The Queens housing market is showing positive improvement. The main trend to call attention to is the seller’s market. Home prices continue to rise steadily above year-ago levels, and housing demand has strongly picked up, resulting in low levels of inventory in many neighborhoods across the county.
Tight inventory is a major factor in the market. Buyer traffic is continuing to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady. In fact, buyer traffic is 40% above a year ago. Inventory is low for a number of reasons: Housing demand has picked up, banks have slowed the pace of foreclosures, and many homeowners who wish to sell their homes simply cannot because they do not have enough equity to make a down payment on their next home. However, as home prices continue to rise and more people can afford to sell their homes, inventory levels will increase.
The typical queens home is selling much faster than it did a year ago. Now marks one of the most favorable times in market history to buy or sell a home. There is an urgency to buy now while mortgage rates are at record lows and before home prices increase more significantly.
Mortgage rates are still low, but have risen slightly this month to around 3.56%. Last month, NAR President Gary Thomas stated that even though interest rates should gradually rise as the year progresses, they are still expected to stay below 4% during the first half of the year.
Queens NY Home Sales
Home sales this month decreased by 18.2% from last month to a current seasonally adjusted rate of 532 units; sales are down 14.7% from year-ago levels. This figure is down from 24% the previous month, but down from 35% in January 2012. Residential 1, 2, and 3 family home sales have decreased 28.5% from year ago levels, while condo & coop sales remained more steady. Condo home sales decreased 1.8%, and Coop home sales slightly increased by 8.2% from from year ago levels. A sign that their is a strong demand for Coops amongst queens home buyers.
Queens NY Home Prices
The current median home price fell slightly this month to $329,000, and it is 4.5% below year-ago prices, marking February as the first month of year-over-year price decreases, which last occurred in August of last year (2012). This decrease in median home price can be directly attributed to the decrease in home sales. However, if home sales pick up, and with the low inventory levels that we’re experiencing, home prices can surely be expected to rise.
Queens NY Inventory
Housing inventory fell again this month to 6,354 existing homes for sale, representing a 10.3-month supply, a sign that Queens as a whole is still favoring buyers, however there are neighborhoods with Month Supply at or below 6 months. When inventory supply is above 6 months, the market is said to favor buyers, and when inventory supply is below 6 months, the market is said to favor sellers. Though Queens Home Sales have not increased dramatically, the steadily declining inventory is a sign that demand for the current homes on the market may begin to favor sellers soon.
Courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera with Keller Williams Realty Landmark.