Buyers Out There, Sellers Needed
Coming off one of the slowest residential real estate sales years in modern memory, here and nationwide, you might imagine that agents are hanging their heads, like Charlie Brown. In fact, the ones we’ve spoken to are soaring with ideas, like Snoopy.
Asked about the continuing supply-demand imbalance, Susanna Cronin, who manages the Houlihan Lawrence office in Rye, said, “While it’s challenging when there are only 18 homes on the market, I’m optimistic for 2024, and even more so for 2025.” Cronin said homes are starting to come on the market, and “buyers are on deck and ready to go.”
Case in point, buyers came out in abundance at last weekend’s open house for a charming, right-sized, and right-priced house in Sunnyridge, one of the area’s best family neighborhoods. The listing agent, Jan Vinikoor of Houlihan Lawrence, was asking for best and highest offers at press time. (Homes in the $1.8 million to $2.8 million price range, like 224 Sunnyridge Road, are gone in a flash.)
Fiona Dogan of Julia B Fee Sotheby’s said there are five or six buyers for every house in Rye. “If you want a house, you and your agent have to be gladiators and fight for it. You can’t wait and see what happens.”
While Dogan noted that there is currently more real estate activity in Sound Shore communities like Larchmont, she added, “There’s that something about Rye. You drive new clients around all the towns. But once they see the high school-middle school campus, the row of churches, Rye Town Park, Oakland Beach, the historic Boston Post Road, they don’t want to look anywhere else!”
Even before spring arrives, Dogan is confident things are looking up. “March will be a great month,” she predicted. Dogan has the inside track; she has five listings coming on the market.
Jen Reddington, co-founder of the Georgio Reddington Team at Compass, said that with inventory historically low, she has been on the hunt for off-market opportunities for her clients. She connected with a builder and will be the listing agent on a new construction project of his in Armonk. (“People who want land gravitate to Armonk, Harrison; in fact, there is a lot of cross-over between the two towns,” Reddington said.)
In addition to the Armonk project, she has three houses in Rye coming on the market — soon.
The buyer pool has been energized by the news that interest rates are expected to drop more than once in 2024. “It’s not unusual for a new listing to have 40 showings,” reported Reddington. “I talk to my buyers pretty much daily. They want to know what’s coming on and when.”
While Rye remains the number one choice for most New York City buyers, Reddington keeps them posted on neighboring communities. “It’s better if buyers are open to other possibilities.” She noted that Port Chester home sales are hitting record numbers, and Rye Brook, which has top-rated schools, is drawing buyers.
Like everyone else in the real estate community, the legendary Michèle Flood of Coldwell Banker is happy to put 2023 behind her. She’s looking ahead and likes what she sees — a significant number of motivated buyers, including transfers, school seekers, investors, and those who would rather buy than rent.
“The Fed forecast to reduce rates further in 2024 will be helpful, as is the fact that the stock market is booming. And last, but not least, it’s an election year!” Flood said with her signature enthusiasm.
*The chart was provided by Suzanna Cronin of Houlihan Lawrence.
ON THE HOME FRONT