A new report from Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress quantifies how the migration of downstate residents fleeing the contagious confines of New York City has impacted the housing market.
Sullivan County saw the median sales price for a home jump the most in the Hudson Valley: 36.8 percent, from $142,500 in 2019 to $195,000 in 2020, according to the report.
Just behind was Columbia County, which saw its median sales price rise 25.7 percent, from $257,000 to $323,000.
Real estate agents in Columbia County, which includes the City of Hudson and Chatham, described intense bidding wars over properties and a “pandemic premium” of 20 percent on rentals.
In Greene County, the median sales price rise rose 23.1 percent, and the sales price rose 16.5 percent in Orange County.
The buying frenzy was also indicated in low inventory on the housing market.
Housing inventory is expressed in the number of months the current market would reduce the supply of housing to zero. The real estate industry considers 6 months of housing inventory a “balanced supply,” according to the report. Anything below this is a “Buyer’s Market,” resulting in upward pressure on prices.
Of the nine counties in the Hudson Valley, eight had less than six months of housing inventory. The housing inventory also dropped by more than half in six counties: Columbia, where it went from 11.3 months to 5 months; Greene, where it went from 9.5 months to 4.7 months; Orange, where it went from 5 months to 2.4 months; Putnam, where it went from 5.8 months to 2.5 months; Rockland, where it went from 5 to 2.4 months; and Sullivan, where it went from 15.1 to 7.7 months.
“The inventory of homes is severely low and does not bode well for pricing,” Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress Vice-President Joseph Czajka wrote in an email, “…meaning affordability is very difficult to achieve.”
The rush of downstate residents has also put tremendous pressure on the rental market, which had been dealing with rising prices for years. New York’s Eviction Moratorium has attempted to stop displacement during the pandemic for public health reasons – with limited success – but mass evictions are feared when the moratorium runs our May 1.
Though COVID-19 reached its peak in New York City last April, the report suggests downstaters are here to stay as offices in NYC remain closed, with employees working remotely, many of them from the Hudson Valley.