The Times They Are A Changing...
I hope everyone is starting to enjoy the summer! Let's hope for many days of sunshine and blue skies to come!
I also want to thank all of you for your generous referrals and support of The Burkhardt Group! We turned 10 years old this year and it seems as though it was only yesterday when I started the company after being flamed on the StreetEasy.com forums! The heated response was a slap in the face seeing as though consumers were clearly not happy with the brokerage model that was current at the time. You have all improved my life immensely and I hope our business model has had a positive financial and emotional effect on your real estate (ad)ventures!
Other than the well-documented softness in the $3M+ market and new development, it has been a smooth year. The one exception has been the Brooklyn 1.5-2 bedroom market under $1.5M, which is on fire at the moment (Cobble Hill, Fort Greene, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Carroll Gardens and to a lesser extent, Crown Heights). We are seeing 'bidding wars' on every 2 bedroom that meets that criteria... 17 offers on one recent property!
With Independence Day in the rearview mirror, summer has begun. While it's a bit early to try and forecast the summer’s seasonal effect, I think we are going to see a significant slowing of markets. While I don’t think the change will be severe, it will probably be more in-line with what one would expect on average this time of the year. If you are a buyer, keep at it: less competition is always a good thing. If you are thinking of selling, you will want to consider waiting until after labor day unless your property has extraordinary market appeal.
On the development front, we are indeed seeing a slowdown that is translating into concessions and some discounting on asking prices. We are not seeing a fire sale market so much as adjustments from earlier aggressive pricing along with sponsor concessions. Still, we are working with plenty of clients that prefer new developments and now is a pretty good time to be shopping for this type of home. Gone are the days of full asking price that come along with paying all closing costs.
Overall Market Perspective
There is certainly no lack of political 'excitement' as I for one have continued to be surprised at how apparently resilient the US economy appears to be. Now, of course, this is strictly a lay-persons opinion but many of the financial pundits do seem to agree. Also, is it just me, or has the tweeting slowed down a bit?
With the equity markets stable, economy humming along, rates still low and many with a psychological bias to be owners rather than renters, it's difficult to make an argument for anything more than a stable real estate market with perhaps a slight advantage building towards buyers as we head into the Fall.
Our Listing Service
To date, our listing service has been a great success! Once you understand the process, choice of instrument is less essential; whether you list with Corcoran, Elliman or The Burkhardt Group, the property seamlessly goes into the same system for the world to see. Over the course of about 8 months we have listed and sold 7 properties, all at or near ask in under 2 weeks. It will not always be this easy, for as the market softens, sellers will need to be patient. Even in what is still a relatively strong sales market, the amount of days a house stays on market is just 97 (from last list date).
We still are a 100% referral based business. This lets the business grow organically rather than using funds to build a 'brand' that would have no material effect in how we assist both buyers and sellers.
Please feel free to call me with any questions. Have a great summer!