Lower Hudson Valley
2021 Q1 Market Report
2021 is in full swing, Q1 has come to a close and we are fully in Springtime in the Hudson Valley and Q2. So, how was Q1 for real estate you ask? You didn't ask? Well I'm telling you anyway.
Residential home sales in the lower Hudson Valley for the first quarter of 2021 were staggering, and while the residential market is normally cyclical with seasonal low sales in the first quarter as sellers begin to prepare their homes for the traditional “spring selling season”, COVID-19 has served to create a marketplace that defies that predictability. Take a look below.
In the graph above, each color bar represents the total residential sales in the first quarter of the past 4 years. For the past 3 years, Q1 has hovered roughly around the same number, but this year, represented by the purple line, there's some crazy stuff going on. I've seen this firsthand, I can tell you that the number of ready willing and able buyers far exceed the number of sellers on the market right now. If you're considering selling, we need you!! And I'm here to help ;)
What I'll Be Covering In This Report
Housing Affordability Index? What's that?
I chose to highlight the Housing Affordability Index (HAI) in the market reports going forward, as I think that it's an important factor to consider in today's society where wealth inequality is a huge issue. So what is it? It's a number that tells us how affordable a certain area is by comparing the median income in the area with the average house prices. A HAI of 100 means that the median household makes exactly 100% of what is needed to qualify for a mortgage* to purchase the average price of a home in that area.
So, for example, let's say that the average house in Townsville, NY costs $300,000. A house that costs $300,000 would require someone to make roughly 50K a year to qualify for that home. If the median household income in Townsville is 50K, the HAI for Townsville would be 100. If the average family income of Townsville was 25K, the HAI would be 50, meaning that families in Townsville only have 50% of the income necessary to buy the average house there.
*Housing Affordability Index assumes 20% down payment and that the mortgage is 25% of the family's gross income.
While Westchester still has the highest average home prices in the Hudson Valley, they saw the least one year change in sale prices. I mean...13% is no small number by any means, but other counties saw bigger increases. A relatively small drop in Housing Affordability Index (HAI), but that doesn't mean anything great. Westchester's HAI is a flat 50 now, which means the average family is making 50% of what it costs to qualify for a mortgage for the average price of a home in the area. The other counties come nowhere near this number.
Putnam County, Westchester County's younger sibling had a great year as well, but with a huge drop in available inventory. Last year, a total of 657 homes were available for sale in Putnam during Q1, this year, only 372 were available in Q1. While Putnam's HAI dropped 6.1%, they are still at an overall number of 92, which means the average family in Putnam is making 92% of what is needed to buy the average house in the county. Hopefully it doesn't keep dropping down.
Dutchess County coming in hot with a huge increase in median sales price, and as a direct result of that has seen a giant decrease in the Housing Affordability Index. Even though that is a huge drop, the HAI is still 132, and anything above 100 means that the average household is able to purchase the average house in that area. However, as long as the prices keep going up, the HAI will continue to go down, since wages are not increasing at the same rate.
Orange County and Dutchess are neck and neck competing for the largest increase in median sales price, and by just .1%, Orange County came out on top. Again, with big gains in price, comes large drops in affordability. However, Orange also has the highest HAI of all the counties, coming in at 142, which is great. Orange is boasting great sale prices while still being affordable. Go you, Orange. Four for you, Orange County.
Rockland County holding it's own and reaping in the benefits of the seller's market in the Lower Hudson Valley. A 16.9% increase in median sale prices is no small feat, but there are also more than half the homes available in Q1 this year compared to last. Rockland's HAI is at a low 68, meaning the average household will only have 68% of the income needed to purchase the average house in the county. Not great, but hopefully the Spring and Summer will have more homes on the market to stabilize prices for buyers.
A general summary of how the Hudson Valley real estate market is doing is this: extremely well for sellers and buyers (who can afford it) alike. Due to the mass amounts of people leaving NYC to relocate up north, we have seen a huge increase in demand while supply has been kept low, which as economics shows, is driving prices straight up. The only saving grace is that interest rates remain at an historic low level. Seriously, interest rates are ridiculously low right now. And even if prices were to drop, interest rates would start climbing and that's what will kill you in the long run.
My personal opinion (which I remind you, is just an opinion), is that in the coming months, prices will stabilize. Not drop, but stabilize. I think that with COVID-19 starting to get under control and the warmer weather, that more homes will saturate the market, which should ease some of the stress on buyers. WE NEED MORE HOMES ON THE MARKET! So, if you're a homeowner in the Hudson Valley and thinking of selling, now is a very good time to consider that.
What is Your Home Worth?
After reading this, you might be thinking that the market is in great shape if you're a seller, and you would be completely right. Now is an amazing time to sell, due to the low inventory market that every county is experiencing. High demand and low supply creates competition and drives up prices. If you're curious about what you might be able to get for your home, hop on over to my website at RupertoRealEstate.com and fill out the valuation form to get a free, hand crafted report. The report wont be created by a computer, I do each request myself since I don't trust computers to accurately valuate your home, even though they will take over the world one day.
Thanks for listening,
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson / J Philip Real Estate
522 N State Road, Suite 100,
Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510 United States