Westchester’s Suburban Homes Are Still the Rage as NYC Reopens
(Bloomberg) -- New Yorkers may be getting set to return to their Manhattan offices, but demand for Westchester’s suburban homes is still on fire.
Completed sales of single- and multifamily houses, co-ops and condos totaled 2,489 in the first quarter, up 37% from a year earlier, appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate said in a report Thursday. The deals pushed the supply of listings in the county down 17% to 2,533, the fewest since the end of 2001.
Purchases of single-family houses gained the most among all property types, surging 44% from a year earlier to 1,528. In the luxury category -- the top 10% of the market, starting at $1.6 million in the quarter -- sales jumped 43%.
The pandemic-driven housing boom in New York’s suburbs isn’t letting up even as vaccines lift hopes for a return of city life and the reopening of office towers in the coming months. Buyers are still clamoring for space in the greener pastures north of Manhattan, though they may not be breaking ties with the city completely.
“A few months ago, it was people who were leaving driving demand,” Scott Durkin, president of Douglas Elliman, said in an interview. “Now, it’s people who want both” -- a city apartment and a home outside the city.
Competition among buyers pushed up prices in the quarter, with the median for all Westchester homes climbing 11% from a year earlier to $565,000. Single-family houses sold for a median of $700,500, up 9.5%.
It would take just 3.1 months to sell all the properties that were on the market in the county at the end of March, the second-fastest pace since Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman started tracking the data 26 years ago.
The suburban boom has implications for New York’s battered office market, which may suffer further if workers decide they prefer signing on from home over commuting into the city each day. Even as major companies prepare to bring employees back to the office, the amount of available space in Manhattan is at the highest level in at least 30 years.
Contracts to buy single-family Westchester homes -- a proxy for future sales and a gauge of current demand -- soared 61% from a year earlier in March, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said in a separate report this week.
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