The real estate market in New York City isn’t what it was in the recent past—a fact that troubled many brokers, but which for buyers was a good thing. Across the market, prices are still well below their height of a few years ago, and should stay lower for the near future.
When considering the market for co-ops and condominiums over the past year, New York City real estate professionals in the city say it’s good to maintain some perspective. They talk about the dark days of 2008, when Lehman Brothers collapsed and no one was really sure what would happen next in the financial and real estate markets. Some property values were halved overnight. These days, slow as the recovery has been, most properties are still regaining value, working their way back up to peak highs.
The past year saw a steadying in prices and a lot more transactions than the prior year, says Elizabeth F. Stribling, president of Manhattan’s Stribling & Associates, Ltd. brokerage, and she feels that equilibrium should continue. “I don’t think prices will go up too rapidly. We’ve got a balanced market,” Stribling says. “I’m hoping this year will be as strong and steady as last year, with modest price increases.”
Slow or not, 2010 sales were a marked difference from the year before. For the first six months of 2009, the city’s major brokerages did almost no business at all, but by the last quarter of that year, sales had picked up. From 2010 through the present, the New York City real estate market has continued its steady climb back up in pricing and activity. It is still largely a buyer’s market, however, and deals can be found, if prospective buyers are shrewd enough to find them.
Finding those deals depends upon what a buyer knows, and the amount of legwork he or she wants to do. It also depends upon the professional help the buyer gets. In the ultra-competitive world of New York City real estate, the sound judgment of a seasoned professional could make the difference between finding the right place and looking for another year or two.