Limited Inventory Fuels a Hot Westchester Real Estate Market
The county’s hottest places to live just don’t have enough supply to keep pace with growing demand.
So, who is fueling the continued intense demand for housing in Westchester? The most prevalent purchasers fall into either of two groups: first-time homebuyers (usually Millennials with young families) and downsizers, who are mostly Gen-Xers and baby boomers looking to simplify their lives and save money after their children grow up and leave the nest.
Many real estate agents report that they continue to see a steady stream of first-time homebuyers from New York City — most notably Manhattan and Brooklyn. “They’re people with kids who are getting to be school-age,” notes Adams. “They realize that now is the right time to move out of the city. And they don’t care about the high taxes in Westchester, as long as they are getting great schools.”
She predicts that Port Chester will continue to see increased interest from homebuyers throughout 2018, as the town continues to develop a walkable center around the train station with new restaurants and shops. “There’s no doubt that the ‘walkability thing’ you read about is so true,” she notes. “That’s definitely a factor in the last four or five years that has become very prominent as criteria for buyers.”
Realtors were uniformly optimistic about the Westchester real estate market for 2018, noting that they couldn’t foresee any developments that would cool the intense heat of the high demand and low-inventory cycle — aside from a complete collapse in the economy. But they also identified a few challenges and opportunities on the housing front, particularly concerning the desire of buyers for new properties requiring minimal maintenance or updating, and new tax provisions.
“One challenge we have right now is the 1920s and 1930s estate properties that need to be renovated and updated,” says Adams. “They’re beautiful and nostalgic, but it does require significant investment to bring [these homes] back. People don’t want to put money into them and some don’t want to deal with it. They’d rather buy new.”