Two years later, real estate is thriving

Despite rising costs, the housing market still bustles in wake of the coronavirus



The housing market has been one of the few industries to experience success since the pandemic first began in March 2020.

While many migrated to states like Florida, Texas, and Georgia, New York City’s housing market has seen an increase in inventory and an even bigger increase in sales.

Two years later, one might wonder how the housing market is fairing out now that the world is learning to live with the virus and move on.

If you thought inflation, the rising price of gas, and a Ukrainian-Russian war would slow down the housing market in the area, you were wrong.

At least that’s what some real estate experts and data might suggest.

“In the 50 years our company has been in business, this is by far the strongest sales market we’ve had, both in terms of volume and prices,” said Pamela Trebach, a licensed associate real estate broker of Trebach Realty Inc. “I have not noticed a drop in sales. In fact, homes that are appropriately priced are selling right away. We are selling properties before they are even listed.”

But why is real estate doing so well when every other industry seems to be struggling? Trebach believes it could be a combination of the right things happening at the right time.

“Since the lockdown, there’s been a crop of buyers with renewed confidence fueled by the surging job market and historically low interest rates that have only recently started to go up,” Trebach said. “Rents have been going up significantly in Manhattan, and that usually benefits Riverdale in terms of people looking for more reasonable rents and more space, not to mention all those who decide it’s finally time to buy.”

The market may be on a buying spree kicked off by events following the pandemic, particularly employees working from home. But Trebach is confident it’s not the only reason homes are still selling-even at higher prices.

In fact, the real estate broker has pointed out some features home buyers were looking for at the height of the pandemic are no longer as strongly desired as they were just a year ago.

“As more people go back to work in their offices, the emphasis on flexible home workspace has decreased somewhat,” she said. “And there’s less talk about lockdown appeal of things like patios with heaters.  And during showings, people are no longer preoccupied with disinfecting and masking and (the) fear of getting into elevators with other people.”

It’s a signal that “working from home” is no longer as strong of an influence as it once was when buyers are considering a home’s value.

Many buyers still desire the many features of a home, whether or not it’s “pandemic-proof.”

“There was a lot more emphasis last year on Zoom rooms (for virtual meetings), home gyms, remote learning and swimming pools,” Trebach said. “Buyers and renters were looking for apartments and houses that offered not only one additional home office but in many cases two. This is still the case.”

It isn’t just a trend Trebach Realty is experiencing. Other realty firms are saying the same thing.

For instance, the Douglas Elliman Report states in its first quarter report that the “overall price and sales trends continued to press higher,” despite all of the economic woes the country is currently facing.

In fact, data from Elliman have showed the number of sales in the area have increased annually for the fifth consecutive quarter.

Like the trend of that data, the listing inventory has also increased year over year for the sixth time in seven quarters.

These trends continue to increase even though the last time median sales price declined year over year was in the third quarter of 2020, according to the Elliman Report.

These trends continue to increase even though the last time median sales price declined year over year was in the third quarter of 2020, when they were $300,000, according to the Elliman Report.

This year median sales prices are up at $330,000, increasing by 1.2 percent compared to this time last year. However, they dropped by almost 10 percent from March, when then median price was $365,000.

However, the increase in sales throughout the Bronx, unlike the greater Riverdale area, has seen a small decrease in home sales by just over 1 percent, according to NYSAR.

It’s a trend that makes the Riverdale area a stand-out neighborhood in the housing market within the borough.

“I think Riverdale real estate has been very successful during the pandemic because buyers have been able to find properties that offer more indoor and outdoor space than they would find in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens,” Trebach said.