Larchmont’s third quarter revealed a mixed market. Not as bearish as some other areas. Throughout this housing correction, several pockets in lower Westchester have shown themselves to be remarkably resistant to the downward trend in prices.
Larchmont has been one of these pockets, but there are signs now that this market is correcting – particularly with respect to single-family homes.
Cooperatives prices have remained strong and are up 6.7% over the previous year with an average price of $288,000. This statistic belies a marked weakness that I have casually observed. Units in prime condition are selling while those that are “fixers” seem to sit. The price increase may be a reflection of that casual observation. Nevertheless, there is only a 4.5 month supply of units – which though not bullish is hardly bearish. Further, the number of units sold this year is comparable to the number sold over the same period last year.
Condos do not comprise a significant portion of the Larchmont market. Nevertheless, I include them because there were enough units sold to draw some conclusions on this rather small market. Like White Plains, the prices for condos were up in Larchmont when compared to the same period of time the previous year. Condos have defied pricing gravity better than any other type of housing. But unlike White Plains, there is no new construction of very high-end inventory to account for the increase. Prices are up 9.1% over the previous year with an average selling price of $669,000. The caveat is that one must be careful not to draw too many conclusions, since the number of units involved is very small. There is also a good deal of inventory relative to the number of sales (7 months) which indicates that the market may be slowing.
Single family home sales showed the greatest signs of stress in the third quarter. Sales prices were down 8.2%, with an average selling price of $1,301,000 – down from $1,417,000 the previous year. The number of homes sold was also down 18.3% over the previous year. Nevertheless, the inventory of available homes for sale is quite low which will limit the downward potential should they stay that way. 3.2 months of inventory is not an indicator of a full blown bear market.
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