The real estate market in lower Westchester has been incredibly busy. We have seen rising prices, bidding wars, contingencies being waived and emotional letters written (in an effort to sway sellers to chose a specific buyer). It has been exciting and frustrating!
While inventory remains low, we are still below the levels of previous years. Of note, April & May 2015 had the largest 2 month jump in new listings for single family homes in more than 5 years! To keep this in perspective, though, this is how far below inventory levels we are:
- 5.6% below 2014
- 11.8% below 2013
- 30.8% below 2012
- 31.6% below 2011
- 28.3% below 2010
The general lack of inventory has led to an increase in competition and prices; Westchester single family homes are selling at an average of 97% of list price! This is the same level as 2014 but more than 1% more than 2013 and 2% more than 2012. This tells me that buyers are willing to pay more than they did two or three years ago, even as interest rates have remained at the same level (the 30 year mortgage averaged 3.98% in 2013 and 3.66% in 2012, versus a 3.73% average so far this year).
Anecdotally, I have been coming across an increasing number of new real estate agents and/or agents who took a break and are now getting back into the business. I have also witnessed, heard talk of, of been a victim of ethically questionable behavior by other agents. Some of this has been from agents who have been in business for many years.
If you are a consumer reading this article, please make sure you choose to work with a professional who has been actively engaged in this market recently! Whether you are a buyer or a seller, you are about to spend a lot of money (either on a property or on a real estate commission) and you deserve strong, ethical representation. As a recognition of my efforts successfully serving satisfied buyers and sellers, I was just recognized as a FIVE STAR Real Estate Agent by Westchester Magazine. Fewer than 3% of agents were chosen and this is my 5th consecutive year earning the award!