Queens Residential Real Estate Market Update for June 2020

The Covid pandemic has directed the US economy into recession territory.  This has, as we know, been driven by a health crisis and not a housing crisis which contributed greatly to the financial crisis in 2008, which we all remember best.  So even though we went into this crisis with banks/lenders in better shape than in 2008 (due to more responsible lending), and homeowners are in better equity positions (having recovered much of the value lost from that 2008 crisis), the sudden shutdown of our economy has brought businesses to a halt and with that job losses that may take time to come back.

Queens real estate has begun to operate under NY State’s Phase II for Covid guidelines as of June 22, and agents are able show homes following specific rules.  The new normal for this industry will place emphasis on working more effectively with pre-move counseling and virtual showings first to help define the the buyers’ search to what best meets their needs.  This will reduce exposure and protect all in addition to wearing masks, distancing and sanitizing procedures as well as requiring health disclosures.
Since Queens real estate agents were very limited in actually working until June 22, closed sales are down -64.2% from last year at this time (some of these sales likely had contracts signed before the Covid shutdown).  Pending sales or new contracts signed are down -80.3% from last year at this time with only 161 contracts signed this May for Queens residential properties versus 818 contracts signed in 2019. Inventory of homes for sale is starting to rise until we see how the current increase in buyer activity translates into contracts of sale.
The last couple of weeks have seen more buyers starting their process of looking for a home.  Since interest rates are the most affordable ever and should remain low at least for the next year or so (per the Federal Reserve), those buying today will benefit from locking in at these low mortgage interest rates while seeing their home values rise in the future as inflation makes a comeback.  Hard assets like real estate values are known to rise during inflationary periods.
The second quarter US economic performance, housing numbers included, will be bad, but improvement is expected in the third and fourth quarters for 2020 as businesses – and with it jobs – regain their “footing”.  Going forward all will be watching housing supply and demand on a local level to determine if price adjustments are necessary.
Contact us for a free Professional Equity Assessment Report (PEAR) for your current home and other properties you own.  This will be good information for insurance and wealth building decisions.