Still, some experts see a hot streak ahead

The Lost Decade: A Stagnant Real Estate Industry

The Elliman Report for the decade ending 2019 reiterated what most of us knew: It was not a good time to be a real estate professional.

The report, authored by Jonathan Miller, the CEO of Miller Samuel, is among the most reliable in the business because Miller knows his stuff and doesn’t mince words.

He knows a pig when he sees one, and there is plenty of lipstick needed for this oinker. But those of us looking for a prom date later this year might find a few pretty girls have moved into town.

Take Long Island. The average sales price in 2010 for a residential home was about $439,000. It was $524,000 10 years later. A modest increase, yes, but not nearly in line with the kind of appreciation investors likely expected if they dropped into the market back then. The average sales price in 2019 was only $450,000, remarkable for its stagnation if for no other reason.

Condo sales, thought to be a hot ticket at one point, also struggled to gain upward momentum over the past 10 years though the average sales price went from $315,000 to $382,000 in that time frame. The luxury condo market (over $1 million) flatlined, holding steady at about $1.23 million for the entire decade.

The average sale price, and the median price, actually declined over the 10-year period, an unheard-of phenomenon in recent years. A slight recovery in 2019 from 2018 gave optimists some reason for hope. The median price, $412,000 in 2018, rebounded slightly in 2019.

Discussing the Long Island market in general, Miller wrote, “Listing inventory fell to a record lows.” This is usually important coupled with an upward shift in price. Sales continued to rise as well. In essence, it all points to a bear market. The number of sales was up year over year for the fourth time in five quarters, further proof indicators are shifting upwards.

Other Long Island market news according to Miller: Days on market was 72, up from 70. Listing discount was three percent, and listing inventory fell 6.6 percent to 8944.

Next week we’ll dissect the numbers in the Hamptons and take a look at fourth quarter 2019 reports.