That Was the Year That Was in Rye Real Estate
BY ROBIN JOVANOVICH
Come the fourth quarter, the market finally heated up.
Ask any Rye realtor worth her listings and she or he will tell you that 2019 wasn’t all doom and gloom, but it sure started out that way. “First of all, it was a late market. There was also a glut of inventory,” explained Pati Holmes, manager of Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s. “At the end of the quarter, we were down an unsettling 44 percent in units.”
Come the fourth quarter, the market finally heated up, and not only has there been a sizable increase in activity, but contracts are being signed, sealed, delivered.
According to John P. Gardner, manager of Houlihan Lawrence Brokerage, “This year, the real estate market in Rye was like a ‘Tale of Two Cities’. After a slow start, price adjustments inspired strong buyer activity at all price levels for the remainder of the year.” There are plenty of buyers, but they are looking for value in our market.”
Don’t listen to tales of a housing slump at holiday parties, advises Kim Arenas, who heads up an eponymous team at COMPASS. “Homes <are> selling in Rye. There is a steady stream of buyers from the city who want the fabulous lifestyle that Rye offers and that we all enjoy.” She added,” Our team has had our second–best year ever in real estate.”
Nancy Neuman of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, who has been in the business longer than most, described 2019 market as “volatile”. She believes the decrease in the SALT deduction is the biggest factor.
“The sellers, who might not have been quite ready to sell, have listed their houses in the hopes that they can reduce their expenses. The buyers in high price points seem to be more focused on the amount of the property taxes.”
Susan Reische, who heads up William Raveis, is hopeful heading into 2020 because she’s started to see an upswing. “We listed two houses this month and both are close to contract. And for the first time in a while, we’re seeing strong attendance at open houses.”
Judging from the year-end data provided by the realtors, the median home sale price is up 4.8 percent over 2018, yet the number of homes sold is down 4.5 percent.
No matter which graph you consult, the fact is that it takes longer to sell a house in Rye than it did just a few years ago, and in some price ranges sales are way down.
“Our weak point is from $2 million to $3 million, which is normally our bread and butter,” noted Pati Holmes. “There is too much choice in that price range.” On the other hand, in the $3 million to $5 million range, deals have closed on 24 units, versus 18 in 2018; and there has been a 25 percent increase in sales of homes priced below $1 million.
As the year comes to a close, median sale prices are up 1.937 percent versus 1.887 in 2018; and 142 homes have sold, up from 140.
There are currently 89 single-family homes on the market in 10580, reports Susan Reische, with an average price of $3,155,948 and an average days–on–market of 175.