This Month in Queens Real Estate: August 2016

by George Herrera, Realtor & Listing Specialist with the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.

August 2016 Market Update

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Home sales in July dropped again for the fifth consecutive month. Despite the drop in transactions, home price increases have 2016 on track to be the best year for home prices since the recession. Near rock-bottom mortgage rates continue to lure more and more buyers into the market despite steadily rising prices and low inventory levels, however, the consistent decrease in year over year sales could be a sign. We may be seeing more people escape Queens as a result of the high prices, or we may be seeing a sign of consumer uncertainty as a result of the political elections. Either way, it will be interesting to see what happens through the third and fourth quarters of this year.

Absorption Rate: 647 sales/per mo.

Current Available Inventory: 3,763 (Last month: 3,812)

Month’s Supply: 5.8 Months

Last Month: 5.7 Months

Last year: 6.9 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. Keep in mind that month’s supply can vary by neighborhood and property type.

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Interest Rates

Interest_Rates

Interest rates decreased slightly from the month prior and remain near all-time lows. Mortgage rates have declined recently due to the drop in U.S. Treasury rates created by the uncertainty surrounding the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union.

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Queens Home Sales

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The Long island Board of REALTORS® reported Queens home sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 607 homes during the month of July. This was a decrease of 12.8 percent from June, and a decrease of 18.3 percent from July of last year.

Specifically, Residential 1-3 family Queens home sales were down 16.8%, Queens Condo sales were down 15%, and Queens Coop sales were down 19.2% compared to this time last year. Over the last 12 months, Queens home sales are down .2%.

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Queens Home Prices

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The median home price reached a record $478,000 in July, which was up 2.7 percent from June and up 13.3 percent from July of last year.

Specifically, Residential 1-3 family Queens home prices were up 11.9%, Queens Condo prices were up 4.3%, and Queens Coop prices were up 16.7% compared to this time last year. Over the last 12 months, Queens home prices are up 7.3%.

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Queens Housing Inventory

There was a 5.8-month supply of housing inventory in July, which increased slightly from June. The total number of homes for sale decreased by 16 percent compared to August of last year. Strong demand spurred by dropping interest rates will likely keep inventory levels suppressed, particularly in the Queens starter home market.

Specifically, there are currently 2,395 residential 1-3 family homes for sale, 385 Condos for sale, and 982 Coops for sale in Queens county.

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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 2_HEADSHOT_ROUND

BUY: queenshometam.com/buySELL: queenshometeam.com/sell

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4 Programs that Queens Home Buyers Should be Aware of

Illustration depicting a sign with a first time buyers concept.

Illustration depicting a sign with a first time buyers concept.

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

We come across aspiring home buyers all the time in this business. Whether it’s young couples browsing around at open houses, people who call us with questions about the process, or even some of our own personal friends who have their own hopes of owning a home, coop, or condo. What we’ve learned from our experience of selling homes here in Queens is that where there’s a will, there’s a way. The reason we know this is true is because we’ve sold homes to buyers with very moderate income but they are determined to buy, and they explore & utilize every resource available to them in order to accomplish their goal. This includes saving money, credit repair, as well as the several first time home buyer programs available in NYC, and in the USA.

Remember, where there’s a will there’s a way. The first step to home ownership is deciding that you ARE going buy a home. Once you’ve made that decision, take the steps necessary to reach your goal. It may take a few years, but if you have a steady job, with decent credit and a little savings, there’s no reason why you can’t make the dream a reality. What I’ve noticed more than anything is that some people are just determined to buy something, and eventually, they do end up buying because there are just so many options out there.

With that said, below is a list of some first time home buyer programs that we’ve seen people use to purchase homes here in Queens. Take a look and then put yourself on the path to home ownership. If you need any help or advice, feel free to Contact Us and we can connect you with one of our Queens first time home buyer specialists…

1. HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program

NYC HPD LogoHPD’s HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance Program provides qualified home buyers with up to $15,000 toward the down payment or closing costs on a 1-4 family home, a condo, or coop in one of the five boroughs of New York City.

Who Qualifies?

In order to qualify for this down payment assistance program you must:

  • Be a first time home buyer
  • Complete a home buyer education course
  • Have your own savings to contribute to the down payment or closing costs
  • Meet the program income eligibility (see below)
  • Buy a 1-4 Family Home, Coop, or Condo in NYC
  • Pass a Housing Quality Standards (HQS) inspection before purchase
  • Live in the home for at least 10 years

Income Eligibility

  • Family Size: 1
    • Max Household Income: $50,750
  • Family Size: 2
    • Max Household Income: $58,000
  • Family Size: 3
    • Max Household Income: $65,250
  • Family Size: 4
    • Max Household Income: $72,500
  • Family Size: 5
    • Max Household Income: $78,300
  • Family Size: 6
    • Max Household Income: $84,100
  • Family Size: 7
    • Max Household Income: $89,900
  • Family Size: 8
    • Max Household Income: $95,700

More details about the process can be found online at: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/owners/homeowner-downpayment-assistance.page

Click Here for a List of Exclusive Homes for Sale in Queens NY

2. NYSAR Housing Opportunities Foundation Grant 

NYSAR Housing Opportunities Foundation GrantThe New York State Association of Realtors Housing Opportunities Foundation, Inc. is an organization that was established to create and increase affordable housing opportunities for individuals to overcome the barriers of homeownership. Qualifying individuals apply for grants to assist with closing costs and/or down payments. The grants are gifts with no payback requirement and are available to low–to-moderate income families in New York State.

The Housing Opportunities Foundation has entered into arrangement with the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region who will receive and review applicants and award grants throughout New York State.

Who Qualifies? 

In order to apply for this grant you must:

  • Be a first time home buyer
  • Income must be no more than 110% of the SONYMA’s Low Interest Program target income limit for the applicant’s county as posted on the SONYMA website on the day the application is recieved.Details on Income Limits:  http://www.nyshcr.org/Topics/Home/Buyers/IncomeLimits/Programs.htm
  • Home prices must be no more than 110% of the SONYMA Low Interest Rate Program’s TARGET purchase price limit for the applicant’s county as posted on the SONYMA website on the day the application is received. Details on purchase price limits: http://www.nyshcr.org/Topics/Home/Buyers/PurchasePriceLimits/Programs.htm
  • Applicant must be purchasing an owner occupied property
  • Applicant must be working with a Realtor

More details about the program can be found online at: http://www.nysar.com/top-navigation/foundations-and-divisions/nysar-housing-opportunities-foundation/grant-opportunities

Click Here for a List of Exclusive Coops for Sale in Queens NY

3. SONYMA Mortgage Programs

SONYMA LogoParticipating Queens Lenders are: 

CitiBank
Queens
P: (516) 297-0041

Freedom Mortgage
Queens Village, Queens
P: (718) 217-7266

Wells Fargo
Astoria, Queens
P: (718) 310-4321

Elmhurst, Queens
P: (718) 310-4300

Forest Hills, NY
P: (718) 730-6100

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4. Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA)

NACA-logo-flatThe Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (“NACA”) is a non-profit, community advocacy and homeownership organization. NACA’s primary goal is to build strong, healthy neighborhoods in urban and rural areas nationwide through affordable homeownership. NACA has made the dream of homeownership a reality for thousands of working people by counseling them honestly and effectively, enabling even those with poor credit to purchase a home or modify their predatory loan with far better terms than those provided even in the prime market.

The NACA program begins with attending a four hour workshop which covers the details of the program, and the additional 9 steps needed to qualify for the NACA mortgage. You can search for and sign up for a workshop at: https://www.nacalynx.com/naca/workshop/workshopIntro.aspx

For more details and information about the NACA program and home mortgage, visit:

https://www.naca.com/

Well, we hope that this information is helpful, and more importantly, we hope that you can see how realistic the dream of home ownership is if you make a concious decision, and commit yourself to the process…

If you have any questions or need any advice, feel free to Contact Us.

Site and blog courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera with the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II. 

George and Abigail Herrera_Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty 2_HEADSHOT_ROUNDBUY: www.queenshometeam.com/ | SELL: www.queenshomeselling.com