Nationwide existing homes sales slid 4.9% in March.  Each of the four major US regions saw a drop-off in sales.  

In Queens, the total number of properties sold dropped -15% from last year at this time – 688 sold in March of last year and 585 properties sold this year.

 

The Queens median price for sold properties increased by only 2.2% – $557,000 this year versus last year’s $545,000. Price appreciation continues to level off in 2019 after months and years of continued price appreciation.

 

The number of pending sales – those going to contract for March – were fairly even with last year’s numbers – up only 1.8% – 793 properties pending in 2018 and 807 pending this March.  

 

The pending sales median price has dropped -4.5% for this March versus last March – $550,000 in 2018, $525,000 was the median price for pending sales for 2019.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, feels buyers have not become fully aware of the lower mortgage interest rates available this spring.  Rates were close to 5% for this past fall and now closer to 4%.

There are also more homes to choose from and in Queens, there was a 26% increase in the inventory of homes for sale compared to what was available last year at this time – 4,012 for sale last year and 5,063 properties for sale at this time. Months supply of homes for sale has risen to 6 months from a 4.9 month supply in 2018 at this time. 

We now have what is considered more of a balanced market with an equal number of buyers and sellers.  This helps contribute to a more sustainable housing market. (Less than six months of inventory equals a seller’s market – where we have been for several years.  More than six months of inventory for sale becomes a buyers market where they are more in command and sellers must adjust pricing to move forward.)

Mr. Yun feels the tax policy changes will likely continue to impact the housing sector.  
Also, the lower/moderate price ranges continue to see high demand while the high-end, luxury market is seeing lackluster demand and longer timeframes to bring about a sale.

 

Data from:  Long Island Board Of Realtors MLS

National Association of Realtors – Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist