William Pitt – Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty reported today that reduced inventory continued to impact the New York suburban residential real estate markets in February, resulting in decreased sales compared to the same month last year. Yet buyer demand remains elevated, the company reported, as New York City residents continue to seek suburban housing in historically high numbers. The company noted that the timeframe of comparison, February 2021, was a period of record sales, and that despite declines from last year, sales are still substantially higher than the same pre-pandemic period two years ago.
A noteworthy spread between the percentage changes in unit sales and dollar volume in many markets indicated that more properties are transacting at higher price points. Both new listings taken and overall inventory continued to decline at high levels compared to February in both 2021 and 2020 in most markets.
In Westchester County, N.Y., unit sales and closed volume decreased by 26% and 17%, respectively, from February last year, continuing the trend that started in July of 2021 when sales began to compete with a timeframe of unprecedented growth the prior year. Limited inventory has greatly impacted the market, with overall inventory down by 37% compared to February 2021 and new listings down by 7%.
In Fairfield County, Conn., unit sales and dollar volume decreased in February versus the same month last year by 30% and 33%, respectively. As in Westchester County, inventory remained low, decreasing 34% overall compared to February last year while new listings for the month decreased by 16%.
Other markets served by the company witnessed the same trends. The Shoreline region of Connecticut, comprising New Haven County, New London County and Middlesex County, each saw declines in unit sales and volume versus last February’s record month. The story was similar in Litchfield and Hartford Counties. Only the Berkshires, Mass., defied the trend. As in January, the region demonstrated month over month sales growth in February 2021. All markets are significantly challenged by reduced inventory.
“Demand across our markets remains strong, yet the greatly limited housing supply is significantly affecting sales levels,” said Paul Breunich, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of William Pitt – Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. “We believe we will continue to see a competitive buying environment and increased prices for some time to come. Homeowners who have been thinking about selling are encouraged to take advantage of this rare marketplace and list their properties for sale.”