For years now, with the exception of the lean years during the Great Recession, average home prices in New Paltz have been on a steady incline.
According to the real estate website Trulia.com, the average home sale prices in New Paltz have risen from approximately $100,000 in 2000 to nearly $280,000 in 2015. Realtor.com put the average home price in New Paltz at $277,000. This figure is slightly lower than the average home price in New York, which is $279,000 and markedly higher than the average home price nationwide, which is $202,000.
Sally Sprogis, an agent at Coldwell Banker, said New Paltz is an expensive place that appeals to specific people. These buyers tend to live in New York City and are in the market for a second home in the country.
“In the village of New Paltz, people pay extra for both municipal water and sewage costs” Sprogis said. “Prices are high, but it’s easier to sell in New Paltz because the natural scenery around the community draws buyers in.”
The Benjamin Center, formerly known as CRREO, offered an example of how much more expensive it is to live in the village of New Paltz as compared to the town.
“If you lived in the Village of New Paltz in a house worth $260,000 (the value of the median sale in Ulster County in 2006), and have no exemptions, you paid $1,497.60 more in taxes that year than a person with a house worth the same amount in the Town of New Paltz, and also in the New Paltz School district.”
According to the real estate website Zillow.com, New Paltz’s peak median home value was in August of 2006, at $312,000. New Paltz still has significantly higher median home values as compared to other neighboring communities, with the only exception being Gardiner. While the market has recovered from its median home value trough of $231,000 in November of 2012, there hasn’t been a full rebound yet. Sprogis said the market has been middling for some time now.
Sprogis, who has worked in New Paltz since 2000, said she is skeptical about a significant uptick in the market for 2016, citing signs that interest rates might increase. While it will be an election year, typically a time when people are more eager to buy due to uncertainty, Sprogis said it may not have the same impact next year.
In her years as an agent, Sprogis has learned how cyclical the market is through both good times and bad.
According to Trulia.com, the average number of sales per year in New Paltz has only risen slightly during her time as an agent, from about 20 in 2000 to just above 30 in 2015.
Hollis Dukler, a 23-year veteran of the New Paltz real estate market, said that the tax exempt status of the college and the Mohonk Preserve causes property taxes to be higher than they would be elsewhere.
“New Paltz has always been expensive in comparison to other communities but that’s because it has very high school taxes,” Dukler said. “They’re an even larger cost to homeowners than property taxes. People want their kids to go to a good school so they’re willing to spend more. Therefore, residential homeowners end up having to pay more in taxes than people in other communities.”
Both Dukler and Sprogis acknowledged that the college, with its ability to bring money, culture and people to the area, does keep the market insulated. This has allowed the New Paltz real estate market to remain in a threshold that avoids major busts, but also has a ceiling on major booms.