MICAELA STANALAND | January 5, 2023 | Rockland County
ROCKLAND COUNTY: No stranger to the media, the real estate market has been making national and local headlines on the regular for the past three years.
Current and prospective homeowners alike have been reading just about every good, bad, and in-between article that has been published. With mixed messages on where the market is heading, we're all hoping to gain a little insight into what's really going on with the market.
Is it time to buy? Is it time to sell? Can people even afford where they live anymore?
As a local Rockland County agent, I'm here to dive in to the Rockland Real Estate Market, how last year compared to the past ten years, and what direction it appears to be heading in 2023.
All data courtesy of OneKey MLS
New listings in Rockland County hit a ten-year low in 2022.
This past year, there were only 2,570 new single-family listings to come to the market. This is down 13.03% from 2021, when there were 2,955 new single-family home listings that hit the market.
For the first time in ten years, Rockland County had a month of new listings in the double - not triple - digits. December 2022 saw the fewest number of new listings to come on the market, with just 77 new single-family listings.
What does this mean?
As a seller, there's less competition right now if you're thinking about selling your home. This is generally the case anyways for the winter market in Rockland County, but this year it's a little more...extreme. This could mean you're more likely to get a higher sales price for your home than when inventory is heavy, BUT - don't make the mistake of overpricing your home. Some properties present better than others in the winter season, plus buyers are becoming more cautious when making an offer on a home.
As a buyer, there's less new inventory for you to chose from. Inventory likely won't pick up for at least another few months when we head into our Spring market. Keep in mind, this is also when more buyers start looking for homes. Make sure you're on an auto-search with the criteria for your ideal home and area and keep an eye out for homes that come on in the winter that those Spring buyers will miss!
Fun facts & figures: 2019 had the highest number of new listings in our ten-year period, when 3,351 new single-family listings came to market (23.31% more than 2022).
Our Inventory Prediction for 2023:
We're predicting that new listings will begin to rise as the year goes on. If you're wondering by how much...
Over the past ten-years, we saw a median of 3,158 new listings come on in Rockland each year, with an average of 256 new listings each month. I'd be surprised if we broke the 3,000 mark in 2023 (remember that in 2022 we saw just 2,570 new listings).
In my opinion, I think we'll be higher than 2022's new inventory numbers but probably end up right around 2013's numbers where we saw 2,893 new single-family listings. This doesn't sound like a huge increase, but when you look at the two years side by side, it's like having an extra month of inventory/new listings.
Where will the new listings come from? I think a good chunk of them will come from people who bought in the past 12-30 months. We're finding a lot of buyers experiencing some buyer's remorse, and even more that felt like they rushed into buying a home that doesn't really work for them.
For those that didn't buy in that time frame and are sitting on a little more equity, we're seeing a decent amount of sellers feeling like they "missed the boat" on the hottest seller's market our area has ever seen (check out the absorption rates we discuss later). The market it still up for sellers, but I wouldn't expect the multiple offer in 24-hours situation, especially for the higher end market.
More listings will obviously give buyers more options, although a lot of buyers are pumping the breaks until interest rates (maybe) come down. While interest rates creep up, they are nowhere near historical highs (1980s anyone?). Rather, they're back to what they were in the early 2000s. Of course this isn't ideal for a buyer financing a mortgage, but if you are a buyer keep in mind that if/when rates come down, you can always refinance. Marry the home, date the rate.
The lower the amount of new listings to hit the market, the less inventory buyers have to chose from. Low inventory in any market will cause prices to remain elevated until inventory can meet demand. Although mortgage rates may be up, people still need a place to live.
The median sale price in Rockland County hit a ten-year high in 2022, reaching an astounding $628,875 - up 12.79% from 2021's median sale price of $557,563.
For the past ten-years, the median sale price in Rockland has been on the rise, with the exception of 2019 where prices took a slight dip (down 0.88% from the year prior). This in part could have been due to the fact that 2019 had the highest amount of new listings in the ten-year period.
From 2013 to 2022, the median sale price has increased at a median rate of 4.13%. While this adequately portrays the market from 2013 to 2018, however 2020 to 2022 was a different story.
What does this mean?
For sellers in Rockand, the numbers from the past three-years look too good to be true. As an agent, I would caution that soon - they will be.
From mid-2020 through the first half of 2022, we had the perfect storm for real estate. Low interest rates combined with low inventory and high buyer demand was every seller's dream. Majority of properties were calling for "Highest and Best" offers within days of hitting the market, and more often than not selling for over asking price.
Just look at the numbers - from 2013 to 2022, the median sale price in Rockland County is up nearly 65% (if you bought in 2013, check out what your home could be worth).
Price Prediction for 2023:
If I had to guess an increase or decrease in the median sale price, I'd say decrease. Not "fall off the cliff" decrease like some headlines are projecting, but more around the mid-to-high $500,000's for Rockland County.
If we go with the median change in home prices over the past ten-years (+4.13%), we'd be looking at a median sale price of $654,845 (emphasis on the 845 ay?). However, I'm predicting that with interest rates higher than what we've been used to for the past two and a half/three-years, it's going to scare some buyers out of the market. This will of course drive demand down - slightly - and with our predicted increase in inventory, balance out the market...somewhat.
Active listings in real estate are - as you probably guessed - properties that are currently on the market. These are the homes that are available to buyers.
Since 2013, the number of active listings in Rockland County has been on an overall decline, with the exception of 2019. This decline has a direct correlation with the number of new listings that are coming to market, and also gives us an idea of number of sales that are taking place in Rockland County (think - desirability).
In 2022, we saw the fewest amount of active listings available in over ten-years. Take a look:
What does this mean?
In the real estate industry, we look at number of active listings as an indicator for two things:
(1) The "competition" our sellers have in a given market
(2) The absorption rate of a given market
An "absorption rate" is a percentage calculated by looking at how fast homes are selling in a specific market within a certain timeframe. The general rule of thumb is anything over 20% is a seller's market and anything below 15% is a buyer's market.
From 2014 to 2016, Rockland County's absorption rate ranged from 9.8% to 15.3% which we'd classify as a buyer's market. If you bought your home during this time, you probably paid under what the seller was asking for. In fact, homes purchased from 2014 to 2016 in Rockland County closed for an average of 94.2% of the original asking price.
From 2017 to 2019, we saw a neutral market for buyers and sellers with the absorption rate ranging from 16.8% to 18.8% in Rockland. This is further reflected in the average close to original list price during those years, where homes were closing at 96.1% of their original asking price.
From 2020 to 2022, we saw one of the strongest seller's markets ever, with the absorption rate ranging from 23.8% to 48.3% during those years. Homes on average closed at 99.6% of their original asking price. This is better reflected in 2021 and 2022 when on average homes closed for 100.2% of their original asking price. This means majority of buyers were paying over what sellers were asking for their homes (likely due to multiple offers and bidding wars).
Our Predictions for 2023:
With sales slowing down and less buyers in the market, tied in with our prediction of inventory increasing this year, we're predicting active listings are going to rise in Rockland.
Why? Sellers are going to take time to adjust to a slower market (read: lower sales prices) which in turn will leave buyers reluctant to make offers on homes that are over-priced. Tie this in with a smaller buyer pool (read: less people looking at and making offers on homes) and that's going to leave even more homes on the market.
2023 will be all about pricing correctly, and strongly. Make sure you hire an agent that knows their local inventory, and be realistic about the upgrades/improvements your property needs that buyers aren't readily overlooking anymore. As an agent that represents both buyers and sellers, I can say majority of buyers are not waiving inspections anymore. Unless you have a home in pristine condition, you can expect buyers to ask for repairs and/or credits for those larger ticket items.
The days of the Wild West market are coming to an end. We don't see it being the "Real Estate Armageddon" that some media companies are forecasting, but rather a slow-down that will lead to a healthier market over time.
Sellers: Don't anticipate a multiple offer situation in 24-hours like we were seeing these last couple years. Have patience with the market and with the buyers (especially during the slower winter months). If you're getting ready to list your home this year, take the time now to make those repairs that buyers are more likely to call out during the inspection process. Not sure what needs to be done? Get in touch with us for a no-obligation analysis of your home.
Buyers: There aren't as many of you out there these days, but that doesn't mean there aren't any of you. A cooling market will work in your favor. For the best "deals", look at homes that have been on the market a little longer and might need a little more TLC (if you're up for it). Buyers are for the most part looking for homes that are move-in-ready and need little to no upgrading, so if you don't mind putting work into a home, the properties that need it are likely going to be the ones with little to no offers on the table.
Inventory is still low. At the time we wrote this article there were only 264 single-family homes available in the MLS in Rockland, which with sales in the past thirty days puts us at an absorption rate of 55.3% (remember that anything under 15% is a buyer's market, anything above 20% is a seller's market).
I personally believe the winter is a great time to look for a home because there aren't as many buyers out there. Start your search here or get in touch with us to see what steps you should be taking to become a stronger buyer.
We work with buyers and sellers throughout Rockland, Orange and Bergen Counties, and help sellers relocate out-of-state. If you have questions about your move or the market in general, we're always happy to talk.
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With the market being as crazy as it is these days, finding a house was no easy feat, that is until we hired Micaela! With houses flying off the market in less than 24 hours, her expertise and knowledge helped us first-time homebuyers clinch an amazing deal on the purchase of our first home. Her willingness to answer any question we had at any time of the day really put us at ease knowing we were in good hands. She made sure we dotted our Is and crossed our Ts when it came down to signing contracts, and to ensure we got everything we were looking for in the sale. We are truly grateful to have had Micaela as our agent, and we HIGHLY recommend hiring her for the sale or purchase of your next home." - Client in Bergen County, NJ
The best real estate agent we've ever worked with, Micaela Stanaland is truly a master marketer who sold our home in two days at top-of-the-market price! Selling our family home upon becoming empty nesters was an exciting but difficult emotional endeavor, but I can honestly say that Micaela handled every aspect of this sale with professionalism and grace--and she is now a forever family friend. From her amazingly cool drone photos to the lively social media video teaser set to music to show the best parts of our home, Micaela set up this sale and sold as soon as we hit the market. She then followed thru, proactively and patiently, right up to the closing! - Client in Orange County, NY
Micaela represented me when I sold my home and I cannot say enough wonderful things about her. From the beginning to the end she was absolutely amazing. She made sure I understood the entire process and ensured I got the best selling price for the home. She was extremely responsive, organized and knowledgeable of the whole selling process. Micaela made sure the process went as smoothly as possible and offered her help in any and every way she could. If you’re looking to buy, rent or sell I HIGHLY recommend using her as your realtor. I cannot thank you enough for getting me through this!!!" - Client in Orange County, NY