The Market

For NYC buyers, some welcome relief from bidding wars

By Virginia K. Smith  | September 3, 2014 - 11:59AM

While prices—and demand—in New York's real estate market are still at dizzying highs, it looks like things may be calming down, at least a little bit: according to the latest market reports, prices are plateauing, apartments are staying on the market longer, and bidding wars (or calls for "best and final" offers among competing buyers) are less common than they were even a year ago.

The cool down is due in large part to an increase of available apartments for buyers, as well as home-hunters backing off from riled sellers' unrealistically high prices, according to a report from The Real Deal. At this time last year, "buyers were so frantic about competing for so few properties, they didn’t care" about putting out a "best-and-final" offer, Halstead Property agent Christopher Kromer tells The Real Deal. “I don’t believe you’re seeing that now.”

In the second quarter of this year, homes spent an average of 5.1 months on the market, up from 4.5 months during the previous quarter. During the same period of time, the number of listings went up, and the median sales price in the city fell from $972,428 to $910,000.

"Some brokers said buyers have reconsidered what they want and how much they're willing to pay," Nicole Beauchamp, an agent with Engel & Völkers NYC, told the site. And maybe the most common sense quote we've heard all week: "There's a fear amongst many of paying 'too much,'" she added. It makes sense: no one wants to buy when prices are at an all-time high.

It's all a much-needed respite from the city's recent real estate insanity, though competition has stayed stiff for buyers of the city's (relatively) affordable properties. "Prices have plateaued in the mid-priced and upper-priced market segments," Warburg Realty President Frederick Peters told The Real Deal, "though not below $2 million, where competition is still fierce and multiple bids still common." 

In other words, things are still tough out there for middle-class buyers, but maybe—just maybe?—getting a little better.


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