BUY NOW!!! SELL NOW!!! DO ANYTHING!!! JUST DO IT…NOW!!! (I’m kidding…kind of)
I have always told my friends, family and client base that I would welcome a bit of a market correction here in the Manhattan real estate market. The thought being that any "shakeout" would result in some sort of increase in inventory (wishful thinking?) and perhaps an increase in transactions. I’ve been sharing this "theory" for three years now and nothing of the sort has happened…yet? That said, if the October and first week of November activity are any indication of what’s on the horizon for the New York City real estate market, that correction may indeed be just around the corner. I’m not prophesying by any stretch here as that always gets me into trouble but this has been the quietest October I have seen in the past 10 years.
Some anecdotal evidence:
- Many sellers remain reluctant to reduce prices even after their properties have been on the market for quite some time (8-10 weeks).
- One of my buyers has his eye on 3 properties with stubborn sellers and all 3 remain on the market unwilling to accept reasonable offers within 5% of their asking prices.
- That particular buyer is in a "holding" pattern, has rescinded his offer and now expects to obtain one of these 3 properties for a discount of 10% or more off the asking price (only time will tell)
- Another buyer has rented for the time being in order to "shop patiently" for the right "deal."
- Another buyer has given up on Manhattan and purchased a single family home outside of the city.
- I have taken 3 properties recently that were marketed unsuccessfully by my colleagues (hope that I can do better?)
- I keep a dry erase board of transactions on the wall behind my desk and the property section has decreased (only representing 5 active properties) while the buyer segment of the board has increased exponentially to 10 buyers (90% of my business over the past 10 years has been representing sellers…that has changed in the past couple of months)
Again, these are simply anecdotal examples of what I’m seeing on the front lines and many of my colleagues are reporting similar experiences. We all await Wall Street bonus reporting with expectations that numbers will be 20-30% less than bonuses last year. Let’s not forget that last year was a record bonus year though and we are all wondering how the hit to Wall Street is going to effect Q1 2008. For now, we, and many of our buyers and sellers wait.