Is the real estate market about to take off?

Winds Of Change In the Air

Those of us in the business will tell you realtors are the biggest optimists on the planet.

But a recent stagnant spell on the East End hangs over the industry like a storm cloud, and after another lackluster quarter of sales reports, doubt is creeping into even the cheeriest demeanors: is the extended market correction actually the new normal?

Here’s a resounding “no” from Ernie Cervi, regional senior vice president of Corcoran’s East End division, and plenty of other experts agree.

First of all, there’s the economy, stupid. Democrat or Republican, the numbers don’t lie: with the GNP churning upward, there are people on the sidelines ready to jump back into the game. “Interest rates are near an all-time low. We know what happened in the past. We don’t know what is going to happen. But I think we are beginning to see more activity,” said Cervi.

Cervi cautioned that in an election year, the market often develops a wait-and-see approach. This year, however, the building blocks are in place — and at multiple price points.

“We’re seeing activity on both ends of the market,” Cervi reported, “but more so on the lower end right now.”

In a sense, the incredible market boom of past decades was short-circuited by the national banking crisis. Is it possible there is still a residue? Cervi thinks not. “We saw people come back in. The sellers are motivated. Corcoran just sold a house in Southampton Village for $27 million.”

One real estate trend in the Hamptons is condos, and Cervi noted a sharp upswing in construction and sales.

“Watchcase in Sag Harbor sold out. Bishops Pond in Southampton — people are more interested in condos now,” Cervi noted.

On the North Fork, Harvest Pointe is a new condo development by Kenilworth Equities and Rimland Development currently under construction at 28200 Main Road, Cutchogue. Pricing for available units ranges from $720,000 to over $835,000. Harvest Pointe has a total of 124 units. Sizes range from 1600 to 2000 square feet. It is the most ambitious condo project ever on the North Fork, “and that’s for people 55 and over,” Cervi pointed out.

Cervi thinks the time is right for a surge, and Corcoran, as usual, is ready for action. “We are well positioned. This is a full-time job and those who work hard do well.” Technology has taken over the industry, as it has so many others. “Business is more complex. The people are more in tune,” Cervi noted.

It is, for the moment, still a buyer’s market. “Look around. The sellers are motivated. When prices are lowered, there is a lot of action.”

rmurphy@indyeastend.com