Nearly seven months after restrictions tied to the COVID-19 pandemic changed life for millions, Dutchess County residents looking to sell their homes are continuing to benefit from an influx of buyers looking for a suburban environment.
Though while southern areas like Beacon are most often associated with city-dwellers seeking to relocate, the market is booming most in northern Dutchess and other deep suburban areas.
While single-family home sales in southwest Dutchess dipped in the third quarter as compared to 2019 amid low inventory, and the average home sale price was mostly flat, both numbers exploded in the northern sections of the county, according to third-quarter reports from brokerage firm Houlihan Lawrence and the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.
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In all, home sales in the county were mostly flat for the quarter year-over-year, according to Houlihan Lawrence, which counted 745 single-family sales this past quarter, compared to 717 in the third quarter in 2019. However, the average sale price increased from $338,629 to $441,995 and the median sale price jumped from $315,000 to $347,000.
Amenia, Pine Plains and Stanford all saw their year-over-year home sales totals double, with 12 of more sales in each of those towns and average sales prices increasing by 28-44%.
Meanwhile, other northern areas like Hyde Park and Rhinebeck, which were already desirable but not generally associated with a commuter lifestyle, also saw increases. Hyde Park’s year-over-year home sales jumped from 47 to 58, with a 20% increase in average sale price; Rhinebeck’s sales jumped from 23 to 32 with an average sales price increase of 10%.
That, Liz Numan, the president and CEO of Houlihan Lawrence, said, reflects the ongoing shift of companies and workers embracing remote systems.
“Commute time to NYC is not necessarily as important as it once was,” she said.
Red Hook likewise saw an increase in interest. Its 37 home sales in the third quarter increased from 24 a year ago, and the average home price increased by 17%.
Southeast Dutchess areas of Pawling and Beekman also saw a boost in interest. Whereas Pawling had 13 sales in the third quarter of 2019 it had 22 in the same span this year, with an average home price increase of 31%. Beekman’s average home price jumped by 10% with 8% more sales.
While the most populous areas of the county saw home sales prices increase — the average sales price in Beacon in the third quarter of 2019 was $339,900 compared to $415,000 this past quarter — the number of sales actually dipped by 12%. Thirty-three percent fewer homes were sold in the town of Poughkeepsie and 26% fewer in Beacon. Other areas saw a mostly flat comparison.
This can be largely attributed to fewer homes being on the market in those areas, according to the third-quarter report from Houlihan Lawrence.
Hudson Valley benefits
Other rural areas of the larger Hudson Valley region likewise benefited from the pandemic.
During the third quarter, 2,167 single family homes were sold in Westchester, a 12% improvement from 1,940 in 2019’s same period Houlihan Lawrence said market conditions are favoring sellers and forcing fewer concession on pricing than last year.
The number of pending sales as of September 30 increased by 71% in Westchester overall according to the brokerage firm.
“With buyers focused on the attributes of the home, and less on location, it is not surprising that Northern Westchester had the highest third quarter sales spike in the county and posted 50% more homes sold compared to the same period last year,” Numan said.
The president and CEO of Houlihan Lawrence says the suburbs north of White Plains are attracting unprecedented buyers. The number of closed home sales in the Chappaqua, Katonah-Lewisboro and Northern Salem school districts grew by at least 68% over the third quarter.
The only school district in Westchester north of White Plains where sales declined in the third quarter is Somers, where total sales declined by 15% to 56, but the median sales price in the school district grew by 29% to $656,000.
Closed sales in the Croton-Harmon school district are down 41% while the median sales price increased by 10% to $650,000.
The school district of New Rochelle, which includes the area where Cuomo ordered a one-mile containment zone back in March, saw total home sales increase by 25% to 137 in the third quarter over 2019. Some believed the containment zone would hurt sales.
The trade group Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors said the markets in Rockland and Orange counties improved over the third quarter of 2019 but remained mostly flat on a year-to-date basis.
While the number of single-family homes sold for the quarter increased by 4.8% to 674, sales of condominiums, co-ops and 2-4 family homes decreased.
HGAR said listings at the end of September were 32% less than last year in Rockland County. The median sale price for single-family homes, condominiums and 2-4 family homes in Orange county increased by 15%, 11% and 20%, respectively.
HGAR said “interest rates remain at historic lows which contributes to affordability,” but that forecasting the span of the market rally is difficult due to uncertainty about the long-term economic recovery.
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