Prices Rise Again as Buyers Snap Up Dwindling Inventory

Hannah Jay  |  November 12, 2020

Market Reports

The inventory squeeze continues in Staten Island, bringing average home prices once again past the $600,000 mark.
 
Total housing inventory is down from last year by about 9%. Currently, the borough of Staten Island has just 2,241 homes for sale. This figure includes pending home sales that already have an accepted offer, which means the true number of available homes is actually even smaller.
 
Because of this, home sales are also picking up speed. For the first time in about a year, average days on the market dipped below 100. Your average Staten Island property is now sold in 99 days. Just two months ago, it was 125.
 
Amazingly, sales were up significantly since last year. 495 homes sold in October- marking a 29% increase year over year. This means that we will likely experience shrinking inventory in the coming months.
 
Mortgage rates are still well below 3%, keeping incentive high for buyers to lock in a fixed rate. For the week of November 12, the 30-year fixed rate averaged just 2.84% according to Market Watch. Though rates have risen slightly after promising news on the coronavirus vaccine, last week’s dip was a record low so a small increase is not likely to deter home buyers.
 
So as we have seen, demand for real estate in our borough remains strong. Buyer activity has picked up but listing activity has not kept up. Though new listings were up just slightly over last year (632 in October compared to 624 one year ago), demand is still outpacing supply.
 
Month’s inventory is probably the most extreme figure on our list- October came in at just 4.53 months. This means that at the current rate of sales, it would take only four and a half months to clear all homes on the market now. It has been several years since the month's inventory dipped below 5 months. Just six months ago, month’s inventory was 12.69!
 
The amount of new listings in the coming months will really be the deciding factor on whether home prices will continue to rise. If the amount of new listings keep up with this strong demand, prices may not change much. Mortgage rates will be a factor too- if they keep rising this will curtail the demand somewhat. But all signs now point to a rise in home prices during the coming months.

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