Westchester County saw the highest number of completed home sales since 1996. (Getty)
After years of lagging sales, Westchester County saw the highest number of completed home sales since 1996. (Getty)


Unlike its neighbor to the south, when it comes to home sales, Westchester County had a really good 2020.

In fact, completed purchases in the New York suburbs in 2020 totaled 6,635, the highest tally in records going back to 1996, Bloomberg News reported, citing a report by brokerage Houlihan Lawrence.

The year was an outlier for Westchester County: Prior years showed slacking demand and an oversupply of homes. But the pandemic pushed residents out of New York City — and into the suburbs — in search of more space and amenities.

“Everything’s selling,” said Debbie Doern, senior vice president of sales at Houlihan Lawrence. “It’s not easy to get a house right now.”

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The median price of single-family homes in the fourth quarter increased 20 percent from the same time last year to $738,250, according to a report from Douglas Elliman, compiled byu appraiser Miller Samuel. The increase marked the biggest annual jump since the end of 2002.

Low inventory is to blame for the rise in prices. The number of homes for sale at the end of December was down 29 percent from a year prior to 1,299 homes, the fewest recorded since 1994, according to the Elliman report.

“Buyers are poised and ready,” the brokerage’s president, Scott Durkin, told Bloomberg. “They’ve got financing in hand, deposits in hand, they’re more forgiving of home inspections, and they’re ready to pounce.”

[Bloomberg News] — Sasha Jones

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