Heading into the 2019 spring housing market, buyers will have more homes to choose from as there has been a 25.6% increase in residential inventory February 2019 over inventory levels for February 2018. Six months of inventory for sale (based on total homes for sale in an area divided by the number of contracts or houses sold per month) equals a balanced market with equal number of buyers and sellers. Over six months of inventory for sale indicates more homes for sale than buyers, and this current increase in inventory has resulted in 7.2 months of homes for sale versus 5.8 months last year at this time. The market is definitely shifting from several years of a sellers’ market with fewer homes for sale.
The Closed Median Price for February 2019 was $560,000 versus $549,000 for February 2018. This was just a 2% increase over last year whereas prices had been appreciating 7%+ – and double-digit increases also for eight of the past 12 months of 2018. Price appreciation has definitely started to slow, which helps create a healthier, more sustainable housing market.
The Pending Median Sales Price for February 2019 was $530,000, a -0.9% change from $535,000 for last year at this time.
The Number of Closed Sales for February were down -8.9% from last year at this time. 520 residential properties closed this year versus 571 closed a year ago. Closed sales were down from the previous year’s closed units for 8 of the past 12 months.
The Number of Pending Sales for February was up 2% this month – 648 this year versus 635 in contract in February 2018.
As interest rates dropped closer to 4.5% from the 5% mortgage rates that prevailed through the fall of 2018, buyers began to take advantage of this 1/2 point difference and a real savings in monthly payments. The Federal Reserve has indicated rates should remain fairly stable throughout the year. This in combination with an increase in the number of homes for sale, should help create an active spring housing market.
All statistics reported by the Long Island Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service.
Helen Keit, Licensed Real Estate Broker
SRES, CLHMS, CRP,GMS, CSA, MBA
Keller Williams Realty Landmark
32-55 Francis Lewis Blvd.
Flushing, NY 11358