Summer in the sun-drenched neighborhoods of Staten Island is always an exciting time. But this 2020 summer is unlike any other. We’ve had to deal with the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic. And that crisis has impacted the real estate sector nationwide, with both upward and downward trends in different markets. So, I’ve compiled some of the key Staten Island real estate trends I’ve observed so far. Here we go!
Folks are flocking to suburbs to escape the pandemic
The New York Times published a piece on how people looking to avoid crowded metro areas are flocking to fashionable exurbs and suburbs. A friend of mine who works at Spotify moved back in with her conservative parents in Virginia is sort of an example of this, and she’s still paying the rent for her shared apartment in lower-Manhattan, but I digress. These activities are driving up home prices in some of these markets.
Average home sale prices in Staten Island currently stand at $554k, according to Redfin. At a time when markets in other areas have been severely impacted, Staten Island real estate seems to be quite stable, with about 0.68% year-over-year increase.
There are opportunities for both sellers and buyers
Depending on whom you ask, the Staten Island housing market is tilted in either favor for buyers or sellers. According to the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR), there has been an increase in buyer demand amid the pandemic, which has driven up home prices by up to 7.3% compared to June 2020 and June 2019.
Other reports also portray the market as a buyer’s market. However, while activities in the market have been impacted earlier by the lockdown measures imposed in the early stages of the coronavirus response, both seller and buyer activities have increased significantly since in-person showings resumed. In the words of Sandy Krueger, CEO of SIBOR:
“Staten Island’s June statistics reflect a market that was still in a New York Phase-1 shutdown until June 22. Since then, having entered into Phase 2, we have experienced a robust return to activity in new listings, showings, open houses, and accepted offers. July results will better reflect the pent-up demand that we see from both sellers and buyers.”
Buyers still want what they’ve always wanted
I’ve also noticed that buyers’ demands for home sales in Staten Island have remained largely unchanged. Ted Williams of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Safari Realty captured this when he said:
“Buyers are looking for what they have always looked for, a house that suits their needs in a neighborhood pleasing to their sensibilities and taste.”
In most cases, this includes convenience and proximity to good schools, shopping, and transportation.
The current buying and selling trends in Staten Island reecho the words of Frank Rizzo of Cornerstone Realty:
“I wouldn’t call it a buyer’s market per se, but it is no longer a seller’s market. We consider it a value-driven market, where buyers will pay for the value they find in a property and sellers who have realistic viewpoints of the inventory competition and trend lines are able to capture that built-in value as well.”
Frankly, I’ve been observing this on occasions when speaking with clients. I’ve also noticed how small apartments in some areas with upscale facilities—such as URBY—appear to be moving faster, with a good amount of competition for properties that are priced correctly.
2020 Staten Island real estate trends – in numbers
The Staten Island Board of Realtors compiles data from Staten Island Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to deduce real estate market insights. The data below are current as of July 5, 2020.
Here are the key facts
Staten Island real estate trends did adjust to the COVID-19 disruption in June with 51.9% lesser closed sales and a 29.12% decrease in new listings compared to the same period in the previous year. Again, inventory in the same period fell 26% compared to the same period in 2019. Up until now, seller activity in this market has been somewhat reduced, a phenomenon that many experts attribute to general seller reluctance over COVID-19 concerns.
Buyer activity, on the other hand, has gained traction in this market, which of course, is why median sales price bumped to 7.3% y-o-y, despite the challenges facing this market. This makes sense. It’s easier to search for available homes online than it is to physically spruce up your home to give it some curb appeal.
Speaking of, here are some Affordable Curb Appeal Tips for a Quick Summer Sale:
My take on current Staten Island market trends
So far, it’s been a busy summer in Staten Island real estate, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. While the coronavirus is believed to have contributed to the recent buyer/seller resurgence in many New York suburbs real estate markets like this, it is still unclear whether it will continue through the rest of the year or perhaps when the crisis is all over.
For now, though, what the current Staten Island real estate trends suggest is a market rife with opportunities for sellers and buyers alike.
Make calculated offers that represent value for your current financial position and intended use of the property. If you’re on the fence, now may be the best time to take advantage of historically low-interest rates on a mortgage.
If you’re a seller, get the house on the market! If the place needs a new paint job or some curb appeal, you can purchase most–if not all—of the supplies online.
Here are some great apps to help you start renovating your home right now:
If your house is ready to be sold, share it on Zillow, Redfin, Craigslist, etc. Tell your real estate agent that you want to sell the house without compromising social distancing etiquettes. And if you need a real estate lawyer who can accommodate this, I can definitely assist.
There are buyers out there! You can practice social distancing by answering their calls, meeting via Zoom, and scheduling self-guided tours by leaving the house key inside a lockbox. Get creative by sharing a virtual tour of the house on Youtube. Almost everything can be done online today.
Best of luck out there in this crazy market!
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This information, based on New York law, was provided courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher J. Arrigali, P.C. It is intended to inform, not to advise. No one should try to interpret or apply any law without the assistance of legal counsel. Please click here for the full disclaimer.