A few of the first quarter market reports for Manhattan real estate market are going to be released in a day or so.My favorite part of April 1st,is having the concrete day up to the last day of the quarter to step back and analyze how my business is doing,admittedly I tend towards being a bit of a numbers geek generally….
So below, are mostly my thoughts on what I am seeing, a very informal overview. I shared these thoughts with a reporter with Inman News earlier this afternoon as well, looking forward to reading the article tomorrow, in addition to my quarterly report reading.
I think the market is certainly improving; there is a better sense of realism, in terms of what the market prices actually are, versus the sort of pie in the sky attitude previously. And this is the case for both buyers and sellers. In fact I was just a few minutes ago taking a look at a listing (not one of my own) of a friend’s apartment, who I am not working with-she posted on Facebook that she got an offer that wasn’t even worth considering,that she thought the buyers had “some nerve” in even submitting it.Just from my superficial knowledge of the general area,and the market,my guesstimate is that a) she bought at the height of the market ,and what she paid,quite frankly the apartment was probably NEVER worth and b) as a result of a she has an “idea” of what she thinks its worth,especially with some improvements she made,but ultimately,the apartment is overpriced probably by at least 40K still (it has had two price reductions amounting to about 24K and has been on the market since January).
I am seeing more distress sale situations (short sales, foreclosures)-which is something that people thought Manhattan would be mostly insulated from, since a lot of the housing stock is cooperatives, but it’s not the case. There are still a lot of totally unrealistic sellers (like my friend above)-and those properties will just sit on the market interminably. Then there is still the nagging concern over shadow units that haven’t yet come on the market, as well as in certain areas (like east and west midtown),where there is seemingly a glut of units, because of all the condo buildings that went up during the boom-and then you have neighborhoods like Battery Park City, that are in all sorts of disarray-particularly in BPC recently Fannie/Freddie temporarily stopped being involved in funding-some of the “land leases” are about to be renegotiated, and some common charges could double or triple-completely changing the cost of ownership !
I think for first time home buyers, there is a possibility of actually purchasing something at a good prices in wonderful neighborhoods, with amenities that perhaps four years ago they would not have been able to afford, or even consider. It’s been a wonderful process working with some first time home buyers who now find themselves with the possibility of getting their dream apartment-which two years ago, they probably would not have even considered.
It’s an excellent market for my investor clients, who are finding bargains, perhaps in overlooked areas, and in buildings that may have financing issues ,for whatever the reasons may be. One of my closed deals this quarter was a multimillion dollar property with a foreign cash buyer purchasing as an investment property primarily.
Where interest rates are currently is spurring a lot of the current activity-not only are prices “correcting”, but rates are at a point where it isn’t astronomically expensive to borrow money. I am seeing a lot of activity in the under 1M range, as well the “luxury market”. The luxury market seems to be more of the “value” market- there are always trophy/marquee properties, but even the buyers with significant means are looking for value and long term range growth-not the speculators that permeated the market several years ago. As for how long properties remaining on the market, I think it does depend on the type of property-but realistically, a well priced property that is competitive with its immediate competition in its market-will sell. I’ve had colleagues who have lost out in bidding wars on properties recently (myself included).
Depending on their goals, there are reasonable possibilities for first time home buyers,investors,move up buyers and foreign investors all over Manhattan.Its an opportunity that those in a position to consider,should.Especially with buyer clients who are currently renting,I encourage them to go through a thorough analysis of whether it is better to buy or continue renting,as well as for those moving up-it may not necessarily be the best option for them.The market is getting better,it still has a ways to go –but it’s an excellent opportunity, the ball is more so in the buyers court, but for a smart seller, who prices well-the buyers are out and looking for value-if you bring it to them. They will buy. For those that are on the fence, or on the cusp-don’t dally, the opportunities and the values won’t be around forever, nor will rates remain where they are forever.
This may be far more than you expected to read,or you might want MORE info,MORE data…well that is coming,probably over the weekend.If you have specific questions you’d like answered,I’m open to those too.
;’til next time. Always at your service.