By Robin Jovanovich
On any given weekend it’s been challenging to park near an open house for a newly listed home in and around Rye, much less beat out other buyers for a well-situated and appropriately priced home.
With inventory down by 25 percent and the majority of properties that came on the market in the first quarter of 2021 in contract, it is very much a sellers’ market — if they can find a home or rental to move to.
According to Pati Holmes, Managing Broker of the Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s Rye office, in just the first four months of 2021, eight homes priced over $5,000,000 have sold or are in contract, compared to nine in all of 2020. The good news for all sellers, she noted, is that the days on market has decreased significantly since June 2020.
“I have been in Rye/Harrison real estate since 1986 and have never experienced an environment as robust as the current market,” said Holmes.
Susanna Cronin, branch manager of Houlihan Lawrence’s Rye office, said Harrison is experiencing the same robust market as Rye due to low supply and high demand. Pending listings are up 38 percent in Harrison and 42 percent in Rye from last year.
The number of homes sold in Rye year-to-date is up 26 percent over the same period last year, reported Michèle Flood of Coldwell Banker. And, as expected, homes in the $2,500,000 and under price range are selling briskly. Flood is confident that the brisk market we are experiencing will continue for months to come. “Optimism prevails,” said the longtime agent.
Marianna Glennon of Houlihan Lawrence offered a different perspective. “The market is settling down, with some of the buyer frenzy dissipating due to a little less flight from Manhattan. But the good news is that sellers are curious about the market and there is no pessimism.”
The frenzy notwithstanding, price still matters, stressed every agent and agency head we contacted.
“Buyers are more emotional and less analytical than pre-pandemic, but still value-driven,” said Pati Holmes.
Susanna Cronin said, “Price matters. Buyers are still selective, so pricing for the market is of utmost importance.”
Having multiple home offices or flexible floor plans to create offices, as well as pools, and guest areas for extended families matter, too.
Lisa Murphy of Houlihan Lawrence believes that going forward “it is a positive time to be listing your home if you are considering selling in the next two years, as buyers from New York City continue to contemplate a move to the suburbs. I welcome the city coming back and think it will only strengthen the markets of towns like Rye and Harrison that are still within easy commuting distance — or a quick trip into MSG to see a Knicks game or a Billy Joel concert.”