Over the past 6 months, the number of luxury home sales North of NYC experienced a decline of 33%. Westchester County (sales $2M and higher) suffered the steepest drop – down 38%. There is no isolated incident that accounts for losses, but rather a confluence of events that negatively impact our markets and effectively shrinks the number of luxury buyers north of NYC.
The sale of single family homes in Westchester County declined by 5% in the first quarter, following a decline of 5% in fourth quarter 2018. Sales are down in Putnam County by 10%, though demand at entry level price range remains strong. Further north sales dropped by 9% in Dutchess County, and median price gained a healthy 9%.
There was a modest uptick in sales in Greenwich North of the Merritt Parkway, where declining prices have provided opportunities for buyers. Home sales in Old Greenwich jumped nearly 30% in the quarter, and condominium sales began the year with a strong 20% increase.
Highlights from the first quarter include a modest uptick in sales in Rowayton, which continues to appeal to downsizers and empty-nesters from surrounding communities. In Darien and New Canaan, which have been marked by a nagging oversupply of homes for sale in recent years, the number of active listings declined slightly.
Performance of grocery anchored shopping centers continues to exceed that of regional malls or big box centers, where tenant turnover is meaningfully higher. Street retail faring best is in the direct path of commuters with convenient parking.
The pace of investment sales transactions in Fairfield County rebounded from last quarter. As in other areas of the Country, higher interest rates typically require a higher yield from the property (or a larger down-payment) to qualify for financing.