2021 Westchester County Real Estate Report for Single Family Residences
Where does Westchester county rank among the best places to live in New York? Our Welcome Homes Value Score analysis looks at list prices, housing stock, location, and several other factors to create a single, easy-to-understand rating.
With homes in Westchester currently selling below list price—surprising amidst a nationwide housing shortage—it’s never been a better time to buy in the area. And with the median home age in Westchester being one of the highest in the country, it’s also never been a better time to build, too.
Westchester Home Values
According to data from Redfin.com, the median price for a single family residence in Westchester county is $690,000 as of March 2021. This is up 4.9% from last year, but the absorption rate, the number of houses sold from the total supply, is just 42.1%. Compared to the national average of 95.5%, this suggests that Westchester is much more suitable to buyers.
While the median sale price for a single family residence in Westchester is 17% higher than the New York metro area and 60% higher than New York state, seasonality appears to impact the buying market in Westchester county. Over the last five years, median home prices soared during the summer months, based on RedFin data. Those looking to buy a house in Westchester might get a better deal during the fall and winter.
What’s more, based on Realtor.com data, this past March homes sold for an average of 3.45% below their asking price.This is in stark contrast to the rest of the country, where, nationally, 40% of homes are selling for over listing price according to RedFin. Despite a nationwide housing supply squeeze, Westchester county appears to be one of the few buyer’s markets in the country.
Westchester Housing Stock
Looking at Zillow and Realtor.com data, new construction accounts for 5% of the available homes for sale, and open lots consist of another 5-7%. In short: the housing market in Westchester is largely driven by existing home sales.
That said, Westchester County has one of the highest median home ages in the country at 61 years. In other words, most existing homes in the area are older, and possibly require additional renovation to meet a modern homebuyer’s needs.
According to census data, 89.9% of people living in Westchester county live in the same house as they did a year ago — which suggests that most who live in the county tend to stay put rather than regularly move. However, on average, single family homes in Westchester spend about 58 median days on the market, which is higher than the current national average of 24 days reported by RedFin.
Westchester Location, Schools, and Air Quality
Three Metro-North commuter train lines service Westchester county. Across the 42 Metro-North stations in Westchester, the mean commute time, according to U.S. census data, is 35 minutes, shorter than nearby New York City’s 41-minute mean commute time.
Westchester touts both good schools and safe cities. Based on data from Zillow, there are 72 schools in Westchester county with ratings of 8 or higher. Looking at Bestplaces.net data, Westchester’s has a crime rate score of 57, making it safer than 57% of U.S. cities.
Despite its proximity to one of the most populous cities in the nation, according to EPA data, Westchester county enjoys a median Air Quality Index of 36, which is considered “good.” In 2020, Westchester saw 327 “good” air quality days, 35 “moderate” days, and only 1 day considered “unhealthy for sensitive groups.”
Taxes in Westchester County
In general, according to a WalletHub ranking, New York state has one of the highest property tax rates in the nation, ranking 43rd at 1.72%.
Property taxes in Westchester county are highly variable depending on location. Based on county data, the median general levy tax per $1,000 is $32.16, however the average is nearly triple that at $85.92. Despite the variability, Westchester still has one of the highest property tax rates in the state.
Outside of property taxes, the average income tax rate is 26.83% and the effective sales tax in Westchester is 8.38%. On average, Westchester residents contribute 39% of their income to taxes.
Considering buying in Westchester County?
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