Own a condo and thinking of selling? First time buyer and want to buy a condo? Thinking of downsizing and moving into a condo with less upkeep?
Let me tell you about the White Plains condo market. First let’s talk about the third quarter of 2011 in Westchester county (WC). I quote from the Board of realtors report: “The burst of 3rd quarter sales still was insufficient to counterbalance the relatively weak postings of the first and second quarters. From jan. thru sept. there were 4,774 closed sales in WC, about 8% fewer than for the first 9 months of 2010. The direction of the market appeared to be improving…..Third quarter sales were running at a rate 5% ahead of the prior quarter. ….Taking all 9 mos. into account and projecting for the balance of the year, 2011 year end performance could come close to 2010 and establish a mildly improving trend line from the depths of the recession 2009.”
Relating specifically to Condos in WC, in the third quarter of ‘08, there were 293 sales, ‘09 – 235, ’10- 229 and ‘11 -231 with a 2 percent increase. (in the same period, coops were up 18% and houses up 9%)
Year to date sales for condos in WC were 809 in ‘08, 538 in ‘09, 724 in ‘10 and 629 in ‘11 so down 13.1% (almost identical to coops.)
The median sale price of condos in WC decreased by just 2.5% to $337,500. The condo inventory dropped from 985 on the market Sept. 30, ‘08 to 874, or a drop of 4.1% in the past year.
I calculated the absorption rate of condos on the market in WP at 9.2 months of inventory which is below all WC at 10.5 months. This means that to sell all that is on the market without taking in any new listings will take 9 months, a clear indicator of a seller’s market. The median sale price in White Plains is $350,000 and an average of 180 days on the market, consistent with all WC condos.
Looking at individual complexes there is a wide variation even in the same league price-wise. For example, The Ritz Carlton has 28 active listings, 5 in contact and 6 closed in 6 months; whereas Trump Tower, another Luxury hi rise has 6 active and 8 sold over 6 months. Jefferson Place, more moderately priced but fairly new construction, has 11 actives and only 4 sold over 6 months. High Point of Hartsdale is doing fairly well with 5 on the market, 4 in contract and 6 sold over 6 months. New to the market again are 6 listings at the Gateway, and two are sold and two are in contract.
Last year I had a hot condo buyer for downtown White Plains who could only spend up to $300,000 and there was almost nothing available to show. We did find a nice one bedroom at 300 Main st. This year with a buyer in the same price range I noticed there were 26 choices! One is $199,900 and 5 are two bedrooms below $300,000!
There were 16 sales under $300,000 in the past 6 months and in some buildings that might surprise you! For years they hadn’t had sales in that price range; for example, The Seasons (4 Martine), Jefferson Pl (300 Mamaroneck Ave), the Regency (14 Nosband) and the Pavillion (10 Cottage Place) and 10 Stewart Place. Many of these buildings have amenities like concierges, swimming pools etc. If you look at condos in contract you will see a 2 br/2 bath in a luxury building asking $343,000 which was previously listed in the mid $400 range.
So Now is the time to buy either for the first time, as an investor or if you wish to downsize. There are lots of good deals out there and with interest rates in the 4% range you will pay more for the equivalent in a rental. Hurry! Are we seeing the bottom of the market and a turn around is coming?
(Data from the Empire access multiple listing service, inc (EAMLS)