I love New York City, because it is a dramatic space with fluid and dynamic energy and an artistic underlying climate. Being a real estate broker, is challenging, but it is also exciting. Throughout the years, open source players and creative programmers have tried to find a way to democratize data in the real estate landscape. After acknowledging that New York City’s real estate data has mostly operated in closed, non cybernetic systems prior to listing aggregators – they realized that it would behoove them, to mostly create tools that brokers can use to facilitate a transaction, or create spaces where brokers and prospective buyers and leasees could try to find real time data to negotiate a transaction based on a macro, contextually relevant comparisons. With aggregators, they welcomed the real estate industry’s willingness to share data and create an overall market place for all. Thus, consumers became locally familiar with the marketplaces, and brokers were able to find direct customers/clients. That is, until every new aggregator, or provider of real estate data, decides, that they are more interested in the classical brokerage model for controlling data and turning profit. Thus, democratizing of information is great, but then, they want to be compensated for the service that they provide, and what better way than to use the content already provided by the real estate players who kept the information in closed systems and by default control the market. A conflict of interest is born, and regardless of how many new tools are used to democratize this particular data, the content providers will pull back because it affects their profits. Data sharing is shrinking because of the push and pull that technocratization of this particular type of information purports, and the landscape is not ready to lose power or control of extremely valuable data with fancy profits. New York City’s real estate landscape is interesting because it contains different types of properties, and for each, a unique process. Furthermore, there are laws dictating how each property can operate within the macro landscape. Brokers are needed; technology is useful – what will the future bring for this complex landscape? will owners accept that an agent would not want to list their property in a given space, because this will mean having to share the commission? Will that owner receive the highest bid? will that owner still be paying the same commission amount if the buyer comes directly to the listing agent vs having to co broke it with a buyer’s agent representing a customer? Do buyers even care who represents them, and rather go directly to the seller’s agent because this will guarantee them getting the property that they want? If a buyer’s agent doesn’t know a property, his/her job is to conduct due diligence, and by default the understanding is that the professional has experience and knowledge in reference to the process, pricing and market movement. Will owners even care or understand how this paradigm shift impacts the bottom line? will the brokerage system change? Only time will tell.
Everything seems brighter in New York City today; the sun is bursting over the fabulous skyscrapers populating the radiant and inviting blue sky. Aside from the warm climate, the sales market is leading with a healthy uptick in movement and pricing. While there are factors that can contribute to the shift in pricing each quarter, in 2014 there seems to be a trend – inventory is low and prices are in the upswing. There are factors that contribute the market conditions, and there is an underlying cycle to the degree that eventually prices will reach a stasis. Subsequently, there is still technically a window of “opportunity” for real estate players. Cash is king, and that is true for buyers who do not need financing. What may be “too expensive” for some, can be an opportunity for others in our global economic landscape. Additionally, in Manhattan, the complexity of zoning and air rights, price for the land, as well as historic landmark allocation in some areas will continue to generate demand for land where development can occur. There is a nice segment of new construction, but in the high-end market, because the incentives to build “affordable” housing have diminished. Companies spend millions trying to crunch numbers and data to hedge identify the exact time, space and mobility of an asset– not even for a solid rock of gold do we know the trajectory, or do we?. The NYC real estate market is fascinating, dynamic, and the exact future of its peak or lack there of, somewhat evasive, but while in the moment – just a slice of the macro dynamics here in NYC.
We are all busy it seems. New York City is a very fast-paced city. Recently, I have noticed, that people are constantly so distracted, they do not listen, they do not take time to respond properly. We are heading towards a speech style that is going to sound more like text. That is, short chopped up sentences that leaves us confused as to the intended meaning of the message. Imagine what would it be like if people paused in the first contact of interaction to say: “hello, how are you today?” pause, and then go on. It is something to think about…..
A few years ago listings sold, sure, but there was room for negotiation, and pricing somewhat at a pace reflecting the mood of the economy. This year, if an apartment looks priced under market value, be aware, as this can be basically is a tool to create a bidding war. Cash is king in accepted offers. Should that be fair? As a buyers agent, no, that does not seem fair. I always advise my clients/customers to be aware of the rates psf in the given location, this way they refrain from using emotional logic and overpay. If another prospective purchaser wants to do that – then let them pay, you move on to a fair deal. There is no such thing as a “deal” really – particularly in coveted locations and prestigious buildings. What there is, however, is a “fair deal.” It is important to buy an apartment that has future resale value. Don’t take for granted things like view, light, floor level, how big the bedroom is. Just a thought.
Manhattan is expensive; be prepared to spend. Just don’t empty out your accounts – unless your accounts are bottomless and you really just don’t care.
The Lower East Side continues to move forward in development. Within the next ten years, the area adjacent to the Williamsburg Bride – South, North and East will continue at a similar pace as the land lease on the West 30s of the Hudson. While new apartment buildings will be a mixture of affordable and market rate residencies, the air-rights of existing older walk-ups will be bought and built. One example is the corner retail space of Delancey and Clinton in the Lower East Side. Similarly so, the Seward Park area, will see an influx of new retailers, with concessions to match the residential additions.
Here is the link to the open bid to work on this amazing trajectory …
“http://www.nycedc.com/project/seward-park-mixed-use-development-project”>here is the link to the bid
I was watching a video by Danny Hillis, discussing what would happen if the Internet crashed. He talked about the origins of the infrastructures, and systems, and basically the fact that the Internet as a communications system can be attacked, disrupted – in essence crash. We have found ways to protect information on machines, and structures, but we are still in essence over dependent and vulnerable.
How this relates to real estate? Well, it can relate to anything, I have however noticed a tremendous continuation of dependence on everything on the web to do a transaction. From the databases with listings, to the exchange of documents, to electronic signatures, to the most basic dependence of looking for properties on various websites. I think it is helpful to have a back up system – perhaps not note cards stashed with addresses and prices, but something where if the Internet goes down, we can still manage
It is not surprising to find that combination. According to a recent New York Times article, Park City, Utah, where the Sundance film festival takes place, is also now a coveted place for real estate transactions. For those who are there to pick the next big film making trillions, who would appreciate walking out into a private slope, and party away in the snow, this seems like a hot idea. Article below for your perusal. If you are interested in the slopes here, (Central Park, NYC) do not hesitate to contact me 🙂