HGAR Recognizes Rockland County with Program Featuring Political, Business Leaders and Association Update

The program offered the latest home sales data and trends for Rockland County, updates on the NAR Commission settlement, and perspectives on topical business and political issues.

HGAR Recognizes Rockland County with Program Featuring Political, Business Leaders and Association Update
From left, Annquette Mackey and Wendy Cruz, Center for Safety and Change; Matt McAllister, HG Realtor Foundation Trustee and Ralph Gabay, HG Realtor Foundation President. PHOTO BY JOHN VECCHIOLLA

WEST NYACK—As part of its ongoing campaign to empower members in its vast geographic footprint, the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors held its annual “Rockland County Day” event on June 18 at the Crestview Conference Center here.

The program offered the latest home sales data and trends for Rockland County provided by HGAR Chief Executive Officer Lynda Fernandez; updates on the NAR Commission settlement by HGAR General Counsel and Professional Standards Administrator Brian Levine and perspectives on topical business and political issues by U.S. Rep. Mike Lawler (R-17) and Rockland Business Association President Al Samuels.

After a short welcome address by HGAR President Carmen Bauman, Fernandez provided the latest sales and price data on the Rockland County home market, including the fact that Rockland County saw an 18.3% decline in sales in May as compared to a year earlier, while the median sale price rose 24.2% during that period to $745,000. In May, the Rockland County home sales market had 2.6 months of supply, down 10.3% from a year earlier. A balanced home sales market has between 6.0 months to 9.0 months of supply. With the limited supply, Fernandez noted that it is currently a sellers’ market.

From left, Brian Levine, Esq., HGAR General Counsel; Jennifer Rousset, HGAR Regional Director for Rockland County; Lynda Fernandez, HGAR CEO; U.S. Congressman Mike Lawler; Carmen Bauman, HGAR President; Al Samuels, Rockland County Business Association President and CEO; and Alex Roithymayr, HGAR Government Affairs Director. PHOTO BY JOHN VECCHIOLLA

Fernandez also discussed HGAR’s new Strategic Plan that is being rolled out after a detailed member survey, work from a Strategic Task Force that held three, two-hour sessions, as well as the direction from consulting firm T-360, which resulted in an extensive and thorough review of member feedback, she noted.

“Our purpose and our vision are to empower you to grow your business and to succeed in your communities through advocacy, professionalism and engagement,” Fernandez told the gathering of more than 60 HGAR Rockland-based members.

Some of the Strategic Plan’s short-term goals are to improve the association’s communications and educational resources.

She noted that the Strategic Plan positions HGAR “to be a strong organization so that whenever anything challenges us, we are ready for it.”

The program continued with a highly informative and give-and-take session by HGAR’s Levine who provided the latest information on the NAR Commission Settlement and the changes scheduled to go into effect this August.


Levine was followed by keynote speaker U.S. Rep. Mike Lawler, who discussed a variety of issues, including the need for immigration reform, energy and the need for more affordable housing in the region.

Rep. Lawler criticized the SALT Cap as “arbitrary and capricious” and expects that no matter the outcome of the November election, the SALT Cap will be greater than $10,000 in 2025.

Lawler said that the “ship has sailed” on an unlimited cap on state and local tax deductions.

The Congressman also slammed congestion pricing and although it is now on pause by Gov. Kathy Hochul, he is concerned that either she or the courts may reinstate the plan after the November election.

The RBA’s Samuels characterized the $10-million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award to the Village of Haverstraw as “transformational.”

Rockland Business Association President and CEO Al SamuelsPHOTO BY JOHN VECCHIOLLA

He also noted the strong activity at the Hudson Valley iCampus in Pearl River and Regeneron’s upcoming redevelopment of the former Suffern operations of Avon as major projects benefitting Rockland County.

Samuels also noted that there are eight projects currently before the Rockland County IDA that have a combined value of approximately $1.8 billion.

The program concluded with the HG Realtor Foundation giving a $3,000 donation to the Center for Safety and Change of New City, which for more than 45 years has worked tirelessly with victims, survivors and their family members, offering life-saving and life-changing programs and services to thousands in Rockland and beyond.

The sponsors of the 2024 Rockland County Day were: OneKey MLS (Premiere Sponsor), HomeTour Vision, Lighthouse Home Inspections, and Roca Flooring.

HGAR has scheduled the 2024 “Westchester County Day” on July 18 at the Yonkers Riverfront Library. The program will run from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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