Real Estate News: Agents anxious for better days

Market Meanders, No Relief In Sight

If you’re a real estate salesman, keep the day job.

Though industry sources publicly remain optimistic, the days of double-your-money and frantic deal making seem a thing of the past.

This week, the major firms release their first quarter 2019 reports. Keep in mind, all the firms are dealing with the same data. Bottom line: sales declined for the fifth straight quarter.

The Douglas Elliman report is one of the most thorough. It suggests that on Long Island, the median sales price is holding steady.

“Long Island remains the regional outlier with rising prices and sales levels that are still high despite a decline,” said Ann Conroy, president of Douglas Elliman’s Long Island Division. “The median sales price hasn’t shown a year-over-year decline in 24 consecutive quarters, and the marketing time for single-family homes is the shortest we’ve seen in over a decade.”

But it’s the Hamptons where fortunes have been made and prices traditionally skyrocket. “The Hamptons market is skewing to the low end, with high sales activity in the sub-million-dollar market this quarter and the lowest number of sales at or above $10 million in six years,” said Carl Benincasa, Elliman’s regional vp/sales for the Hamptons. “With a sharp rise in listing inventory, buyers are going to have more options as we head into the spring and summer, and now that tax day is behind us and consumers are figuring out the effects of the new tax law, we may see some pent-up demand start to affect sales in the coming quarters.”

Prices on the North Fork stabilized, and the report showed an easing of sales growth. Listing inventory edged higher, and sales above $2 million were tied for the second lowest number in six years.

“Long Island and the North Fork showed similar patterns this quarter with steady to rising prices but declining sales,” said Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc. and author of the report.

Douglas Elliman Real Estate is the largest brokerage in the New York Metropolitan area and the second largest independent residential real estate brokerage in the United States by sales volume. With more than 7000 agents, the company operates approximately 118 offices in New York City, Long Island, The Hamptons, Westchester, Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida, California, Colorado, and Massachusetts.

rmurphy@indyeastend.com