Queens Real Estate Market Report JAN 2020, courtesy of the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II. Looking for a real estate agent in Queens NY? Let the Queens Home Team help you accomplish your goals.

Market Snapshot

Welcome to 2020, a new year and a new decade have officially begun! We hope all of you are starting the year off well 🙂 As for us, we have been off to the races since January 2nd because activity typically picks up right after New Years. We actually put up 5 new listings within the first two weeks of the year so we’ve been pretty busy. As for the market, sales seem to have ticked up in the fourth quarter of the year, inventory dropped, and interest rates remain extremely low. The forecast for the year is generally positive when we ask fellow agents, mortgage lenders, or consumers. High prices are still a concern for many buyers but now it seems that they are either exploring more affordable areas of Queens, or leaving Queens altogether. All in all, the market feels pretty balanced right now and that is a good thing in our opinion.

Regarding home sales, they ticked up slightly in December, up about 1% compared to December of 2018. For all of 2019, home sales were down about 4%. Inventory was actually climbing for much of 2019 so the drop in sales is likely a result of less demand, not a lack of inventory.

As for home prices, in December the median home price in Queens was up less than 1% so not a big change. And for all of 2019, home prices were up about 2% compared to 2018. This is a very modest increase and is very likely due to the drop in demand that we experienced last year. Towards the end of the year we saw rates drop significantly and it appears to have spurred demand but we will have to wait and see if that is the case.

When it comes to inventory, we ended the month of December with about 4,400 homes in the market. This is similar to the amount of homes we had on the market in January of 2019 so we are starting the year off in a very similar place. The main difference this year is that rates are very low right now, whereas last January interest rates were in the mid 4’s.

And lastly, when we look at Month’s supply, it is currently at 6.1 months. This is similar to the 5.9 months of inventory that we had in January of 2019. Looks like we are starting the year off similarly to 2019, but the forecast this year is much more positive. We can’t take that as gospel though, because just like 2019 took us by surprise, so to can 2020. Still,

We’ll continue to watch the market and keep you posted 🙂 

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Month’s Supply

What is Month’s Supply? Months of supply is the measure of how many months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell, given the current pace of home sales. For example, if there are 50 homes on the market and 10 homes selling each month, there is a 5 month supply of homes for sale.

Months of supply is a good indicator of whether a particular real estate market is favoring buyers or sellers. Typically, a market that favors sellers has less than 6 months of supply, while more than 6 months of supply indicates an excess of homes for sale that favors buyers.

Month’s Supply in Queens NY

  • Homes on the Market: 4,364
  • Homes selling each month: 719
  • Month’s Supply: 6.1

Is it a Buyers or Sellers Market in Queens?

At this time the real estate market in Queens would be considered a “Balanced Market”.

Is Now a Good Time to Sell a Home in Queens?

In our opinion, now is definitely a good time to sell a home in Queens because inventory has dropped, interest rates remain low, and overall confidence seems to remain high.

Is it a Good Time to Buy a Home in Queens?

The answer to this question is also yes, given that you have the means to buy a property in Queens. The truth is that some areas are just too expensive from some buyers, but the good thing about Queens is that there are a lot of areas one can explore which are much more affordable then the more expensive areas. Either way, interest rates are extremely low so that is always a sign of a good time to buy.


Queens Home Sales

Queens_Home_Sales_Jan_2020

The Long Island Board of Realtors reported a total of 652 home sales during the month of December. This was DOWN __% from November and UP .6% compared to December of last year. Specifically, sales for Residential homes were UP 9.2%, sales for Condos were DOWN 41%, and sales for Coops were DOWN .01% compared to the same month last year.

Thinking of Selling in the next 6-12 Months? Schedule a Free Listing Consultation to find out how to best prepare for the sale.

Queens Home Prices

Queens_Home_Sales_Jan_2020

In December, the median home price in Queens remained at $612,500, this is DOWN .01% from last month and UP .4% compared to December of last year. Specifically, the median home price for Residential homes was DOWN 1.8%, median home price for condos was DOWN 9%, and the median home price for coops was up 1.7% compared to the same month last year.

Thinking of Buying a Home in Queens? Speak with a local real estate expert who can help line up your financing, find the right place, and negotiate on your behalf.

Interest Rates

On January 21, 2020, according to Bankrate’s latest survey of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage rate is 3.780 percent with an APR of 3.920 percent. The average 15-year fixed mortgage rate is 3.230 percent with an APR of 3.410 percent. The 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) rate is 3.430 percent with an APR of 4.120 percent.

Click Here for Today’s Rates

Inventory

Queens_Housing_Inventory_JAN_2020

There is currently a 6.1 month’s of inventory in Queens, this is down from the 6.6 months we had last month, and up from the 5.9 month’s of inventory we had in January of last year. As for active listings, currently there are 4,364 homes for sale in Queens. That’s DOWN from the 4,685 homes we had on the market last month, and UP slightly from the 4,202 homes we had on the market in January of last year.

Queens real estate market report 2020, provided by the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II. Have a Question? Contact Us anytime.

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About Us

The Queens Home Team is a group of friendly, service driven real estate agents in Queens NY. Our team members are not only experts at what they do, but more importantly, they are driven by their desire to help people. The team approach is what truly separates us from the average Queens broker, because while most agents are one person doing several things, we have several agents doing one thing, and being great at it! This ensures expertise throughout all stages of the transaction and allows us to provide the superior level of service our clients deserve. We understand that real estate is a service industry, therefore we treat it as such. Rest assured that when you work with the Queens Home Team, you’ll be in good hands, with people who care 🙂

*The opinions expressed in This Queens Real Estate Market Report are intended to supplement opinions on real estate expressed by local and national media, local Queens real estate agents and other expert sources. You should not treat any opinion expressed on this report as a specific inducement to make a particular investment or follow a particular strategy, but only as an expression of opinion. The Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II does not guarantee and is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of information, and provides said information without warranties of any kind. All information presented herein is intended and should be used for educational purposes only. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. All investments involve some degree of risk. The Queens Home Team will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information contained in this report.

Is Now a Good Time to sell my Home?

One of the questions we get a lot from homeowners and potential sellers is, “Is now a good time to sell”. Now, anyone who’s planning or contemplating the thought of selling their property in the near future usually the the question of timing comes into play so they usually ask us, is now a good time to sell?

Our answer is always the same when we get this question, because there is so much that is involved with selling a property such as going through personal items, donating, decluttering, etc. Ultimately, it really comes down to your personal situation and your personal circumstance. So, is now a good time to sell your property? The answer is, if you’re ready to sell, then yes it is a good time to sell. If the home isn’t show ready but you want to get top dollar, then you probably shouldn’t sell yet. In that scenario, you should probably get the house show ready and then list the home.

People ask about the Spring or Summer regarding when the best time to list a property is and there are different thoughts on that because of you list in the spring or summer, then you would definitely be listing in peak season When most buyers are out and about, but you would also have more competition because there are a lot more properties on the market during that time so while there would be more buyers out there, there would also be more properties on the market that you’d be competing. On the flip side, if you were to list in the fall or winter, there might be less buyers out and about, but you would also have a lot less competition.

With that said, the short answer to this question, is now a good time to sell? It really depends on your circumstance and whether you are ready to sell. It’s moreso a question of whether you are ready to sell, as opposed to is it a good time to sell, because if you really wanted to answer the question of whether now is a good time to sell (technically) you would want to ideally sell in a seller’s market when months supply in your area is below six months.

Now, if you wanted to make sure that you sell when your area is in a seller’s market, then you would need to track the month’s supply in your neighborhood on a month-to-month basis. For example, if you were actually tracking month supply in your neighborhood every month then you can see when it falls below six months and that would be the ideal time to sell, on top of that, it can very well take a year, two years, five years, or even eight years for a whole cycle to go from buyers market to seller’s market again so that’s why it gets a little tricky to time the market for a sale when the market is in your favor.
For our team, the way we typically like to answer this question is by letting people know that it really depends on their circumstance and and their situation. If you don’t have time to prepare and absolutely need to sell immediately, then now is the right time to sell. But if you have the time and resources to prepare for the sale, then listing after you have made the home show ready is your best strategy. Ultimately, when all things are aligned, or when you know you are ready to sell, that’s when it’s a good time to sell.

One last note, if you are almost ready to sell and you know that the speculation is for interest rates to go up soon, then you should definitely try to get on the market before rates go up. Interest rate hikes can have a immediate impact on the market so that is definitely something to be mindful of.

Hope this helps answer this age old question. Obviously deciding whether now is a good time to sell is a tough question to answer, but this can at least give you some things to think about as you prepare to sell. If you would like to our opinion of the market in your area right now, feel free to contact us anytime.

How Long does it take to Sell a Property in Queens?

One of the questions that we get a lot from potential sellers and Queens’ homeowners is, “How long does it take to sell?”. If you’re thinking of selling your property in Queens, then you probably want to get an idea of how long it’s going to take to find a buyer, and how long it will take to close once you find a buyer. Whenever we speak with people either who live out of state, haven’t sold a property in NY before, or haven’t bought or sold in a long time, they sometimes think that they will be able to find a buyer and close within 30-60 days. The truth is that this timeline is very unrealistic, especially here in Queens. Now, can you find a buyer and close in 15-30 days? Definitely. The only problem is that the buyers who can close that quickly are investors and being that they NEED to make a profit, their offers will typically be significantly below market value, usually $100K-$200K below.

So, the timeline we will be covering in this post is the typical timeline for a standard sale where the property hits the market, gets full exposure, and sells to a buyer who is obtaining a mortgage or paying all cash.

So how long does it take to sell a property in Queens? The first thing you need to know is how long it takes to find a buyer. Here in Queens average days on market is between 90-120 days. However, a good agent will have an average days on market between 30-60 days. For our team in particular, we generally find a buyer within 30-60 days. This is assuming that the property is priced right and does not any internal or external obsolescence that can affect days on market. Ultimately, as long as your property is priced right and is in the market, then you should be able to find a buyer within the first one to two months.

So let’s say it takes 30-60 days for you to find a buyer, the next step is for the buyer to do their due diligence (i.e. home inspection, financial review, etc). Once due diligence is complete, the next step is to get the attorneys involved so that they can draft and finalize the contract. Once attorneys begin speaking to each other, it can take a week or two for the contract to be finalized because they usually go back and forth on the terms, language, conditions, etc. Once the contract is finalized, the buyer’s attorney will call the buyers in to review and sign. After the buyers sign, the contract is sent back to the seller’s attorney and then the sellers go in to review and sign. If the sellers live out of town the contract is usually mailed for signature. Once the seller signs, you have a fully executed contract if sale. The entire process, from accepted offer to fully executed contract, can typically take between 2-3 weeks.

Once you go into contract, you enter the second phase of the process which is the contract-to-close phase. After speaking to a lot of people from different states, it’s pretty clear that the process here is a lot longer than most states. We have attorney on both sides, very old homes, and strict city & state requirements so this may be a why we have a longer contract-to-close process.

Now, generally speaking, if you were to find a buyer within 30 to 60 days, then you go into contract. Once you’re in contract, if the buyer is taking a mortgage and it’s a residential house or a condo, then you can typically expect to close in 2-3 months. So, for a residential or condo sale where the buyer is obtaining a mortgage, you can expect to close about 60-90 days from the fully executed contract date. Some people think that it’s possible to close in less than 60 days, but we can tell you from our own experience selling 300+ homes, that it is very rare for a property to close in less than 60 days.

There are a lot of things that go into a real estate transaction in Queens, so realistically speaking, the quickest you can expect to close on a residential or condo property is about 2-3 months. And if you want to be conservative, plan for three months.

How much is my House Worth?

One of the main reasons why we Queens homeowners contact us is to find out how much their property is worth. There are several reasons why a homeowner would want to know their home’s value but no matter the reason, we are happy to oblige.

Some of the most common reasons for needing a home valuation include things like future plans to sell, probate & administration proceedings, divorces, bankruptcies, and of course plain curiosity. Many times we speak with homeowners and they have no plans of selling their home, but they would like to get an idea of what the property is worth.

Now, the way we typically answer the question, “How much is my property worth?” is by offering a Free Home Valuation. What our team does is offer two types of home valuations, one is a price range valuation (if we cannot see the property in person), and the other one is a more specific home valuation which requires us to see the property in person to assess the size, layout, condition, etc.

Price Range Valuation

A price range valuation is just what it sounds like, a price range for the value of your home based on the recent comps as well as our experience in your neighborhood. Price range valuations are good for out-of-state owners, landlords who don’t want to disturb tenants, or someone who just wants to get an idea (i.e. ballpark figure) of what their house is worth at any given time.
Most agents will not offer a price range valuation because in our industry agents are trained to schedule an appointment before sharing any price or value information. On our team however, we believe in full transparency and quality information so that people can make good decisions. As a result, we have no problem offering free price range valuations and we actually send a lot of them to Queens homeowners.

Something important to note regarding price range valuations is that the range (or spread) will largely depend on the size and type of property you own. For example, the price range offered for a 1 bedroom coop may be $50K (+/-) while the price range for a 3 family may be $200K (+/-).

The only downside to a price range valuation is that you won’t have a very specific value, but if all you want is an idea of, then this can be helpful.

Comprehensive Valuation

Now, if you want to get a really good idea or more specific valuation for your property, then that would require a property tour. What we call this is a home valuation or broker price opinion. With this type of valuation, we would come in to see the property in person so that we can assess the size, layout, condition, internal obsolescence, external obsolescence, etc. The walk through usually takes 10-15 minutes, and after seeing it, we usually sit down with the homeowner to go over everything together. This allows us to not only provide the seller with the comps, but it also allows us to explain how we come to the valuation we are providing. If a homeowner cannot meet with is for some reason, then we will typically send the analysis and valuation by email.

Broker Price Opinion Vs Independent Appraisal

In our opinion, the best way to understand the value of your property is to sit down with a local agent who can go through the comps with you and explain how they draw their estimated valuation of your property. This is different from an appraisal because when you order an independent appraisal, the appraiser will come by to see your property, then they will create a written report for you and send it to you a few days later for review. Appraisers will typically include a handful of comps in the report, and they don’t typically sit with the homeowners to explain how they came up with the appraised price that they provided. It’s very common for homeowners to disagree with an appraisal because they don’t understand the methodology, or because the appraiser may not know the area well.

The way our team likes to provide home valuations is by looking at the property in person, then sitting down with the homeowner(s) to go through all of the data (closed, pending, available, month’s supply, etc) together and ultimately offer our professional opinion of the value. The value we give is never a specific number because true “market value” is what a buyer is willing to pay for it, and without being on the market, it is impossible for us to know that. Instead, what we provide is a realistic idea of where we believe offers would come in if we were to list the property at that time. We are able to do this based on our recent sales and experience selling properties in that area.

In our experience, experienced agent valuations tend to be more accurate than appraisals because in addition to the sales data which we both have access to, a local agent can also apply their recent sales experience, knowledge of the area, and local market trends to get a better idea of the property’s current value.

If you would like to get an even better idea of your property’s current value, have 3-4 agents give you their valuation. After hearing and seeing 3-4 valuations, the value should be pretty clear as long as you are realistic and not just looking to hear the highest price 🙂
So, to answer the age old question, “How much is my house worth?”, the answer is that it depends, but if you live in Queens we would be happy to offer you a free price range valuation or a free comprehensive home valuation.

If you have any questions regarding your home’s value, or if you would like to know how much your property is worth here in Queens NY, feel free to reach out anytime.

Have you Sold Properties in my Area?

One of the questions that we get a lot from Queens homeowners and potential sellers whenever we speak to them is, “Have you sold properties in my area?”. Well, if you’re a homeowner in Queens County, then the short answer to that question is yes. Our team has sold hundreds of properties and we only work in Queens so no matter where you live, we have most likely sold properties in your area. Our team specifically sells over $40 million worth of real estate every year so whether you own a 1-4 family, condo, coop, land, or commercial property, we’ve probably sold in your neighborhood.

As you can tell from our name, we service and specialize in the borough of Queens. When we first created our team, we realized that Queens was huge, and as a result, there was plenty of business For us to capitalize on without even leaving the borough we live in. We decided to focus and master the Queens’ market and that’s what we have done.

So, to answer the question simply, “Have we sold properties in your area?”. Well, if you own a property in Queens county, then yes we have definitely sold properties in your area.

If you have any questions or would like to receive a list of properties that we’ve sold in your neighborhood, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Do you Work with Qualified Buyers?

One of the questions that we get from potential sellers and Queens homeowners when they’re thinking of selling is, “do you work with qualified buyers?”. The answer to this is obviously yes, however, there are certain things that you should be aware with regards to when and how buyers are qualified. In our opinion, we believe that the underlying reason for this question is that homeowners just want to make sure that the people who walk through the doors of their home are serious buyer and pre-qualified to purchase.

For this question, it is important to understand the common practice in Queens and how things work (in general) regarding potential buyers for a property. So, let’s say we put a property on the market, common practice in Queens is that we would field inquiries on the property as they come in, and we would schedule viewings and showings accordingly. So for example, let’s say someone calls in and wants to view one of our properties, we would field the call (or email), whether it’s from an agent or a buyer, and then we would just coordinate the appointment To get the buyers in. A common misconception may be that the buyers are pre-qualified by the seller’s agent prior to viewing the property, but in general, this is not the case. It is definitely possible, and we have done it for some of our sellers, but it is not common practice in Queens.

It’s also important to understand how buyers come in, and who they are working with. So for example, if a buyer is working with an agent to help them find a home, then that agent most likely has already pre-qualified them because most agents will not show a buyer homes unless they have been pre-approved by a bank. On the other hand, if a buyer comes in directly through the listing agent, then they may or may not be pre-approved by a bank. This is a question that any good listing agent will ask, but they won’t necessarily require the pre-approval prior to viewing. If a seller requires a pre-approval prior to letting anyone into the home, it can certainly be done, but in our experience it can turn some buyers off and cause a delay that may lead to losing some buyers.

So, when you list a property in Queens, you or your agent will typically coordinate appointments for buyers/agents as they come in, then you or your agent would tour them through the house. After the appointment, it is important to collect feedback so that you know what the buyer(s) thought about the home. If a buyer who views the home is interested in making an offer, then that is when we would typically go into the full pre-qualifying phase. Documents that would be requested along with a written offer include things such as a current pre-approval, proof of funds for down payment, credit scores, last two years tax returns, etc.

So to recap, most agents or sellers in Queens will not require a pre-approval or financial documents before viewing a property, however, on occasion we have had sellers that tell us they don’t want any buyer walking through the house unless they are pre-approved. In those scenarios, we are happy to accommodate, but what usually happens is that we end up limiting the amount of showings and as a result, we typically end up receiving less offers.

A lot of buyers are out there, some have pre-approvals, some are just waiting for the right property before they go and have their credit run for the pre-approval. If you decide to require a pre-approval prior to any showing of the house, then just keep in mind that you will most likely limit the amount of exposure that you get.

Hope this answers the question and gives you more insight into how Queens home buyers are pre-qualified when they are looking for a home to buy. In short, yes do we work with pre-qualified buyers, but we do not always pre-qualify them prior to viewing one of our listings because that is not common practice here in Queens. If our clients want that, then we have no problem doing so 🙂

Do you Host Open Houses?

One of the questions that we get from Queens’ homeowners and potential sellers is, “Do you host open houses?” and the answer really is that it depends. We do believe in open houses and we do believe that it is a good strategy to get buyers and agents in, but it is definitely not a requirement. For our team in particular, we leave the decision up to our client. What we do is explain the process and benefits of open houses but the ultimate decision comes from our clients.

Now, is an open house actually going to sell your property? The answer to that is no. In reality, all buyers are looking online so if you’re wondering whether the open house sign being in front of your house is actually going to attract the buyer that is going to end up buying your house, chances are that won’t be the case. However, what’s important to note about open houses is that they are a very convenient time for buyers and agents to come tour a property since most buyers and agents are available on weekends.

On our team, we like to do open houses for the first two weekends of a new listing (if possible) because in those first two weeks, we are the newest hot listing that just hit the market and as long as we do a good job with our pricing & marketing, then there will most likely be a lot of people waiting to see the property in person. The strategy is simple, if a property is priced right and marketed well during the first two weeks, then there should be a lot of people excited to come see it and if all showings are held off until the first open houses, then that will increase our chances of a multiple offer situation. After the first two weeks, we typically switch to private appointments because the amount of interest and activity usually drops off after the first two weeks.

What we like to tell homeowners is that the open house is not necessarily going to sell the house, but it is a convenient time for buyers and agents to come by and see it in person. If a seller opts to not have open houses, then we just show by private appointments only and depending on the situation, this may or may not limit the amount of in viewings during the first two weeks.

Whenever we have a listing that only shows by private appointments, it can get a little tricky because you start having to work around several schedules (i.e. Buyer(s), their agent, the seller(s), their agent, etc). This can possibly lead to the loss of potential buyers because some buyers won’t continue trying to see a property if it becomes to difficult to schedule a viewing.

As you can imagine, most buyers are available on the weekend, and most agents are available on weekends as well so if you host open houses for the first two weeks, then you are pretty much guaranteeing that every person that is interested in your property is actually going to have a chance to walk through the doors. What that does is maximize your exposure, and ideally that would maximize your offers after those first two weeks. If everything goes well, then you could be fielding offers after those first two weekends and if that’s the case, then you can move right into contract after that.

So, to answer the question simply, “do we host open houses?” Yes. Are they required? No. We have a team of full time agents so we can host open houses during the first two weeks only, or we can host open houses on every weekend until the property sells. Hope this answers the question clearly. Ultimately, open houses are just an ideal time for buyers and agents to see the home and that ensures that everybody who wants to see the house gets in to see it.

If you have any questions about open houses or about our open house strategy, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Where is your Office Located?

One of the questions that we get a lot from homeowners and potential sellers in Queens is, “where is your office located?”. I think people ask this question because traditionally speaking, you would want an agent that has an office in your neighborhood. As a result, we get this question from time to time. To answer the question, our office specifically is Located in Jackson Heights at 75-35 31st Avenue, Suite 202. We have plenty of parking by the way, so if you ever want to come by and schedule a meeting in our office, there’s no no problem finding a parking space 🙂

Now, although our office is located in Jackson Heights, our team has done business all over the borough so we have experience in pretty much every single neighborhood of Queens. In our opinion, some homeowners ask this question because they may have a traditional outlook as to how real estate is sold. For example, in the past, home sellers would want a real estate agent who has an office in their neighborhood because that would mean that they have a storefront in the area and since the internet did not exist at that time, potential buyers would need to call or go in to a local real estate office to find out about properties for sale. As a result, a real estate agent with an office in your neighborhood would most likely have a list of potential home buyers for your home.

As you probably know, the birth and evolution of the internet eventually transformed the way that people buy and search for homes. Now that we’re in a digital world of marketing and technology, over 90% of home buyers start their home search online. So instead of going to a local real estate office to find out about properties for sale in the area, now a potential buyer can just pull out their phone, type in a neighborhood, and immediately see a list of homes for sale.

So what’s different nowadays? The difference is that you can have an agent in a local real estate office from your neighborhood who doesn’t do a lot of business in the area and therefore does not know all the selling points and what is attracting people to move there. What you really want to look for as a Queens home seller, is an expert Realtor who has a track record of sales in your neighborhood, and who actually knows the neighborhood very well. What happens is that when an agent sells a lot in a particular area, they already know where buyers are coming from, what they are looking for, and what the selling points are that are making people want to live there.
With all that said, if you live anywhere in Queens, you can rest assured that we definitely know your area because we have sold properties in every neighborhood of Queens. We service home buyers and sellers everyday, and in all parts of the borough and that’s what you want when you’re looking to hire an agent.

The short answer to this question, our office is located in Jackson Heights, however, we service all of Queens County. We hope this answers the question thoughtfully. If you have any questions related to where our office is located, or if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.