STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (June 6, 2014) — The start of the busy spring buying season means a growing number of Americans are on the hunt to purchase a home, but many could have trouble finding a home to buy. A new survey by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reveals for the first time that difficulties finding the right property have surpassed challenges obtaining financing as the most cited reason clients are not purchasing homes.
This finding speaks to the tightened inventory conditions seen in many areas of the country, including Staten Island. There simply aren’t enough homes available to purchase — predominantly at the low end of the market, where first-time buyers are most likely to shop.
“There’s more demand than inventory, which has pushed up home prices to levels above what many first-time buyers are comfortable spending,” said Sandy Krueger, CEO of the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR). “People spend countless hours going through the process of obtaining a loan and locating their perfect home only to find themselves competing in a bidding war.”
Fortunately, the market is showing signs of improvement. Nationwide, housing inventories increased in April, rising 16.8 percent to 2.29 million existing homes available; this represents a 5.9-month supply, up from a 5.2 month supply in March.
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says a housing supply of over six months is needed for a generally balanced market between home buyers and sellers. He predicts that we will continue to see a balancing act between housing inventory and price growth, and that more inventory and increased new-home construction will help to foster healthy market conditions.
In April, new listings on Staten Island decreased 16.8 percent. Pending Sales were up 5.1 percent. Inventory levels shrank 26.6 percent.
Prices were fairly stable. The Median Sales Price decreased 1.6 percent to $369,000. “Days on Market” was down 19.9 percent to 137 days. Absorption rates improved as “Months Supply of Inventory” was down 36.3 percent to 7.4 months.
So the future is looking brighter, but what should potential buyers looking to enter the market now do to increase their chances of finding their dream home?
SIBOR suggests buyers carefully evaluate their finances and get prequalified or preapproved for a mortgage. “You’ll be able to make a firm commitment to buy and your offer will be more appealing to the seller,” said Laird Klein, president of SIBOR
Making a clean offer with as few contingencies as possible can also help buyers who find themselves competing with multiple bidders. “The best offer isn’t always the one with the highest price,” Klein said. “It’s the one with the fewest hassles and restrictions.” Eliminating or reducing the number of contract contingencies, through things like pre-offer inspections, can help make your offer stronger.
“Prospective buyers should look for a RealtorÒ who is familiar with the areas and neighborhoods they are considering,” said SIBOR CEO Krueger. “A Realtor®’s unique knowledge and insight to local markets can’t be replicated by simply searching online. They can provide valuable advice, discuss listings, show you homes in person, negotiate on your behalf and help you stay focused on the emotional and financial issues that are most important.”
Consumers who want the most accurate, up-to-date property listings on Staten Island should also visit SIBOR.com, Krueger said.
About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)
The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.
SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically; and to promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.
Comprising more than 1,700 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.
SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in more than 3,000 real estate transactions every year.
All SIBOR members belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
SIBOR may be reached at 718-979-0007 and viewed online at http://siborrealtors.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors” and on Twitter via @SIBOR.
Media Contact: Barton Horowitz