Special offer

Westchester 3rd Quarter 2011 Real Estate Market Report: Up, Kinda Sorta

Managing Real Estate Broker with Howard Hanna Rand Realty License # 49FA1074963

Westchester County, just north of New York CityThe 3rd quarter of 2011 was better in volume for single family home sales than the 3rd quarter of 2010 from a volume perspective, according to the data I found on the Empire Access MLS. And in comparing the years to date,  2011 is still "catching up" to 2010 and may indeed do so by the end of the year. 

If you have been following my observations of the market, you'll know that 2011 started out far behind 2010 because of the bloated results of last year's stimulus. However, I have postulated that because things fell off so precipitously after the stimulus ended in 2010 that 2011 could catch up with consistent production through the end of the year. 

Here are the breakdowns, both quarterly and year to date:

In the 3rd quarter of 2010, there were 1220 closings with a median price of $730,000.
In the 3rd quarter of 2011, there were 1326 closings with a median price of $684,005.

Obviously, median price is down, but I view $730,000 as an anomaly borne of both the stimulus, which had a closing deadline of September 30 last year.

In the first three quarters of 2010, 3178 homes closed at a median price of $645,000. 
In the first three quarters of 2011, 3039 homes closed at a median price of $630,000.  

Year to date, prices are down about 2%. At the mid point of 2010, we were behind 248 closings. At the end of the 3rd quarter, that number has shrunk to 139 transactions. There are three months left to close the gap, which would take about 46 closings per month. A whopping 656 homes are under contract or pending right now, but the median asking price is $499,000. If only half of those close, 2011 will easily surpass 2010 in transaction total but take a body blow with median sale price. I'll bet the lion's share of those 656 deals are actually short sales. If so, that could clog up the timeline. 

Some perspective:

In 2001, the first three quarters had 4216 closings at a median price of $459,000. 
In 2005, the first three quarters had 4762 closings at a median price of $680,000.

While a case could be made that median price reflects a correction of an irrationally exuberant spike and that values are where they probably ought to be, which is still considerably above that of a decade ago, transaction totals are down 25%.  That 25% decline is where housing decline lives. And yes, while median price is indeed rather healthy looking, how do you adjust for the 1000 people that got $0 for the homes which remain unsold? You can't. We aren't out of the woods yet, and it remains a buyer's market for the foreseeable future. 

And for you lucky buyers, here's what I'd do if I wanted to find a nice home somewhere in our fair county: Get yourself a free Listingbook account or log onto WestchesterDreamHome.com.

321 Bronxville Rd, Yonkers Bronxville PO $399,000

Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Great perspective Phil.  Makes perfect sense.  Seems like things are stabilizing and hopefully we are about to turn that corner (even if it's slow).

How many real estate agents are there in Westchester?  7000?  If that's the case, assuming there are 2 agents in every transaction, it would seem on average, that the avg agent just has a bit over 1 transaction a yr.  Not good.  But, also there are some at the top doing well.  Would be good to show good results vs. the market.

Oct 16, 2011 08:00 AM
David Popoff
DMK Real Estate - Darien, CT
Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct

Phil, a detailed 3rd quarter report that seems to reflect how our sales are doing here  in Fairfield County, Ct. as well. 

Oct 16, 2011 08:10 AM
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

Phil....I enjoyed reading this market report and particularly liked the "Kinda.Sorta." in the title!  I think that sums it up for a lot of us.

Oct 16, 2011 10:18 AM
Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Phil - good report and also remember we had so many snowstorms this winter that also altered the stats too... I have not gotten around to writing a report so kudos to you..

Oct 16, 2011 11:31 AM