BOND New York

Downtown Soho/Nolita

CHRISTINA VISCA BOND New York Senior Vice President 917-806-6867, 917-806-6867 christinavisca@bondnewyork.com

CHRISTINA VISCA
BOND New York
Senior Vice President
917-806-6867, 917-806-6867
Click Here to Contact Christina

I’ve seen the neighborhood change dramatically…mostly for the good. It’s off the beaten path, yet has so much to offer. You’ll find a chic boutique or restaurant underneath classic tenement buildings and next door a new condo with starting prices of $10M. It’s a fabulous mixture of old and new, yet even the new feels old.

Brink of Little Italy “I am fortunate to have been selling and renting homes at The Police Building for the past 23 years.” 

D’Espana

408 Broome Street Food shop and tapas café

Ed’s Lobster

222 Lafayette Street

A proper seafood shack

Allan and Suzi

237 Centre Street

Retro clothing store

Animal Haven

251 Centre Street

Non-profit organization for abandoned cats and dog

Rice to Riches

37 Spring Street

Rice pudding boutique perfect one bedroom/convertible 2

Sales in the City – Fall 2013

The residential sales market traditionally heats up after Labor Day, and because this year our Summer selling season was just as active as Fall usually is, firms are gearing up for a wild ride.

We interviewed four NYC real estate experts to get the lowdown on what buyers, sellers and agents can expect.

Michael Signet, Executive Director of Sales, BOND New York
Susan Abrams, Senior Managing Director, Warburg Realty
Edan Pinkas , Friedberg Pinkas PLLC
Douglas Heddings, President, Heddings Property Group

What should an agent, buyer and seller be doing to prep for Fall?

 

Signet: Fall is typically the busiest time of year. Agent preparation would include doing extra networking and more marketing, such as soliciting buildings they’ve done business in before and sending out line letters for the buyers that have not found their dream home yet. Sellers should take some time this summer to stage their apartment, put a fresh coat of paint on the walls and get rid of any clutter they may have.

Abrams: Sellers should use the summer to wash windows and make any necessary repairs to their property and they should also have a conversation with their accountant and attorney about closing costs and taxes incurred in connection with a sale. Buyers should interview and select a buyer’s broker. A good broker will help a buyer navigate the process, understand the nuances in neighborhoods, price ranges, pre-wars, post-wars, co-ops and condominiums and prepare a buyer for the condo or co-op board application process. A buyer should also pre-qualify for a loan and have their financial information in order. Agents should be thinking about what properties will be coming on the market in the Fall, what new developments are coming to market and what properties that have lingered on the market may be ripe for negotiations and price reductions.

Heddings: My best advice to everyone regarding the early fall market is that it is never as active as people anticipate it to be. In NYC, summer continues through September and combined with the Jewish holidays it generally means that inventory doesn’t pick up until mid-October. Likewise, the number of buyers doesn’t increase until about the same time.

What do you expect for Fall in terms of sales?

Signet: We normally expect the Fall season to be the busiest of the year. As sellers return from summer vacation, more inventory comes to market, which in turn brings out more buyers that have run out of things to see and have been waiting. This year I expect the Fall selling season to be all of this but on steroids. We have predicted that there are currently six real buyers for every property and the multiple bid scenarios that have become common place prove this prediction. So, as more and more home owners that have been watching prices rise decide that now is a good time to cash out, more inventory will appear and more deals will get done.

Pinkas: I expect all facets of the real estate market (both the high-end market and regular market) to pick up where it left off in July and to really pick up steam. This will lead to many people trying to close before year end.
Abrams: . Inventory is at historic lows, especially in the two and three bedroom markets. As such prices will continue to be steady and may even rise due to low inventory in many sub markets. Properties that are priced right will experience competitive bidding.

Heddings: The Fall should be interesting based on what the economy is looking like and where mortgage rates are at the time. Any significant pop in rates will create even more of a buying frenzy (it always does) and with inventory still low we could see further price appreciation. If there is no viable threat of rates rising, the market will remain on an upward trajectory due to the continued inventory shortage.

What factors are coming into play when getting sales done this autumn?

Signet: The rules and procedures don’t change from season to season. Buyers need to have their pre- approval letters ready, their financial statements filled out and their real estate attorney in place.
Sellers, on the other hand, need to price their property correctly. Even though the market is hot, buyers are more educated now than ever and overpriced property will just sit and get stale.

Pinkas: Now that summer is over and people are back from vacation I expect contracts and closing to start happening at a faster clip.

Abrams: The biggest challenge in the fall will be inventory, especially in certain markets. Most of the new construction coming to market is serving the very high-end of the market. The very wealthy seeking new construction will have more options. It will continue to be a challenge to find properties in the $1-4 million dollar range that meet buyers’ requirements.

Heddings: DUCKS IN A ROW! To compete in the Fall market, buyers will have to make sure that they can present a clear, accurate and positive picture of their finances including pre-approval for a mortgage when submitting a bid. Sellers need to work with someone who has a reputation for solid and accurate pricing strategy.

What neighborhoods may have the most and least sales traffic and why?

Signet: The most sales happen where there is the most inventory, so right now: Upper East Side, Midtown East, Midtown West and Chelsea. Trendier neighborhoods such as Soho, Tribeca and the West Village where there is very limited inventory will see the biggest spike in prices, but the fewest number of transactions.

Pinkas: I think areas that do not have much new development or conversion going on will stall slightly in sales traffic and one such neighborhood is the East Village.

Abrams: Today almost all neighborhoods are desirable. Traffic is strong on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, all over downtown, Harlem, prime Brownstone Brooklyn and Williamsburg. The fact that homes are priced at $1.5 million in Bedford Stuyvesant is proof that neighborhood boundaries have virtually disappeared.
Due to the construction of the Second Avenue Subway, sales traffic is not as brisk along York, First and Second Avenue. However, the neighborhood is changing. The Second Avenue subway is bringing transportation and an influx of new and interesting retail to the area. This location is one to watch and I predict home prices will increase.

Heddings: The Upper West Side should remain consistently sought-after because of the demographics, proximity to parks, schools and transportation. I doubt we will see any immediate stalls in sales anywhere barring a spike in interest rates or a major political or world event.

East Village – Sergio Ayo, BOND New York Properties

Battery Park City is a 92-acre planned community on the southwestern tip of Manhattan. The area was developed to house the many business professionals who work in the financial district nearby. Using soil, rocks and dredging from nearby construction, Battery Park City emerged from the Hudson River in a land reclamation project. Since then, families have been tumbling in to enjoy the scenic views, fresh air and spaciousness of the neighborhood. Luxury residential, commercial and retail buildings define the carefully laid out neighborhood. Among these destinations are the World Financial Center and North Cove, a large yacht harbor. Battery Park City is a forward-looking neighborhood with numerous LEED green certified buildings and parks along the river where residents can be found jogging, playing mini golf or taking sailing lessons. Once part of the Hudson River, Battery Park City is now a residential oasis for those who can afford the lifestyle.

Sergio’s Suggestions:

01Asphalt Green
Asphalt Green is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting individuals of all ages and backgrounds achieve health through a lifetime of sports and fitness.

02North Cove Marina 
The premier waterfront facility in New York City.

03The Esplanade
With its views of the Hudson River and New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the New Jersey shoreline, the Esplanade is a pedestrian paradise.

04 North End Grill
The North End Grill features a bustling scotch bar, a dining counter overlooking the open kitchen, and a vibrant dining room.

05Rector Park
It offers a pleasant place to rest or read, have a quiet lunch

Sales in the City – Summer 2013

The residential sales market traditionally cools just after Memorial Day and then picks up again after Labor Day, but apparently this year, with a market this bright, one has to wear shades.  We interviewed four NYC real estate experts to get the lowdown on what buyers, sellers and agents can expect during this summer selling season and how all can prepare for the upcoming fall.

Michael Signet, Executive Director of Sales, BOND New York
Susan Abrams, Senior Managing Director, Warburg Realty
Edan Pinkas , Friedberg Pinkas PLLC
Douglas Heddings, President, Heddings Property Group

 

What are you seeing in the market as we head towards the summer selling season?

Signet:  The state of the market as we head into June is “frenzied.” At BOND we are currently doing 40% more sales transactions than we did in the Spring of 2012. Our fees are up dramatically; our average sale price has doubled and we are getting almost every accepted offer into contract. The most noteworthy part of this equation is the number of different agents that are participating in the feast. Naturally the top-producing agents in each of our offices continue to impress, but the real indication of an unusually hot summer sales market is the number of deals being done by agents doing their first and second transactions. BOND is also listing more properties than ever—and continuing to get new exclusives even as the temperatures rise and sellers traditionally want to wait until the fall. Open houses continue to be very busy, multiple bids continue to be the norm and all-cash buyers are heading to the front of the line. With everyone talking about lack of inventory, our new listings are not sitting on the market for very long. While the summer is typically a slower time of year for sales, I see no slow down in our future anytime soon.

Pinkas: I (along with my colleagues that have similar practices to mine) always hear that the summer market is “slow,” but for the last three years that could not be further from the truth. For starters, my firm has traditionally had the three busiest months of the year in terms of new transactions and closings during June, July and August.  This year is no exception and judging by the month of May so far it seems like it may be even busier than normal.

Heddings:  The most telling statistic for Heddings Property Group is that we are on pace to do more sales volume in our Manhattan office alone than we did all of last year in Manhattan, Hamptons, Westchester, Greenwich and Rockland combined.  We have also had a three-month run of properties selling in 1-4 days at prices over the asking price that have shocked both us and our sellers. My agents and many of my colleagues have shared anecdotes of properties with 6 or more bids and after all settles, it is the 4th or 5th offer that ends up going to contract.  Emotions are running high. I believe that this year’s summer market will provide more of what we have seen in 2013 thus far with the exception of the rampant bidding war scenario in which we are currently experiencing. Mortgage rates will remain low and inventory will likely shrink further after a slight pop this spring. Sales volume should remain steady to slightly lower through the summer.

 

What should buyers, sellers and agents be doing to prepare to compete in this market?

Signet: Because there are no indications that the market will cool as we head towards the solstice, buyers should get a pre-approval from a lender, have a real estate attorney in place and have a REBNY financial statement filled out and liquid assets ready at a local bank. Agents should take this time to preview properties for their buyers. Wasting time showing properties that don’t meet buyers’ criteria makes no sense. Agents should thoroughly know the summer inventory.

Pinkas: Because people do tend to vacation in the summer months, it is prudent for agents, buyers and sellers to speak with their attorneys in order for the attorneys to obtain power of attorney from their clients (this enables them to close transactions on their client’s behalf when they are away). One warning that I can give is that it can take co-op purchases much longer to close in the summer months since members of the Board are away on vacation (instead of the normal 60 day closing it can take upwards of 90 days very often).

Abrams: Agents, buyers and sellers should prepare for the summer sales season just as they do for the other seasons because this summer things are not slowing down. Sellers and their agents should price properties within realistic ranges by carefully analyzing the recent sales history of similar-type apartments. Overpriced properties rarely attract bids in any season. Agents should educate both buyers and sellers on the process, what to expect and manage expectations along the way. Sellers should streamline and edit their properties of clutter and make any necessary repairs before marketing their properties for sale.

Heddings: Buckle in!  In all seriousness, with the exception of the bust years (2008ish-2010), the local Manhattan real estate market doesn’t seasonally slow down as a whole. There is typically less activity with larger family-style apartments because parents want children to be relocated prior to the start of the school year.  The one, two and even three bedroom properties – particularly condo units that attract both foreign and domestic investors – continue to sell over the summer.   Sellers, particularly those who own properties with “special” private outdoor spaces need to make sure that the space looks its best and is marketed during the time when most people would be interested in those outdoor spaces.

 

What benefits might there be to listing and selling in the summer?

Signet: With the lack of inventory we are currently experiencing, I believe the summer is as good of a time as any for sellers to list. New properties coming to market have been inundated with buyers and their brokers in the hopes of doing a deal prior to the ‘word getting out.’

Pinkas:  People tend to be in better moods and more likely to go shopping for apartments when the weather is nice. A bright, sunny day always makes a difference!

Abrams: The benefits of listing and buying in the summer are that sellers and buyers who are active during the summer season tend to be serious.  During other seasons both sellers and buyers can be testing the market; going to brunch and visiting an open house on a beautiful fall Sunday may be a hobby, but during the summer it is a serious endeavor. Buyers who are pounding the pavement in 90 degree weather and sellers who decide to market their property during the summer months want to make a deal. Since there is typically less property on the market in the summer, a seller will have less competition; buyers will also have less competition and may be able to negotiate more favorable terms.

 

 What neighborhoods are getting the most traffic?

Pinkas: I am seeing the downtown market (below 14th street) – specifically SOHO and Tribeca – have a huge increase in transactions and in price point.

Abrams: New York has become a city where virtually all neighborhoods are getting traffic. There are no longer unacceptable areas in which to live. Open houses have been crowded on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, all over Downtown, Harlem and Brooklyn.  We expect more luxury new development condominiums to come to market in Tribeca than we have seen in a long time. Most of this product, however, will be in the luxury price range, so it won’t be appropriate for other market segments.

Heddings: Upper West Side is off the hook!