So here in Manhattan and Riverdale buyers and sellers of residential real estate, namely coops, condos, townhouses and some 1-4 family homes have come to realize that the market is down from the highs of 2007, and many minds are meeting and agreeing on price. In some cases, this is being helped by the potential $8,000 home-buyer’s tax credit, which is in play for all properties sold for less than $800,000 that are in contract by the end of April and closed by the end of June, 2010.

So why is it that Rockland County, NY feels they are different than every other local in the country? Pam and I have been looking for our house in the burbs, and the Rockland brokers, who admit that sales volume is way down, insist on taking over-priced listings and then appear to encourage their sellers to hold firm. One Rockland broker told me median home prices for the county are down just 2.4% from the 2008 highs. I find it difficult to believe that home prices in Rockland continued to climb in 2008, given that just about everywhere else in the tri-state area prices peaked in 2007. I think brokers in Rockland County feel good just having listings . I guess someone needs to remind them they are hired to sell those listings, and doing so means you must give your clients, the sellers, honest advice, and sometimes the truth hurts a bit. One real issue I see is that many Rockland brokers are in denial about their home prices because if prices in the county are down it means that their own home is worth less. Perhaps they feel if nothing sells for less than what they believe homes should sell for then the market has not declined? Why would anyone want to work with a broker who is not honest with them?

I provide my clients with detailed financial analysis of a home’s and/or apartment’s value, and can peg a selling price usually to within in 1-3% of my financial analysis. some intangibles may skew some a tad bit higher or lower.

While no one can predict what will happen after March 30 (supposedly when banks will begin to raise mortgage rates because they may have to begin to portfolio loans), buyers and sellers alike in Manhattan real estate are finding that now is the time to  buy or sell a home. Remember that prices need to fall nearly 10% to offset a 1% increase in mortgage rates. Borrowing $100,000 at 5.25% (30 yr fixed) will cost the borrower $552.20, while borrowing $90,000 at 6.25% will cost the same borrower $554.15. Since many experts predict that mortgage rates will climb to over 7% this year, unless you believe home prices will fall 20% if you plan to have a mortgage, now is the time to buy.

If you know anyone who is looking to buy or sell in Manhattan or Riverdale, have them contact me.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Best,
Lee

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