Residential real estate ends strong in Orange, Sullivan in 2021

McGrath Realty’s Clayton Livingston hosted an open house last week and stood in line to take a look.

“Every year I worried about what we would do in January, February and March,” said Livingston, who sells throughout the Hudson Valley.

“For the past two years, that was definitely not the case. We have had demand throughout the winter season.”

So is Carol Malek of Malek Properties in White Lake. “We’ve been very busy throughout the year,” Malek said, noting that in December, well-priced homes – “whatever was in the right place” – were getting multiple offers.

And while it doesn’t quite touch on the hysteria of 2020, when frantic home buying was characterized by spot sales, multiple offers and record prices, the residential real estate market in the counties of Orange and Sullivan continued to post historic gains at the end of 2021, according to a year-end real estate analysis provided by the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. HGAR covers Orange, Sullivan, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, as well as the Bronx.

“This year has been a different kind of activity,” Malek acknowledged. “It has definitely changed; things have slowed down, but certainly haven’t stopped.”

The positive points ? The number of residential home sales rose, prices rose, and some buyers, who were not priced in the single-family home market, turned to co-ops and condominiums as an affordable alternative. Yet the lack of inventory continues to be a problem in the New Year.

Ron Garafalo is Associate Broker and Director of Sales at John J. Lease Realtors in Middletown.  Garafalo was the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors Realtor of the Year for 2021.

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Sullivan leads the way

According to data provided by HGAR, the largest percentage price increase for a single-family home in the Hudson Valley occurred in Sullivan County, which saw a 25.3% increase to $ 244,400 against $ 195,000 in 2020.

“In 2021, people got off their couch and walked into the market,” said Livingston, who has worked as a Hudson Valley real estate broker for more than 30 years. “There was pent-up demand and a crazy influx of people from more densely populated areas moving to less populated areas, which drastically increased prices and increased sales.”

A house for sale in Liberty for $ 165,000.  Prices for single-family homes rose in 2021, according to a year-end report from the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.

Prices, sales are on the rise

Orange County has also seen steady increases in the median price of single-family homes with a year-over-year increase of 16.5% ($ 367,000 vs. $ 315,000 in 2020).

There were also more homes sold in 2021. HGAR reported a 16% increase in Orange (5,406 residential sales versus 4,662 sales in 2020) and a 9.6% increase in Sullivan County in 2021 ( 1,393 compared to 1,271 in 2020). These units included single-family units, condominiums, co-ops and multi-family units.

Orange County single-family home sales are also up 11.2% year-on-year to 4,444 units (from 3,996 in 2020) despite a 20.7% drop in the fourth quarter.

Inventory is down

Year-end activity reflects a return to more typical market seasonality, according to the HGAR report and others.

HGAR reported that year-end single-family home inventory in Orange County was down 29.6% in the fourth quarter with 598 units on the market from 850 the year before. In Sullivan, 390 single-family homes were available at year-end, down from 2020 when 459 were on the market.

“If there is one thing that stands out, it is the lack of inventory; it’s amazing, ”said Ron Garafalo of John J. Lease Realtors in Middletown. He mentioned an Orange County listing that just came out this week that attracted 16 interested buyers.

Garafalo noted that at that time 10 years ago there were 3,700 homes for sale in Orange County.

“Lack of inventory has always been a part of the real estate cycle,” said Crystal Hawkins-Syska, past president of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors and real estate broker at Keller Williams NY Realty.

Crystal Hawkins-Syska is the Past President of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.  She is a real estate broker at Keller Williams NY Realty

“It almost always reaches the point where there is nothing left to sell. But what made this year different is that we are in an artificial cycle precipitated by COVID. The lack of inventory may have happened. product, but the pandemic may change the length of the decline the inventory level may last.

Who buys

The deluge of New York-area shoppers has also slowed, Garafalo said.

“There are still buyers in the city, but not to the point where we were a year and a half ago,” he said. Also looking for buyers who didn’t get a home several months ago and are still looking. “We also have buyers moving for normal reasons – they’re retiring, downsizing, moving, or looking for more space – so the pool fills up.”

What the future holds

Traditional metrics such as days on the market were down in 2021, and homes were selling competitively – most often near or at list price and often above list price. As Hawkins-Syska noted, lack of inventory continues to be an issue, and buyers in 2022 are expected to see mortgage rates start to rise steadily.

But real estate professionals believe the strong market that started last year will continue into 2022.

Paul Adler, director of strategy for Rand Commercial, said: “2021 has created a new paradigm in suburban real estate.”

“We are entering the third year of COVID,” he added, “and it is evident that the transience and displacement to the suburbs is no longer an aberration or a response to the pandemic. It is now supported. I think we have seen a permanent change in the way of life. “

Garafalo believes the change will fuel strong early sales.

“The demand is there and remains strong,” he said. “I think the prices will be stable and may even increase slightly just because of buyer demand. On the buyers’ side, the positive, even if the market is tight: interest rates are historically low.

For sellers who have passed most of the pandemic buying spree of 2021, 2022 may present an opportunity, Hawkins-Syska said.

“I can tell those people who resisted, they kissed like bandits,” Hawkins-Syska said. “I had a salesperson who just couldn’t pull the trigger and she made the right choice. When she finally decided to sell, the inventory was even tighter and she received a much more competitive offer for her home. “

By the numbers

Orange County

Number of homes sold and median sale price

  • Single-family homes: 4,444; $ 367,000
  • Condominiums: 602; $ 230,000
  • Cooperatives: 16; $ 88,000
  • Multi-family: 344; $ 298,700


Number of homes sold and median sale price

  • Single-family: 1,328; $ 244,400
  • Condominiums: 6; $ 135,000
  • Cooperatives: 0
  • Multi-family: 59; $ 169,000

Karen Croke is the regional features editor. Find my stories here. Contact me at [email protected]

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