Summer is officially here, and everyone and everything is slowing down. Partially it’s because … well, it’s summer! The sunblock is out, subways are hotter, hamburgers are poppin’ on the grill and daylight lingers for hours. Kids are out of school, people are going to the beach, and it’s hard to be hyper active with a margarita in your hand. But partially it’s also because of current market conditions.
As we spoke about quite some months ago when the market was going crazy, we anticipated that at some point a new normal would be settling in … one in which bidding wars, quick-fire decisions and slim pickings would be a thing of the past. We knew that the state of frenzy was unsustainable and would have to, at some point, calm down. And, indeed, slowly but surely, we’ve been making our way to this new normal ever since. The market is where you might expect it to be: not too hot, not too cold, but just right – it’s a Goldilocks Market.
Inventory has nudged up from a few months ago, giving patient buyers more options from which to choose. Particularly in the $1-$3M price range, we continue to see very healthy activity, as this price point continues to be an entry point into ownership of a piece of the Apple. Above the $3M level, we’re seeing properties take longer than normal to move, as buyers take their time to research and assess the value of their choices. It’s been some time since buyers have had the luxury of time and could afford taking their time to pull the trigger; to many it’s a welcome relief. Consequently, trading is lower than it was just a few months ago.
For sellers, this means pricing is more important than ever. Late last year, sellers arguably could overshoot the market in the first two to three weeks, quickly adjust, and still benefit from high volume open house traffic and multiple offers. No longer. The market has become far more discerning and far less forgiving for those sellers willing to “test the waters”. Further, with more inventory on the market, sellers are beginning to feel the scrutiny of educated buyers and must absolutely price appropriately from the get-go.