It’s a tale of two markets right now on Staten Island, where Superstorm Sandy ravaged waterfront communities but left other areas with little more than downed trees. So while low-lying areas are still suffering, the overall real estate market on the island is experiencing a remarkable turnaround — especially its posh hilltop neighborhoods, brokers said.
“We are having a fantastic year — the best we’ve had in six or seven years,” said Frank DiTommaso, a principal at Coldwell Banker DiTommaso Realty in New Dorp.
The median sale price of a Staten Island home in June was $413,500, jumping 8.8 percent from $380,000 in the same month of last year, according to the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR). The average sale price for the same period grew 7.2 percent, to $432,702. And the number of closings island-wide is up 28.2 percent year-to-date, according to SIBOR, while inventory is shrinking: There were 2,451 active listings at the end of June, down 29.5 percent from 3,426 at the same time last year.
That’s a significant improvement from the dark days of the real estate downturn, when prices across Staten Island dropped by some 20 percent and the island saw more than 330 foreclosures, according to data from Coldwell Banker DiTommaso.
The North Shore, site of the Staten Island Ferry terminal, includes the neighborhoods of St. George, New Brighton and Stapleton. These hilltop areas, featuring classic Victorians and many of the island’s grand, older homes, had wind damage but no water damage.
The area is also the site of much of the island’s planned new development. For example, construction started in June at Stapleton’s former Homeport Navy base, where Hoboken-based Ironstate Development is building 400 rental units and 25,000 square feet of street-level shopping, with additional apartments and retail space to come.
In St. George, Brooklyn-based BFC Partners is developing the 200-store Empire Outlet Mall. There will also be a 625-foot Ferris wheel, the world’s highest. Lighthouse Point, developed by Queens-based Triangle Equities, will include underground shops, a 164-room hotel, a new esplanade and 96 residential units.
This fall, a converted warehouse at 130 Bay Street Landing called the Accolade will hit the market with 100 waterfront condos priced from $300,000 to $1.1 million, according to Angela Ferrara, executive vice president at the Marketing Directors, which is marketing the building. The developer, Manhattan-based Meadow Partners, is also just finishing up sales at the Pointe, a condo project that originally hit the market five years ago, then stalled during the recession. Only one of 57 new waterfront units remains at the Pointe, Ferrara said.
The average asking price in St. George was $366,744 in mid-July; the median price was $345,000, according to SIBOR. The average asking price in Stapleton was $311,460 and the median price was $259,900.