Total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—rose 3.1% from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.00 million in January.
2023 THIRD QUARTER REAL ESTATE SALES REPORT Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan and Bronx counties, New York
Editor’s Note: The following is the full text version of the 2023 THIRD QUARTER REAL ESTATE SALES REPORT Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan and Bronx counties, New York released recently by the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.
WHITE PLAINS—The combination of high interest rates and low inventory dampened buyer demand and were the chief causes in significant declines in sales transactions during the third quarter of 2023 throughout the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors (HGAR) market area, which includes Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange, Sullivan and Bronx counties.
In its 2023 Third Quarter Real Estate Sales Report, based on data provided by OneKey MLS, HGAR states that the median sale price of a single-family home increased modestly in all of its market areas, with the exception of the Bronx, which posted a small decline in sales price. Overall, for-sale residential inventory was down in all markets, with Sullivan County registering the smallest decline in inventory.
Realtors are hopeful that with expected lower interest rates in 2024, more homeowners will be prompted to put their homes on the market for sale in the early part of next year, propping up inventory and purchase options for prospective homebuyers.
In the third quarter, overall residential sales, as compared to the third quarter of 2022, fell 20.8% in Westchester County; 33.8% in Putnam County; 22.6% in Orange County; 25.3% in Rockland County; 26% in Sullivan County and 23.7% in The Bronx. Year-to-date through Sept. 30, 2023, overall sales have fallen sharply in all markets as compared to a healthier market through the first three quarters of 2022—Westchester sales were down 25.9%; Putnam sales were down 28.8%; Orange County’s overall sales numbers declined 25.8%; Rockland County sales were down 27.3% Sullivan County sales have fallen 28.1% and home sales have declined 22.2% in The Bronx.
While home prices have stabilized in some sections of the United States, the lack of inventory continues to put upward pressure on prices in the HGAR market area. The median sale price of a single-family home in the third quarter increased 6.3% to $925,000 in Westchester County; 1% in Putnam County to $510,000; 7.1% in Orange County to $450,000; 4.5% in Rockland County to $690,000 and 7.3% in Sullivan County to $299,500. The median sale price of a single-family home in the Bronx fell 2.8% in the third quarter to $612,500.
The prolonged high interest rate environment has kept many possible home sellers on the sidelines. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate was at 7.67% for the week ended Oct. 6, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association—the highest level since 2000 and 40 basis points higher than a month ago. Inventory levels in every market took a turn for the worse, posting overall residential declines (year-to-date) of: 31.8% in Westchester; 26.9% in Putnam; 18.6% in Orange; 26.9% in Rockland; 6.4% in Sullivan and 26.1% in The Bronx.
HGAR members report that despite the slowdown in demand, there continues to be intense competition among buyers in all price categories, particularly for homes that are accurately priced.
Area Realtors believe that the current sales environment will continue until the Federal Reserve Board provides more clarity on its interest rate strategy in battling inflation going forward.
National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun, during his exclusive Oct. 10 visit to the HGAR offices in White Plains, noted that the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders recently sent a joint letter to the Federal Reserve requesting a pause in any further interest rate increases for a few months to see if the inflation rate will fall even further in reaction to past interest rate increases.
Yun predicts that come the spring of 2024, lending rates will be in the mid 6% area.
Later, in reaction to a mostly positive inflation report issued on Oct. 12, Yun stated, “Consumer prices are not fully compliant, though they have decelerated from last year. In September, inflation rose at 3.7%, the same as in the prior month but slower than 8.2% a year ago. The Federal Reserve’s goal of raising the interest rates has been to bring inflation to near 2%. We are not quite there yet, partly because gasoline prices have been moving up for four straight months, now up 3% from a year ago and up 68% from pre-COVID days. Despite many private sector data pointing towards softer rent growth, the official government measurement is still showing a fast increase. Rents rose 7.4% from a year ago. This is the main reason why consumer prices are not fully under control and why the Fed refuses to consider cutting interest rates. It is nonetheless inevitable for rent growth to slow because of the construction of multiple new apartments. Inflation and interest rates will be lower next year.”
View full report here: https://www.hgar.com/content/uploads/2023/10/2023-Q3-HGAR-OneKey-MLS-Report.pdf
Data was provided by OneKey® MLS, one of the largest REALTOR® subscriber-based MLSs in the country, dedicated to servicing more than 49,000 real estate professionals that serve Manhattan, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. OneKey® MLS was formed in 2018, following the merger of the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service and the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island. For more information on OneKey® MLS visit onekeymlsny.com.