After a record year for home sales in COVID-ravaged Greene County in 2020, the trend continued into 2021, according to a new report.
The State Association of Realtors has released data showing that from May 2020 to May 2021, home values â€‹â€‹in Greene County increased by more than 70%. Greene County Economic Development and Planning Director Karl Heck said the spike can be attributed to high demand versus low housing supply.
In 2020, Greene County sold a record 903 homes, according to the Association of Realtors. Heck said the Postal Service reported 800 people moved to the area in the past year.
In May 2021, the median home value in the county was $ 332,500, up from $ 195,450 the year before, according to the Association of Realtors.
Heck said the change could be attributed in part to the pandemic as well as more remote workers and people leaving the New York metropolitan area to be more dispersed.
Catskill has seen the biggest push, Heck said, as the top of the mountain continues to attract side owners. But the whole county appears to be attracting buyers, he said. Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said 30% of the county’s housing stock is made up of second homes.
â€œIt’s just our story. We have a huge population of weekend people, vacationers – winter vacations or summer vacation schedules, they’ve always moved here, â€Groden said. “But I think there is also a push for newbies, because a real estate agent will tell you there is no inventory.”
Groden said the Federal Reserve’s low mortgage interest rates could also create a crisis, as people want to buy homes at the lowest possible interest rates before the Reserve decides to raise them.
Heck said the demand is expected to spark interest in new construction. Since the Great Recession of 2008, construction in the county has slowed compared to previous decades. Heck said that in the past 10 years only 500 new units have been built, while in previous decades new builds would be closer to 3,000. But a labor shortage could hamper a new development, he said.
Interest in Greene County could also come from home buyers priced outside of Columbia and Ulster counties, Heck said. The median price in Columbia County recently hit $ 400,000, he said, and Dutchess County is considered the highest in the Hudson Valley.
In the long run, people who buy homes in the area can boost the economy, Heck said. Groden added that the “last mile” could be the expansion of Internet access in the county, allowing more people to work remotely from the county and boost sales.
â€œA lot more remote workers and stuff like that, they tend to go out to eat more and get lawn services and that sort of thing more than average, so there will be demand, but there has to be. have someone to do this job, â€Heck said.
But the increase could also exclude certain groups of buyers, Heck said.
â€œAnyone, anywhere in the median or near income, it’s really tough right now, and it’s like a lot of work issues that we have, and those kinds of jobs, so you have to have housing so people can stay or people could come here from somewhere, â€Heck said.