Queens Real Estate Market Report: SEP 2015


 Queens Real Estate Market Update 

Existing home sales hit a high for the year in August, however, year-over-year sales were still down. Inventory remains tight on a county level as the increased demand for homes continues to outpace the number of homes coming onto the market. The pace of year-over-year price increases slowed somewhat in August, and on a monthly basis prices remained consistent. Prices typically peak in June and slowly decline for the remainder of the year, however, prices in Queens actually peaked in August this year. Mortgage rates remain subdued at the moment as recent market turmoil has likely caused the Federal Reserve to reevaluate the timing of any interest rate increases that may occur this year. Overall, the Queens real estate market has remained the same throughout most of the year and we are seeing a steadiness in buyer activity mainly due to the anticipation of a rate increase by end of year.

  • Month’s Supply: 6.75 Months
  • Last Month: 6.9 Months
  • Last year: 7.9 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

Queens_NY_Interest_Rates30-year interest rates took a slight downward tick in August amid serious turmoil in global markets. Currently, Freddie Mac reports the following figures: 30-year fixed rate, 3.93%; 15-year fixed rate, 3.15%; 5/1-year adjustable rate, 2.94%.


Queens Home Sales

Queens_Real_Estate_Market_Home_Coop_Condo_Sales_SEP_2015Homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 726 homes in August, up 3.0% from July and down 8.3% from the same month of the previous year. August posted an 8 month high for home sales this year. Most indications show continued strength in the housing market in the next few months to come, however, interest rates can affect buying power, which ultimately affects home sales and prices so we will need to monitor this closely through the end of year. Specifically, Residential home sales are down 4.7%; Condo home sales are down 16.2%; And Coop sales are down 12.1% compared to August of last year.

Click Here to Find out How much your Home is worth in Today’s Market

Queens Home Prices

Queens_Real_Estate_Market_Home_Coop_Condo_Prices_SEP_2015Home prices rose  slightly in August to $425,000, up 1% from July but still up 6% from the same month of last year. 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. Specifically, Residential home prices are up 1%; Condo prices are up 4.5%; And Coop prices are up 15.4% compared to August of last year.

Would you consider selling your home at a specific price? Sign up to receive an alert is a buyer is interested. 

Queens Housing Inventory

The actual number of homes for sale in Queens is down 18% compared to the same month of the previous year. This led to the months of supply inventory, which measures the relationship between supply and demand, to drop to 6.75 months. This number remains tight as low interest rates spur more 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. Specifically, there are currently 2,796 homes for sale in Queens; 512 Condos for sale; And 1,293 Coops for Sale, equaling a total of 4,601 homes for sale in Queens.

Click Here to see Active Homes for Sale in Queens


Blog Courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II. 
George and Abigail Herrera_Queens Home Team Keller Williams Realty
BUYwww.exclusivequeenshomes.com | SELLwww.queenshomeselling.com

Forest Hills Coop takes over 2 Years to Close due to Complicated Development Issues

Station Square_Forest Hills Queens NY_Forest Hills Gardens NY_Coops for Sale in Forest Hills QueensWe recently closed on a 1 BR Forest Hills Coop in Forest Hills Gardens. This particular unit was one of our very rare deals that took a considerably LONG time to sell. This one was due to specific issues with the Coop development which affected financing for buyers and led to very high maintenance as well. This coupled with a negative reputation and perception of the building made it a tough sell, but at the end of the day, we got the job done and helped free our client of this burden…

We met this client back in the Spring of 2013. He was selling on his own after being on the market for 6 months with an agent who couldn’t get it sold. I think he was listed before that as well, suffice to say, he was already trying to get rid of this property. Honestly, most agents who list complicated Coops will not even ask for the listing back after 6 months because they know it’s a tough sell that requires a lot of work. In any case, when we met with the owner he explained the whole situation to us so that we knew what we were dealing with. Luckily our approach to real estate is all about helping so our natural instinct was to find a solution. We gathered all the details and got to work…

Click Here to Find Homes for Sale in Forest Hills

In a nutshell, what we were dealing with was a Forest Hills Coop where more than 10% of the units were sponsor owned. Now, we have seen this before and anytime this is the case, financing will be an issue. Most banks will not lend in a development where more than 10% of the units are sponsor owned. In addition, this particular sponsor was not a very well liked individual to say the least. Ultimately, the board and shareholders ended up filing a lawsuit against the sponsor in order to make him sell off some of his units to get the amount owned under 10%. This was a long and drawn out process so the whole time we had it on the market we were just looking for cash buyers, or we would explore financing with several banks if a buyer was interested. The owner on the other hand, was coming out of pocket every month because the maintenance was extremely high for the area, and the subletting fees were also very high. The last hurdle to overcome was a very reserved tenant who did not feel comfortable showing the apt, and when we did show, she always found a way to say negative things about the apt or building…

It was a 1 BR unit right off 71st Ave and Austin St so if you know the area, you know that this is one of the most desirable areas of Forest Hills because of the transportation, shopping, entertainment, etc. Added to that, the price of the unit was $179K which was extremely attractive for the area. As you can expect, our phone and email would be blowing up constantly because the price, location, and pictures screamed value. So showing the apt was never an issue, we used to show 2-3 times a week (when possible) to prospective buyers and once a buyer was interested, we would negotiate and then come to an agreement on a price. After a while, the tenant became frustrated with the process and ended up moving out, this was a good thing because she only hurt the sale when we would show, however, now our client was coming out of pocket for the whole nut every month.

Click Here for a Free Forest Hills Real Estate Market Report

Most interested buyers were obtaining financing so this is where we would always hit a wall. All cash buyers always gave low ball offers that were not acceptable to the owner or to us. So, 6 months passed and unfortunately there just weren’t any banks that would approve the building. So, the owner decided to take it off the market and rent it again because he was losing even more money every month now that the apt was vacant. We agreed that he should hurry up and get a tenant in there so we helped him rent the apt and told him we would stay in touch. We were not giving up on this deal even though most agents would tell us to just cut our losses, especially since the sale price was low. The thing with us is that we don’t care about how much work it will take or how much we’ll make, we just see a distressed homeowner who needs help with a complicated situation, and we’re in a position to assist. So, our goal was to help him get the job done and we were committed to getting to the finish line no matter how long it took…

Almost one year passes and we’ve been keeping in touch every 2-3 months to monitor the market for him. There were only one or two sales in the development but they were all cash, and extremely low so that didn’t give us any hope. However, progress with the lawsuit was coming along and the sponsor owned units was almost down to below 10% because the sponsor was being forced to sell his units slowly. We finally heard from our client once the new tenant’s lease was coming up for expiration. I received an email from him saying he was ready to sell again and hoped that we could get all it done this time. I responded back with the assurance and excitement that I’m sure he would appreciate from his agent… “That’s great news, let’s do it. We’re excited and ready to get the job done this time!!!” So we got started with the process again, but it wasn’t smooth sailing yet because although the sponsor owned issue was close to being resolved, we found out that there was a new assessment issued to all shareholders for the next 2+ years. Keep in mind that the maintenance was already high as it is ($1,100+/mo). Now we had a $200 ongoing assessment to add to it!

Click Here for Forest Hills Home Values

Due to the price, condition, and location, attracting buyers was still not a problem, but now we were facing the constant objection of the high maintenance. Fortunately the market was in our favor and prices were going up rapidly so we finally found a buyer who was interested in buying it. We ended up needing to pay for the assessment (about $5K) but we got a very good price for the owner, and finally had an accepted offer that looked promising because on top of the accepted offer, the buyer’s uncle was actually on the board of the Coop!

So, in the end, we got to the closing table and our client was ecstatic! He was so grateful that we stuck with him and he appreciated that we always worked hard for him even after years of having to deal with the issues and challenges at hand. His appreciation and excitement to finally close reminds us of why we do what we do. We love helping people and we never count dollars and cents when going to work for someone. I guess the moral of the story is that you should be very careful when buying a coop, and make sure you do your due diligence so that you don’t end up in a situation where you end up being trapped with an apt. The moral of the story for other Queens real estate agents is just to cone from contribution when you take on new clients. Don’t be driven by the dollar, we’re in the service industry and we’re in a position to help people that are in very complicated and distressed situations. The gratification is worth so much, and that client will be a raving fan which is priceless in this business!

Well, that’s all for this story. Long and complicated deal with a happy ending! Happy client, check. Raving fan, check. We won’t even count how much we were paid per hour on the deal because it would likely be comparable to what people are making in far off parts of the world:) Our job is done here, off to find the next person we can help!

Blog Courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.

George and Abigail Herrera_Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty_HEADSHOT_ROUNDBUY: www.exclusivequeenshomes.com | SELL: www.queenshomeselling.com

A Heart Warming Home Sale in Rego Park, Queens…

1_Rego Park Homes for Sale_Homes for Sale in Rego Park NY_Single Family Homes in Rego Park Queens (81)This week we closed on one of our single family home listings in Rego Park. This deal was one if those rare deals where everything went smoothly, and everyone was extremely happy! Our client was the seller and she was one of our most pleasant and friendly clients ever:) She was selling her home, which had been in the family for over 40 years. When we met her for the first time, we met with her, her son (who was raised in the home), and his wife. They were all very nice, and their biggest concern was getting the best price, and making sure that the process go smoothly. The house was a single family on 62nd Drive in Rego Park. This street is one of the widest roads in Rego Park and the curb appeal of the tudor homes are absolutely gorgeous!

Find Homes for Sale in Rego Park, Queens

The home itsef was in amazing conditition. Usually when we sell long time family homes, the age is very evident. However, this client renovated the entire house last year and we were surprised at what great taste she had with the renovations. The house had the kind of kitchen and bath that you see in tv shows, and the layout was a typical one family layout (3 bedrooms on second floor, formal dining, kitchen, and living room on first floor). The owner opened up the wall between the kitchen and dining room and it made all the difference!

When we met with them, we did a thorough consultation and needs analysis. The owner’s only son was now living in Jersey with his wife and kids, and she decided it was time to sell the house so that she could move closer to them. She was already under contract on a home in New Jersey so that part was done. Luckily it wasn’t contingent on the sale of her home in Rego Park so that made things much easier for everyone…

We went over comps to discuss the market value and suggested list price. The next door neighbor actually had just closed on their property recently. That one was a corner house with more living space but in poor condition. It ended up selling for $723K so we suggested listing at $750K because we felt that we could justify a sale price to an appraiser up to that number…

Click Here for a Free Rego Park Real Estate Market Report

Once we hit the market, our phone immediately strted ringing and emails started coming in. Our client didn’t want to have a lot of people roaming around the house at one time, so we scheduled all showings during 2-3 hour windows, with a showing every 15 mins. This was our first time doing this, but it really made for an awesome buying experience because every family that came was able to ciew the property by themselves for 15 mins…

After the first week, offers naturally started coming in. We had a total of about 12 offers on the house and negotiated them up to at or above asking price. The winning bid was a family who lives in the area and send their daughter to day care right across the street. This family was workibg with a buyer agent from Exit Realty in Forest Hills. They vuewed the property and then submited an outstanding offer, $810K ($60K above asking price)! They were the obvious winner but we did our due diligence just to make sure we had a solid candidate. After doing our financial review, we decided that they were good candidates to proceed with. The only thing we needed to address before going into contract was the inevitable appraisal issue. We value properties for a living so we instantly knew that it would be a very big challenge to justify the sale price to any bank appraiser. So, we asked the buyers’ for a no appraisal contingency in order to protect our clients’ with the offer price. The buyers’ acceted our terms and the deal began…

Find out How Much your Rego Park Home is Worth

Once we started the process of going into contract, we quickly realized that we were working with a true professional in the buyer’s agent. The buyers’ loan officer and bank attorney were also very cooperative and communicative. All we needed to do is reciprocate that same professionalism, which we always do:) The deal went very smoothly with very little hiccups along the way. Once the closing day arrived, we had the final walk through in the morning and then headed to the closing. At the final walk through, we could see the excitement in the buyers’ faces. It’s so gratifying to us when we get to see a happy buyer and seller at the closing table! The ownerwas there for 40+ years, and now a new couple was moving in with a baby on the way…

At the end of the day, this deal is just a reminder of how important it is to build a dream team when you buy or sell a home in queens. If you have the right people working for and(or) with you, then it makes for a much smoother transaction and more pleasant experience. This was on of the rare times where the seller’s team was just as good as the buyer’s team, and the end result was a very happy buyer and seller:) One chapter ends, while another one begins. This is why we love what we do, because we get to help people with one of the largest financial transactions they will ever experience. Our client netted $60K over market value, and the buyers’ are getting their dream home! Win-win…

Courtesy of George & Abigail w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II.

George and Abigail Herrera_Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty_HEADSHOT_ROUNDBUY: www.exclusivequeenshomes.com | SELL: www.queenshomeselling.com 

Original Article: http://blog.queenshomeselling.com/success-stories/a-heart-warming-home-sale-in-rego-park-queens/

20 Fun Facts about the Forest Hills NY Neighborhood

foresthill_lgspanForest Hills is an AWESOME neighborhood in Queens NY! We sell homes, Coops, and Condos in Forest Hills and the feedback we get from current and new residents is outstanding. People love the history, the old world charm of Forest Hills Gardens, the Shopping and entertainment along Austin St, the pre-war Coops, etc. There’s much to love about the neighborhood so we created a list of some fun facts that you may or may not know about the Forest Hills NY Neighborhood… ENJOY!

Click Here to See Homes for Sale in Forest Hills NY

1. Was originally referred to as “Whitepot”

2. Bounded by 62nd Drive, Thorton Place, and Selfridge St to the west, Metropolitan Ave to the south, Union Tpke to the east, and Grand Central Parkway on the north.

3. Forest Hills Gardens is bounded by Burns Street to the north, Union Tpke to the east, Greenway South and Harrow Street to the west, and Tennis Place & Continental Ave to the west.

4. Grosvenor Atterbury, a renowned architect, was given the commission to design Forest Hills Gardens. The neighborhood was planned on the model of the garden communities of England.

5. The Cord-Meyer section of Forest Hills is loosely bounded by 68th Avenue on the north; 72nd Road on the south; 108th Street on the west; and Grand Central Parkway on the east.

6. Construction of the Cord-Meyer section of Forest Hills used a prefabricated building technique; each house was built from approximately 170 standardized precast concrete panels, fabricated off-site and positioned by crane.

7. In 1913 the West Side Tennis Club moved from Manhattan to Forest Hills Gardens.

Click Here for a Free Forest Hills Real Estate Market Report

8. South of the Long Island Rail Road, the Forest Hills Gardens is a private community that features some of the most expensive residential properties in Queens county.

9. The most notable high rise apartment buildings in Forest Hills are The Continental on 108th St, Kennedy House, the Pinnacle, and the Windsor.

10. The north side of Forest Hills is the Cord Meyer community which contains detached single-family homes. Teardowns, and their replacement with larger single family residences has had a significant impact on the architectural integrity of the area.

11. Forest Hills was once the home of the US Open Tennis Tournament. The event was held at the West Side Tennis club.

12. Forest Hills is disproportionately home to the upper middle class, of whom the wealthiest often love in the Forest Hills Gardens.

13. The main thoroughfare in Forest Hills is Queens Blvd.

14. Metropolitan Ave is known for it’s antique shops.

Click Here for a Forest Hills Home Value Estimate

15. The commercial heart of Forest Hills is a mile-long stretch of Austin St between Yellowstone Blvd and Ascan Avenue.

16. Forest Hills has the multiple-service Forest Hills-71st Avenue Subway Station (E, F, M, and R trains) at the intersection of Continental Avenue and Queens Boulevard. The local 75th Avenue E F trains) is also in the area, and some entrance/exits of the express Kew Gardens – Union Turnpike station (E F trains) service the southeastern portion of Forest Hills.

17. Forest Hills has two commuter train stations, the Forest Hills and Kew Gardens railway stations of the Long Island Rail Road.

18. The Q23, Q60, and Q64 local buses and QM4, QM11, QM12, and QM18, serve the Forest Hills area.

19. Forest Hills is bordered by two of the more sizable parks in Queens: the 1,255 acres Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, which is the site of two World’s Fairs (in 1939 and 1964) and the iconic Unisphere; as well as the 544 acres Forest Park.

20. Forest Hills was featured as the home setting for fictional comic book character Spider-Man.

BUY: www.exclusivequeenshomes.com | SELL: www.queenshomeselling.com 

Queens Real Estate Market Update: AUG 2015

This_Month_In_Queens_Real_Estate_AUG_2015Queens Real Estate Market Update: AUG 2015

The pace of home sales continued to slow in July according to the Long Island Board of Realtors. July marked the highest year over year decrease in home sales this year at 11%. In other words, last July there were 736 home sales in Queens, while only 655 homes were sold this July. With that said, we have seen that buyers are getting stimulated to enter the market due to the trend of slowly increasing interest rates. Prices on the other hand, continued to rise in July, exacerbated by inventories failure to keep pace with the rising demand across Queens county. As rates rise they will likely continue to push buyers into the market in the near term; however, higher rates will eventually slow demand as affordability is reduced.

Month’s Supply: 6.9 Months
Last Month: 7 Months
Last year: 8.4 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

Queens_NY_Interest_Rates30-year interest rates continued to climb slowly in July. Currently, Freddie Mac reports the following figures: 30-year fixed rate, 4.09%; 15-year fixed rate, 3.25%; 5/1-year adjustable rate, 2.96%.


Queens Home Sales


Homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 655 homes in July, down 5.1% from June and down 11% from the same month of the previous year. July was the second highest year over year decrease we have seen for home sales since August of last year. Indicators show August will likely be a strong month due to a rise in buyer activity as a result of the slow increase in interest rates; however, they point to the sales continuing to slow because inventory has not been able to keep up with demand, and the rise of interest rates will affect affordability, which ultimately leads to less home sales. Specifically, Residential home sales are down 5.2%, Condo sales are down 2%, and Coop sales are down 21.1% compared to July of last year. Over the last 12 months, sales are 4.7%.


Queens Home Prices

Queens_Real_Estate_Market_Home_Coop_Condo_Prices_AUG_2015Home prices increased once again in July to a median price of $420,000. The rate at which prices are increasing appears to still be increasing with July showing a year-over-year increase in prices of 9.1% and a monthly increase of 7.4%. Over the last 12 months, prices are up 9.3% which is higher than the 4-5% that is considered a healthy market. Specifically, Residential home prices are up 8.9%, Condo prices are up 8.7%, and Coop prices are up 2.3% compared to July of last year.


Queens Housing Inventory

There were essentially the same number of homes for sale in July as there were last month, however, demand continues to grow at a faster rate. At the moment, we have 4,482 homes for sale in Queens, while last month there were 4,333. This led to the months of supply of inventory, which measures the relationship between supply and demand, to drop slightly to 6.9 months in July. This number remains tight as low interest rates spur more buyers to enter the market, and new home construction has not yet reached a pace which would provide significant relief to many of the County’s hotter markets.

Blog Courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II.

George and Abigail Herrera_Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty_HEADSHOT_ROUNDBUY: www.exclusivequeenshomes.com | SELL: www.queenshomeselling.com

Queens Home Team Announces Another 2BR/2BTH Coop at the Indiana Development in Forest Hills, NY 11375 For Sale!!!

George & Abigail Herrera Introduce another 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath Coop for Sale in Forest Hill, NY!!!

Privacy, great views, and convenience are featured in this lovely Forest Hills Coop for Sale. Offered for sale by George Herrera, Abigail Herrera, and the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty. This Coop is located in the sought-after community of Forest Hills.

Located in prestigious Forest Hills and close to all of the best that New York City has to offer, the 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath in Forest Hills is one of the city’s premier neighborhoods.

2 Master size Bedrooms with 2 Full Baths, in this spacious Coop Located In the heart of Forest Hills near Trendy Austin Street Restaurants and Shops. Huge Living Room. Eat In Kitchen. Office space/Dining area. Plenty Of Closet Space. Great Natural Sunlight Exposure. On the corner of Yellowstone Blvd. Less Than .4 Miles To Express E, F, R, & M Train. Nearby Parks And Entertainment. All Utilities Included In Maintenance.
This Coop is located at 67-25 Dartmouth Street in Forest Hills,NY. The 2 Bedroom 2 Bath Coop for sale is being offered at $380,000. For more information, the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II at: 646-751-7549. Full details are available at: http://www.exclusivequeenshomes.com

George & Abigail Herrera are local Forest Hills, NY Realtors experienced in working with Residential 1-3 Family Homes, Coops, and Condos, in Forest Hills, NY. George, Abigail, and the Queens Home Team can be reached at the Keller Williams Realty Landmark II office which is located at 75-35 31st Ave, Ste 202, East Elmhurst, NY 11370.

You’re being Taxed as a Two Family, but is your House a Legal 2 Family?

Many times we meet with homeowners who claim their property is a two family home because they are being taxed as a two family, however, legal use is determined by the NYC Department of Buildings, not the Department of Finance. Therefore, you may be getting taxed as a two family, but in reality, your property may be classified as a one family by the Department of Buildings. Here are a few ways to find out if your property is indeed a legal two family home, and what you can do if you believe it should be a two family…

Certificate of Occupancy Search

This is the absolute best thing you can reference to determine the legal use of your property. You can do a C of O search on the Department of Building’s website: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/home/home.shtml Just plug in your property address on the left side of the screen, then click “Search”, once in the Property Profile Overview, click the “View Certificates of Occupancy” link. If you have a C of O on file, congratulations, you have a legal document verifying the legal use of your building. Whatever is on this Certificate of Occupancy is the legal use as it stands. You can also view job filings on this page in case a conversion was started in the past but never finished.

Old Buildings Erected prior to January 1, 1938

Old buildings erected prior to January 1, 1938 predate the requirement for Certificate of Occupancy regulations. Therefore, if you do a C of O search and receive a message like this “No Certificate of Occupancy has been issued according to the Building Department’s indexed records”, chances are that your property may have been built prior to 1938 when C of Os were not yet required.

The only remaining option, if there is no C of O, but you strongly believe that it should be a legal two family, is to apply to the city for something called a “Letter of No Objection”. The logic behind this process is that since the home was taxed as a 2 family prior to 1938 then the city could (at their discretion) provide a letter of no objection allowing you to use the home as a legal 2 family home. In recent cases the city has been difficult about providing letters of no objections. In addition, they sometimes require an inspection of the premises which is not a good idea if your home is not currently set up as a two family. If your property is not currently set up as a two family, then an inspection by the Department of Buildings could actually create more issues for you. However, if you are being taxed as a two family, and your property is properly set up as a two family, you will have a better chance of getting a letter of no objection.

The “Letter of no Objection” process requires you hiring the services of an expediter who will have to go thru the following steps:

1) Obtain the tax records from the Department of Finance to show proof that the home was taxed as a 2 family prior to 1938.

2) Prepare the necessary forms to request the letter of no objection from the Department of Buildings.

If you have any questions, or need any help determining the legal use of your property, feel free to contact us at: (347) 921-0895 or Queenshometeam@kw.com