Lower Hudson Valley
2021 Q3 Market Report
I hope you're all enjoying the lovely fall weather, have you succumbed and turned on the heat yet? I've got a market update for you on our local area! Now that Q3 is done and all the data has been published, I'm here to inform you on how we're doing from the real estate perspective. If you'd rather not read through the entire report county-by-county, then scroll on down to the bottom for a quick recap. I'll only be slightly offended if you don't want to read it all!
But, let's get right into it and talk about how the Hudson Valley Real Estate Market fared in the Third Quarter of 2021.
In the graph above, each color bar represents the total residential sales in the third quarter of the past 4 years. This is where we are really starting to see year to year data compared with the COVID-19 Pandemic. Sales took a huge hit during Q2 last year before swinging back and making historic jumps in Q3, and this year has set even more historic standards. Compared to last year, in every county there is a sharp increase in number of sales (except Sullivan, which we don't cover in this report).
Now, let's go over the market report, in depth
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.
Looking for a sign that the crazy seller's market is hitting a slight slow down? Then check out Westchester's numbers. Normally the heavy hitter in these reports with double digit growth for the past year and a half, the median sales price has only grown 6% since Q3 of 2020. Also, surprisingly, the HAI has increased significantly (still only at 79), this past quarter, which means that more people are able to afford more houses in Westchester. Inventory, as we will continue to see, remains at an all time low.
Putnam County is performing well, seeing the second strongest increase in median sale price in the area, and it's HAI as of last quarter has officially dropped under 100, and is still under 100 in this quarter. That means that the residents of this county are not seeing wages match the increase in property values. Right now, families in Putnam have about 93% of the income needed to buy the average house in the county, which is still close to 100, but continuously dropping, not rising.
Dutchess County has the lowest change in available inventory out of the 5 counties, as well as a relatively strong increase in median sale price. While it was once a county that was not seen as an option too NYC workers, combined with COVID-19 bringing work from home as an option and Millenials not minding the 1 hour+ commute to Grand Central, Dutchess County (at least the lower part) is becoming more and more populated with city folk, and areas like Beacon contribute to high increases in median sale prices.
Let's all give a round of applause to Orange County for seeing the largest increase in median sale prices this quarter with only the second smallest drop in available inventory. Like Dutchess, Orange County offers a much more affordable option to Hudson Valley residents compared to Westchester, Rockland and Putnam, not only in house price but also in property taxes. Right now, the HAI for Orange is 132, which is good, but before the pandemic it was at 183, which is a noticeable drop.
Almost a 50% drop in available inventory compared to last year, when last year had already seen a significant drop to the previous is not something to ignore. While Rockland is one of the smaller counties in the area, cutting it's available inventory in half is a huge deal. It is seeing a strong increase in prices, however, it is the second county to have an increase in the Housing Affordability Index, which is now 103 compared to 81 at this time last year. Either wages in Rockland county are rising, or the market is starting to stabilize a bit towards buyers.
A general summary of how the Hudson Valley real estate market is doing is this: it's shifting. Every single county in this report has seen a lower increase in median sales price than the previous quarter. The market is starting to turn ever so slightly towards buyers, but still outrageously strong for home sellers. Houses are still going for over asking, with multiple offers, some sight unseen. In the month of October, I put up two homes for sale and both went for over asking, so while things are shifting towards buyers, it is still very much a seller's market in the Hudson Valley.
Let's talk about the Housing Affordability Index, though!! This is the first market report since the pandemic where two counties have seen an increase in the Housing Affordability Index. Previously, only two of the five counties had an HAI above 100, now three of them are above 100. This is a good sign for buyers in these counties, it means that either wages are rising, home prices are stabilizing, or both.
Let's look at back on what I theorized during Q2 of 2021:
"My personal opinion (which I remind you, is just an opinion), is that in the coming months, prices will stabilize. Not drop, but stabilize. While inventory is also historically low, it is slowly increasing and over time will meet the demand."
I stand by those comments, and I think that things will continue to stabilize throughout the end of the year and into next year. Prices will continue to rise, but they will move back towards normal numbers, at least that's my opinion. So, let's see what happens. An undeniable fact though, is: 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