I Just wanted to share a short note to bring all of you my perspective on the current market. While there already exist a ton of agent interviews, company reports and perspectives, I’d like to also humbly pitch my two cents into the fountain of What’s Happening. I have always strived to exist outside of the BS zone while observing and evaluating the state of the market; generally attempting to avoid reaction steeped exclusively in emotion. Long term real estate investment strategies aside, I like to remind myself about the oft-forgotten happiness derived from one’s primary home... getting to live in it. And with enough time, it should also provide you with a reasonable financial return! It only truly becomes a ‘problem’ when, due to timing, you have to sell into a soft market...
Low rates, a solid economy and real estate is on sale. We saw the market start to take a noticeable downturn early last summer and then more or less fall off a cliff by the time we got into the winter. However, it took until late winter for the reality of what was happening to sink in for buyers (and especially sellers). Hardcore buyers (those that had been looking for a few years), jumped in last fall/winter when they saw inventory increasing, prices falling and homes they had been following still available after a decent amount of time on the market. Seller's were starting to get the message and adjust their prices, usually too little to meet buyers expectations.
All things considered, I think now we are seeing some pricing that mostly reflects rationality. However, buyers are now focusing their attention on the best properties in what have been historically well-established neighborhoods. Even if you are just a little bit off the well-trodden path, selling your home can be tough, even at what you and your agent consider a fair valuation. As I always remind you, there is no magic bullet to selling your home, as long as you are covering all the essential bases; it just comes down to price. There is a lot of inventory being pulled from the market and most of it was represented by large firms and top agents. So if you are on the market for 2-3 months with no offers and diminished showings, it's time to make a meaningful price adjustment. You adjust until you find the sweet spot where buyers start calling again and offers start flowing. If you have the luxury of waiting to sell, maybe pack up your tent and come back when the market shifts in your favor.
All being said, it is a very frustrating time for many sellers as economic conditions remain very conducive to supporting sales. However, the reality is the sales market is weak and continues to soften. But it's not dead, transactions are taking place, we bid and lost (over ask, $1955 a f2) for a PH (144 N.8th) in Williamsburg, same for a 3 bedroom at 41 West 9th street, oh and also a brownstone on Sterling Place in Crown Heights (bid over ask!).
My take is that there is a much smaller, more selective buyer pool chasing a larger seller pool with other buyers lurking for good deals (something that really gets their attention) that they couldn't afford 2 or 3 years ago. The bottom line is that many people want to own their home, they see that prices have come down, competition is mostly minimal and that money is cheap. However, the fact remains, many more are afraid to act when real estate goes on sale. When the market is heated up and frothy, the opposite is true, a paradox of real estate.
How much of all these developments are due to the new tax laws? Difficult to say, it just hasn't been a big part of the conversation with our clients recently. It certainly hasn't helped, I just think we are in the acceptance stage.
I just want to thank everyone again for all the support and referrals! We have rebated millions of dollars and assisted hundreds of clients through the good and the difficult times. I have made it a priority to always put your best interests first, offering honest advice and a 100% transparent platform to work within and with you to achieve your goals.