Borough Brokers Say Real Estate Outlook Remains Bright

Borough Brokers Say Real Estate Outlook Remains Bright

As the number of available apartments for rent and homes for sale continues to diminish in area communities, realtors and real estate service companies say the market is definitely on the mend and will continue to improve in the foreseeable future.

Brokers in Howard Beach, Ozone Park and the Rockaways report that housing inventories are particularly low at this time because sales have been brisk for the past few months.

Maria Trinceri of Exit Realty Central in Ozone Park said that interest rates are still low and that the market is becoming “solid once again,” adding that prices are also rising.

In Ozone Park, for example, studios are ranging from $100,000 to $125,000; a 2-bedroom condominium for about $140,000; and basic homes from $550,000 and up. Howard Beach homes, she said, are typically more expensive, starting from about $750,000.

“All of these areas, locally, have limited availability,” Trinceri said.

And while she doesn’t normally handle rentals, Trinceri noted that prices in that part of the industry have also remained stable or are on the rise, with 1- to 3-bedroom rents ranging from $1,200 to a little more than $2,000 per month.

“The market is definitely turning around and we’re busy,” Trinceri related.

The Queens Rental Market Report echoed her observations, quoting monthly rental prices for trendy borough spots, including Long Island City and Astoria, from $1,700 for a studio, to more than $3,000 for a 3-bedroom apartment.

Movoto Real Estate posts listings online of South Ozone Park homes, ranging from $300,000 to a bit more than $600,000; with the median list price for South Ozone Park holding steady at around $425,000. Movoto reports that, overall, prices are up about 7 percent from this time a year ago.

Nia Casilla, an associate broker with Rockaway Properties, noted that the real estate market is “really heating up” in Rockaway as well, as inventories are low, driven by demand for properties that have been listed for a relatively short amount of time.

“We are seeing a large renaissance in some of the neighborhoods with many colonials being in high demand,” Casilla said. “Condo sales have also picked up for 2015 as many buyers are looking for low-maintenance second homes.”

Casilla also noted that she is now seeing bidding wars for certain properties, which always augments prices.

Rental prices in the Rockaways vary, she said, but in general a studio in Arverne is typically $800 per month, while in Rockaway Park they can begin at $975.

Home prices in Arverne can average $325,000, while in Belle Harbor, $550,000 would be the low point.

Asked about Rockaway’s progress as it continues to recover from Superstorm Sandy, Casilla said that while things have not completely returned, communities are showing signs of trudging forward.

“We also have many commercial places still vacant and available specifically in the Arverne and Edgemere sections that we hope will help the community as new businesses come in,” Casilla explained. “We have seen a slew of new businesses post-Sandy, from restaurants to coffee shops; many local businesses took the opportunity to expand, such as Lana’s Loft and CROM Physical Culture.”

Casilla said prospective home and business owners are interested in the Peninsula because they view its communities as on the verge of thriving less than three years after such a catastrophic weather event.

“Rockaway as a whole is seeing many new buyers and many renters, now that people see the direction in which the area is heading.”

By Alan Krawitz


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