The National Association of Realtors Reports Decline in Home Sales

The real estate market has not been great, they’re reporting.

You’ve got to be kidding me. They are also reporting that Ben Franklin discovered electricity and get this one… Elvis is dead! The obvious is finally stated.

As some of us in the industry have reported and most of the media has taken great pleasure in overblowing, the housing market is cooler and off its peak of 2005. Locally, I think that peak was last Spring.

In all honesty, I am skeptical of most of the numbers that are reported on the housing market.  Why you say? The intricacies of statistics and the "playing around" with asking prices vs. selling prices and days on market data combined with the underlying motives of the companies reporting the numbers make it difficult to decipher what is real and what is hype. 

That said, I’m wrapping up the busiest August and September of my 15 years in the industry.  "Real" sellers have already adjusted their selling prices and "real" buyers appreciate the dip in prices and the still-low mortgage rates. Manhattan remains an anomoly of sorts. I’m not suggesting for one minute that our market is "bubble proof" or anything like that. But, I do know that it is a transient city with people moving more frequently than the rest of the nation.

Keep your ears open the next time your walking down the street or sitting in a restaurant. Every five minutes, someone is discussing their apartment and whether or not to buy, sell, rent, downsize, upsize, leave the city, etc. With rental vacancy rates at all time lows, those who choose to live here have a lot of pressure to own. As sad as that may seem, it is reality. It will be interesting to see how interest rates move after the elections with many speculating they will continue an upward trend. We also can’t deny the glut of condo inventory expected on the market in the next 18 months (not as much of a glut as originally expected as many will become rentals or convert back to hotels). But for now, prices in Manhattan are holding firm and many in my industry are talking about multiple offer situations again. It appears that most sellers have adjusted their prices for the current pool of buyers. Perhaps the New York seller is also more savvy than those across most of the country? I do know one thing… they sure would like to think so.

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