Home News LI home sales hit winter lull in February; prices hint possible spring surge

LI home sales hit winter lull in February; prices hint possible spring surge

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The Long Island housing market in February had the lowest closed sales as buyers continued to face housing shortages in the market since July 2020, when the first wave of the pandemic delayed trading.

Completed sales were down 15.1% in Nassau County to 954 and Suffolk down 17.7% to 1,181 compared to February 2021, according to data released by OneKey MLS on Tuesday. Sales fell 16.6% across the island. Sales have been sluggish in recent months, partly due to the historically low number of homes on the market and strong demand from buyers.

House prices in both counties rose year-on-year. At Nassau, the median selling price was $ 650,000, 8.5% higher than in February 2020. In Suffolk, median sales were $ 527,000, or 10.9% higher than a year ago. Prices have remained almost unchanged from the previous month and have been fairly stable since the fall.

The island inventory problem had improved slightly by the end of last month. The market did not record the record lows of homes on the market in February, as it did in the past three months, and at the end of last month it was listed about 100 more than at the end of January. However, the number of homes on the market in February is about 25% less than in the previous year.

The new listing was about the same as last year at this point, but buyers’ demand prevented homes from staying in the market. Jim Speer, CEO of OneKey MLS, said:

“That’s why the market is hot, because inventories are still declining,” Spear said.

What you need to know

  • Long Island Home Sales February decreased by 16.6% year-on-year, reaching the lowest level since July 2020.
  • Median selling price in Nassau County It increased by 8.5% from the previous year to $ 650,000. Median sales in Suffolk were up 10.9% to $ 527,000, higher than the same figure last year.
  • Median pending sales Not yet closed were $ 689,900 in Nassau and $ 550,000 in Suffolk. Prices can be even higher, but OneKey MLS CEO Jim Speer said more data is needed to determine if it’s a trend.

Last month, there were more unfinished sales contracts than completed sales. According to Speer, pending sales were 1,020 for Nassau, down 6.6% and 1,278 for Suffolk, compared to February 2021.

“I was worried about what would happen if interest rates began to rise, but of course it was,” he said. “Will inflation start slowing the market? Not at this point. This is a good sign. There is no real slowdown in the sales that we are currently contracting,” he said.

Rising interest rates could limit the purchasing power of homebuyers this year. According to mortgage giant Freddie Mac, the average interest rate on 30-year fixed mortgages for the week to March 10 was 3.85%. A year ago, the rate was 3.05%. The Federal Reserve is expected to meet this week to approve rate hikes to curb inflation. Mortgage rates tend to rise during periods of inflation.

The contract signed last month shows a rise in the closing price of spring. The median pending sales that have not yet ended were $ 689,900 in Nassau County and $ 550,000 in Suffolk.

“I think it’s hard to put a lot of confidence in what happens in a month because it can bump back for some reason, but that’s up,” Spear said.

The homes on the market are of great interest. Nicole Chimento, a real estate agent at Realty Connect USA in Hauppauge, held an open house for a three-bedroom home in West Babylon on March 6, with about 45-50 buyers lined up down the driveway. Said that it attracted. The screening brought about 20 offers, most of which were above the $ 465,000 offer.

“You now have a buyer who has the strongest offer and abandons the valuation clause to ensure they get a home,” Chimento said. Buyers who abandon unforeseen valuations agree to pay more cash if the lender values ​​the home at a lower value.

Joe Moshe, a real estate broker and owner of Charles, said buyers are unlikely to see a significant recovery in the number of homes on the market in the coming months, so buyers will have as much cash as possible to make their offers stand out. He said he needed to find a way to reduce. Plainview Rutenberg Realty has offices around the metro area.

He said buyers would be willing to use all their resources to get their offer accepted and would need to seek help from their families to make the most competitive bids possible. Some buyers are withholding cash for repairs, but this is a mistake, Moshe said.

“The market is too tough to lose a home because of the money you have in the bank. You’d better have them repaired in a year or two,” Moshe said. “You won’t lose your home because you can afford to pay from your disposable income.”

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