"I do not feel that we have a housing bubble, but rather a lack of supply," says Justin R. Simmons, associate broker with DKC Realty Group. He cites the historically low interest rates creating more demand, noting that as they begin to creep up again, some buyers will be pushed out of the market.
Says Simmons: "Homeowners are also in a very strong equity position today compared to the Great Recession, and the mortgage standards in place now after the Recession should mean that most people can afford the homes they buy." While foreclosures are still a concern, Simmons says that lenders are encouraged to provide alternatives to buyers, particularly those who are owner-occupants.
"With a 3.5 months' supply of inventory as of the end of March 2021, we are in a seller's market on Staten Island," says Joan Camerlengo, broker/owner of Joan Camerlengo Realty. "The average sales price of a home increased to $615,737 -- an increase of 6.1% as compared to $580,317 in March 2020."
Camerlengo notes that if interest rates continue to rise, it will affect the loan amount that a buyer qualifies for. When this occurs, it usually means there will be less of a demand for housing, resulting in prices leveling or, in some cases, dropping.
Says Camerlengo: "While I do not foresee a housing market crash, my 27 years of experience in real estate sales has taught me that real estate markets are cyclical."
The bottom line
Call off the frantic Google search for now. Things are looking good for residential real estate in New York City. But it's in a New Yorker's blood to be a bit wary -- especially after surviving a global pandemic.
Says Gottlieb: "If there is another wave or surge of cases and we return to lockdown, then we may see listed property begin to languish again and another dip in market activity, but that doesn't seem to be where we are headed."