Photo: Lucas Klappas/Flickr

If numbers don’t lie, then the numbers are saying that the Queens housing market is on an upswing.

Queens home inventory was up substantially from last year in the first quarter while price growth outpaced both Manhattan and Brooklyn, according to a report released today by New York brokerage Stribling and Associates.

Over the last year, both median and average prices in Queens grew by 11 percent year-over-year to $530,000 and $606,347, respectively, in the first quarter of 2018. Nearly every submarket recorded price increases in the first quarter as the sales pace quickened. At the same time, the total number of sales increased four percent from last year.

Total listing inventory in Queens was up 41 percent from last year in the first quarter, with houses (including townhouses) comprising 47 percent of all active listings. Some 18 percent of all listings were condos.

Most of the Queens housing stock is single and multi-family homes, which attracts a different buyer pool than a high-rise condo overlooking the city,” Stribling’s Director of Data and Reporting Garrett Derderian tells BuzzBuzzNews.

Queens condos recorded the largest average price gains in the first quarter, up 17 percent from last year to $630,000. Condos accounted for 13 percent of all sales in the first quarter — the smallest share of all Queens closings. The average price per square foot for a Queens condo jumped 33 percent annually to $1,040.

Home sales (including townhouses) accounted for 58 percent of all sales in the first quarter, while co-ops accounted for 28 percent. Average home (and townhouse) and co-op prices were up 7 percent and 11 percent, respectively, from last year in the first quarter.

“The Queens housing market is on an upswing, while still remaining the most affordable when compared to Manhattan and Brooklyn. We see the Hunters Point neighborhood — where much of the new developing is taking place — on par with areas of Brooklyn, while still being a more affordable alternative to most of Manhattan,” Derderian says.

Northwestern Queens — which includes new development hotbeds Long Island City (LIC) and Hunters Point — accounted for 8 percent of all sales. The median price rose 18 percent year-over-year to $793,189 and the average price per square foot jumped 16 percent from last year to $1,029.

The area’s prices were “driven by development,” and it is having a “profound” impact on overall pricing in the immediate area, Derderian notes.

“Buyers continue to flock here because of the relative affordability and proximity to Manhattan. And while it may have seemed a far-fetched notion ten years ago, LIC is now synonymous with luxury,” Stribling says in the report.

The upward momentum seen in the first quarter will likely carry over into the second quarter, which includes the typically busy spring homebuying season.

“We expect borough-wide momentum to continue. Buyers are now looking to parts of Queens as a first choice option, and as a Brooklyn alternative, where housing costs have significantly escalated,” Derderian predicts.

Click here to read the entire report.

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