Bidding Wars and Low Inventory: Staten Island Real Estate Market Report, August 2017

September 29th. 2017


The Staten Island real estate market inventory tightens as prices continue to soar at breakneck speed. Driving the demand for home purchases is the historically low supply- far more people are lining up to buy homes than there are willing sellers available.


Let’s look at the numbers. With just 2.2% change in the amount of closed sales over last year, the total number of homes sold remains relatively unchanged. Home prices, however, have taken a huge leap- increasing 16.3% since August 2016. At a median sale price of $535,000, the same home would have sold for $460,00 just one year ago.


Available inventory of homes for sale has decreased nearly 11% from the prior year, from 1,750 to 1,567. This also represents a 9.4% decrease from the prior month’s inventory of 1,730, though this is largely explained by the end of summer market cooldown. May, June, and July of this year saw higher inventory numbers of around 1,700.


Buyer’s bidding wars are fueling the incredible speed at which homes are selling once they hit the market. The number of days a home remains on the market until sale is now just 75. This is a 16.7% decrease over last August’s 90 days, and quite a standout number overall. Days on the market have continued to drop fairly consistently since 2013, when prices began to climb past post-recession figures. At the height of the real estate bubble in 2007, median prices peaked at around $430,000.


New homes on the market were up, however, increasing 21.1% over the prior year. New construction properties are popping up all over the island as developers try to stay abreast in this seller’s market.


Despite this drastic change, Staten Island continues to be more affordable than other boroughs of New York City. This sharp upward trend and tightening of housing inventory can be seen all over the city. Consequently, those priced out of Manhattan and Brooklyn are likely also driving demand in Staten Island as well, as they set their sights on home ownership. Considering the trend of sharply rising prices, buyers here could be scrambling to get their hands on a mortgage before prices soar further.


So why are homeowners so hesitant to sell? Several factors are at play here. One theory could be that with so few homes available, “jumping ship” is risky. Will there be any homes left for purchase to suit their needs once their home is sold?


Many questions are likely on the minds of prospective sellers too regarding the future. Will the market level out soon, or will prices continue to climb? Will we see an increase in the inventory numbers any time soon? This is an island, after all. How much new development are we able to squeeze into the borough?

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