by George Herrera, Realtor and Co-Owner of the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.
November 2015 Queens Real Estate Market Update
The pace of existing home sales dipped in October, both month over month and year over year. As chatter about the eventual rise in interest rates becomes more pervasive in the media, a sense of urgency has helped push more buyers back into the market. Inventory has remained tight on a local level but for the first time this year, inventory levels are roughly the same as they were this time last year. In addition, month’s supply is also very similar to last year so this could be a sign that we are leveling out with year ago levels. For most of 2015 we were experiencing 25% year over year inventory shortages, however, September and October have shown inventory levels consistent with what we were seeing in the fall of last year. With that said, demand remains high across the county; however, the opportunity for large equity gains in many neighborhoods has kept sellers active and price increases remain at a sustainable level.
Month's Supply: 5.9 Months Last Month: 6.5 Months Last year: 6.3 Months
*Month’s supply over 6 months is said to favor buyers, month’s supply below 6 months is said to favor sellers, and month’s supply of 5-6 months is said to be a balanced market.
Interest rates continued to slide downward, prompting a surge in buyer activity as people looked to capitalize on low rates before they begin to rise again. Currently, Freddie Mac reports the following figures: 30-year fixed rate, 3.79%; 15-year fixed rate, 2.98%; 5/1-year adjustable rate, 2.89%.
Queens Home Sales
Homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 721 homes in October, a decrease of 8.6% from September, and down 6.7% from the same month last year. As people move to lock in low interest rates at the end of this year, we are seeing an increase in buyer activity but it has not shown up in the sales figures yet. With the anticipation of a rate increase looming, we may see a rise in sales despite the usual seasonal decline. Over the last 12 months, residential home sales are up 3.2%, Condo sales are down 12.1%, and Coop sales are down 7.6%. Overall, sales are down 2.3% in the last 12 months.
Queens Home Prices
Home prices continued to hold steady in October despite the uptick in demand. The median home price was $425,000 according to the Long Island Board of Realtors; this was a decrease of 1.2% from September and a year-over-year increase of 2.2%. As we move into the fall months, we should begin to see some seasonal alleviation on prices; however, year-over-year gains will likely remain strong. Over the last 12 months, prices are up 8.5%.
Queens Housing Inventory
The actual number of homes for sale in October was down 4.5% from last month and down 4.3% compared to the same month of the previous year. This led to the months supply of inventory, which measures the relationship between supply and demand, to fall to 5.9 months. This number remains tight as low interest rates spur buyers to enter the market. New home construction has recently shown signs of increasing; however, this recent uptick has not yet been enough to alleviate pressure on existing homes. Altogether, there are about 4,291 homes, coops, and condos for sale in Queens at the moment.
Blog Courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II. Queens Home Team is the Highest Rated Real Estate Team in Queens NYC!