Though the average sale price fell over January's record high, our indicators all show the demand is still strong in the seller's favor.
February's average home sold for $568,102, a slight drop from January's average price of $573,059. The total volume of homes sold in Staten Island also fell slightly from $201 Million to $175.5 Million. This total volume is actually the lowest that we have seen since May 2017.
However, seasonal adjustments are important since real estate activity ebbs in the coldest months. When we compare this winter with last winter, the total sold volume is up in December through February, but not as significantly as the average price. This winter, prices have risen as opposed to last winter when they were largely unchanged. Perhaps most interestingly, the number of homes sold was neck in neck. A total of 308 homes sold in Staten Island last month, and 307 sold in February 2017. This is also true for cumulative days on the market; 88 in February 2018 versus 89 in February 2017.
February's new listings were up significantly from last year, now at 510 from 457 in February 2017. It is clear that sellers are enthusiastic about the potential returns on their homes. This 12% listings increase helps keep up a healthy competition among buyers, which likely explains the fact that prices did not rise over the past month like they did from December to January. During this 30-day time span, the average home price rose a staggering $22,452, compared to last month's drop of $4,957.
More Available Homes This Year Improve Buyer Options
The number of new listings hitting the market since last year, when coupled with the near perfect control variables for total homes sold and days on the market, is probably the main factor keeping home prices from shooting upward faster. If fewer homes were currently being listed, we would probably be seeing even higher prices.
The overall trend is important to consider because February's average price of $496,427 was a statistical outlier in 2017 (the only month since June 2016 to dip below $500,000). All months averaged in 2016 comes out to an average sale price of $488,684. In 2017, home sales averaged $538,106 for the year. This is more than a 10% increase in real estate prices in a single year which is quite significant, far outpacing other measures of inflation like income.
It will be interesting to see statistics for March once they are released. Looking at the trend, prices are unlikely to maintain any consistent fall.
February Recovers From Stock Market Fears
At the beginning of February, the country went through a stock market scuffle when the DOW fell more than 2,000 points in a single week. This led to much speculation on our economy and for many, the real estate market.
While some predicted a more drastic hit, the DOW has since risen and leveled out. February closed out around 25,000 points from January's high of 26,616. The stock market correction was slight and could have contributed to the small home price decline, but our economy seems to have averted disaster for the time being.
Buyer confidence is high on Staten Island! With the listing increases seen this year, it appears seller confidence is robust as well.