Buying and Selling During Corona Virus

Hannah Jay  |  June 9, 2020

Market Reports

The pandemic has changed our lives in ways we could have never anticipated and will probably remember forever. Covid’s impact on the real estate market is just beginning to unfold.

​​​​​​​Staten Island’s average home sale price for the month of May came in at $612,825. This is in line with the previous month and previous year’s numbers, so not much has changed there. In fact, sale prices have hovered within the $600k realm for more than two years now. The question remains as to whether home values will rise or fall in the coming year. Let’s look at what else we know that may help us answer that.

In the month of April, Coronavirus had a staggering effect on housing inventory. Just 99 homes were listed for sale- around 700 is the norm! New listings are certainly up from last month’s low, but at just 327, 54% fewer homes were listed compared to the same time last year. Active inventory is also down considerably for the first time in several years.

​​​​​​​Now only 1,737 homes are up for sale in Richmond County. This is the lowest number of active listings for several years. Before the Coronavirus hit, inventory had been rising.

​​​​​​​Home sales in Staten Island were also down to just 175 for the month, a 45% drop over last year’s 319. Because of this, the total sold volume was down almost 50% from last year. Sellers moved $107 million in property for the month of May compared to $198 million the year before.

Homes have been remaining on the market for longer. Again, a trend many months in the making. Properties now take 117 days to sell on average- down slightly over April’s 127, but historically still very high. Two years ago, it took only 76 days.

Corona Virus: What Will Happen to Real Estate in the Hardest Hit City?

These numbers sound alarming: any change over 20% definitely shows something is amiss. And this is no surprise of course. New York City has the highest rate of Coronavirus cases and deaths in the United States. This not only makes people wary of buying property here, it also frightens homeowners at the prospect of contracting the virus by opening their homes to others.

​​​​​​​And yet, buyers are still calling our agents every day. Even during the hardest of times, residents do still need to move. The inventory constraint is likely what is keeping homes in demand and prices remaining stable. Much of the slowdown is also due to government restrictions beyond our control rather than purely seller’s choice.

Prices may be stable for the moment, but they will likely fall over the next few years. Not only has the pandemic caused anxiety for anyone relocating from a different city, but the real estate market also does wax and wane every 10 years or so. It would be normal to expect some type of downturn regardless, but especially now.

Staten Island will likely be at an advantage that other boroughs are not because of the amount of space we have. Houses are the norm here, not apartment buildings. Spending quarantine with a yard, lots of parks nearby, and social distancing from neighbors are all highly preferred to large, crowded condos and co-ops.


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