This Month in Queens Real Estate: November 2012

November 2012 Queens Market Update

The Queens’ housing market is showing steady signs of recovery due to a combination of rising demand, declining inventory, and low interest rates. A good indicator that the market will experience a full-force recovery is strongly evidenced by the continual increase in median home prices. Usually, prices slow down after the peak summer sales season, but the current gains are a sign that the housing recovery is self-reinforcing.

The market trend is up in Queens. Despite occasional month-to-month setbacks, we’re experiencing a genuine recovery. More people are attempting to buy Queens homes than are able to qualify for mortgages, and recent price increases are not deterring buyer interest. Rather, inventory shortages are limiting sales in some of the more popular/high demand neighborhoods of Queens.

Now is one of the most favorable times in market history to purchase a Queens home due to record-low interest rates. With the uncertainty of the upcoming election and the likelihood that interest rates might not be low for much longer, the time to buy is NOW.

Interest Rates

Mortgage rates this month continue to decline at or around 3.41%, reaching record lows. While these rates underline an extremely favorable time to buy, “some buyers who could easily afford a mortgage can’t assume they will get one,” states NAR President Moe Veissi. He advises home buyers “to be more focused on the mortgage process in the current environment where lenders and banking regulators are being risk adverse. Shopping for competitive mortgage terms is a good idea, but it may be more important to find a bank that is willing to work with you given your credit history.”
Queens NY Home Sales
Home sales fell 5.9% month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 560 units, a 10.7% decrease from last year. Residential Home sales fell 7.6% month-over-month to a rate of 327 units, a 14.2% decrease from last year. Condo Home sales fell 2.1% month-over-month to a rate of 46 units, a 12.2% increase from last year. Co-Op Home sales fell 3.6% month-over-month to a rate of 187 units, a 8.8% decrease from last year.

Queens NY Home Prices

Home prices have slightly decreased this month, with the current median home price at $369,995, up 1.3% from last month’s median price of $275,000, but up 8.8% from last year. While the month-to-month trend has seen a small dip, the year-over-year trend of increasing home prices is still present. September marks the fifth month of year-over-year price increases this year.

Queens NY Pending Home Sales

Pending Home sales rose 10.2% month-over-month to a rate of 736 units, a 15.4% increase from last year. Residential Pending Home sales rose 3.8% month-over-month to a rate of 407 units, a 5.4% increase from last year. Condo Pending Home sales fell 3.5% month-over-month to a rate of 55 units, a 10% increase from last year. Co-Op Pending Home sales rose 25.1% month-over-month to a rate of 274 units, a 35.6% increase from last year.
Queens NY Home Buyer Tip
When trying to figure out how much you can afford on your monthly housing payment(s), a good rule of thumb is to keep it under 33% of your monthly gross household income. In other words, your monthly housing debt (Mortgage, Maintenance, Common Charges, Taxes, Insurance, etc.) should not exceed 33% of your monthly gross income. This is a conservative way to make sure that you buy within your means.   
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