While sales have decreased, it’s still a good time to buy a home in Queens: Report

estate agent giving house keys to woman and sign agreement in office
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While the COVID-19 crisis has certainly affected the real estate market in Queens in a major way, a new report found that it’s a good time to be a home buyer in the “World’s Borough” and that the market’s future might not be so bleak.

Though the number of home sales hit record lows in the second quarter of 2020, the median sales price in Queens hasn’t seen an annual decline in 17 months, according to the report from Douglas Elliman.

Queens’ real estate market was in a healthy position before the real estate market was shut down to slow the spread of COVID-19, the report said. The median sales price in the borough saw a 6 percent increase during the second quarter of this year, up to $607,350.

“Queens benefited before the pandemic because the Manhattan consumer was priced out of the market,” said Steven James, president and CEO of Douglas Elliman’s New York City operations. “Going into the pandemic, Queens was in a much better position and coming out of it they are going to be in a better position.”

The massive decline in sales and in listings – the number of homes for sale dropped by 18.5 percent in the second quarter of this year – isn’t a major concern to James, who said the drop was natural.

“All of this is a reflection of what happens when a real estate market is completely shut off,” James said. “The sales absolutely stop and as a result of that, all the sales are way, way down.”

Slowing the market down even further, James said, is the unwillingness of sellers to sell their home at a number below their original asking price.

“When there are transitions like this, the seller usually takes a longer period of time before they’ll take anything lower,” James said. “But you need to be realistic. It’s probably very unlikely that a buyer is going to come in and give you your asking price.”

For that reason, the report suggests that while there aren’t as many buyers in the market right now, it’s a good time to be one.

James said that home sellers should be sensitive to the fact that buyers are looking for a deal and that because the market is small, sellers need to be “reasonable.”

“You need to be prepared before you even go into the market that there’s going to be negotiability,” James said. “You want to be open and try to work with the buyer.”

While the market may have slowed to a near halt in the past few months, James said he is optimistic that it will bounce back by the fall.

“For July and August, it’s going to be a kind of slow process. Everybody is going to be testing each other out,” James said. “I think we’ll see better results after Labor Day. I feel there is probably a bit of pent up demand.”

For the full report, click here.