January 2019: The Trend After the Storm

With the new year comes a time for reflection and regrouping. We resolve to be your best advisors ever — that means giving it to you straight even when the truth hurts. 2019 is a new adventure, already looking to distinguish itself from what came before so read on to discover what’s new and trending in real estate and beyond.

The Story: The Trend After the Storm

The Jump Off

I’ve been in real estate for over a decade and never have I ever received so many broker invitations to champagne brunches, popup art shows and iPad raffles as I have in the last few weeks. Sellers are getting creative in an effort to move their properties. My inbox is flooded with emails from new development sponsors offering higher commissions to agents with buyers, as well as incentives to buyers who will sign by a set deadline.

I don’t really need the lure of champagne or a new gadget — if a property is a good fit for my buyers it’s on my radar screen no matter what. But the takeaway is that the market is trending toward buyers.

The Process

The 2018 New York City real estate market was characterized by overpriced stock, rising interest rates and the uncertainty that came from the loss of tax benefits. Last year’s market was one of the most unbalanced in over a decade: sellers didn’t cash out as high as they expected; buyers didn’t get the deals they had anticipated. That being said, in Q4 2018 the median sales price in Manhattan was down by almost 6% in comparison to Q4 2017. And although some Brooklyn market reports show a median price increase just shy of 2%, results are mixed and the Brooklyn co-op and condo market actually finished with price decreases — a sign that the dip has reached Brooklyn as well. Notably, sellers in Manhattan were twice as negotiable as Brooklyn sellers (6% listing discounts in Manhattan as compared to 3% in Brooklyn). Finally, an increased inventory led to properties sitting on the market about three months.

The Wrap Up

After the tumult of 2018, here are some trends in the real estate market to watch out for in 2019: interest rates are expected to rise long term; increasing inventory will put further pressure on prices; and millennials will fuel the first time home buyer’s market. How does all this affect buyers? The cost of a $1M mortgage, 30 year fixed, increases by nearly $214,000 when interest rates go from 4% to 5%. So if you plan on owning your new home for three to five years, take advantage of this window of opportunity and reach out to us! Sellers, rest assured that inventory is still moving, albeit a bit slower. Luckily, this is not 2008/09 in which properties sat like lame ducks after repeated price reductions. The new normal for 2019 is stabilization after a wave of price corrections. But rest assured, we have the expertise and the perseverance. We can get it done for you.

The Conversation Cheat Sheet

New Year, New Trends. Want to understand the underlying reasons the real estate market is slowing down? This 2018 wrap-up article in the New York Times does a great job explaining what you need to know.

What’s new and notable in the world of design? Maximalism! In other words, if you want to try something new, why not try it all? Or get grounded and follow the trend to incorporate raw materials into your kitchen design and bathroom remodel.

Not feeling so domestic? Check out these travel trends. (Note: looks like tailored experience travel is hotter than ever this year!) No matter where you are, a key trend in 2019 is toward healthy living — here are some great fitness trends to follow (we particularly like streaming workouts that go with us no matter where we are).

The Gabriele Moment: Taking the Plunge

I really don’t like cold water. Not even on a hot summer day. So imagine me, on January 1, putting on my bathing suit and fluffy pink winter hat and running at full speed into the icy cold ocean as part of the annual Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge. The freezing water literally took my breath away! It was my first time and I have to say that nothing wakes you up quite like that. A great way to start off a new year. 2018 had highs and lows and, to be frank, was one of the most challenging real estate markets of my career. Here’s to a new year in which all the preparation and exploration of 2018 comes to even greater fruition. And here’s hoping that you, too, accomplish all that you set out to do! Let’s make 2019 the best year yet!

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