May 2016 Housing Stats

The May 2016 closed median home price for Long Island, which includes Nassau, Suffolk, and Queens's housing data, was $397,500 representing a 3.8% increase over last year. Nassau County reported a $459,500 closed median home price in May representing a 5.6% increase over $435,000 reported by MLSLI last year. Suffolk County reported a closed median price of $340,000 which represents a 3.3% increase over a year ago. Queens reported a closed median home price of $451,500, which represents a double digit gain of 11.5% over last year.

To see the detailed reports for each county, please click the county name below to view the PDF file.

Suffolk County

Nassau County

Queens County

July 2014 Housing Stats

The closed median home price in July 2014 for Long Island, which includes Nassau, Suffolk, and Queens's housing data, was $384,150, representing a 1.1% increase over last year. Nassau County reported a $439,000 closed median home price in July, representing a slight increase over $435,000 reported by MLSLI last year. Suffolk County reported a closed median price of $335,000 representing a less than 1% increase over last July and Queens reported a closed median home price of $386,336, up 4.4% over last July.

To see the detailed reports for each county, please click the county name below to view the PDF file.

Suffolk County

Nassau County

Queens County

Homeownership’s Impact on Net Worth

As reported by our friends at KCM Blog: Over the last six years, homeownership has lost some of its allure as a financial investment. As homeowners suffered through the housing bust, more and more began to question whether owning a home was truly a good way to build wealth. A study by the Federal Reserve formally answered this question.

Report Click Here

Some of the findings revealed in their report: The average American family has a net worth of $77,300. Of that net worth, 61.4% ($47,500) of it is in home equity. A homeowner's net worth is over thirty times greater than that of a renter. The average homeowner has a net worth of $174,500 while the average net worth of a renter is $5,100.

Why You Should Consider Listing Your Home Over the Holidays

The holiday season can bring many stresses of its own without adding a home sale to the list. This can keep many sellers on the sidelines or send them pulling their houses off the market until the new year rings in.

But contrary to what you may think, this time of year can actually be a fantastic sweet spot for sellers. Holiday buyers are serious and motivated. Consumer confidence is higher than at any other time of year. And relocating families tend to have more time and reason to shop for a new home over the holidays.

Perhaps the biggest compelling reason the holidays are a good time to list your home is the simple fact that there are fewer homes on the market at this time of year, which means less competition.

Flexibility is the Key to Quick Sale

When selling your home, it's important to understand that your life will be temporarily inconvenienced. Nobody enjoys having strangers traipse through their home on a regular basis, but it's important to put your need for peace and privacy on hold while your home is for sale.

When an agent – yours as well as others – calls wishing to bring a buyer to see the home at the last minute, respond favorably, even if it means postponing that brunch you were hosting or your Friday night stay-in pizza and movie tradition.

Remember, your goal is to get the home sold, and that can only be accomplished if people get to see it. Flexibility is the key to a quick sale.

It's best to plan not to be present when buyers pass through. It can be awkward for the buyers if the owner is present during a walk-through. They may feel uncomfortable making honest observations and critiques. So, run a few errands or take a walk around the neighborhood. If you cannot leave, sit in the backyard. But do not attempt to have conversations with the buyer. Speak only when spoken to; be brief and polite.

Another component of staying flexible is being diligent with the upkeep of your home, as you never know when a buyer will be coming through. This weighs in on big factors, like home improvement projects, but even the little things count, too.

You want buyers to feel welcomed and not turned off by unmade beds, cluttered floors, and grungy bathrooms. And remember to keep an eye on your pets. Take them with you when you leave if possible, and be sure to keep kitty's litter box clean.

And of course, hone in on your home's appearance. Remaining flexible is crucial here. You may be crazy about the bold colors in your bathrooms, or that unique craft station you constructed in the third bedroom, but try and view your space from the buyer's eyes. So keep things relatively neutral, and of course, spruce up any trouble spots that could deter a buyer, such as squeaky doors, a leaky roof, dirty carpet and walls, and broken windows.

If you remain flexible in your schedule when showing your home, and keep an open mind about layout and design during necessary pre-sale improvements, selling your home will be a much easier process for you, the buyer, and your agent.

Want to Sell Faster? Optimize Your Home's Best Features

Recent data has shown it looks as if the market may be turning! Home prices have crept upward for the second month in a row, according to a recent S&P/Case-Shiller home price index. However, if you're trying to sell your home, this news doesn't mean you should be sitting back and waiting. Draw in buyers by focusing on certain focal points that can give your property a selling edge, ensuring a faster sale--and a higher selling price.

Don't worry--there is no need to build a pricey addition or completely gut your existing property. By evaluating your home's top selling points, you can add modern touches to these features to create a new, fresh feel without doing major renovations.

Point 1: Glam up your bathroom and kitchen. Nice bathrooms and kitchens are attractive qualities in a house, and you can make yours look luxurious without going overboard.

If you can't afford double sinks, a whirlpool tub or a walk-in shower in your bathroom, try making subtle adjustments. Small tweaks, like a new mirror or updated lighting, can have a huge effect on the atmosphere of a room.

Expand the range of your kitchen by adding a center island with barstools, updating major appliances and giving a second thought to your countertops. Slab countertops, especially granite, are really popular choices. And as far as appliances go, stainless steel is the real deal.

Point 2: Opt for wood. Does your home have large, open rooms? Make them appear even larger with the right flooring. Hardwood floors are timeless. Consider ripping up old carpet and refinishing the wood beneath. Hardwood too expensive? There are many synthetic alternatives that are nearly as appealing as hardwood, at a fraction of the cost.

Point 3: Organization is key. Do you have a ton of open wall space? Make the most of them with built-ins. Buyers love built-in organizational systems, like entertainment credenzas or bookshelves. Built-ins are relatively easy to have installed, and can give your home a unique edge.

Don't forget about closets! Expanding the closets in bedrooms and bathrooms, or adding a walk-in pantry in the kitchen, can add additional sparkle to your home.

Point 4: Don't forget to landscape. Do you have a large yard? Be sure to keep the grass neatly mowed and any gardens well tended. Adding a deck or patio is a great idea, but if your budget won't allow it, simply place some outdoor furniture around the yard in small clusters, so buyers can imagine themselves spending time outside with family and friends.

Moving Madness: How Clean Should You Leave Your Home?

So, you have sold your house. Congratulations!

As you focus on prepping for your new home, packing and moving, cleaning your old home may be on the bottom of your to-do list. "Many sellers are unsure of how clean they need to leave their former property," says Lawrence Finn, CEO Owner/Broker of Coach Real Estate Associates, who explains that some purchase contracts demand the house be "broom swept." But what is broom swept? And what do you do if your legal contract has no cleaning stipulations? Read on to find out.

"While the language behind the term 'broom swept' is somewhat vague, the phrase basically means the seller is required to sweep the floor, walls and ceiling before locking the door for the final time," explains Finn.

Of course, some sellers go beyond this and give the home a good scrub-down, but many do not. "Real estate contracts often state that the home should be left in the same condition it was in when the offer was accepted, meaning if you make a big moving mess, you should clean it up--along with all of your personal property," says Finn. Make sure to read your purchase contract thoroughly to determine exactly how clean your home should be.

"Many sellers hire a cleaning service to go to work on their homes after they are out," says Finn. After packing and moving, sellers are often exhausted and would rather pay someone else to do a good job getting their home ready for its next inhabitants. "Buyers will be cleaning the home before moving in anyway," notes Finn. However, the following are some things you should pay attention to when cleaning your home for the final time:

• Sweep and mop all floors

• Vacuum all carpets

• Clean all kitchen appliances that will be left on location (inside of fridge and oven, etc.)

• Clean bathrooms as best you can, including flooring, tubs, sinks and toilets

• Empty out garage and attic

• Wipe down counters and surfaces

• Throw away any and all personal belongings you aren't bringing with you

The bottom line is that you should clean your home to the extent you would like your next home to be cleaned before your arrival.

Luxury Portfolio Releases Luxury Real Estate White Paper

Luxury Portfolio International™ has released a White Paper entitled "How Today's Highly Affluent U.S. Consumer Selects Luxury Real Estate Associates and Brokerages." The paper focuses on affluent American consumer's wants and needs in today's economic environment. Findings specifically show that performance and reputation are more critical than ever to earning the trust of the consumer.

 

In late 2010 we engaged the Harrison Group (the research company that authors the Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America) to conduct primary research on behalf of Luxury Portfolio with affluent US consumers. The purpose was to gauge their priorities, likes and dislikes related to the selection of an agent to buy or sell a $1M plus home.

 

Some key conclusions:  

• Reputation remains paramount

• Elegant websites are important, but equally important is 1) that websites popularity, 2) the number of luxury properties represented, and 3) a proven online presence and tracking statistics

• A top priority for today's luxury consumers when selecting an agent is market knowledge and experience (no surprise) but also, global reach

• While the Internet is paramount, printed material is still vital for advertising purposes and must be elegant

• Magazine advertising is still considered appropriate, where the affluent and wealthy expect to find real estate tips and home design trends

 

The paper also identifies changes brought about by the recession and how consumers have become more fiscally responsible, but expectations have risen. For luxury real estate, this means consumers are seeking fair-priced homes that still provide superb quality of amenities and features that fit the needs and lifestyle for a family setting. They are more focused than ever on "bargains." Luxury Portfolio continues to tap into the minds of the luxury real estate consumer and market trends through studies and reporting on the luxury market.

 

Read the entire White Paper here.

 

Opportunity for House Sellers

In the recent weeks, so much media attention has been focused on the buyer opportunity in today's real estate market. But what is being said about sellers?

The following was written and reported by KMCBlog.com

Why renewed downward pressure?

Any item's price is determined by 'supply and demand'. In many parts of the country existing housing inventory is already high and actually increasing. In addition, an inventory of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) will be coming to market later this year. This inventory has been delayed for the last several months because of faulty paperwork by the banks when they originally attempted foreclosure proceedings on these homes.

Celia Chen, of Moody's Analytics explains:

"Foreclosures are weighing on the outlook for U.S. house prices, and the slow resolution of issues surrounding the so-called robo-signing scandal is keeping distressed homes off the market".

The New York Times also recently reported on this issue. They looked at the delays in certain states. As an example, this is what they found in New York:

"Last September, before the documentation crisis, nearly 1,500 New Yorkers lost their houses as a result of foreclosure, according to LPS. The average over the last six months: 286. That is far lower than at any point since the recession began."

Banks are now correcting these errors.

There is evidence that the banks are getting their documentation in order and about to again increase their foreclosure repossessions. Housing Wire reported:

"Since major lenders delayed foreclosures to fix a broken process late last year, the amount of filings declined, but in May signs emerged the effect might be wearing off."

They went on to quote RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio:

"...lenders are somewhat unevenly pushing batches of bad loans through foreclosure as they overhaul their paperwork and documentation procedures and as they determine that some local markets are able to absorb more foreclosure inventory... Foreclosure processing delays continue to mask the true face of the foreclosure situation, although there were some clues in the May numbers of what lies behind that mask."

What will this mean to home prices?

As this inventory comes to market, it will impact prices in two ways:

It will provide discounted competition for buyers

It will impact the appraisal values of all homes in the area

Again, we quote Celia Chen:

"It is quite possible that house prices will pick up slightly in the second or third quarter of this year, as foreclosure sales remain depressed while nondistress sales pick up...By the fourth quarter of this year, however, the distress share will rise, sending the house price index back down...

House prices will founder until early next year and start rising in earnest at the end of 2012."

Bottom Line

There is a window of opportunity currently which sellers should take advantage of. Waiting until later this year or until next year will not guarantee a higher sales price. If anything, it probably guarantees the exact opposite.

 

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