It has become increasingly more difficult for me to post blog entries as current market conditions are keeping me quite busy. I’m not suggesting for one moment that I’m doing more business than I was in the recent past rather that the transactions on which I’m working are taking considerably more effort and energy. From buyers wanting to renegotiate prices and terms on accepted offers to frustrated sellers unwilling to accept that market conditions have changed, the challenges of today’s Manhattan real estate market abound.
That said, deals are being done but often not before an intense and lengthy negotiation process. What used to take as little as 24 hours (in those insane multiple bid days) can now take weeks before a contract is inked. And if a seller is fortunate enough to have a second bidder come along during that process, they must be incredibly careful and sensitive with their current buyer or often times they may end up with no deal at all. Many buyers are actually spooked by the presence of a second bidder and would rather not get involved with a multiple bid situation. Everyone is trying to figure out when the current anxiety will subside and transaction volume will increase but until then it takes a well-informed buyer AND seller to reach a meeting of the minds.
In the meantime, many of the deals on which I am working are either all cash transactions or less than 50% financing. What surprises most of the people I speak to is that financing at competitive rates is still readily available to qualified buyers from savings banks and portfolio lenders. "Qualified" these days has taken on new meaning as income and liquidity requirements as well as credit ratings have increased, but mortgages are available and so are some amazing deals. All of that said, although we are currently experiencing a challenging real estate market and it may not be the right time to buy for everyone, there are some incredible opportunities to purchase Manhattan property at very attractive prices. It’s only a matter of time before more buyers realize this fact and the market once again becomes competitive.