Through the Roof

COVID 2021 logoHome prices rise as people flee hot spots

When the shutdown began, many New York City residents fled to second homes in the Highlands or began looking to buy. That pace has slowed, but the market “continues to outperform anything we could have expected,” said Bill Hussung, the owner of McCaffrey Real Estate in Cold Spring.

The initial alarm has given way to careful thought. “People are no longer in a rush,” he said. “There’s no panic to purchase a house before the next wave. It’s now a well-thought-out lifestyle change; buyers see this area as having a better quality of life.”

Demand for houses in Philipstown and a limited supply have pushed prices up. Properties that sold for $400,000 last year now go for $500,000, Hussung said, adding that sales volume in dollars has increased by 40 percent over last year while the number of sales has remained about the same.

“Sellers are happy but inventory is down,” Hussung said.

Agents who usually only dealt with properties in the Highlands are now looking farther afield. “We used to be a very narrow, Philipstown brokerage; we’re not anymore,” he said.

Now, if a suitable house isn’t available in Philipstown, Hussung said, buyers are increasingly willing to relocate anywhere within the Hudson Valley.

In Beacon, broker Daniel Aubry said things have quieted slightly after “the craziest summer I’ve ever experienced,” and, like Philipstown, inventory there is limited.

While a number of houses are “for sale by owner,” Aubry said they are often overpriced, causing buyers to shy away. “When properly priced, properties here go in one weekend,” he said, pointing out that standard ranch-style homes can receive multiple offers.

Beacon has a considerable supply of new condominiums, ranging in price from $350,000 to more than $1 million, although Aubry said until 51 percent of a building’s units are sold, lenders require a down payment of 25 percent to 30 percent, which slows sales.

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