The market continues to be very challenging for buyers, along with low inventory and what seems like a 10:1 ratio of buyers/listings. It is also just about impossible to get an offer accepted that is contingent on financing, cash remains king, however it is not getting you a discount, its simply getting you to the finish line.
I was just saying to a client that I feel like there is a little let up in this beast of a market, we put about 6 deals in contract over the last few weeks, things were feeling just a bit easier. Then I read that the StreetEasy condo index recorded a negative reading in April, down 1.29%. is this the beginning of a more pronounced trend? I wish I knew, however I don't think so. My thoughts are that buyers are beat up, tired, it's exhausting as anyone that is hunting for a new home knows, how many "best and finals" can one human being endure?
For the most part I am very impressed with the way the NYC brokerage community is handling this market, most with great compassion. Listing agents know what it is like to be a buyer out there and have been gracious, informative and in some cases very creative with taking bids. We participated in what was my first auction, for lack of a better word. We were at the point where typically you would expect a call for "best and final bids", instead the listing agent informed all bidders she would would ask us all for our bids, then post the results via email updates to all participants along with the terms of each offer. This went on for about 4 or 5 exchanges until we had a winner and guess what? That was us! Our clients actually liked the transparency of the entire process, I was skeptical at first but wound up appreciating the process (and not just after we succeeded!) We are all about 100% transparency, so this was very intriguing to say the least.
A sample of one of the emails for the "Best and final auction":
As of right now here are the current highest and best offers. I am sending the same email to everyone so you will see your offer in there. Please let me know if you would like to raise your offer or your percentage down. I would like to start wrapping this up so let me know asap if you are planning on raising your offer or staying where you are.
In order of offer amount:
$610,000 (20% down)
$600,000 (33% down)
$600,000 (27% down)
$600,000 (25% down)
$600,000 (20% down) x 2$550,000 (50% down)
As I was saying lot's of props to the NYC brokerage community! That said there are still some real skunks out there and this market makes them stink even more. How they succeed, let alone sleep at night, I can't tell you. But it becomes very clear they care little about their clients best interests or that of the buyers, they are just interested in their own interests. I have been interviewed a few times by the NYS Attorney Generals Office, they are very concerned about any possible anti-trust/anti-competitive practices in the NYC real estate market and have asked me to call them if I encounter any thing suspect. I came very close recently :)
I have not been writing much lately as we are just overwhelmed, normally clients purchase as new clients come on board. These days the ratio is way out of line as it has become very difficult to get to contract. As I always tell clients I have no clue about what will happen in the near term, but I am confident that the long term trend for NYC real estate is very bullish!