The White Plains housing market finally took its hit when the stock market crashed in late 2008. Until that time, the White Plains market – along with much of lower Westchester had resisted the declines that had occurred in other parts of the country. Prices dropped sharply and as credit markets froze up, sales volume dropped to a trickle by the end of Q4 2008. The winter was long and harsh as sales volume continued to stay low. This was mostly due to the tighter lending standards and a general reluctance to buy for those who actually had the credit to do so.
Buyer interest started to increase at the beginning of the 2nd quarter as lower prices and the stimulus package pulled buyers off the fence. Towards the end of the quarter there were many more contracts and pendings. The question in early June was whether or not the banks would actually fund all of the loans. Fortunately, things started looking up and the market is again moving, although volume is lower than in years past is the order of the day. This can be attributed to tighter lending standards.
Coops actually showed a price increase over the 2nd quarter of 2008. The 2.7% increase was small – but compared to the decreases seen in the condo and SF home markets, it is an encouraging sign. Coops are the entry level purchase for most first time buyers – which explains the resilience. Sales volume overall is still down 24% over the previous year while inventory is estimated at about 12.5 months. The inventory pressure will keep prices in check, but all in all – the coop market has fared better than the rest of White Plains housing.
Condominiums have taken a real “hit” in this market. Prices are down over 11% over the previous year while inventories remain very high. Right now there are over 153 condos on the market an absorption rate of about 8 units a month. That’s up from the 3-4 units a month we saw at the beginning of the year. Still at the present rate of sales it will take over 18 months to sell off the current inventory. Sales volume is down 46% from Q2 2008 and 60% from Q2 2007. So this represents a serious buyers market.
Single Family home sales have picked up over the last few months. Single Family homes were the first to correct in White Plains as their downward price spiral started before the market crash. Lower prices have driven buyers to make offers although the sales volume remains down 15% from the previous year. Prices are off 11.3% from last year, but there are signs that the excess inventory is easing. It will take about 11 months to absorb the present inventory. This is a buyer’s market, but not a fire sale. Buyers should be aware of the fact that they can get a good deal, but pushing the envelope too far will cost them. Its a market that is moving once again.
White Plains NY – Housing and Market Statistics for First Quarter 2009.
© 2009 Ruthmarie Garcia Hicks https://thewestchesterview.com. All rights reserved
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