After coming down slightly in February, March’s average home sale price climbed right back to reach a record high for the second time this year. Staten Island’s average home will now cost $574,494.
The average sale price has changed little over the past three months however, so we look to other indicators to predict where the next few months will go. Since last summer, the average days on the market has steadily risen. Last month an average home sale took 89 days. This is the longest days on the market metric we have since April of 2017, when average days on the market was 95.
A More Steady Upward Climb?
With this in mind, we don’t expect home prices to rise significantly in the next few months. This does not mean they won’t rise- they will likely continue to. But the fact that homes are now taking longer to sell means the price increases will be more subtle than they were in 2017. The sold-to-list price ratio has also been gradually decreasing over the past six months, now inching to just below 97.
Values are also unlikely to fall though considering the trend of steady increases over the past year, with even sharper increases in the few years prior. When we compare the last six months of activity to the six months preceding this time, the growth margin in home values has slowed considerably. Average home prices rose by $11,000 between last September and this March; Between March and September of 2017, this increase was more than triple that amount at around $36,000.
These consistent price increases cement the Staten Island real estate climate’s status as a seller’s market. We also see the active listings since last year have increased to 1,546 over 1,376 in March 2017- showing that seller confidence is up as well.
A Changing Retail Environment: Target Shrinks, The Mall Grows
As the retail industry is constantly changing, commercial developers in Staten Island are coming up with solutions to adapt.
Just announced this month was the addition of a new “small form” target in Port Richmond’s Forest Avenue Plaza. This will be one of about 130 compact Targets to open by the end of 2019, each of which is tailored to the needs of the local neighborhood it serves. The small form Targets were conceived in response to the consumer shift toward online shopping.
On the other hand, the Staten Island Mall is banking on increased foot traffic. The current expansion began in 2015 and is expected to be completed in 2019. The property was recently sold to Brookfield Property Partners LP for $9.25 Billion.
Additions to the mall indicate a shift toward experience-based alternatives to apparel shopping. Restaurants being added include Chipotle, Dave & Busters, Tommy’s Tavern & Tap, and Shake Shack. In addition, an AMC movie theatre, expanded food court, centrally located outdoor plaza, and German grocery store Liedl comprise more non-retail improvements.
Apparel stores will fill a few new units of the expansion, such as the department stores Zara and Century 21 (a temporary pop-up), but the majority of improvements are experience-based. The Staten Island Mall’s choice to lease so much square footage to non-retail establishments reflects a national trend. Malls all over the country struggle to cope with the consumer shift to online shopping. Dining out or enjoying community gatherings are activities that cannot be enjoyed on a computer.