The Topsy-Turvy Real Estate Market Has Righted Itself
The confluence of high mortgage rates, exceedingly low inventory, buyers seeking unlikely bargains, and sellers wanting top dollar sounds like a perfect storm, and we know how that story ended.
While there has been a 35 percent decrease in year-to-date sales (144 in 2023 compared to 222 in 2022), the residential market is picking up and approaching superstorm speed. According to Pati Holmes, head of Rye’s Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s office, the average sales price through October stands at its highest point in a decade — $2,167,000. “Transaction volume may have dipped, but prices are soaring.”
Over the last 45 days, Holmes added, “We’ve seen properties fetching an average of 106 percent of their listing price!” As a prime example, she points to 2 Jean Street, located off Dearborn Avenue and within walking distance of Rye Town Park. The listing agent was Loretta Rapisardi. “The asking price was $1,825,000, but, after competitive bidding, it sold for $2,152,000,” reported Holmes.
Another right-sized home that recently sold quickly and over-asking was 14 Highland Park Place, an updated Tudor situated just up from Indian Village. “It was on the market for nine days,” noted Susan Reische, Strategic Growth & Sales Manager at William Raveis. “The list price was $2,225,000; it sold for $2,375,000, 107 percent of list.” Beth Jamison was the listing agent.
Brett Forman, who runs the Coldwell Banker Realty office, said they are having a banner year. “Michele Flood represented the seller of 50 Brown Avenue, which received multiple bids, went to contract in 11 days, and sold for $1,962,000, well over the $1,695,000 asking price. Adriane DeFeo represented both the buyer and seller of 7 Central Avenue, which went to contract in six days, and sold over the asking price of $1,790,000.”
There are currently only 26 single-family homes for sale, ranging in price from $675,000 to $10,500,000, reported Susanna Cronin, who manages the Houlihan Lawrence brokerage in Rye. She described the market as “challenging, albeit an opportunistic one for both buyers and sellers. That said, there are still baseline demographics indicating that buyers need to buy, and this will drive the market as our supply is well below that demand.”
Among “the opportunities” for downsizers are a three-bedroom, three-bath first-floor apartment with an oversized patio at Milton Harbor House. The price is right at $850,000. A renovated three-bedroom stone colonial on Laurel Street, close to churches, town, and train, is listed at $1,125,000.
A 3,735-square-foot ranch house on Purchase Street, close to Westchester Country Club, will appeal to first-time buyers. The house has an open plan, a beautiful backyard, and a spacious lower-level rec room for kids of all ages, as well as parents who host big game gatherings. The list price is just over $1 million.
Nestled on a corner lot within walking distance of Playland is a cozy four-bedroom home with low taxes and priced at $1,175,000. With a little loving renovation, it could be a gem.
For just under $2 million, a renovated four-bedroom, three-bath Colonial situated on over an acre on Ridge Street may be just the ticket for a young family.
Many impatient buyers are exploring the rental market, where there is also a shortage of inventory. The 17 active rentals within 10580 range in price from $2,200 a month for a one-bedroom unit in the Ryeview complex on Theodore Fremd Ave., to $10,995 for a two-bedroom, three-bath apartment at the St. Regis Residences on Old Post Road, to $30,000 for a classic 1925 nine-bedroom home on Grace Church Street.
In the past six months, 97 single-family homes have sold — on average for close to 105 percent of listing price.
Wait until next year?
Some fall buyers “are contemplating whether to wait until 2024 in the hopes of increased inventory,” said Pati Holmes. “We don’t anticipate a significant uptick in Rye’s housing inventory from our vantage point. It has been interestingly difficult trying to predict the last four years!”
Susanna Cronin said, “The crystal ball for 2024 and beyond is a bit blurry. The National Association of Realtors is predicting an ease on interest rates, which would bring better affordability for buyers as well as loosen up the supply side. NAR is also indicating that volume will go up to a more balanced level.”