This Month in Forest Hills Real Estate: October 2012

Forest Hills NY Market Update

The Forest Hills housing market continues to recover, indicated by consistent increases in both home sales and prices. Inventory levels are still primarily high, which favors buyers. There are pockets of Queens 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 to Queens and Forest Hills.

Some Forest Hills Home 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 Forest Hills’ 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 Forest Hills’ housing market coming closer to a full recovery and mortgage rates hitting new record lows, the time to buy in Forest Hills, is now.

Forest Hills NY 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.

Forest Hills NY Home Sales

Home sales in September dropped by 14% from last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 43 units, a 43% increase from last year! Residential home sales rose to 8 units, a 60% increase from last year; Condo home sales rose to 3 units, a 50% increase from last year; And Co-Op home sales rose to 32 units, a 39% increase from last year.

Total Number of Homes Sold: 43 – Down 14% from last month & Up 43% from last year. 

  • Residential Homes Sold: 8
  • Condo Homes Sold: 3
  • Co-Op Homes Sold: 32
Forest Hills NY Home Prices

Home prices continue to rise in certain areas of Queens due to shrinking inventory and an increase in demand. Due to the high inventory levels in Forest Hills, supply outweighs demand, thus putting pressure on home prices. The current median home price in Forest Hills is $221,000, down 20.4% from a year ago and 15.8% from last month. This has been the fourth month of year-over-year price gains this year.

Median Sale Price: $221,000 – Down 15.8% from last month & 20.4% from last year. 

  • Residential Median Sale Price: $706,000
  • Condo Median Sale Price: $475,000
  • Co-Op Median Sale Price: $196,500

Forest Hills NY Pending Home Sales

Pending home sales rose in September to 42 new contracts written, an 20% increase from last year. This is the fifth 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. With this increase in home sales, inventory levels should lower which will eventually stabilize the market. In September, of the 42 new pending home sales, 4 were residential homes, 1 was a condo, and 37 were Co-Ops.

Total Number of Pending Home Sales: 42 – Down 43% from last month & Up 20% from last year. 

  • Residential Pending Sales: 4
  • Condo Pending Sales: 1
  • Co-Op Pending Sales: 37

Forest Hills NY Listing Inventory 

Current active listings on the market: 464

  • 88 New Co-Ops hit the market
  • 4 New Condos
  • 10 New Residential Homes

Absorbtion Rate/Month’s Supply

Time it would take to sell the current inventory at the current rate of sales:

  • This Month – 10.9 months
  • Last Month – 10.9 months
  • Last Year – 18.8 months

*6-7 Months is a sign of a stable real estate market. Under 6 months is considered a “Seller’s Market”, over 7 months is considered a “Buyer’s Market”.* 

Tips for Forest Hills 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 Forest Hills 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 Forest Hills NY home in the fall, you will face less competition with smaller inventories than in the spring or summer seasons.
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