Drop in listings, rising prices result in fastest-paced housing market in three years: Report

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The Queens housing market saw a rise in prices and sales as well as a drop in listing inventory in the last months of 2021 — making it one of the fastest-paced markets in more than three years, according to a new report by real estate agency Douglas Elliman.

In nearly all parts of Queens, except the Rockaways, sales rose annually for at least three consecutive quarters. Median sales price rose by nearly 8% year over year to $718,000, setting a record for the fourth time in five quarters and was nearly 18% higher than the same period two years ago before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the report.

Luxury median sales price increased 6% to $1,400,000, representing the top 10% of all sales. One- to three-family properties’ median sales price saw the largest annual gain, up nearly 13% to a record $850,000, according to the report.

The market share of sales sold above their last asking price was nearly 19% higher than the same time period’s five-year average, which is reflective of low listing inventory.

The number of sales rose by nearly 19% year over year to about 3,700, which was nearly 9% above the same period in 2019, and the fourth quarter with an annual increase, according to the report. 

The number of yearly sales reached their highest level in 14 years, and was 51% above 2020 results, which showcases the significant scale of the market recovery following the onset of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, listing inventory fell by nearly 19% year over year to 4,952, but was still approximately 9% less than the pre-pandemic levels in Queens.

“Based on the sharp gain in sales and drop in listing inventory, the market pace was blistering,” the report noted.

In Queens, there is nearly four months of listing supply — or the number of months to sell all listing inventory at the current sales rate — which is about 32% faster than the same period in 2020, according to the report. 

The average days on the market — or the number of days from the last price change to the contract date — was 69 days, nearly 29% shorter than the same period in 2020 and shorter than the nearly 87-day average from the same period in the past decade.

In an indication that sellers are readily overpricing their homes, listing discount — or the percentage change from the previous list price to the contract price — was nearly 17%, much higher than the 4% rate of the same time period of 2020.