Jonathan Miller Thinks the Current Market Needs a Slogan

That’s what he says. I can’t speak for the local markets across the country, but the Manhattan market has heated up yet again and seems to be supporting the “anomaly theory” that many in the industry and the media would like everyone to believe.

(An aside… Hotpads has a nice photo. Maybe the crew of Patrick.Net installed as the place to install the alleged bullsh*! of all the "Realtwhores.") (Anyone here remember that episode of Scrubs?)

In fact, The Observer wrote yesterday comparing the NYC real estate market to the subway system . The idea is that regardless of price, people have to keep riding. An interesting analogy, but not entirely true. The last quarter of 2006 was indeed a busy one and 2007 has come in like gangbusters.
But I’m not buying the 4th quarter 2006 stats that were reported. I think that New York City is made up of such a plethora of micro markets ranging from the $200k Studio to the $45 million penthouse, that it is very hard to make sense of the numbers when all of these properties are grouped together. There is no denying that those lucky enough to get recent Wall Street bonuses are shopping. The recent activity has also inspired other buyers, who had been on the sidelines waiting for a big market "dip," to come out of their shells.

At the same time, the single most important factor that is buoying our local market is the fact that most sellers have become much more realistic about pricing. The days of “pick a price any price” and it will sell are long gone. And although an environment of multiple bids is among us again, it is NOT the environment that we experienced over the past few years where purchasers were paying large amounts over the asking price and conceding to a seller’s every request. Buyers are acting with much more trepidation and cautiously proceeding by making sensible offers despite other interest. Many buyers are feeling that if they don’t procure one apartment, another will become available in the near term. Some are very comfortable walking away or not even making an offer when they hear that someone else has bid.

Of course, if more than one buyer wants an apartment, the seller has some leverage… but not as much as they once had. The current market although busy again seems much more traditional both financially and psychologically with both buyers and sellers making concessions to reach a meeting of the minds. The housing “slump” that many of us anticipated seems to be evading us for now which leads me to label our current market as… Slumpalicious!

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