This Month in Queens Real Estate: October 2012

October 2012 Queens Market Update

The Queens housing market continues to recover, indicated by consistent increases in both home sales and prices. Inventories in some of the Queens’ neighborhoods are primarily balanced, which favors neither sellers nor buyers. However, there are pockets of the county that are experiencing inventory shortages, which puts pressure on prices. Many of the hardest-hit areas during the downturn now have some of the tightest inventories. The return of price appreciation and a stronger market, particularly in those locations, is a welcome signal of returning market health.

Some buyers are frustrated with mortgage availability. If most of the financially qualified buyers could obtain financing, sales would be about 10 to 15% stronger, and the related economic activity would create several hundred thousand jobs over the period of a year.

Despite difficult mortgage qualifying conditions sidelining some buyers, others are still taking advantage of excellent housing affordability conditions, which is evidence of notable stored-up housing demand that accumulated since 2007. With the Queens housing market coming closer to a full recovery and mortgage rates hitting new record lows, the time to buy in Queens, is now.

Absorption Rate12.8 Months (Under 6 months is the sign of a seller’s market, over 6 months is the sign of a buyer’s market, and 6 months is the sign of a balanced market).

Interest Rates

Mortgage rates this month at or around 3.49% are back at record lows. The decline in the 30-year fixed rates is partially due to a result of the Federal Reserve’s announcement of “QE3.” QE3 is a new bond purchase plan which should help stimulate the ongoing housing recovery. Home buyer affordability remains high for home buyers who buy now while rates are low.

Queens Home Sales

Home sales in September dropped by 17% from last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 568 units, a 7% decrease from last year. Residential home sales dropped to 341 units, a 10% decrease from last year; Condo home sales dropped to 43 units, a 12% decrease from last year; And Co-Op home sales mirrored last years home sales, remaining at 184 units.

Queens Home Prices

Home prices continue to rise in certain areas of Queens due to shrinking inventory and an increase in demand. The current median home price is $375,000, up 7% from a year ago and 9% from last month. This has been the fourth month of year-over-year price gains this year, all of which have occurred since May.

Queens Pending Home Sales

Pending home sales rose once again in September to 646 new contracts written, an 11% increase from last year. This is the third consecutive month of year-over-year pending home sale increases, a good sign that there are qualified buyers taking advantage of the housing affordability conditions. In September, of the 646 pending home sales, 380 were residential homes, 55 were condos, and 211 were Co-Ops.

Tips for Queens NY Home Sellers

While the fall housing market isn’t quite as popular or flourishing as spring or summer, there are still plenty of home buyers now seeking a new home. If you plan to sell this season, keep in mind these common motivations to selling your Queens home this time of year:

  1. First-time buyers. During the fall, there is a higher ratio of first-time home buyers. Families with children plan their home purchase around their child’s school-year schedule, resulting in high traffic of these types of buyers during the summertime. Keep in mind that you will be seeing more first-time buyers, so make sure to cater to what they need and look for in a home.
  2. The holidays. Many people looking to buy a house during the fall are emotionally driven to be in a new home by the holidays, so put yours on the market well before the holiday season rolls around.
  3. Less competition. By selling your Queens NY home in the fall, you will face less competition with smaller inventories than in the spring or summer seasons.
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