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Residential sales in the region serviced by the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, Inc. were mixed in the first quarter of 2019, making it challenging to predict market trends for the spring and summer selling seasons. Rockland County, N.Y., saw an increase in residential sales of 7.1 percent, while Westchester County, N.Y., saw a decrease of 3.5 percent in its residential market. In Orange County, N.Y., residential sales increased by 1.3 percent, while Putnam, Sullivan and Bronx Counties in New York experienced decreases in sales.

Overall, the median sale price for single-family homes sold in the first quarter increased with one exception: Westchester County. There, the median price dropped by a modest 1.2 percent to $605,000 from the prior year first-quarter high of $612,500. Interestingly, sale prices for the condominium, co-op and two- to four-family sectors of the residential market in Westchester remained strong, with all posting increases.

Co-op sale prices increased by 9.7 percent from the first quarter of 2018, while two- to four-family homes increased by a significant 13.8 percent to $535,000 from $470,000 for the first quarter of 2018.

In the other counties in the service area, median prices for single-family homes rose anywhere from 2.3 percent in Rockland County, to a historic high of $445,000, to 18.2 percent in Sullivan County. Putnam County’s median price increased by 2.4 percent to $329,000, Orange County’s by 3.7 percent to $248,950, and in the Bronx, the median price increased 5.9 percent to 476,500.

As in Westchester, alternative housing choices remained strong. Orange County saw a 24 percent increase in condo sales and an 11.3 percent increase in condo prices, while Rockland County saw a 4 percent rise in median price for condos but a decrease in sales. The same held true for Bronx County, which experienced a decrease in condo sales but nonetheless saw a 12.9 percent increase in their price.

Westchester and Rockland counties, the areas with the highest price points, saw an easing of critical inventory shortages, which could translate to healthier spring sales as a result of better product selection and an easing of upward pressure on prices. Orange County has seen no appreciable increases in its inventory, but will hopefully see more new construction in the warmer months which, in turn, will likely result in an increase in median price but ease the inventory shortage.

Overall, the entire service area is experiencing a high level of economic activity and very low rates of unemployment. These factors, coupled with particularly attractive mortgage rates, are indications that the housing market should continue on solid ground.

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