January listings always dip each year, but this month was much sharper than last year thanks to a major boost in sales.
For months now, Staten Island’s housing market experienced a trend of dwindling inventory. With sales also dramatically up, fierce competition from buyers has pushed the average home sale price up again to another record high for February 2021.
Staten Island’s average home sold for $629,048 in the month of January. This is up 8% from last year when the average home sale price was $583,001. Available inventory is down to just 1,614 - an astounding 20% drop since last year.
With inventory this low, buyers are limited to fewer choices when searching for their perfect home. And when they find it, there will likely be others interested in their dream home too. This is because home sales are also dramatically up since last year. In January 2021, 448 home sales closed on the borough of Staten Island. One year prior, only 339 homes sold during the month of January.
This marks an increase of 35% in sales year-over-year. Residential sales have picked up fervently and not enough listings have been added to replace them. After several record-setting months recently, this demand-side push has continued to raise the price ceiling.
New Listings In Coming Months Will Determine Where Home Prices Are Headed
With that being said, the total number of home sales was down significantly over the prior month. In December 2020, an amazing 572 homes sold- another record breaker. Also during winter when sales are usually at a lull, we nonetheless saw a 25% drop in sales this month. The total volume of home sales was also down 18% from December to January. December 2020 rang in the new year with $351 million in total sales for all homes combined, while January rounded up $288 million.
And even though prices were pushed a hair above record levels, it was a small scale increase; May 2019’s average home sale price hit $621,047. January gave us some wild outliers, but prices may actually remain stable instead of shooting up further. It depends mainly on two factors.
One of these is whether or not this unseasonable surge in home sales will continue over the coming months. The other factor is whether new listings will increase in the next few months. If buyer activity returns to normal levels and more listings hit the market, prices will probably level out for the near future. But if inventory further tightens, home seekers may be wise to lock in a mortgage now instead of waiting out the market, hoping prices will drop.