Coronavirus Pandemic Does Not Halt Home Sales in Staten Island: Market Performs Better Than Many Expected

Hannah Jay  |  July 22, 2020

Market Reports

Staten Island is uniquely positioned during the Covid-19 crisis. Spacious homes with yards make for an appealing escape from the other boroughs.
 
The average home sale price shot up again to $619,755 last month, nearly smashing records.The highest average sale price to date was in May 2019 when it reached $621,047.
 
Although new listings were up just slightly since last year, total housing inventory is actually down since last June by 24%. An abnormal constraint happened in April when only 99 homes were listed during the coronavirus shutdown. This keeps prices up where they are because demand is still stronger than supply.
 
It will be interesting to see where prices are headed, though, as other indicators have slowed since last year when prices were lower. Cumulative days on the market is still high at 118, which measures how long it takes for the typical home to sell. This is around the 4-month mark compared to about 3 months last year at 96. 
 
Sold listings decreased an astonishing 36% from 364 last year to just 254 this year. Month’s inventory is also up almost a full month since last year, now at 7.69 months to clear all current inventory.
 
Average sale prices had come down quite a bit from their May 2019 high, but now it looks as if the gains lost have been regained for now. It is important to note, that sale prices have bounced around and on the average, have changed little over the past few years. They do not appear to be falling, however.
 

Staten Island’s Real Estate Market Typifies That New York Toughness

 
Price spikes along with inventory spikes are not something altogether unfamiliar. We have experienced this quite a bit over the last few years. This paints a picture of resilience, so typical of New Yorkers, reflected in the local real estate market. Staten Island always seems to have a certain power to keep attracting people in the face of adversity.
 
For example, 2018 demographic estimates showed that the southernmost borough was the only one of the five to actually gain residents during that year. During this time, the city saw its first net loss in population for many decades. Staten Island gained 663 people. Even in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the real estate market also fared well here for the most part.
 
Quarantine was especially hard on families in tiny apartments from Brooklyn and Manhattan. With all gathering places shut down for months and many of us working from home, urban New Yorkers were put in a pressure cooker of sorts. We didn’t have the normal opportunities to socialize with friends, co-workers, and loved ones. We are survivors; and do what we have to in the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. So for many people that meant leaving the concrete and jungle and heading for the suburbs to improve their quality of life.
 
With the 2020 census on the horizon, it will be interesting to review how our population compares to one decade ago. Property taxes are still among the lowest in the tri-state area. Home prices are also lower than desirable neighborhoods in other boroughs- so is crime and population density. And depending where you choose to purchase a home, commutes might be better than Long Island or New Jersey.

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