The second quarter of 2020 began as the Tri-State area was at the height of its pauses and restrictions due to the developing coronavirus pandemic. The real estate industry was deemed nonessential at first, undeniably slowing sales at the start of the quarter. Still, the market saw an increase in demand, but a decreased supply, leading to a dramatic decrease in sales compared to last year.
Both Westchester and Dutchess saw high demand from residents looking to flee New York City. In contrast, Hudson Valley residents chose not to sell property during the beginning of the quarter, leaving inventory low in Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess. As a result, the average sale price rose to $609,853, the highest the region has seen since the third quarter of 2017, according to a report from Rand Realty.
Low interest and mortgage rates were also a driving force in the market. According to a report from the Ulster County Board of Realtors, mortgage rates in Ulster sat below 3.3% for more than four weeks this spring, close to an all-time low.
The luxury housing market north of New York City also performed well amidst New York State on Pause. “For luxury buyers, especially those currently living in New York City, the functionality and amenities of a new home take precedence over location. Proximity to New York City and an easy commute are not as necessary when work and home life reside under the same roof,” said Anthony P. Cutugno, senior vice-president at Houlihan Lawrence Private Brokerage.
Since June, however, buyer and seller activity has spiked. Given the softening of restrictions as the region moved through reopening, the market has seen improvements that are expected to continue.