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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Consumer sentiment poll

Q&AHere's an unscientific poll about how people might feel about the short term prospects of Manhattan real estate. I've fielded a lot of calls this week from clients and readers, fueled by the news environment. They are concerned about their property values, and most are evaluating the possibilities of both selling and buying. Yes, I said buying. There is significant interest in Manhattan homes, but some are sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what happens next. Who can blame them? A few may have been directly affected by the turmoil on Wall Street, but I'd characterize the mood as being one of intelligent fact finding as people consider their next move. Some will inevitably choose to wait and see, others will move because they need to, or recognize that this may be the best buying opportunity in years, with sellers entertaining offers, and real negotiating taking place.

We have had an exceptionally strong real estate market here for the several years, but we are not immune to market forces. As I write this, a bailout of Wall Street seems imminent, its success will be an open issue for some time to come. The conventional wisdom says that Wall Street earnings drive the Manhattan real estate market. So as that sector comes under pressure from earnings and a loss of jobs, so may our pricing. Real estate is not a short term or liquid investment. How do you think that Wall Street and Manhattan will be doing in 2 to 5 years? I'm basically an optimist about our city and believe that the crisis is one of momentary confidence, not of fundamentals. What do you think?

This poll was posted simultaneously here, at TrueGotham and UrbanDigs. Thanks to fellow NYC bloggers and co-brokers Doug Heddings and Noah Rosenblatt for your support!

updated 10.07.08