Think of it this way: You’re 14. You’re going to set aside some of your allowance each week so you can buy an old truck when you turn 17. For a while, it’s working well. You put 10 bucks or so away, and before you know it, you have 100 or so. And then, your mother abruptly cuts your allowance and all you can manage is banking a few dollars each week. Then she cuts it again. And again. Soon, you have to start spending your little nest egg just so you’ll have shoes to wear while walking to school.
Welcome to East End real estate, 2019. Municipalities have lots of things they want to buy, too, and usually have a nice stash of cash to purchase with. That’s because the Community Preservation Fund is like an allowance, only better: every time a property sells, the fund is injected with cash thanks to a two-percent tax. The fund can be used to purchase and preserve, either historic or environmentally significant land.
But the “allowance” is shrinking. The Peconic Bay Preservation Fund hit a new low, it was announced last week. Revenues are down 22 percent when compared to the first 10 months of 2018.
More bad news: 2018 wasn’t anything to write home about, kids.
Assemblyman Fred Thiele, one of the architects of the CPF program, pegged 2019 revenue at $63.35 million after 10 months. In 2018, it was $81.27 million.
Worse still, monthly CPF revenues for 2019 have been lower than the same month for 2018 every month thus far. It’s a trend, folks.
Since its inception in 1999, the Peconic Bay Regional Community Preservation Fund has generated $1.445 billion.
Real estate pundits are sending mixed signals. Some think the market has finally bottomed, and others, pointing to a glut of unsold properties on the market, think there is still room to sink.
Forget the truck. Better put the shoes on hold, too.