For Sale in Scarsdale: A Surge in Premium Priced Homes
- Category: Real Estate
- Published on 26 April 2016
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
Though some realtors and residents are laying the blame for a stagnant market for premium homes on Scarsdale's tax revaluation, it's clear there are more factors in play than tax rates.
Nationally, an article in the Wall Street Journal on April 5, 2016 says that prices for luxury homes are being reduced, due to a slowdown in sales. And a recent report on first quarter sales in Westchester County from Julia B. Fee Sotheby's notes that sales of more modestly priced homes are up, but this does not hold true for the luxury market.
In southern Westchester, first quarter sales were strongest on properties priced below $2 million. Overall sales volume rose 13% for the first quarter of 2016 over 2015, indicating that demand is strong. In Scarsdale 43 homes sold in the first quarter of 2015, versus 30 in the same period in 2015, though the median sales price fell from $1,568,000 to $1,450,000. So Scarsdale is not alone in seeing a surge of buyers seeking homes priced between $1mm and $2mm.
Can Scarsdale meet the demands of these buyers? A closer look at the market shows that developers have been aggressively buying up and tearing down smaller or older homes and replacing them with premium priced homes that buyers may not be able to afford. There are currently 71 homes on the market in Scarsdale priced at $2,900,000 and above, and among these, 33 of the listings are for new homes.
Lewis Arlt of Houlihan Lawrence reported that inventory of homes priced from $3mm to $5mm almost doubled, with 63 active listings this year compared to 32 in that price range at the same time last year.
Commenting on the market, Arlt said, "Softening in the luxury home market is not due only to village taxes, but a widespread phenomenon. High end product is sitting everywhere. It may have many contributing factors: the stock market, the economy in general, uncertainty in the world, etc., but for whatever reasons, $3M+ buyers around here are scarce, and in some cases they're simply not perceiving value. There's an oversupply at the high end, and too many entry-level buyers for the scarce supply we have. Creating new entry-level housing, or upgrading existing stock, are tempting responses to the demand. But, the price of land in some local neighborhoods is expensive – too high for developers to build anything but a higher-priced home in order to make sufficient profit. So there's the conundrum."
In Scarsdale, there is clearly a surge in inventory of homes that buyers cannot afford. If developers could produce more entry level or moderately priced homes, their product would be priced to sell. Instead, too many large, pricey homes are sitting on the market. Listings for these new homes do not even include real estate taxes, as they are not assessed until the sale is recorded.
Here's a list of the 33 new homes priced at $2,900,000 and up that are currently for sale in the Scarsdale School District.
28 Garden Road
14 Reimer Road
31 Murray Hill Road
20 Sherbrooke Road
27 Murray Hill Road
1 Paddington Road
33 Oxford Road
3 Sherbrooke Road
31 Paddington Road
21 Rectory Lane
56 Brite Avenue
109 Carthage Road
20 Meadow Road
117 Fox Meadow Road
38 Sage Terrace
53 Lincoln Road
3 Bradford Road
21 Rural Drive
4 Murdock Road
29 Fairview Road
3 Seneca Road
241 Rock Creek Lane
17 Gatehouse Road
20 Sherbrooke Road (1 acre)
40 Sage Terrace
66 Brookby Road
11 Rural Drive
55 Greendale Road
50 Graham Road
2 Harvest Drive
42 Huntington Avenue
2-4 Weaver Street
5 Seneca Road
This Heathcote colonial has a double story entrance hall, dining room with coffered ceiling, living room with a wet bar and wine refrigerator, deck accessed from both the kitchen and family room, and a chef's kitchen with Quartz counter tops, island with sink, Viking double oven, warming drawer, two dishwashers, six burner Viking stove top, full size Sub Zero refrigerator plus a full size Sub Zero freezer. On the second floor, there is a laundry room and a master suite overlooking private golf course views with two walk-in closets, master marble bath with radiant heated floor, double Quartz vanity, large shower and separate Air Tub. In addition, there are family bedrooms with full bathrooms. There is a walk up full attic and a three car garage.
Sale Price: $3,150,000
28 Heathcote Road
Collette built Georgian brick colonial located in Murray Hill with custom built ins, detailed moldings and archways and hardwood floors. There is a three car garage, a mudroom, back staircase and level property. Upgraded mechanicals include new lower level air conditioning/heat (three years old) and hot water tank (two years old).
Sale Price: $2,300,000
10 Cornell Street
This five bedroom, 4.2 bath 5,000 square foot home is set on professionally landscaped .56 acres with a bluestone patio off the kitchen/family room. Features include vaulted ceilings, six skylights, banks of windows, two family rooms, ten foot ceiling in the center hall, two fireplaces, private guest room/office/updated bath on main floor, master suite with tray ceiling, with door to deck and large dressing room with closets, laundry/mudroom next to garage off kitchen and a circular driveway. Updates include granite kitchen countertops, two updated bathrooms, custom built-ins and cabinetry in family rooms, two new furnaces and one new central air conditioning unit, exterior painted, and the roof recently redone.
Sale Price: $1,708,000
2 Garden Road
This home is on .87 acre property in Greenacres.
Sale Price: $1,200,000
367 Evandale Road
This house is located in Fort Hill Estates on level property with mature landscaping in the front and rear of the house.
Sale Price: $1,550,000
30 Tisdale Road, Scarsdale
Enjoy breathtaking Crane-Berkley Pond views from this architecturally stunning Center Hall Colonial on 3/4 acre of beautifully landscaped Fox Meadow property. This home was thoughtfully crafted with the most discerning buyer in mind. The sweeping Williamsburg inspired staircase is the focal point of the Grand Entry. The Eat-In-Kitchen with banquette seating, center island and Butler's Pantry will delight the family chef and guests can relax in the open Family Room with built-ins leading to a covered Patio overlooking a 6 acre private park. The Grand Dining Room and Living Room are ideal for formal entertaining with fireplace and detailed built-ins, moldings and graceful arches. A Formal Library with built ins and adjacent full Bath and Mudroom complete the first floor. The fully renovated Lower Level is a phenomenal space for indoor/outdoor entertaining with French doors to Patio, 2 additional Bedrooms/media room, 2 full Baths, summer Kitchen, Gym, Laundry/wrapping room and a 2,500 bottle Wine Cellar. No detail has been overlooked! Ideally located with a short walk to the train, shops, restaurants, bus to school and more. An amazing opportunity to enjoy the best of Scarsdale! For more information, click here.
List Price: $4,250,000
11 Brittany Close, Scarsdale
Last opportunity to own an extraordinary English manor home designed by renowned architect in an award-winning neighborhood. Each property is set around a picturesque and tranquil walking trail and pond amidst a landscaped garden with flowering trees/perennial plantings. This architectural masterpiece on almost one acre of pristine land has soaring ceilings, exquisite custom moldings, top of the line finishes and an ideal layout. 1st floor has a bedroom/full bath, mudroom situated off the 3-car garage, state of the art kitchen with butler's pantry, breakfast room, family/living rooms, each with its own fireplace, grand dining room, powder room, 2 outdoor patios and laundry. Master suite has a tray ceiling, two walk-in closets, sitting room/office, luxurious bath, fireplace and balcony. 3 additional bedrooms/baths and large attic. Lower level has bedroom/bath, 2 playrooms, arts and crafts area and additional storage. Full house generator, custom playground. For more information, click here.
List Price: $3,777,000
50 Graham Road, Scarsdale
Unique combination of architectural flair, luxurious modern finishes and best-in-class craftsmanship. A contemporary flow interacts with natural light in all rooms. The house offers privacy, as well as easy access to multiple amenities. High ceilings enhance the elegance of all living areas. A sun-lit, soaring center hall entrance leads to the living room and formal dining room. The gourmet kitchen opens to a comfortable family room. Easy access to the yard allows enjoyment of an outside covered porch that is ideal for entertainment. The 1st floor office with views of the backyard has access to a full bath. Upstairs is a private master wing, plus 4 comfortable bedrooms, all filled with natural light. A large accessible lower level offers multiple recreational possibilities. Luxurious finishes, attention to detail, exceptional workmanship and energy efficiency distinguish this experienced Westchester builder/developer. Additional 500+ sf. over garage, could be finished at a later date. For more information, click here.
List Price: $3,150,000
2 Harvest Drive, Scarsdale
Exquisite custom home to be built with exceptional architectural details and ideal floor plan in convenient location. Grand two story entry hall with formal living room with fireplace, dining room, Huge eat-in-kitchen with breakfast area and family room with french doors to patio. There is also a mudroom and access to two car garage from first floor. The master bedroom suite has his and her walk in closets, there are 4 additional bedrooms all with their own en suite bathrooms. The laundry room is also on the second floor. The lower level is an additional 1966 square feet that will be finished and customized with potential for a playroom, gym, office bedroom, and a full bath. This is an opportunity to work with a local builder who lives in the community and will work with a potential buyer on every detail of customizing this home in an ideal location. For more information, click here.
List Price: $2,995,000
102 Penn Road, Scarsdale
This impressive Center-hall Colonial has beautiful architectural features throughout including hardwood floors and a sunken living room with fireplace. A large oversized kitchen with separate breakfast area and doors to the backyard are perfect for entertaining. Open and bright family room welcomes one with beautiful views of the private backyard. Additional home office is also open to a bright sun room with sliders to the backyard and pool. Upstairs are four bedrooms with three full bathrooms. The gracious and huge master bedroom suite features a master bathroom and an extremely unique sitting room with private veranda overlooking the garden and pool. The basement features a full bathroom and additional home office/bedroom and plenty of storage. For more information, click here.
List Price: $1,499,000
8 Stony Gate Oval, New Rochelle
Crisp, elegant, comfortable and perfect are only a few of the words describing a "feast for your eyes" when entering this wonderful home. High ceilings and an open floor plan welcome you to your dream home. You move seamlessly from room to room while sunlight streams throughout the house. A multitude of features in the house include very high ceilings, beautiful built-ins and speakers in many of the rooms. A built-in entertainment cabinet is a unique feature of the first floor den. The first floor master bedroom and luxurious master bath are an oasis of serenity. The chef's kitchen features granite counter tops, DCS 6-burner range top, double ovens, plus a spacious pantry. The unique stainless steel stair banister is a must see. Relax and enjoy. For more information, click here.
List Price: $1,484,000
Scarsdale Votes for Clinton and Kasich
- Category: Shout it Out
- Published on 26 April 2016
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
Though the statewide election results from the New York State primaries on Tuesday April 19 were widely publicized, most don't know how their neighbors in Scarsdale voted.
The Westchester Board of Elections has released the vote counts for the Democratic and Republican primaries in Scarsdale. There's no surprise that Hillary Clinton was a big winner here, getting 2,203 votes to Sanders 584 or 79% of the vote.
The Republican results were a bit more interesting. It turns out that Scarsdalians did not favor frontrunner Donald Trump, instead giving John Kasich their votes. Out of a total count of 917 votes, 458 went to Kasich, 345 to Trump, 110 to Ted Cruz and 4 to Ben Carson.
A few of Hillary's Scarsdale fans went to her White Plains campaign headquarters on primary day where they met former President Bill Clinton.
Pictured above are Aaron Mark, BK Munguia, Michelle Lichtenberg and former Mayor Carolyn Stevens with the President Clinton.
Democratic Primary Results for Scarsdale
Republican Primary Results for Scarsdale
Eye Q and Current Home on the Move
- Category: On Our Radar
- Published on 27 April 2016
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
Eye Q Optometrist in Scarsdale has moved to a new location in the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center. The store is larger and brighter ... allowing customers to see better. They are stocked with stylish sunglasses from Celine, Tom Ford and Dita along with the latest in eyeglasses for both adults and kids. Schedule time for an eye exam before you select new contact lenses, eyeglasses or sunglasses.
Eye Q Optometrist
1130 Wilmot Road
Scarsdale, NY 10583
Current Home, the modern home accessories and gift shop, will also relocate from Palmer Avenue to the Golden Horseshoe shopping center soon. The boutique will be doubling in size and offering customers a more unique and extensive selection of merchandise.
Current Home opened in 2013 and has grown exponentially under the watchful eye of co-owners Alyson Lane and Karen Tolchin. Their mission is to bring unique and hard to find home accessories to their discerning and loyal customers. They travel far and wide, including a recent trip to Paris, looking for products and merchandise that will help keep their customers' homes beautiful and current.
"We are thrilled about the move and our newly renovated space", says Alyson. "We will be carrying a wider selection of accent furniture, lighting, mirrors and artwork in the new store as well as a more robust selection of dinnerware and flatware. We are also focused on creating a bridal registry to service the next generation of Current Home customers."
Current Home will be joining other new tenants at the Golden Horseshoe including Chop't salad, an expanded Seasons Market and MYX Fitness.
Residents Grill Expert on Second Village-Wide Revaluation
- Category: Village Voices
- Published on 25 April 2016
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
How will the second village-wide revaluation in Scarsdale differ from the first? That was the question at a three-hour meeting of the Village Board of Trustees on Thursday April 21. Mayor Jon Mark opened the meeting by explaining that John F. Ryan, the man who monitoried the first revaluation and was subsequently hired to conduct the second revaluation, would review his process. Mark said while the first revaluation was done well, the "Second village wide revaluation will smooth some of the rough edges from the first one. We hope this will be an improvement on how things stand. A different modeling approach is going to be used. We will do our utmost to be transparent with this process. The results will be posted on June 1. Mailers will go out on June 2 with property valuations. The mailers will also explain how the number was derived. You won't have to go through the laborious foil process." The meeting was recorded and you can watch it here.
Ryan said, "This process started out almost a year ago. We looked at sales and did an analysis. We focused on updating existing values to market values as of June 2015, but did consider sales that closed up to 3 months after that. We used the latest information possible. We have to set the value as of July 2015."
He continued, "The goals of this revaluation are the same goals of any revaluation:
1) to generate accurate values
2) to generate uniform values
Ryan said, "The Village has the responsibility for uniformity... no one should pay anymore than their fair share.... An assessor went out in the field and reviewed the properties, looking at the characteristics that are most important in assigning values." According to Ryan, "The data from the first evaluation was very good. There was a very high entry rate and it was done very thoroughly."
For this reval, "An assessor rode the entire community and looked at all the properties from the public way. The Village looks at all open permits and the Assessor's Office looked at grievances and also considered new sales data. We will continue to look at the data right up to the June 1 deadline. The letter that you receive will show the data about the property. You will be able to see how your value was derived."
Ryan then displayed the following sales data for the overall number of home sales and for the number of sales of homes priced at $2.9 million and up. He said that they use the median not the mean sale price because it is a better reflection of sales activity in the area. It is evident that the total number of total sales has remained fairly constant.
Ryan continued, "There is still an active market. We use as many sales as we need to come up with a solid model. The more transparent and understandable the evaluation process is, the wider the acceptance from the public. We don't hide behind statistics – the model should be understandable."
Furthermore, the new model uses fewer factors or variables then the previous one. Ryan said that the previous model had "Too many gradations and too many factors. We minimized the number of gradations. We changed the number of gradations form 43 to 14. We consolidated the neighborhoods significantly. There are no more sub neighborhoods."
He explained, "I know that property owners will be happy that they can use the formula to replicate their value. We value total properties, not land and homes. For vacant lots we need to estimate the value of the built site. Where you do not have an improved property, the assessor has to estimate the value of a built property."
The audience was primarily comprised of people with homes in the Heathcote Association and they were not reassured by Ryan's update. They seemed to be more focussed on the prior revaluation than on the proposed improvements for the upcoming one.
They voiced their unhappiness about a range of issues including:
-The Village's manager's offices failure to do a better job publicizing the meeting.
-Issues with their valuations as determined in the July, 2014 revaluation
-Mistrust of the process
-A perception that the prior revaluation had killed the market for higher priced homes valued at more than $2.9 million in Scarsdale.
Ron Parlato who is both a resident and a builder said, "I learned that the first revaluation was not done properly. I think it was a flawed valuation... There is a bent to come after the wealthy people in this town ... people who give to this town. I am tired of it."
He continued, "I want the board to hire an outside company to tell us what went wrong with our assessment. The market has been destroyed in the upper level."
He continued, "I am on 2.7 acres and I live in 10,000 square foot house with another structure that is 1,200 square feet. I had to hire a lawyer and an appraiser. And I went to court and was dropped from $7.4mm to $6.5mm." He yelled at the Trustees, saying, "The first revaluation was not done properly in this town. Hire an outside expert to do a complete study of the Tyler Assessment... I am really angry – I am a builder and a homeowner. I am not putting up with this anymore."
Parlato's son-in-law Steve Rakoff who is a developer and realtor spoke at length. He repeated many of Parlato's concerns and said, "You have destroyed every persons nest egg in this room." "I want this thing done right. I want the data to be independently analyzed. We have no confidence in $2.9 million and up. The market is limping along. Sales volume is irrelevant. We cannot be in a town that does not want truth and justice."
He continued, "We had a perfect system running for 40 years. We destroyed a billion dollars in equity in this town. On my street there are 7 listings. I say it (the assessment process) was never broken."
About the 2014 revaluation he said, "4,500 homes got a discounted assessment ratio. They got a discount! The ½ acre and smaller lots got a discount."
Peter Katchis of 3 Morris Lane said that he has been here for 48 years. He bought 2.5 acres in 1968. It is a non-conforming lot that is long and narrow. He built his 3,600 square foot home according to zoning regulations, developing an acre and half and leaving the rest as woods. He complained that after the 2014 revaluation his taxes went from $50,000 to $90,000 and he was given an assessed value of $4.1 million. He hired his own assessor who valued the property at $3.1 million but the Village assessor did not reduce his assessment.
Bob Harrison expressed his anger that the meeting was not better publicized and that the new assessed values would not be released until June. He yelled at Ryan, saying "Why can't you spit out the values sooner? You've been working on this since last summer. "What have you been doing for 6-8 months? We have a tax increase. We have elderly people who can't afford an increase in their taxes. People are living on fixed incomes."
Turning to the Trustees he said, "I hope you are going to reduce the tax increase next Tuesday. You are allowed to change that and apply more of the fund balance. You have the money – it should not be in your pocket!"
The Mayor interrupted Harrison, saying "It is not in our pocket. Sit down Bob."
Mary Katchis who has been a broker for over 40 years in Scarsdale/Edgemont said, "There are no sales over $5mm. Something must be done. What should I tell my clients? We can't get a buyer. The taxes are turning many people away."
Watch the entire meeting on the Scarsdale Public Television website here.
Westchester County Health Department Determines that the Death of a 7 year-old Eastchester Girl is an Isolated Event
- Category: Neighborhood News
- Published on 26 April 2016
- Written by Joanne Wallenstein
Westchester County Health Commissioner Dr.Sherlita Amler issued a statement on Wednesday April 26 saying that their investigation concluded that the "tragic death on Saturday of a second grader at the Greenvale School in Eastchester was an isolated event with no public health impact on anyone else. The determination today is based on a thorough review of all available medical information and is consistent with the preliminary findings." Lily Cates Love, age 7 of Eastchester died suddenly on April 23. An email from Scarsdale Golf Club said she died "from complications due to an infection." Lily Cates Love enjoyed art, soccer, swimming and tennis. Her family belongs to Scarsdale Golf Club and attends Hitchcock Church where visitation was held on Tuesday April 26 from 4- 7 pm and her funeral took place at 9:30 am on Wednesday April 27. She is survived by her parents Chip and Donna Love and her sister Olivia.
NBC News reported on Tuesday April 26 that the Health Department was investigating her death but that the school would remain open. The Eastchester Schools Superintendent assured parents that the school was safe and posed no threat to other students.
Contributions in memory of Lily can be made to the Hitchcock Church Lily Fund to be used for rebuilding the church playground. Please send checks payable to the Hitchcock Church Lily Fund to:
Hitchcock Presbyterian Assumptioin Church
6 Greenacres Avenue
Scarsdale, NY 10583