Queens Real Estate Market Report: NOVEMBER 2015


by George Herrera, Realtor and Co-Owner of the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.

November 2015 Queens Real Estate Market Update

The pace of existing home sales dipped in October, both month over month and year over year. As chatter about the eventual rise in interest rates becomes more pervasive in the media, a sense of urgency has helped push more buyers back into the market. Inventory has remained tight on a local level but for the first time this year, inventory levels are roughly the same as they were this time last year. In addition, month’s supply is also very similar to last year so this could be a sign that we are leveling out with year ago levels. For most of 2015 we were experiencing 25% year over year inventory shortages, however, September and October have shown inventory levels consistent with what we were seeing in the fall of last year. With that said, demand remains high across the county; however, the opportunity for large equity gains in many neighborhoods has kept sellers active and price increases remain at a sustainable level.

Month's Supply: 5.9 Months 
Last Month: 6.5 Months 
Last year: 6.3 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.

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Interest Rates


Interest rates continued to slide downward, prompting a surge in buyer activity as people looked to capitalize on low rates before they begin to rise again. Currently, Freddie Mac reports the following figures: 30-year fixed rate, 3.79%; 15-year fixed rate, 2.98%; 5/1-year adjustable rate, 2.89%.

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Queens Home Sales


Homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 721 homes in October, a decrease of 8.6% from September, and down 6.7% from the same month last year. As people move to lock in low interest rates at the end of this year, we are seeing an increase in buyer activity but it has not shown up in the sales figures yet. With the anticipation of a rate increase looming, we may see a rise in sales despite the usual seasonal decline. Over the last 12 months, residential home sales are up 3.2%, Condo sales are down 12.1%, and Coop sales are down 7.6%. Overall, sales are down 2.3% in the last 12 months.

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Queens Home Prices


Home prices continued to hold steady in October despite the uptick in demand. The median home price was $425,000 according to the Long Island Board of Realtors; this was a decrease of 1.2% from September and a year-over-year increase of 2.2%. 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. Over the last 12 months, prices are up 8.5%.

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Queens Housing Inventory

The actual number of homes for sale in October was down 4.5% from last month and down 4.3% compared to the same month of the previous year. This led to the months supply of inventory, which measures the relationship between supply and demand, to fall to 5.9 months. This number remains tight as low interest rates spur 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. Altogether, there are about 4,291 homes, coops, and condos for sale in Queens at the moment.

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Blog Courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II. Queens Home Team is the Highest Rated Real Estate Team in Queens NYC!

George and Abigail Herrera_Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty 2_HEADSHOT_ROUND

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Original Article: http://blog.queenshomeselling.com/blog/queens-real-estate-market-update-nov-2015/

17 Fun Facts about East Elmhurst NY

by George Herrera, Realtor & Owner of Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.

East Elmhurst_3East Elmhurst NY is a wonderful and unique neighborhood in Queens county NYC. We sell a lot of homes here so we get to tour the neighborhood and learn all of it’s hidden gems quite often. The neighborhood consists of two zip codes (11369 & 11370), and 11370 actually consists of two sub-neighborhoods, one of them which is north of Grand Central Pkwy, and the other which is south of Grand Central Pkwy. The northern section which borders Astoria Ditmars and Laguardia airport is commonly referred to as “Upper Ditmars” or “Astoria Heights”. If you talk to the neighbors here, you’ll quickly realize that they differentiate themselves from what is defined as East Elmhurst. The southern part of the 11370 neighborhood doesn’t have a fancy name, but it is just as charming. Lastly, 11369 is a neighborhood bordered by 86th Street to the west, 112th Pl to the east, Grand Central Pkwy to the north, and Northern Blvd to the south. These two areas make up what we as Realtors call “East Elmhurst”, and we define it as the area which runs from 70th St to 112th Pl (west to east) between Grand Central Pkwy and Northern Blvd (north to south). The neighborhood is very residential with only a few Coops and Condos. As you drive or walk around, you’ll notice that the neighborhood is comprised mainly of 1-3 family homes with very nice curb appeal. In the area between Grand Central Pkwy and Astoria Blvd, you’ll see a very suburban like neighborhood with bigger lots and more detached homes and attached. Altogether, East Elmhurst is very charming and the neighborhood offers a lot of value to residents, visitors, and potential buyers alike. So, we have compiled a list of fun facts that you may or may not know about the the East Elmhurst Queens neighborhood. ENJOY:)

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East Elmhurst_21. East Elmhurst is the first neighborhood you will see out an airplane from LaGuardia Airport

2. East Elmhurst is located north and east of Jackson Heights and north of Corona.

3. East Elmhurst includes La Guardia Airport
Flushing Bay.

4. The zip codes of East Elmhurst are 11369 and 11370.

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East Elmhurst_45. East Elmhurst and its southern neighbor Corona are often referred to jointly as “Corona/East Elmhurst”.

6. In the East Elmhurst 11369 and 11370 ZIP code, almost 30 percent of the 36,000 residents were born abroad.

7. The Corona East Elmhurst News, first published in 1959 by Kenneth and Corien Drew, was located on Astoria Boulevard. It ultimately became the Queens Voice and was published for 1959-2002.

8. The MTA’s Q19, Q23, Q33, Q47, Q48, Q49, Q66 and Q72 buses serve East Elmhurst.

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East Elmhurst_19. P.S. 127 Aerospace Science Magnet School, an elementary school for grades PK-8, and I.S. 227 Louis Armstrong Middle School for grades 5-8 are in the East Elmhurst neighborhood.

10. A small section of East Elmhurst is zoned for separate district in Whitestone, Queens causing some children to attend P.S. 21 for elementary and J.H.S 185 for middle school.

11. During the 1950s and 1960s the area was home to legendary African American musicians, civil rights leaders, professionals, and athletes[5]including Malcolm X, Dizzy Gillespie, Nat Adderley, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Heath, Frankie Lymon, Charlie Shavers, Ella Fitzgerald, and Willie Mays.

12. This once rural area is now among the fastest-changing communities in the city.

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13. East Elmhurst has been home to a number of renowned jazz talents, including singer Ella Fitzgerald and bassist Ray Brown.

14. East Elmhurst is home to The Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology

15. While there are some high rise apartment complexes, most of the housing in East Elmhurst is in the form of single and multi-family homes.

16. The East Elmhurst population is incredibly diverse, with a good mix of Italians, Greeks, Hispanics, Asians, and African Americans.

17. East Elmhurst is a very residential area and it certainly isn’t what one might expect of New York City, but it offers a fairly cheap alternative for people who want suburban living without going too far from Manhattan.

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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 2_HEADSHOT_ROUNDBUY: www.exclusivequeenshomes.com | SELL: www.queenshomeselling.com

Original article: http://blog.queenshomeselling.com/blog/17-fun-facts-about-east-elmhurst-ny/

18 Fun Facts about Astoria Ditmars

by George Herrera, Realtor & Co-Owner of the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.

Live in the area? Join our local Facebook group to stay in touch with what’s happening in the neighborhood: www.facebook.com/groups/astoriaditmarsliving/

George and Abigail Herrera_Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty 2_HEADSHOT_ROUNDAstoria is comprised of 4 different zip codes, 11102, 11103, 11105, and 11106. The most popular of the 4 is arguably 11103 and 11105. 11103 is the zip code where you will find 30th Ave, Broadway, Steinway, etc. Many consider this section “the heart of Astoria”, however, just north of Grand Central Pkwy there is the 11105 zip code, sometimes referred to as Ditmars – Steinway or the Astoria Ditmars Neighborhood. This section is more residential than the busy areas south of GCP, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t much to do. This area has a busy thoroughfare on Ditmars Blvd with plenty of shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. Most of the action is happening on Ditmars Blvd, between 31st St and Steinway, but you also have Astoria Park to the west, and what was known as “Steinway Village” to the east. In addition, you’ll find a lot of small retail shops, restaurants, and stores on several side streets throughout the neighborhood. Altogether, this small neighborhood of Astoria is lively and very walkable. The lower density gives the area a small town feel so you’re not overshadowed by huge buildings. As you tour the neighborhood, you quickly notice that it is crawling with a mix of young professionals and long time residents. It’s no wonder that this is one of the hippest and fastest growing areas of Queens, so we compiled a list of some fun facts that you may or may not know about the Astoria Ditmars Neighborhood.

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Ditmars-Steinway Astoria Living

1. Beginning in the early 19th century, affluent New Yorkers constructed large residences around 12th and 14th streets, an area that later became known as Astoria Village (now Old Astoria).

2. During the second half of the 19th century, economic and commercial growth brought increased immigration from German settlers, mostly furniture and cabinet makers. One such settler was Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg Steinway & Sons in 1853, which today is a worldwide piano company.

3. Later on the Steinways built a sawmill and foundry, as well as a streetcar line. The family eventually established Steinway Village for their workers, a company town that provided school instruction in German as well as English.

4. Astoria and several other surrounding villages, including Steinway, were incorporated into Long Island City in 1870.

5. Italians were the next significant immigrants after the Dutch Germans in Astoria, and numerous Italian restaurants, delis, bakeries, and pizza shops are found throughout Astoria, particularly in the Ditmars Boulevard area.

6. The 1960s saw a large number of ethnic Greeks from Greece, and immigrants from Cyprus in 1974.

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Ditmars Corner 31st St and Ditmars Blvd

7. The Greek cultural imprint can be seen in the numerous Greek restaurants, bakeries, tavernas and cafes, as well as several Greek Orthodox churches.

8. The eastern end of Astoria, with Steinway Street as its main thoroughfare, is sometimes referred to simply as “Steinway”.

9. The northern end around Ditmars Boulevard is sometimes referred to as “Ditmars”.

10. Ditmars is a middle class section of Astoria bounded by Bowery Bay to the north, 31st Street to the east (boundary with the adjacent neighborhood of Steinway, with which Ditmars is sometimes confused), 23rd Avenue to the south and the East River on the west.

11. The Steinway neighborhood was largely developed as a company town by the Steinway & Sons piano company, and included houses and public facilities that were also available to non-employees.

12. The Ditmars neighborhood was not included in the Steinway & Sons company housing and related facilities project.

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Ditmars Station

13. Ditmars is considered to be a popular neighborhood among young professionals and in some real estate references the adjacent neighborhoods of Ditmars and Steinway are joined as a single “Ditmars-Steinway” reference.

14. The Ditmars neighborhood takes its name from Ditmars Boulevard which was named in honor of Raymond Lee Ditmars, (1876-1942) famed American herpetologist and curator of Reptiles of the New York Zoological Society at the Bronx Zoo.

15. Astoria Heights, or Upper Ditmars, is bounded by Hazen Street to the west, La Guardia Airport to the east, Bowery Bay to the north, and Astoria Boulevard and the Grand Central Parkway to the south. It is mostly a quiet middle class neighborhood of 1 and 2 family private homes.

16. Astoria is served by the N Q trains which run along the elevated BMT Astoria Line above 31st Street.

17. The primary streets running north-south are 21st Street, 31st Street; and Steinway Street (named for Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg (later Henry E. Steinway), founder of the piano company Steinway & Sons).

18. The block of 37th Street between Ditmars Boulevard and 23rd Avenue is sometimes referred to as “the Seinfeld Street.” In the Seinfeld television show, this street is occasionally seen in external establishing shots as the block where George Costanza’s parents live.

Click Here for a List of Coops and Condos for Sale in Astoria Ditmars


Blog and site 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 2_HEADSHOT_ROUND

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

Original Article: http://blog.queenshomeselling.com/blog/18-fun-facts-about-astoria-ditmars/