STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Manhattanite Jennifer Ludgate moved to Staten Island last year to take advantage of lower housing prices. She and her husband, Ryan, chose a condominium in the Accolade in St. George for its luxury appeal.
“We came here because of the prices. This was 40 to 50 percent cheaper than Manhattan, and we were expecting our first child. We wanted space and we got a great two-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath condominium,” said Ludgate.
“You can’t get anything in the other boroughs for close to what we paid for it. …And we’re hoping the (home) prices increase in value as they develop the North Shore,” she added.
Staten Island’s residential real estate is in high demand among transplants — like Ludgate — from the other four boroughs, who are being priced out of their long-time neighborhoods.
With the lowest home prices in the city — combined with the many new retail developments and attractions being built across the borough — Staten Island is a hot spot for real estate.
“We are seeing a lot of people with significant amounts of cash who want to be part of New York City real estate, and they’re investing in Staten Island — and not just the North Shore. They are investing in other areas as well. The greatest real estate value in the city is still on Staten Island,” said Frank J. Rizzo, president/broker of Cornerstone Realty in Annadale.
In fact, the borough’s residential real estate sales are up 6 percent over the last year — for the period of July 2015 to July 2016 — with the median home price being $435,000, said Sandy Krueger, CEO of the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR).
But that means there are less homes for sale, which is leading to bidding wars and sale prices above the asking price. In fact, there were only 878 active houses listed with the Multiple Listing Service as of Wednesday, said Rizzo.
“We don’t have a lot of inventory so we have a lot of people chasing relatively few properties, which makes it difficult because we’re having multiple offer situations,” said Sandy Krueger, CEO of SIBOR.
In fact, we are seeing housing prices more familiar to the pre-market crash of 2007.
“Strong demand will continue. There are no indications in the short-term that interest rates will rise or that demand for housing has abated,” said Jon Salmon, broker/owner of Salmon Real Estate in Castleton Corners.
“We experienced a very long slide in real estate several years ago and I think the rising market will also be long-term. I believe that low interest rates are the ‘new normal’,” he added.
FALL MARKET TO BE ‘BUSY’
Realtors say these factors will likely lead to a very busy fall housing market.
“It has been an unusually busy summer, and that is laying the ground work for the fall market,” said Traci Cangiano, broker/owner of Great Kills-based Cangiano Estates.
“I recommend buyers act now, prior to the election. This is another reason why I feel the fall will be very busy — clients trying to get their deals and interest rates secure prior to this crazy election. We are seeing values hold strong, and sellers are still benefiting from this market trend. I anticipate transitioning seamlessly from this very busy summer market into the fall market with little change in pace,” she added.
Laura Volsario, broker and director of operations for Gateway Arms Realty in St. George, agreed.
“I believe it will be a very busy fall due to the coming election and the uncertainty that comes with this change,” she said.
“Inventory is still low in this current market so there is demand, but it seems to have softened a bit. I have many sellers looking to list immediately after Labor Day since right now many people are seeing their children off to college or getting in last-minute summer vacations,” Volsario added.
STEADY GROWTH PREDICTIONS
Realtors’ predictions for beyond the fall market is continued growth.
“The real estate market should see steady growth over the next 12 months,” said James Prendamano, managing director for Casandra Properties.
“This would mark the third consecutive annual growth period in as many years. Several factors contribute to this trend. Interest rates remain at an all time low offering buyers attractive terms and enticing many to enter the market to take advantage of these rates while they last,” he added.