The Real Deal New York

Good luck finding a house in the suburbs

Housing inventory falls in metro New York
By Konrad Putzier | September 21, 2016 01:00PM

Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives

New York City’s housing scarcity is sprawling out into the suburbs. The number of homes for sale in the New York metropolitan area fell by 7.7 percent in the third quarter from a year ago, according to a new report by listing site Trulia.

The supply crunch hit starter homes the hardest, with the number of units on the market falling by 12.9 percent. Starter homes are defined as the bottom third of the market. Meanwhile, the premium home inventory fell by a mere 4.5 percent.

The good news for prospective buyers is that the median price of a starter home actually fell by 0.5 percent, to $209,983. The median price of tradeup homes (the middle third of the market) rose by 3.2 percent and the median price of premium homes rose by 13.1 percent.

The inventory crunch is part of a national trend, with the number of homes for sale falling for the fifth consecutive quarter. Trulia notes that this is “the longest streak of inventory decline since the housing market bottom in 2012.” Country wide, housing inventory fell by 6.7 percent while starter home inventory fell by 10.7 percent.

“The persistent and disproportional drop in starter and tradeup home inventory is pushing affordability further out of reach of homebuyers,” the report notes. In metro New York, starter home buyers on average need to spend 54.7 percent of their monthly income on their home – well above the national average of 38.5 percent.