The River towns of Westchester NY run along the eastern side of the Hudson River. The area being covered is largely in the town of Greenburgh and includes the villages of Hastings-on-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Irvington, Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow is actually located in the town of Mt. Pleasant, but Sleepy Hollow shares the 10591 zip code and a school system with the village of Tarrytown. The Westchester to NYC commute is extremely easy from these locations. Each village boasts an Metro North Westchester train station with a commuting time of less than 45 minutes to Grand Central Station. The area is serviced by Metro North’s Hudson line.
The fact that these are commutable villages with walkable neighborhoods, makes these areas very desirable for New Yorkers looking for a nice bedroom community with amenities such as fine dining and entertainment, along with charm and a lower cost of living than can be found in NYC.
Like other parts of Westchester NY – sellers with homes for sale in the River Towns have been hit hard by the down turn in the housing market. Some sectors have fared better than others. But all in all, this is still a buyer’s market.
Single family home prices continued to decline. When comparing the 1st quarter of 2009 with Q1 of 2010, prices were down 9.3% with an average sales price of $686,000 down from $756,000 the year before. Part of this drop might be due to the fact that a few very expensive homes sold in Q1 of 2009 – skewing the results slightly upward for that quarter.
However, the inventory and sales volume suggests a market that is still trending down – though no longer in a free-fall. Using the current inventory along with contracts and pendings as a guide, there is at least a 10 month supply of housing currently on the market. Since not all contracts actually close, the inventory is probably closer to a year than 10 months. Nevertheless, the sales volume is up about 50% over the previous year, which is a step in the right direction.
Condominium sales prices are down significantly from the Q1 of the previous year. The average sales price of a condo in the River Towns covered was $404,000 down a staggering 29% from $567,000 in Q1 of the previous year. Since sales volume was light in both 2009 and 2010 for the first quarter – it is easy for a couple of units to have skewed these results.
Certainly the presence of upscale condo communities such as the Riverton Lofts in Hastings, Hudson Harbor in Tarrytown and Ichabod’s Landing in Sleepy Hollow can create shifts in price averages because they are at the higher end of the price spectrum. These complexes – many of which are adjacent to the Hudson River Walk project represent a new level of high-end living for the area. Since the Hudson River is being reclaimed from its industrial past to a residential and public oasis, it is not unexpected that sales in these communities could create issues with statistics when sales volumes are low. Volume overall remained flat from 2009 and current contracts/pendings indicate a near 8 month overhang on the market – putting condos in buyer’s market territory.
Unlike the eastern portion of the county, cooperatives are not as common in the River Towns. Prices were up significantly, but once again low volume may have skewed the results. Further most of the sales this year were of 2 BR units whereas last year 1 BR units prevailed. The average price was $238,000 for Q1 of 2010 – technically up 40% from Q1 of the previous year – until one accounts for the 1 BR vs. 2 BR preference which makes this market largely flat price-wise. The fact that 2 BR units are preferred is an indication of an improving economy and a stabilizing market. Contracts and pendings indicate a six month overhang of inventory, making this market fairly balanced.
© 2010 Ruthmarie G. Hicks – https://thewestchesterview – All rights reserved.
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