A year-round retreat on Lincoln Avenue in Purchase is new to the market. Donna McElwee of Houlihan Lawrence has the listing.
By Robin Jovanovich
Gone are the days of a “spring market” in residential real estate. Homes, especially in our area, come on the market year-round and, if appropriately priced and in move-in condition, most sell in a weekend.
That phenomenon continues, but sellers are coming out of hibernation at a snail’s pace. Those ready to downsize have been reluctant to list their homes because they can’t find a right-sized home nearby, especially one that makes financial sense. Those who have mortgages at low rates are not anxious to swap them for ones with higher rates. The result is that there simply aren’t enough homes to satisfy the pent-up demand.
As of the first day of spring, there were 26 single-family homes on the market in Rye, five of them new listings and nine that have been reduced in price, according to Marianna Glennon of Houlihan Lawrence.
“Our spring market started well before this week, with lines out the door at weekend open houses,” notes Christy Murphy of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s. “We currently have houses going into contract faster than they are being listed, depleting any pre-existing inventory which is exceptionally low once again this year.” She adds, “These circumstances will balance eventually, but that is unlikely to happen in the next few months as houses trickle on to the market and demand remains high.”
The busiest segment of the market are homes priced at under $2 million, reports Michèle Flood of Coldwell Banker. “What we’re seeing is constant activity with multiple buyers for the homes coming on the market. Even though we have 25 percent fewer homes on the market so far this year, we will probably see nearly as many homes offered for sale by year’s end. The year is young!”
While the underlying theme of the Sound Shore market is a lack of inventory, concurs Meg Allen Rodriguez of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, “real estate prices have remained firm, despite the Fed’s interest rate tightening. We’re off to a robust spring season. Fairly priced properties are receiving multiple offers and are transacting at or above the asking price.”
Susanna Cronin, manager of Houlihan Lawrence Brokerage for the Rye area, describes the market for new inventory as “ravenous”. She said, “It is a tough market for the buyers who wait patiently for inventory to appear, and in some cases, rather than wait, start their search in other areas.”
She says the entire Sound Shore area has been impacted by low inventory. “At the end of the first quarter of 2019, there were 108 active listings in Rye; in the Sound Shore, there were 438 active listings, and only 117 today.”
Cronin appreciates that homeowners who have mortgages at 2 to 3 percent below current levels have less incentive to sell. “However, they may well be coaxed to the market because the median sold price in Rye City was $2.2 million year-over-year. In 2019, it was $1.91 million.”
On the bright side, adds Cronin, “the National Association of Realtors predicts that mortgage rates look likely to drift down in the near future, which is good news for both buyers and sellers.”