TrueGotham’s Mini-Hiatus and Manhattan Market Snapshot

In March, TrueGotham will celebrate 2 years in the blogosphere and if I do say so myself, "we’ve come a long way baby!"  Having said that, yesterday and Monday were the first back to back weekdays of silence on Truegotham since its inception and I don’t plan on making a habit of that.  The impetus for the silence…well…LIFE!   I spent Monday in Baltimore for one of my dearest childhood friend’s father’s funeral.  Why do we wait for Weddings and Funerals to reconnect with people who mean so much to us?  Yesterday, I had the pleasure of spending the day with my son and daughter as the three of us helped to "train" their new nanny.  No time to blog…at all.  For those who are saying to themselves, "Who cares?" I offer you a quick anecdotal snapshot of what seems to be going on in today’s Manhattan real estate market:

  • The phones have definitely quieted down from buyers in the sub $3M market as interest rates have climbed almost a full point in the past 4 weeks.  Many experts including our very own Dan Shlufman suspect that interest rates will come down again in the coming weeks.
  • We remain incredibly busy with Co-op Board applications and contracts for the deal flow that took place in February but new business is coming more slowly.  I typically have between 5 and 20 exclusive properties/sellers that I’m representing at any given time and I currently have 2. 
  • Relative to the same period last year, I am definitely seeing a slower market with fewer transactions taking place.  No great dips in prices yet but fewer buyers.
  • Inventory remains very tight causing less impact to the decrease in the number of buyers.
  • I experienced the first ramifications in my business of the sub-prime meltdown as tighter lending standards across the board for all borrowers slow deal flow (ex. Chase generated a commitment letter for a purchaser of mine who has twice the purchase price of the apartment in liquid assets that made the sale of their current apartment a condition of fulfilling requirements to procure the mortgage…this would NEVER have happened this time last year but I’m happy to report that Chase is removing that contingency at the borrower’s request.  It still has delayed the purchase process.)

So the Manhattan real estate market remains stable and continues to churn but not nearly at the pace that I experienced this same period last year.  I would love to hear from sellers, buyers and colleagues regarding their experiences in today’s marketplace.

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