The New York real estate market is truly rockin’

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The New York State Association of Realtors (NYSAR) just reported a record first quarter for total home sales.

Since the housing market turned a corner in 2012, the New York real estate market has been on a steady roll. This is particularly true of the downstate area which (happily) includes Westchester. But except for certain patches of the market, there has not been a full-blown bull market. That has now changed.

The state-wide sales info for Q1 boasts 25,366 total sales. This is a 6.5% increase over Q1 of 2016. . Duncan MacKenzie, the CEO of NYSAR, to a strong overall economy and the concern over potential interest rate increases. The results are particularly impressive given that tight inventories have actually been a stumbling block to home ownership for some. Multiple offers produce both winners and losers and many buyers have to submit several offers before they are successful. Naturally, since the real estate market is driven by supply and demand, prices are generally heading up.

Factors suggesting this bull has room to run…

For the Westchester market, there are several other factors influencing this strong market that indicates this bull has quite a bit of room to run:

  • Millennials are finally settling down and having families. Even the most diehard New Yorker needs only a few sessions in a subway struggling with a baby and a stroller to realize that what seemed like urban heaven pre-baby, is not so easy post-baby.
  • Skyrocketing rents are forcing diehard renters to reconsider their lifestyle. Those who came of age during the housing recession looked at the older generation’s belief in home ownership almost with near contempt. They hadn’t experienced the downside to renting. But now, as rent hikes put pressure on their lifestyles and cut into what they can save, they are now looking to own.
  • Downsizing is gaining ground with the Boomer/X generations. Stagnating salaries and fewer defined pensions mean that this generation is unlikely to stay in the big house once the family leaves the nest. The one thing holding this market back this market is that condo prices have been rising faster than home prices. This is still an issue. Nevertheless, more inventory will be available in the future for the millennial generation to move into.

Advice for navigating the strong New York real estate market…

So, my advice for home buyers is that although the market is competitive in Westchester, it is an appreciating market. After quite a few years of chugging along quietly, this is healthy increase that is not in bubble territory. If you fall in love with a home, make the best bid that you can. Remember, if you like it, other people probably like it too and there will be competition.

For the home seller, this is great news. But be careful about getting too greedy. Overpriced homes sit on the market and generally end up selling for less than they would have had they been priced competitively from the get-go.

© 2017 – RGHicks – – All rights reserved.

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