Prices and sales at a high point
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — With home sales declining around the country, Staten Island’s real estate marketplace is thriving. In fact, both prices and sales are at a high point.
While sales dropped in the other boroughs during the second quarter of 2018, they increased 16 percent to 1,640 homes sold during the same time period, according to Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY) Residential Sales Report.
And while the citywide average sale prices of homes decreased during the second quarter of this year, on Staten Island the average prices rose by 8 percent to $539,000 during that time, according to REBNY.
Here are eight reasons why Staten Island’s real estate market is smoking hot right now:
1. We got off to a good start
The borough’s housing market for 2018 kicked off with strong sales — 348 homes were sold on Staten Island in January, according to statistics provided by the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR).
“The real estate market on Staten Island has been red hot over the last few years,” said Jon Salmon, broker/owner of Salmon Real Estate in Castleton Corners.
“At the end of 2017, I would have predicted a slow down for 2018. It now appears that the overall economy is strong, unemployment is low and wages are finally starting to rise,” he added.
2. Prices might be high, but still cheaper than other boroughs
While the pricetags for homes on Staten Island are higher than other areas of the country, they’re still less expensive than other New York City boroughs. According to a study put out by Unison, a home ownership investment firm, you need to earn at least $400,000 annually to own Manhattan real estate. Brooklyn homeowners need to earn between $210,000 and $273,000 a year, according to the study.
“While the rest of New York City continues to move out the middle class, Staten Island continues to offer attractive housing options for working class New Yorkers,” said Frank J. Rizzo, president and broker of Cornerstone Realty in Annadale.
3. Talk of North Shore large-scale development is drawing more buyers
A large majority of homebuyers seeking to move to the North Shore are coming from other boroughs, said Ken Gonzalez, a real estate attorney and partner in the law firm of Gonzalez & Merlino, in Castleton Corners.
“All the talk of the retail that will be developed is adding to the attraction of the North Shore,” he said.
“For the people coming from Brooklyn and the outer boroughs, they are able to sell their homes at really high prices, and are able to come in here and buy for a lot less and get more land, or maybe they can buy a two-family here after selling a one-family,” Gonzalez added.
(Courtesy Staten Island Board of Realtors)
4. We are bucking a citywide trend
While home sales are down across the city during the second quarter of 2018, Staten Island is bucking this trend with an uptick in both sales and prices, according to REBNY.
The New York City residential sales market recorded an 8 percent decrease citywide totaling $12.3 billion in the second quarter of 2018, compared with the second quarter of 2017, according to REBNY.
This was the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines in New York City’s total residential sales and transactions, according to REBNY.
In fact, the market has not experienced four quarters of consecutive year-over-year decreases since the third quarter of 2009 said REBNY.
But it’s a different story on Staten Island.
While the citywide average sales price of homes decreased during the second quarter of this year, on Staten Island the average prices rose by 8 percent to $539,000 during that time, according to REBNY.
And in some communities sale prices jumped even higher. The average sale price for a one- to three-family home in Tottenville went from $600,000 in 2017 to $718,000 in the second quarter of 2018, according to the REBNY report. That’s a 20 percent increase.
5. New tax laws have made Staten Island real estate even more appealing
“Staten Island real estate is in a sweet spot. Relative to most of the city, excluding the Bronx, we are the most affordable borough,” said Sandy Krueger, CEO of the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR).
“The new federal tax bill is also working in Staten Island’s favor. With limits on real estate and state/local income tax deductibility at the federal level, people have to look hard to determine if the New Jersey option is affordable,” he added.
6. Rising interest rates make buyers want to cash in now
“We are now facing a rising interest rate environment. When coupled with inventory shortages and rising prices, more and more buyers will opt for a more affordable product, such as those opportunities present here on Staten Island,” said James Prendamano, vice president and CEO of the Bulls Head-based Casandra Properties Inc.
7. Staten Island real estate has yet to peak
Real estate professionals say the decrease in price in other boroughs is also due to prices in those markets reaching their peak.
“We have watched housing costs in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens soar out of control over the past few years,” said Connie Profaci, broker/owner of her self-titled New Dorp real estate agency.
“The slowdown in the other boroughs indicates to me that those markets have reached their peak, and buyers are now looking for alternatives. Staten Island remains by far the best value for New Yorkers in terms of housing costs and lifestyle. People living in other boroughs looking to make a move are starting to recognize that. And people living on the Island are being persuaded to stay,” she added.
Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel
8. Prices are expected to level
“I do not think in any way are we heading for a recession or bubble bursting,” said Traci Cangiano, broker/owner of the Great Kills-based Cangiano Estates Ltd.
“My personal opinion is that this market is leveling itself out at present, and the remainder of third and fourth quarter will see numbers just as good as the second quarter of 2018. I also predict the Staten Island market will be heading into 2019 on a very high note,” she added.