Saturday, July 08, 2006

Adjusting to a Buyers Market

From the NY Times:

Adjusting to a Buyer's Market

WITH black clouds hanging over the Westchester County housing market for the first time since 1999, Michael and Kara Lyons are caught in a bind: they are sellers in a buyer's market and buyers at the same time.

Their two-bedroom co-op in northwest Yonkers overlooking the Hudson River has been on the market, listed at $250,000, for five months. A year and a half ago, in a booming real estate market, the condo would probably have been snatched up quickly, perhaps after a bidding war.

So, like many other sellers in a decidedly weaker residential market, Mr. Lyons said, he and his wife are wondering: "Do we lower the price, or do we take it off the market altogether and wait? And what about our plans for the new house?"

With the inventory of condominiums, co-ops, free-standing houses and two-to-five-unit buildings rising, many properties are staying on the market for extended periods of time.
The inventory in the county has almost doubled from its low point of 3,500 residential units on the market at the end of the fourth quarter of 2003, Ms. Endres said. By the first quarter of this year, the number of single-family homes, co-ops, condos and multifamily homes for sale was up to 6,585. While numbers for the second quarter of this year have not yet been released, they are expected to be even higher, she said.

Not surprisingly, asking prices are coming down — drastically, in some cases. Take a four-bedroom, three-bath barn-style house on almost 13 lakefront acres in Pound Ridge that went on the market a year ago for $7.5. It is still on the market, but now the price is $3.9 million.
While most brokers are not reporting such extreme price cuts, they are advising sellers to be realistic and open to lower offers. The average time on the market from listing to an accepted offer is four to five months, they said. A year ago, the average time on the market was less than three weeks, Ms. Endres said.
Loretta Rapisardi, an agent at Sotheby's International Realty, said many buyers, like Mr. Vera, bring a "business school mentality" to the bargaining table, after consulting sources like the National Association of Realtors. "They're much more analytical than buyers were two years ago," she said.
But, in general, sellers in all price ranges are being thwarted, said George Stone, a senior vice president for Sotheby's, which has several offices in Westchester. "In this market, everything is affected — condos, waterfront properties, center-hall colonials, you name it," he said. "There no curse or blessing on any style."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad to see sellers are starting to realize that they cannot get the prices that they could have a year or 2 ago. I watch the NJ market, and I have predicted that the prices will start dropping more and more and people will continue to lowball sellers, there will be a large amount of forclosed homes over the next year or so. As prices start to decline many people who have waited in hopes to downgrade there homes will try to get get in to a smaller home and people who are looking for bigger homes will sell there smaller home for a bigger one. I think if the market drops 30-40% there will be more houses for sale and more flexablitity. So on a $300K townhouse or house 30% decrease is about 90K which I think will be a start in getting the NJ market back to where it belongs.
And for those people who partook in the boom, well you will either lose your house or have to keep it for a long time to get what you invested into it. I have no remorse for people who bought in the boom, they are the ones that ruined the market in the first place so they are making it hard for many first time homeowners, well you will get what you deserve

7/16/2006 05:54:00 PM  

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