Calling All Buyers
According to StreetEasy.com, as of this week, we have over 7,400 listings on the market in Manhattan. That is well over the 4,500 that were on the market when we began the year, and still well over 2017’s peak volume of 6,009 listings. Along with increasing inventory, we are continuing to feel buyer demand rise. We shared a shifting increase in buyer urgency last month and are continuing to feel the sentiment now across various market sectors.
After several winter months of a more tire-kicking consumer mentality, we are seeing buyers act more decisively, many spurred by the frustrations of now losing out on opportunities because of their more casual approach to purchasing over the prior months. The oversupply of inventory will help keep prices across the market down even with the increased activity. But despite activity, we may see prices continue to dampen if we don’t experience a higher rate of consumption over the next 90 days. Historically, June and October are months we see volume peak in Manhattan. Without an increase in buyer pool to mirror the activity, we could conceivably top 8,000 listings.
We also saw shifts in the residential real estate industry this past month. Many may have seen that the brokerage firm, Town Residential, shuttered last week. They are keeping their new development department open, running out of a small Manhattan office, but that is also rumored to not be here much longer. The same day Town announced its closing, it also sent an email to all their agents, firing (or disassociating) agents based up “last year’s production”. This was a backdoor way for the firm to keep a good amount of the commissions due to those agents. Town has also positioned themselves to retain a good portion of those agents’ exclusive fees, even though they have no way to services those marketed properties. This is a poor way to treat your agents and customers who are the ones ultimately effected. As agents, we should take this as a reminder of which brokerage we choose to associate with and, as consumers, which you chose to hire. Town was very shiny and fancy when they first opened. They promised to be cutting edge, and with a proven leader, would overtake the industry. As agents, our responsibility is to our clients. We’ve seen over and over through the years, getting sold on snake oil puts our trusted clients at risk.