In 2020, everything was up in the air and the market was too uncertain. In 2021, prices were too high to purchase, and there was nowhere for potential sellers to go once they sold. Last year, interest rate spikes, stock market volatility and inflation caused hesitation. What are the Excuses du Jour for 2023? We are in a recession. But are we? Crime is rampant, and gun violence is getting worse and immigration is a mess. The threat of war is escalating - in Europe, in the Far East and in the Middle East. And, well, I could go on and on.
The headlines talk about "massive layoffs" and diminished Wall Street bonus checks which are likely to put a crimp in the spending habits of the new super rich finance types and techies. Hey, even the CEO of Goldman Sachs is taking a pay cut to $25,000,000 per year.
We, "average people", are now paying through the nose for a dozen eggs. On the other hand, however, we are finally getting a break at the gas pumps. So, now is a good time to avoid eggs and to consume gasoline.
Despite the overall doom and gloom headlines, employment levels overall remain strong and interest rates and inflation levels are stabilizing. 2023 seems to be offering a glimmer of light at the end of Q4's dark tunnel.
Where does that leave buyers and sellers of residential real estate? I understand that prices in Vegas and Salt Lake City have nosedived. It might be time to purchase there. But - why anyone in these cities would choose to sell now is beyond me unless they were desperate.
And therein lies the answer. Buyers and sellers of homes will transact when their motivation is strong enough, and when they've thought through their options. For example, a couple pregnant with triplets living in a one bedroom home needs to move. They can either rent a different home, move in with friends or family, or buy. Or somehow modify their one bedroom home. If they are renting their one bedroom home, they can vacate at the end of their lease. If they own, they can sell, or become landlords.
So many options. And choosing what to do is complicated, involving logistical, emotional, financial, and tax issues. If there are multiple decision makers, the complications are multiplied.
The good news in New York City is that prices have remained fairly firm. Anecdotally, we brokers know that the market has picked up. This hasn't translated into a ton of fresh listings or newly signed contracts just yet. However, we're seeing properties being staged and prepped for the market, and buyers getting pre-approved for financing. Offers are being made, considered and negotiated. Buyers and sellers seem to be headed in a positive direction along the same path.
As we've been saying, real estate is hyper-local, and every market offers opportunities. Potential buyers and sellers are analyzing their personal circumstances and exploring their options given overall market conditions. Rather than focusing on reasons to stay put, they're creating a plan to suit their lifestyle and real estate goals, and hopefully moving forward with life's plans.