Today’s news:

Boro home price decline boosted late ’09 sales

The declining price of homes in Queens helped to spur property sales at the end of 2009, a report released last week showed.

The Prudential Douglas Elliman real estate report showed that the average sales price in the borough dropped 5.8 percent from $419,153 in the fourth quarter of 2008 to $394,730 during the same period last year and average sales prices went from $380,000 in 2008 to $350,000 last year, a 7.9 percent decline.

New home buyers benefited from this drop as the number of sales across Queens increased 55.6 percent from 2,737 deals in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 4,260 during the same period in 2009.

“The surge in activity was stimulated by the federal tax credit, low mortgage sales, lower prices and a jump in the stock market that began in the spring,” the report said.

Southern Queens had the largest decline in average sales prices at $337,786 in the fourth quarter of 2009, a 14.7 percent drop from the $395,903 price during the same period in 2008, according to the report.

Median sales prices also went down 14.2 percent from $386,900 two years ago to $332,000, while the number of sales increased 70.3 percent from 596 closings during the second quarter of 2008 to 1,015 during the same period this year, the report said.

The Rockaways also had a decline in sales prices. The average sales price in the fourth quarter of 2009 was $384,084, 6.4 percent lower than the $410,394 during the same period two years ago, and median sales prices dropped 25.3 percent from $390,000 in 2008 to $291,316 last year, the report said.

The number of sales in the Rockaways rose 47.2 percent from 159 sales in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 234 during the same period in 2009, according to the report.

The average sales price fell only slightly in northeast Queens by 3.7 percent from $460,209 during the fourth quarter of 2008 to $443,350 during the same period last year and median sales prices declined from $400,000 two years ago to $395,000 in the second quarter of 2009, a 1.3 percent drop, according to the report.

The number of sales in the area increased 37.8 percent from 784 transactions in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 1,080 during the same period last year, the report said.

Western Queens recorded a small drop in median and average sales prices. The average sales price in the area went from $421,218 in the fourth quarter of 2008 to $417,251 during the same period last year, a 0.9 percent decrease, while the median sales price remained unchanged at $395,000, the report said.

The number of sales in western Queens rose from 504 two years ago to 619 in 2009, a 22.8 percent increase.

In central Queens, the average sales price was down 0.8 percent from $369,753 during the fourth quarter of 2008 to $366,725 during the same period last year and median sales price increased from $295,000 in the closing 2008 quarter to $307,500 in 2009, a 4.2 percent increase, the report said.

The number of Central Queens sales nearly doubled with 997 deals in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to 521 during the same period two years ago.

Northwest Queens was the only area to see increases in all areas, according to the report. The average sales price climbed 5.7 percent from $463,993 in the fourth quarter in 2008 to $490,556 in the same period last year. Median sales prices went from $400,000 two years ago to $440,000 in 2009, a 10 percent increase, the report said.

The number of sales in the area shot up 82.1 percent with 315 sales in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to 173 during the same period a year earlier.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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