The Monthly Update - August 2019

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What’s Going To Spark The NYC Market?

Why Aren’t You Buying; Should You Buy or Hold Off? 

There’s been lots of debate about what kind of market we’re currently in. It’s definitely a buyer’s market, but there are still many who are completely perplexed about why that is and what they should do about it. 

Buy: Interest rates are slated to go down at the end of this week. It’s most definitely going to happen. But at the same time, buyers are already getting incredibly low rates. I just had a closing where a gentleman got 2.75 percent on a Wells Fargo loan! So the Fed is going to double down on already historical low rates, which should have a positive impact on today’s market and your buying power!

Hold Off: There’s currently more inventory out there for buyers to choose from than there has been over the last eight years. This is not usually a great thing for buyers to see. To spur transactions, fewer choices are healthier for the overall market. 

Buy: Sellers are more negotiable now than they have been over the last three to four years, so get out there and make offers! . 

Hold Off: If you have an investment portfolio, the returns on that portfolio are up 50 to 100 percent in some cases. Could this be why potential buyers aren’t pulling money out of the market to make down payments on apartments?

Buy:  Rental rates have been stagnant. But they are finally starting to increase, and landlords are now scaling back the incentives once necessary to rent their properties. This could be the spark that ignites the buyer’s market as rental rates climb to match monthly mortgage and maintenance rates. 

Hold Off: And yet properties continue to linger on the market. Especially if they’re not competitively priced, which puts the onus back on the buyers to bid the property for what they think “market-value” should be. But they don’t, so homes just sit. And if they sit, the prices will continue to fall, in theory. 

Buy: And yet it’s never been a better time to buy! Property values are down 20 percent in many segments of the marketplace. Interest rates have never been lower and are slated to go down even further. Inventory is plentiful, and there’s plenty to choose from, which means the buyers should be out shopping!

Holding Off: But they aren’t pulling the trigger. Also, 2020 is an election year. Could that mean more reductions in listing and purchase prices as election years usually bring uncertainty to the market? Will interest rates go up next year? Maybe, but that’s not likely in an election year. 

Buy/Holding Off: I’ve said it many times before: Timing the market is a very dangerous thing to do. Borrowing money is cheaper than it has been and sellers are very negotiable off of the sale prices. It truly is a buyer’s market … so why aren’t you buying?

Local Events

Summer Streets
August 3, 10, 17, 2019

For three weekends in August, the city closes Park Avenue and Lafayette Street to cars so you can play, run, walk, and bike from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park. Summer Streets features food, entertainment, and activities for the whole family. Read more here.

Central Park Conservancy Film Festival

August 13 - 15, 2019

Hosted in recognition of the Conservancy’s ongoing commitment to the public, the Conservancy Film Festival features three family-friendly films and is free to the public. Event is subject to cancellation due to weather. Click herefor more info and the full schedule.

News & Must Reads

Compass Raises at $6.4 Billion Value as Brokerage Race Heats Up

The new funding round values the company at $6.4 billion, setting the stage for an eventual initial public offering. The money will help Compass, which has raised more than $1.5 billion in total, to continue building a software platform to streamline the process of buying and selling homes, the company said in a statement. That includes investments in cloud, mobile and artificial intelligence, as well as support for a new consumer app expected to launch in August.

 Read more here.

The Greatest Rooms of the Century

From the home of Charles and Ray Eames to Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul, Phaidon's list includes interiors that span dozens of countries and a broad range of show-stopping styles. Read more about the spaces in Dwell, here.

The Must-Have Tools Every Gardener Should Own

With a little effort, some steady attention, and the help of a few trusty garden tools, anyone can nurture their greenspace into whatever they want it to be, whether that’s a vertical garden or an edible one. Read more here with Real Simple.