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Brokerages need plenty of boots on the ground in the exclusive, winding drives of Westchester County, where one out of every three sales were decided by bidding wars last year, according to appraiser Miller Samuel. Listing inventory fell to its lowest level in 27 years.
In the tony suburbs at the northern edge of New York City, Westchester is ruled by 130-year-old brokerage Houlihan Lawrence, which has 958 agents working the market — one-and-a-half times as many as the No. 2 firm, Keller Williams, which has 603.
Rounding out the top five are Exp Realty with 460 agents, Coldwell Banker with 336 and William Pitt & Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty with 328.
Compass is the only major New York City firm to have a significant presence in Westchester, fielding 286 agents to rank No. 7.
The median sale price for Westchester homes in the fourth quarter of 2021 was $600,000, up 4.3 percent from a year earlier, according to a Douglas Elliman report compiled by Miller Samuel. Average price per square foot, a more telling measure of the market, was up 9.3 percent.
Inventory plunged, according to the report, with just 1,824 Westchester homes on the market in the fourth quarter of 2021, down 29 percent from a year before.
For 2021 as a whole, the number of sales increased 29 percent from the previous year, to 11,934.
The county’s condo market in particular was strong, with 459 fourth-quarter sales averaging $631,492, up 28 percent in a year. But the median sale price was $430,000, up a modest 4 percent, and only 276 condo units were listed in the quarter, down 26 percent from a year ago, the Elliman report showed.
One example of how hot the Westchester home market was in 2021 was the swift sale of a historic waterfront property at 25 Park Avenue in Larchmont that set a local record with its price of $11.3 million.
“We went into contract within two weeks of the house being on market, which is not uncommon in this market, but it is uncommon in this price point,” said Mimi Magarelli of William Pitt & Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty, who had the listing.