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NEW YORK — Scarce inventory, low interest rates and improved consumer confidence are making the current real estate market one of the strongest in at least a generation, one industry expert said Thursday.
“I think we’re in nirvana for housing,” said Ivy Zelman, chief executive officer of Zelman & Associates, told CNBC.
Zelman, who has 22 years of experience, accurately called the 2005 high in the real estate market, as well as the 2012 low.
“I think that I have to tell you, I’m probably the most bullish I’ve ever been fundamentally, and I’m dating myself, been around for over 20 years, so I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs,” she said.
Zelman also honed in on a curious practice increasingly common in the New York real estate market.
“I’ll tell you, there are Realtors blanketing neighborhoods, asking people to sell their homes,” she said.
Housing prices are poised to continue rising for the next four to six years, she added.
“Where the inventories in the United States are right now is a significant constraint. We have 30-year low inventories,” Zelman said. “Mortgage financing is by far the best it’s ever been in the history of our country. Rent inflation is making people reconsider going out and considering buying.”
NEW YORK — Good news for the Manhattan real estate market: Apartment prices rose last year across the board, with the highest gains coming in larger, luxury homes.
A CNBC story by real estate reporter Diana Olick cites uncertainty about economic policy out of Washington for blockbuster sales in the fourth quarter, which reached their highest level in 25 years.
Olick writes, “Total sales of both co-ops and condominiums jumped 40 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 year from the same period in 2011, according to a new report from Brown Harris Stevens. The average co-op price of $1,285,426 was 12 percent higher than a year ago, while three-bedroom and larger co-ops saw a 34 percent price leap.”
Scarce inventory — at its lowest point in 12 years — will keep upward pressure on prices.
A look at the upper segment of the market showed even greater strength.
“Sales of properties priced over $10 million rose 44 percent from a year ago, and this does not include several major transactions in the last days of the year,” Olick wrote. “One record $54 million east side co-op sale helped push average prices higher in that area by 20 percent.”
In October, real estate mogul Billy Procida that New York real estate couldn’t get cheaper, especially factoring in historically low mortgage rates — this week, 3.45 percent on a 30-year loan — and demand that had just started to pick up.
All signs are pointing to a fairly healthy spring season for the sales of new condominium apartments in the city, according to a new report released Thursday that tracks the new development market. — “February condo sales fuel optimism for spring,” Crain’s New York Business, March 15, 2012.
What this means for buyers and sellers is likely that more people will be looking for apartments, which will be more plentiful, and that sales listings are going to move more quickly into contract.
With mortgage rates near all-time lows, it’s a great time to buy. The increased activity also bodes well for sellers.
As always, if you or someone you know is thinking about buying, selling or renting property in New York, please let me know.