(Above: Average sale price climb decelerating over the past two years)
The real estate market continues to level out this month in essentially every measurable way. It’s a far cry from what we saw during the same time last year.
This month’s sales dipped far below what they were last month, setting a new low for the past few years at just 259. Days on the market and cumulative days on the market are each up to a two-year high at 97 and 102 respectively.
We predicted monthly inventory to rise above six months, but did not expect to exceed seven this soon. Month’s inventory was 7.21- also the highest in more than two years. And inventory was up again to 1868, despite new listings actually being down from January.
Average Sale Price Holds Steady Despite Other Performance Declines
Despite all this, average sale price did increase to $585,697 from $578,379. The increase in average sale price might be a head-scratcher to some, but the increase was not significant. The difference was just 1.2%. We also have to consider just how small our sample size was. 259 home sales does not give us much to work with to determine the average.
To put this all into perspective, let’s compare the market performance to what it was last year. In February of 2018, 320 homes were sold; a year-over-year decrease of 19%. Active inventory rose from 1,546 to 1,868- meaning the current market has 21% more homes for sale than last year. Cumulative days on the market rose from 86 one year ago to 102 in 2019- so homes are staying on the market 19% longer.
One more important piece to point is the list-to-sell ratio, which fell to 96.2%. This marks yet another two-year low. This figure, which measures a home’s final sale price against it’s asking price, has been slowly falling since the summer of 2017, when it peaked at 98.4% in July.
So in essence, the real estate market here in Staten Island has hit a plateau, which we saw coming many months ago but has only now really begun to show. The average sale price, however, does show that fundamentals are still holding steady for sellers- they just might not be able to accept that things are changing. A falling list-to sell ratio demonstrates that many are holding out for higher prices. The drop in sales and rise in active inventory further shows how many homes just don’t sell at all.
The takeaway for sellers is at times a hard pill to swallow. That is, we must often cave to what the market demands. Staten Islanders have become used to the market accelerating by now, thus assuming their home is worth more than a buyer will offer for it. At $585,697, the average sale price has already fallen from its record high of $599,999 in November. Be prepared to feel out your offers once they come in, and adjust the list price if necessary.
But this is not the whole story either. Your marketing matters! The best real estate agent is not only honest and knowledgeable about the current market, but able to show you what they will do to drive the right buyer to your property. In the end it’s not solely market indicators that drive value. It’s your agent’s ingenuity too.