At the Real Estate Board of New York's first residential convention last month, there was a sense of elation
in the air. Not only was REBNY celebrating its 100th anniversary and the success of its new trade show, but there was a new sense of confidence in the future of New York City that has not been seen in nearly ten years.
All the top properties in the $1 million to $2 million range have gone into multiple bids this week in our office, said Elizabeth Stribling, president of Stribling & Associates Ltd., during the cocktail party at the end of the show. Others in the brokerage community echoed the sentiment that buyers are flocking back to the market. The rising demand, coupled with a paucity of large apartments, has led to price wars in the upper end of the market, something brokers haven't experienced since the late '80s.
A Long Slide Ends
From the stock market crash of 1987 until the mid-1990s, the city took a long downward slide, manifested by a drop in social services, an increase in crime and homelessness and a sudden end to the real estate boom of the 1980s. Although nowhere near as severe as the city's fiscal crisis of the 1970s, this economic downturn led to a loss of confidence in the New York real estate market. Families were afraid to invest in larger apartments, renters were afraid to buy and many apartment owners were having trouble selling their units when it came time to move. For those who had bought at the peak of the market, selling meant taking a substantial loss. Studios and one-bedrooms in marginal neighborhoods became almost impossible to sell at all.