Looking Back...and Forward Predictions and Wishes for 2011

The last couple of years have been tempestuous for everyone involved in the real estate industry, and the New York market is certainly no exception. But the city’s residential real estate is extraordinary in that during the current recession it has held its value or rebounded more quickly than residential properties in the rest of the country. Even so, 2010 has been a wild year for real estate in the city, and industry experts say that what will happen in the coming year depends upon many political, economic and financial factors.

The stability of the economy and the stock market, or whether the government will offer new incentives for home-buyers are two of the many factors that could influence the markets for co-op and condos in the coming year. Possible changes in political leadership resulting in heavier taxes on real estate sales also could hurt the market. What will happen in the markets in 2011, real estate pros say, is going to be a result of these factors and most importantly, consumer confidence.

Markets Stabilizing

Despite suggestions from some quarters that the economy is in recovery mode, fears remain that we may yet experience a so-called “double-dip” recession. Even so, many New York City real estate industry pros seem confident that the worst has passed. Apartment pricing in the city has stabilized (though down to levels of two or three years ago in some neighborhoods), ending a downward slide in many areas, and prices in some parts of Manhattan seem to be on the upswing again.

Residential sales volume has gone up in the city a little in the past year, says Al Pennisi, an attorney and partner with Queens-based law firm Pennisi Daniels & Norelli and the president of the Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives & Condominiums (FNYHC). Part of that change is due to more money in the pipeline. “The banks have gotten less strict [on requirements for home loans],” he says.

Pennisi adds that the stronger economy has also helped the confidence of potential buyers and sellers alike, though not all of them are faring equally well in this economy.

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