Monday, April 10, 2006

Housing News From LI

From Newsday:

Bloom or bust?

Anna Rajber is willing to wait.

Rajber has been trying to sell her Jericho home since July, even knocking the price down from $769,000 to $739,000. But she's not ready to bend more to make a sale.

"I think the house is still worth the money," she said. "I don't think it's overpriced."
...
Mauri Chotin-Zemachson and her husband, Scott, are willing to wait, too. The Manhattan couple hopes to move to Roslyn or Jericho, but so far they think the houses aren't worth the prices.

"I'm going to look until I find it," Chotin-Zemachson said. "I don't think I'm going to lower my expectations."

And there's the problem. For home buyers and sellers, this spring is telling a very different real estate story, one the region hasn't seen in nearly a decade. It may be the heart of the selling season, but the frenzy of years past is gone, replaced by a far more tentative market.
...
In resales, that's even clearer, as buyers spread out among the for-sale signs. Dallow said open houses now have an average of eight or nine attendees, compared with 15 to 18 a year ago.

The number of buyers could decline, as "fringe buyers" - those who could only afford low mortgage rates - will be priced out, noted Martin Cantor, chief economist with Sustainable Long Island, an advocacy group.
...
Nonetheless, if a weaker spring is followed by an even weaker summer or fall, that may put the market on notice. And that's when the reality check will come, said appraiser Jonathan Miller, with Miller Samuel in Manhattan, because there's seasonal "static" now.

"We're not seeing the gloom and doom at this point that had been anticipated," Miller added. "But we've got rising inventory, and potentially rising mortgage rates, and when you put those things together, that is not a good thing."

Caveat Emptor!
Grim

23 Comments:

Blogger Richard said...

grim, this is exactly what's going on. both buyers and sellers are in a who will blink first standoff. the trade up buyers can't do so until they get their own properties sold. the property they're trading up to is laughibly priced so they have to price their existing property the same way. the only thing that breaks this stalemate is new money coming in from first time homeowners. guess what? in LI they've been priced out, so things will just sit and sit until prices either come down or incomes catch up. i think the former is far more likely.

4/10/2006 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

I think the situation is more like a Mexican standoff with the following participants:

Buyers
Sellers
Lenders
Federal Reserve
Global Bond Market

Saying the stalemate is only between buyers and sellers is oversimplifying the situation.

grim

4/10/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger grim said...

The appraisers might be part of that stand-off as well..

grim

4/10/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Prices are tanking off ridiculous asking prices.
wait til fall 2006 and Spring 2007.

Desperation and panic will be widespread.
The attitudes and the cockiness will be non-existent with realtors and sellers.

4/10/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Richie said...

Sellers will end up losing more by not lowering prices. Every 3 months those quarterly real estate taxes are due.

They can either reduce the asking price by $10k, or just pay it back in property taxes. Oh, and the taxes will most likely be going up for all these households in NJ this year...

It's only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

4/10/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

"In resales, that's even clearer, as buyers spread out among the for-sale signs. Dallow said open houses now have an average of eight or nine attendees, compared with 15 to 18 a year ago."


We've got work left to do -- let's get that number to zero.

Boycott all open houses!

4/10/2006 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger DL said...

I think standoff is an excellent way to describe this market. I live in the downtown area of Jersey City and have seen this going on for the past few months.

Many sellers have put there recently purchased condos on the market at prices 25-30% above what they paid for them only a few years ago. I am seeing these units sit for months at a time. Some sellers are lowering their prices, but in very small increments and generally not enough to attract buyers. In general the pyschology has changed. The proliferation of open houses is unbelievable. Walking around my neighborhood on a Sunday it is hard to keep track of all the Weichert signs you see for open houses. This alone is telling potential buyers that there is no rush.

4/10/2006 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

true grim. the buyer/seller standoff is a view from the car. it's going to be very interesting watching how this shakes out. we're on the down side of the mountain so it's prudent to be careful at this juncture.

4/10/2006 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

no pain = no pain

if you do not hear horror stories, then nothing much is going to change anytime soon

nobody sounds too concerned, it is a minimal bullish / neutral sign

4/10/2006 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

"if you do not hear horror stories, then nothing much is going to change anytime soon"


Is not being able to sell a house (as per rising inventory), a horror story?

There are quite a few 'fake sellers' out there, who list for $1.5 million, just to see if any suckers bite. No pain for them if they don't find a sucker, but the March data for Short Hills, for example, shows 95% of the homes sold for under asking price.

We're on the way down, and hopefully a dead 'spring market' will cause sellers to slash and burn in an effort to avoid real pain when their houses are worth 20-30% less.

4/10/2006 12:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Slash and burn" Nice term.

I see this S & B coming in laste summer when reality sinks in for good. Then it will all be negative for housing.

4/10/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Daman said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/10/2006 01:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have found one group of sellers that I feel sorry for - the regular oldies.
One house round the corner from me is chasing the market down and can't get a bite, one of those 1950's ranches the owner has lived in for 40 odd years. Every time I pass the old guy is out there with a sad look on his face, probably wishing he had sold last year.

4/10/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I pity the young. They start building their "dream house" and figure they'll stay in their old one until the completion date, then sell. Then they realize they can't sell. Meanwhile, they're saddled with two mortgage payments, plus a bridge loan. They have to sell at or below what they paid for it. I've seen a couple properties like this.

And I wouldn't feel bad at all; everybody does stupid things with money. But doing it on that scale when you've got a wife and kids is... just pitiable, is all.

So yeah, CF, I guess maybe I've already heard "horror stories" - depending on your criteria.

4/10/2006 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger Daman said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4/10/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad for the old guy. His generation got the maximum benefit of this housing bubble.

Young people are getting ripped off.

Disclosure own a house already and think homeowners think they are entitled eventhough they paid a pittance for their own homes 15-20 years ago vs today.

4/10/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

many of these people have a larger mortgage than when they started out with with the purchase of the home.
Using it as a piggy bank to fund extracurricular activities. They may regret in future why they tapped their equity so often.

4/10/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know a couple who bought their cape in West Caldwell for $70K in 1983.

The woman told me a few weeks ago that they now have a $350K mortgage on the place.

Yikes.

4/10/2006 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

So yeah, CF, I guess maybe I've already heard "horror stories" - depending on your criteria.

5:37 PM


Let's see it in the Bergen Record.

;-)

4/10/2006 09:40:00 PM  
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