Queens housing market update

| helen.keit@kw.com |

The Queens and Long Island housing markets have seen consumer confidence improving over the past months and the huge oversupply of homes for sale have continued to decline over the past year. In fact some sellers are seeing multiple bidding where there may be fewer homes for sale in competition.

Statistics from the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island, Inc. show the median sales price in Queens was up 11 percent in July 2012 – $379,000 versus $341,500 for July 2011. MLS also shows the number of pending sales in Queens, or properties in contract, was up 17.6 percent for July over last year at this time.

Key factors to watch for continued improvement in home sales will be the job market and the “shadow” inventory of distressed homes that are still in the foreclosure pipeline. According to LPS Mortgage Monitor, the inventory of foreclosures in judicial states (of which New York is) is over three times that of non-judicial states. The judicial process is lengthy especially with new rules instituted since the financial crisis.

Most important is the fact that home affordability has increased with the interest rates continuing at the lowest point in decades in combination with home prices adjusted from the highs of 2003-2005. If you are a first time buyer now might be the time to “get off the fence” and buy. If you are looking to trade up to a larger home, these interest rates will buy you more for your money than in the past. And if you are a seller looking to size down or move to retirement living now might be just the time to net the most as inventory levels are lower and there is less competition.