By Dean Bender, Partner, Thompson & Bender, for Houlihan Lawrence
Jan. 17, 2018: Sales of luxury homes selling for $2 million and higher in Westchester County hit a 10-year high in 2017 with 357 high-end homes sold, a 4.7 percent increase from 2016, according to the Houlihan Lawrence Luxury Market Report released last week.
Sale prices for luxury homes rose slightly from 2016, with the median sale price at $2.60 million, up from $2.56 million. Total sales for 2017 topped the $1 billion mark, a 6.2 percent increase from the previous year’s volume. Two markets – Scarsdale and Rye City – accounted for approximately 43 percent of the total luxury sales in Westchester in 2017.
Westchester’s top ten performing markets for luxury home sales selling for $2 million and higher were, in order of total sales: Scarsdale (79), Rye City (74), Mamaroneck (45), Bronxville (33), Harrison (26), Bedford (23), Byram Hills (16), Irvington (12), Katonah-Lewisboro (9), and Chappaqua (8). The single highest-selling price in 2017 was $7,575,000, in Mamaroneck. Six of the top ten sales were waterfront properties.
Sales were strong in the $3 million to $4.9 million range, with 93 homes sold, a 16 percent increase from 2016. The $5 million-plus category was essentially unchanged from 2016, with 17 total sales.
Meanwhile, sales of luxury homes selling for $1 million and higher in Putnam and Dutchess counties rose 9.8 percent in 2017. The median sale price was $1.5 million, unchanged from 2016. Total luxury sales volume in the two counties was $82.9 million, an increase of 3.3 percent from 2016. The top-performing market in the Putnam-Dutchess area was Garrison, with 10 sales of $1 million and higher.
Pollena Forsman, the number-one agent for single-family homes in Westchester every year since 2014, weighed in on luxury buyer trends. “This year, buyers gravitated towards sleek, modern design with open floor plans. The desire for masterfully renovated, or new, continues to dominate the mindset. The land equation was notable in 2017 too, with luxury purchasers seeking enough property for soccer/lacrosse and maybe even a pool someday . . . yet all trends must be tied with a bow on value,” she said.
Commenting on the impact of recently enacted tax legislation, Anthony Cutugno, associate real estate broker of Houlihan Lawrence, said, “Major tax legislation passed in late December benefits corporations and is forecasted to help fuel the bull market yet another year. For homeowners, tax reform reduces the amount of property tax that can be deducted, increasing the after-tax cost of homeownership. Buyers’ purchasing power is reduced as well, and the impact is greatest in the luxury market--higher home values equate to a larger reduction in purchasing power. We anticipate that declining purchasing power will exert pricing pressure on luxury inventory to offset the new math of tax reform.”
Pictured here: Bronxville office of Houlihan Lawrence.
Photo by A. Warner