:One of the homes that came on the market in the last week is this gracious one at 149 Grandview Avenue.
Home Sale Frenzy Likely to Continue Through Fall
By Robin Jovanovich
In the search to come up with good things that have happened in 2020, the robust residential real estate market tops many lists.
As city dwellers looking for greener pastures and room to spread out, started knocking on Rye real estate office doors, even before the official shutdown in March, homes went on the market on a Friday and were in contract by Monday.
No longer willing to take Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens, “buyers gravitated to Rye and Harrison homes with pools for family recreation, and private home offices — kitchen or dining room tables just don’t cut it,” said Pati Holmes, Managing Broker at Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s.
By Labor Day, there were only 60 homes still on the market in our fair city, 25 percent fewer than this time last year, priced from $550,000 to well over $10 million. Year-to-date 121 homes have sold, compared to 111 the first eight months of 2019, a nine percent increase, which is noteworthy as homes couldn’t be shown, other than virtually, for three months this spring.
According to Kim Arenas, who heads up Compass’ Rye office, “There was a surge this summer as buyers with families made plans before the school year. It seems that people who would have naturally selected Rye and Harrison accelerated their plans to get here.” She added, “Just as couples whose kids are out of the house accelerated their decisions to sell.”
The race to move out of urban environments due to the pandemic isn’t the only thing driving real estate, offered Susanna Cronin, Houlihan Lawrence Rye/Harrison Brokerage Manager. “The other propelling factors are historically low interest rates, below 3% for a 30-year fixed; low inventory; and compelling supply/demand ratios. All these conditions are making the Rye and Harrison real estate markets strong, encouraging buyers to make the jump and sellers to trade out or up.”
While 42 percent of the buyers in the last six months came from New York City, Cronin said Houlihan’s latest statistical report shows that the same percentage were local buyers.
According to Nancy Neuman of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, many of the high-end properties were bought by local families. “Certainly, this market
has encouraged sellers, especially those on the fence, to list their homes. They recognize it as the opportunity it is.”
How long will this crazy market continue?
“It will be curious to see what happens if those who have temporarily left the City decide to return, once there is a vaccine,” said Neuman. “I did have a few couples comment that they loved a property but weren’t quite ready to pull the trigger.”
Pati Holmes feels that the market will remain strong for the rest of the year. “Homes are still coming on to the market and we expect to see healthy inventory for the fall market. Interestingly, one-third of Rye’s active inventory is between $1.75-$2.5 million and one-third of the properties that have sold are in that exact same price point. The median is currently $1.95 million, which makes perfect sense.”
In Cronin’s view, the outlook is strong. “We expect continued interest from New York City buyers as long as the pandemic is an issue, with spring 2021 possibly seeing a spike in Rye/Harrison home sales as many of the renters who fled the city look to make a more permanent move.”
Just last week, Kim Arenas’ team listed six desirable Rye/Harrison properties, and buyers remain on the hunt.