Get them while they’re hot: Queens homes spend the least amount of time on the market

Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, Queens

Homes in Queens sold faster than homes in every other borough in New York City in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to a new report.

Queens homes spent an average of 68 days on the market in the last quarter of the decade, which was nine days faster than the year before and faster than homes in Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx and Brooklyn, according to StreetEasy. It’s a sign of a good housing market in Queens — one that is growing and is relatively affordable when compared with the rest of the city.

Some parts of Queens are selling faster than others. Northwest Queens homes, including those in Astoria and Long Island City, sold the fastest in the borough, spending a median of 60 days on the market, 29 days faster than last year.

But just because they sell fast, doesn’t mean they sell high.

Despite spending less time on the market, the average price of a home in Queens remained the same from a year ago, selling for around $509,000, one of the lowest prices in the city, according to StreetEasy.

The new report also noted that there were more homes to choose from in the borough in the last quarter of 2019. The sales inventory increased by 1.2 percent when compared to last year, with 4,308 homes on the market.

“Given the relative affordability of Queens, home shoppers continue to find great value in the borough, and have an expanding number of options from which to choose,” said Nancy Wu, a StreetEasy economist. “Inventory is growing, especially in areas like Long Island City and Jamaica where there is a ton of new development, which means that sellers in these areas are facing stiffer competition in order to stand out.”

According to Wu, this puts the power in the hands of the buyers.

“This is good news for buyers, because they now hold the negotiating power, and can afford to be picky during their home search,” Wu said.

The story isn’t as cheery for the city’s other boroughs, particularly Manhattan.

According to StreetEasy, Manhattan’s luxury market has taken a turn for the worse. As more and more luxury buildings are built, the prices have been driven down to compete in the saturated market.

“With so much new construction saturating the Manhattan real estate market, we were bound to see prices start to sink at record paces,” Wu said. “This is happening across all price points and boroughs, as prospective buyers wait out the market from the comfort of their rentals. Market dynamics in 2020 will continue to favor the buyer across all price tiers, and many sellers will have to face the fact that if they want to sell, it may very well be for less than their initial asking price.”

As the total sales inventory in Manhattan rose 3 percent in the fourth quarter, homes stayed on the market for 96 days on average, 10 days more than last year.