Active Rain March 21, 2010

Did the Stimulus Stimulate Westchester Real Estate Activity?

If you talk to different people in Westchester County, you’ll get different opinions as to the direction the market is taking. One appraiser tells me he’s never seen things so dead; another lawyer feels like things have picked up noticeably. With the April 30 deadline for the tax stimulus fewer than 6 weeks away, we all wonder what May 1 will bring. 

I for one am busy, and I don’t take it for granted. But how is the market doing overall? And how much effect did the stimulus really have on Westchester County real estate? 

If one looks at the numbers from the MLS data for the time from January 1-March 20 for 2009 and 2010, the answer would have to be that the market is indeed up. 

For the first 80 days of 2009, there were 371 single family homes sold in Westchester at a median price of $535,000. 

In the same period this year, there were 645 single family homes sold in Westchester at a median price of $604,500. That is a 74% increase in total transactions and a $69,500 increase in median price. 2010 is off to a far better start than 2009. 

How much of it is due to an organic improvement in the market and the stimulus? God only knows. If the market tanks on May 1, the answer will be a great deal was due to the tax credit. If the Spring market continues to be busy, we can only hope that the momentum lasts through the rest of the year and that we have turned the corner. We are still a long way off from a sellers market, but stability and consumer confidence would be a welcome thing in Westchester and the surrounding market areas.