FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM SEPTEMBER 26, 2019 • LIVING IN HOWARD BEACH • THE QUEENS COURIER 41
Photo courtesy of MLSLI
living in howard beach
Howard Beach real estate values bounce
back in the years after Hurricane Sandy
BY MAX PARROTT
Aft er hitting rock bottom in the wake
of Hurricane Sandy, the real estate market
in Howard Beach has bounded back
over the past fi ve years.
Not only have home values rebounded
to above their previous value, their
growth has outpaced that of the rest of
the borough on average, leading some
realtors to speculate that they are as high
as they can go.
Th e preference of the residents to settle
in the community for decades at a
time changes the dynamics of the area’s
real estate. For one thing, it leads to an
unusually high number of homeowners.
“Howard Beach is a unique community
because where it’s located. It’s you get off
the main streets and you feel like you’re
somewhere in Long Island,” said Jerry
Fink, owner of Jerry Fink Real Estate Inc.
Th e small waterfront community is
comprised of around 70 percent of homeowners
according to the Comptroller’s
2018 snapshot of Queens. Combine that
fact with a population of under 100,000,
and it creates a tight housing market,
with a relatively low level of turnover.
According to StreetEasy, median real
estate values have increased by just over
100 percent on average in Queens from
2010 to 2019. By this metric, Howard
Beach might appear to lag behind.
Values have only increased 18 percent in
Howard Beach in this window. But since
Sandy, they’ve skyrocketed, increasing
110 percent since from 2014 to August
In fact Pacchiano believes that the
Federal Emergency Management Agency
response to Sandy has actually played
a role in driving the prices even higher.
“You’ve got a house that got fl ooded,
and some old lady owned it. She bought
it in 1960 and it was all original. Well,
her fi rst fl oor got destroyed, but she got
money from FEMA and she made it all
brand new. So the house that was formerly
600,000 is now almost $700,000,”
Th at being said, the area is not immune
to citywide market changes. As shown by
a StreetEasy report, sales prices dropped
at rapid rates in some parts of the city
and stalled in others over the past six
months. Likewise StreetEasy data shows
that the median prices of Howard Beach
real estate also fell from $290,000 to
$255,000 from August 2018 to 2019.
While Pacchiano said he doesn’t see
any reduction in the growth of property
values in the area, Fink said that
for Howard Beach, property values are
getting close to as high as they can go
under the current market conditions.
With a smaller population, when the
price climbs above $500,000, there are
fewer and fewer people able to qualify
for that, he said.
“It’s reached the high again, so I think
it’s naturally in the market when you
reach your highs you start dipping off of
those, and as long as people price their
property at the right price at the market
value, it does tend to sell,” Fink said.
Given these trends in the housing market,
Fink advised that if anybody at the
retirement point was thinking about selling
their home, this would be the ideal
time to make a move.
“Nobody can predict what’s going to
happen six months from now, but that’s
what the trend tends to be,” he said.