Real Estate News

Oct. 8, 2020

2020 Third Quarter Market Update

The real estate market continues to be HOT. This blog post will review the supply/demand issues in our area. As a backdrop, there is a shortage of homes in the United States. Nationally, from 1999 - 2016, there were only 4 months where we had less than 4 months of inventory. From 2017 - September 2020, 20 months out of 43 months had less than 4 months of inventory!

Real estate is a supply-demand market. Below is a brief look at the supply (inventory) and demand (sales) sides of the market.


- Overall, inventory dropped 28% 3Q20 vs. 3Q19
- The number of single family homes for sale in 3Q20 was mixed by price range:
under $500,000 (-50%)
$500,000 - $1 million (-29%)
$1 - $2 million (-23%)
$2 - $3 million (-9)
$3 - $4 million (-3%)
$4 - $5 million (+7%)
$5 - $10 million (+25%)
$10+ million (+58%)
- Overall, the number of sales rose 12% 3Q20 vs. 3Q19
under $500,000 (-22%)
$500,000 - $1 million (+9%)
$1 - $2 million (+46%)
$2 - $3 million (+67%)
$3 - $4 million (+59%)
$4 - $5 million (-8%)
$5 - $10 million (no change)
$10+ million (no sales)

With inventory falling 28% and sales rising 12%, you would expect prices to go up (less supply & more demand = higher prices). Average selling prices were at the highest level in more than 10 years & median selling prices for 3Q20 were the highest in 5 years. The ratio of the selling price to the original price stood at 98.6%, also the highest level in 10+ years. Sellers are asking more money for their homes and for now, they seem to be getting it.

For Westchester County as a whole, year-to-date sales are in line with 2019. Average and median selling prices are up about 9% compared to this time last year. For my coverage areas, here is some specific information to highlight:

  • the number of sales fell in the following areas: Larchmont/Mamaroneck (-7%), Pleasantville (-10%), Valhalla (-10%), White Plains (10605/10606, -13%), Port Chester (-24%), Ardsley (-28%), Tuckahoe (-30%)
  • the number of sales jumped in Harrison (+9%), Rye City (+15%), Edgemont (+18%), Chappaqua (+50%)

The big question is how long will this last? I don't know! I expected to see a large fall off in demand once the school year started but that has not been the case so far. There are still SO many buyers looking for homes and lots of bidding wars throughout the County.Here is an interesting article about how this trend could continue. As you can see from above, in most price ranges, there is still a large supply/demand imbalance in the market, i.e., not enough sellers for the large number of buyers. Some sellers are over-confident and I have seen more and more overpriced homes hitting the market. I don't believe this strategy works and over the next few weeks, I expect to see some price reductions as those homes sit on the market.

If you are considering a move or if you know somebody who is thinking about selling, please let me know! This is clearly a great market for sellers.

On the buying side, interest rates remain low and my previous blog post explored the many reasons to buy right now (low interest rates, secure a place to live, prices are likely not coming down anytime soon).

Stay healthy and thank you for your support in this crazy time.

Posted in Blog
Sept. 9, 2020

Pandemic Real Estate Market Update

Posted in Blog
April 6, 2020

2020 First Quarter Market Update

Posted in Blog
March 12, 2020

February 2020 Market Thoughts

Jan. 9, 2020

2019 Market Update

Posted in Blog
Dec. 5, 2019

Market Update

Posted in Blog
Oct. 4, 2019

Where Is Real Estate Headed?

Posted in Blog
July 12, 2019

2Q19 Market Update


As you can see below, the Westchester real estate market is all over the place. I would say that Westchester real estate is generally softening a bit, though it definitely varies by area and price point. I've highlighted some contrasts:

  • Westchester saw a 4% drop in the number of sales YTD;  average and median selling prices are down 5% and 2%, respectively
  • Port Chester is having a great year so far: average and median selling prices are up 19% and 12%, respectively
  •  Harrison saw an 11% drop in the number of sales YTD;  average and median selling prices are down 6% and 11%, respectively
  •  Rye City saw a 32% drop in the number of sales YTD;  average and median selling prices are down 10% and 16%, respectively
  • Scarsdale saw a 20% increase in the number of sales YTD;  average and median selling prices are down 19% and 15%, respectively
  • White Plains saw a 22% drop in the number of sales YTD;  average and median selling prices are down about 10% each

The very low interest rate environment has definitely spurred sales a bit, though I think that will be short-lived. From buyers, I sense that there is an issue with affordability, i.e., people don't seem to be making more money even though real estate prices have been appreciating. On the seller side, I sense a general feeling of confidence that is, in my opinion, misguided. Just because interest rates are low doesn't mean that prices should be higher! The smart sellers are taking advantage of this market by pricing their properties correctly; they are getting a lot of interest. All of the others are just sitting on the market or are seeing bids well below asking. 

In terms of where sales are occurring along the price spectrum, there are some interesting things happening:

  • in the $500,000 - $1,000,000 price range (where the majority of sales occur), end of quarter listings jumped 20% from 2Q18 and the number of sales was only up 3%
  • in the $1 million - $2 million range, inventory was up 1.5% and the number of sales was down 10.7%
  • in the $3 million - $4 million range, the number of sales is down 40% year-over-year

For those of you who want more specific data, please contact me! I keep a close eye on the market and am actively closing deals in a dozen different municipalities. 

I am grateful for the support and referrals that you - dear reader - have provided. My business continues to grow and I thank you!!! I have been able to help a record number of buyers and sellers over the past year. In fact, for 2018, I was recently recognized as one of the top 400 individual agents in the United States (across all brands and regions). I also received the FIVE STAR customer service award for the 10th consecutive year (along with 52 of my colleagues out of a pool of nearly 9,000!). 

My business is based upon referrals, so please let me take care of the real estate needs of your friends/family/colleagues! 



Posted in Blog
April 9, 2019

First Quarter 2019 Market Update

Real estate sales in 2019 are off to a busy start! There are definitely signs of a shifting market, especially at higher price points. Overall, though, the market feels healthy and there is a lot of action. We got a boost from declining mortgage rates; rates for a 30 year mortgage approached 5% at the end of 2018 and are now in the low 4's, which increases affordability and causes buyers on the fence to buy. Like in any market, pricing and condition are key. The most updated homes in the best locations are still selling and attracting lots of interest. I have been in quite a few bidding wars and have seen a surprising number of all cash buyers. There are still a lot of homes sitting on the market, though, and that is usually related to price.

It seems to me like the new tax plan is having a meaningful (negative) impact on the real estate market, especially in higher price ranges. This is not a surprise, though the magnitude of the shift is tremendous (!). For example:

  • in the $3 - $4 million range, there were 5 sales in the first quarter vs. 13 in 1Q2018 and 15 in 1Q2017; end-of-quarter inventory was down 22% from 1Q18
  • in the $5 - $10 million range, there were just 2 sales in the first quarter vs. 4 in 1Q2018; end-of-quarter inventory was down 2% from 1Q18
  • some of the higher taxed areas are hard hit; Rye has seen a 48% drop in the number of sales and the Rivertowns are down 22% 
In addition:
  • under $500,000, the number of homes for sale dropped 10%; this is down 55% from 1Q2016
  • in the $500k - $1 million range, end-of-quarter inventory jumped 24% and the number of sales was up 5%
  • overall we are balanced, though, since the number of active listings at quarter-end 1Q19 vs. 1Q18 was up 6% and the number of sales was down 5.5%
A bunch of people that I've spoken with are concerned that the economy is slowing down and are worried about the USA heading into a recession. Personally, I am not worried about a recession. On a daily basis, I help people buy and sell what is, in most cases, their largest asset. The overwhelming majority of my clients are confident in their job stability & their incomes; the reasons for their moves are varied and are not a view on the economy. 
Below is an interesting graph which shows what has happened over the past 5 recessions. 
I welcome your thoughts and questions & can provide additional information upon request. 

I continue to have big goals for 2019 and my business is referral-based. If you are reading this and have any needs related to real estate, please get in touch with me. I want to help you (and your colleagues, family and friends)! 


Posted in Blog
Jan. 8, 2019

2018 Market Overview


Westchester County real estate had a very interesting (and busy) year! Overall, there were almost 5,900 single family sales in 2018. In many cases, 2018 marked the year that the real estate market started to shift from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market.


Nationwide, much of the focus the past few years has been on a shortage of housing supply (inventory) but began to build in June (see graph). Westchester saw inventory rise starting in April but for the year, inventory was down 2% versus 2017.

In Westchester, inventory declined in every price range except in the $500,000 - $2,000,000 category. There are many explanations but I believe one of the main reasons is the federal tax plan, which limits the tax deductibility of mortgages to $750,000. We live in a very expensive part of the country and migration patterns show that population continues to favor states to the South and West. However, New York is still a magnet for high-paying jobs; United Van Lines recently conducted a study which showed that 60% of inbound moves to NYS were for job-related reasons. Fifty percent of those moves were for people aged 44 and younger with 67% making $100,000 or more.  



In 2018, the number of sales in Westchester County dropped by 4.7%. The biggest decline in sales happened in the $4 million to $10 million range. I the $500,000 - $1,000,000 range, the number of sales was up almost 2% (to the highest point in at least 3 years). Five homes sold for $10 million or more, as compared to 2 sales in the past 3 years. Almost every area saw their maximum selling price rise in 2018 vs. 2017. Westchester’s highest property sale was the $33 million Rockefeller estate.



In terms of pricing, average and median prices rose slightly, 1% and 3% respectively. Among the markets that I typically cover, Harrison and White Plains were two bright spots: both saw a drop in inventory & an increase in the number of sales. Harrison average and median selling prices rose by around 10%; White Plains was closer to an 8% increase.


It appears that the hardest hit segment of the market is in the $1 - $2 million price range. The number of active listings rose by 8% year-over-year while the number of sales dropped more than 5%. Scarsdale is an example of this; median list and selling prices dropped by 10% (and the number of sales were down 17%).


Here is an interesting chart of how far we are from the bottom and top of the market:


With the recent tax changes & higher interest rates, affordability is something that increasingly concerns many buyers. At this time, I believe that we are in the middle of a re-pricing as sellers adjust to this new reality. It became more pronounced as 2018 wore on and in the second half of the year, the homes that sold were the ones where the sellers recognized that the market was shifting against them and priced their homes aggressively to appeal to buyers.


It will be interesting to see how the market develops as we head into 2019. I expect prices to stabilize in most areas and have already seen a pickup in activity.


2018 was an excellent year: I helped more than 40 families directly buy & sell property and hope that your referrals will continue to fuel my business in 2019!

Posted in Blog, News