Many agents noticed that “crazy bidding wars” in the NY suburbs weren’t happening as much as 2021 closed down.

Suburban NY Markets Chaotic Until End of 2021

The combination of bidding wars, long lines at open houses and rising prices as inventory became depleted was the story in suburban New York real estate markets up until the end of the year.

According to Caroline Gosselin, an agent with eXp Realty in Montclair NJ, “Everyone needed a break, even real estate agents.”

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Causes of End-of-Year Cooling

Market watchers pointed to lack of inventory, rising prices and the end of the exodus from the city.

“There’s demand, but buyers have nothing to buy,” said James Gavin, an agent with Compass in Manhasset NY.

Maria Babaev, a broker with Douglas Elliman in Roslyn NY, said, “Whoever wanted to exit (the city) already had – to the suburbs or to other states.

Jonathan Miller, President and CEO of Miller Samuel Appraiser and author of the Douglas Elliman market reports, said, “It was the same story across all the (New York) suburbs.”  Miller pointed to “collapsed inventory.”

Inventory Drops and Its Effects

Miller’s most recent report for Douglas Elliman Real Estate indicated that available for-sale single-family homes in suburban markets outside of New York plunged…

  • -22% y/y in Westchester County
  • Nearly -26% y/y in Fairfield County
  • -22% y/y in Long Island, excluding the Hamptons and the North Fork

Lack of inventory translated into higher prices and more competition:

  • +17% to $550,000 on Long Island where +50% of homes sold for over asking in Q3 2021
  • Median sale price up +7% to $639,000 in Q3 2021
  • Median sale price up +13% to $540,000 in Q3 2021
  • +17% in overall New Jersey

Jeffrey G. Otteau, president of the Otteau Group in Matawan NJ, said, “Salaries are not going up +17% a year.  Any time prices rise faster than salaries, affordability gets out of balance.

Sachs with Compass added, “A lot of it is because of systemic changes in how Americans go to work, and the fact that they don’t have to be in the office every day.  And it’s generational.  Many Millennials married later or had kids later.  They now want a yard and a neighborhood with good schools.”


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Increased Home Sales in New York Suburbs – Y/Y Percentage Change for 1st Three Quarter of 2021


State                  County                Y/Y Percentage Change

Connecticut         Fairfield County          +15.0%

New York             Westchester County   +37.2%

Long Island               +41.4%

New Jersey          Bergen County            +6.3%

Essex County              +0.2%

Middlesex County        +9.9%

Hudson County           +35.7%

Union County              +0.1%

Thanks to Douglas Elliman-Miller Samuel and The New York Times.



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