Sullivan County Real Estate in the NY Catskills
Sullivan County is a large county, covering 997 square miles, from the Delaware River (the border with Pennsylvania) to the west, to Ulster County in the east. By comparison, the 5 boroughs of New York City only total 304 square miles of dry land. So it’s a big county to explore, with a lot of variety within our borders — from the Catskill Park in the north with some of the best fly fishing rivers in the U.S., to trendy country hamlets in the west, and more lakes than any other county in the Catskills. You can fly fish in the morning, garden (or nap in a hammock) in the afternoon, drop by one of our brew pubs to tip back a pint and then catch a concert under the stars at Bethel Woods — all in the same day.
The great thing about Sullivan is you don’t have to be wealthy to afford a second home getaway here. Sullivan County is the best real estate value in the Catskills. Simple cabins start in the low $100’s; $300,000 can land you something with acreage and privacy, or even a small lake cottage, At the upper end, buyers can find homes with more acreage or more spectacular lake frontage than you’re likely to find anywhere else within a couple of hours of New York City. At every price point, real estate dollars go further in Sullivan County.
Sullivan County offers some of the best values in Catskills real estate. You can find a simple getaway in a lake community like Smallwood starting at about $100,000 or a charming in-towner with a nice yard in a hamlet like Narrowsburg or Callicoon starting around $150,000.
If you’re looking for a classic farmhouse with some acreage in the country, a “Dwell modern” house or anything lakefront, it’s substantially more (but still less than what you’d pay in the Hudson Valley.) A stylishly renovated farmhouse that might fetch $650,000 outside of Woodstock might cost $400K+ here, but it’s not a $200,000 buy.
A good first stop on this website for buyers is my page What Houses Cost Here, that gives realistic ranges for the types of properties most second home shoppers I work with are looking for. Also check out some of my favorites at the bottom of this page, or my more extensive Favorites Page, with a curated list of about two dozen houses with appealing features across a wide price spectrum.
The holy grail for many second home buyers is a house with charm or style, on a quiet country road with privacy, a view and a pond of stream. That ‘package’ starts here in the $300’s and can range into the $600’s depending on acreage, setting, size and style. Small lake cottages start in the mid $200’s, with larger lake houses on acreage costing $1M or more.
Like real estate anywhere, location is a big factor. Houses in western or northern Sullivan, near the Delaware River, Catskill Park and the trendier country hamlets, are priced higher than houses in central or eastern Sullivan, which offer less of that ‘country getaway’ vibe.
If you live in or around New York City, and go shopping for a house or apartment, you likely have a good feel for neighborhoods, amenities you’d like and what you can get for your money. If your budget is $400,000 for an apartment, you know there’s going to be a tradeoff between neighborhood and space before you even start.
Most of the buyers I work with don’t have that same knowledge about Catskills real estate. What do houses cost here? What are the trade-offs with our budget? Where are the best values? How has the market performed? And a host of even more mundane questions like “What’s a septic system?”
Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of buyers shopping for real estate in the Catskills, and I’ve put together dozens of pages on this website to answer many of the most common questions and help you get a leg up on your upstate property search. Explore the menu links above and check out my blog for the latest news. If you have some questions, feel free to drop me an email or give me a call at 845-468-5710.
Figuring out where to start looking for an upstate getaway can be daunting. The Catskills region spans 6 counties, with the 4 primary Catskill counties (Sullivan, Ulster, Delaware and Greene) encompassing more than 4,000 square miles. Add in the rest of the Hudson Valley, and that’s a lot of ground to cover. Even just getting a good feel for Sullivan County can take a few weekends.
So a focus of this site is to give you an overview of different areas to help you narrow down. Think of it as a drill down, starting with Catskill Counties Compared. For Sullivan County, there’s a thumbnail overview of Sullivan County Areas, along with detailed pages on some of the most popular Villages and Hamlets for second home buyers, as well as pages about most of our Lakes and Lake Communities, divided into Affordable, Mid Range and Upper End price categories.
Nope, clicking this tab didn’t whisk you straight off to the property search section. Click here if you want to go directly there. But I wanted to give you a few thoughts about searching for property that might save you some time and headache.
At Catskills Buyer Agency, we only represent buyers and don’t list property ourselves. We’re members of both the Sullivan County and Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Systems, which gives us — and you — the most comprehensive access to properties for sale in Sullivan County. On many real estate websites, the listing displays can be skewed, displaying a listing broker’s properties first, or, in the case of third party sites, featuring properties that have paid for placement. But not here at catskil4sale.com. There’s no behind the scenes bias; you get search listings returned just the way you searched for them.
I also pick 15 to 20 ‘favorites’ to feature (below), The only criteria is that I liked them, they’re particularly good values or have some special features. A listing agent can’t buy their way on to that feature list.
There are a lot of different ways to search for properties on this site. You can search directly in the MLS search, inputting your own criteria. The advanced search option includes a lot more criteria choices to help you drill down, and there are also address and map-based searches. Registration is never required, unless you want to save properties to a shopping cart or set up your own auto notification searches.
You can also start with one of over two dozen preset searches I’ve set up with the most popular criteria.
Keep in mind that there may be more properties available than show as ‘active’ listings in the MLS. Listings expire or go ‘off market’, but may still be available. So always get in touch about what you’re looking for, because we may know of houses you may not find online.
Sullivan County Property Search
Search for Sullivan County real estate in both the Sullivan County and Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Systems with over 2,000 properties in Sullivan County, from Wurtsboro to Roscoe, listed by over 70 real estate brokerages.
- Mobile friendly
- No registration required
- Basic, advanced and map-based searches
Click this button to go to the full (dual) MLS search system:
Or start with one of the following popular preset searches:
Or for even more choices, go to the Popular Preset Search page with more than 30 preset searches.
Market Conditions Summary — October 2015
The big year over year increases in sales volume continued in September, with the number of single family home sales for the 3 month period ending Sept. 30th up 25.5% from the same period a year earlier. This is the fourth month in a row where volume has tracked 25% or more over the previous year. The average and median sales prices also rose from the previous month, with the average ($148,022) up 6% from August, and the median ($125,000) rising 9.6%. Both of the sales price figures, though, were down from the same period a year earlier, with the average off 8.7% and the median down 5.9%.
There’s a seasonal cycle to sales prices, with more second home sales in the summer/fall that push up closed sales price during the second half of the year, and more investor and primary home buys (at lower price points) during the winter/spring that push first half prices down.
One factor contributing to the year over year drop in closed sales prices is continuing softness at the upper end of the market, particularly above $500,000. During the latest 3 month period, there was only one closed sale above $500,000, compared with four during the same period a year earlier. There are 4 properties with asking prices between $500,000 and $800,000 that I’m aware of in deals that should close before the end of the year, but nothing above $800,000. In 2014, there were 15 closed sales reported in the two MLSs here over $500,000, including four above $1 million. For 2015, we’re looking at probably 7 or 8 above $500K, with only one above $1M.
But the drop in upper end sales isn’t the only factor contributing to the overall drop in the median and average sales prices. It’s hard to make an apples to apples comparison, i.e. would house X that would have sold this year for $200,000 sold for $215,000 last year? Apart from a few hotspots (particularly country road charmers priced between $175,000 and $225,000, and sub-$300,000 lakefronts, both categories with bruising bidding battles this summer), houses seem to be trading a bit down from last year.
Really good pricing in a lot of sectors has driven market activity through the roof over the past few months, and I expect the sales volume figures through the end of the year to continue to show the 25-30% year over year gains we’ve been seeing the past few months. Activity, though, has focused on the affordable to mid range of the market, so I don’t expect we’ll see any sharp upturn in prices.
This is just a quick snapshot. There’s more data, and a fuller analysis, on the Market Conditions Report page.
Jul – Sep
|All single family homes||$248,901||$148,022|
|Non-lakefront, 10+ acres||$418,984||$225,728|
** Closed sales compiled from sales reported in both the Sullivan and Hudson Gateway multiple listing systems.