(NEW YORK, NY) — I had the pleasure of speaking with Louise Phillips Forbes, a licensed associate real estate broker at Halstead Real Estate, about what Manhattan’s real estate market will look like in 2019 and her advice to sellers.
A bit about Forbes
Born and raised in Tennessee, Louise came to New York City seeking a dance career. After suffering an injury, she found herself working in real estate. Taking to the industry like a fish to water, Louise has since been the director of sales and marketing for over 30 development projects across Manhattan, sold over $3.5 billion of real estate, and founded Halstead’s leading sales team.
While many are concerned about high inventory, hesitant buyers, and economic uncertainties in the year ahead, Louise is bullish about Manhattan’s markets in 2019.
Inventory is high and properties are sitting on the market for long periods of time. Will this continue?
Inventory on the market and whether it is going to continue depends on where you are.
Forbes expects to see an increase in housing inventory in the first half of the year as sellers will want to sell before prices soften due to the co occurrence of rising interest rates and stock volatility.
“Every seller wants last year’s prices and every buyer wants next year’s prices”
Forbes will also keep a close eye on the rental market. Historically, as interest rates rise rents rise too. As long as prospective buyers remain hesitant, more and more traffic will flood to the rental market. After all, New York City is a city of renters.
A word of advice to buyers entering the market in 2019
Entering 2019, Forbes believes the decisions buyers make now will put them ahead of the game as the market becomes more volatile due to rising interest rates. The way a buyer approaches a transaction is going to depend on what type of buyer they are.
For first-time buyers, Forbes recommends locking in a rate now. The fear of interest rates climbing is now going to become a reality. Buyers on the lower end of the market will become gridlock sensitive due to the reality of climbing interest rates.
Similarly, Forbes believes that seasoned buyers who are looking to upgrade should buy now. Buy now and get more today rather than less tomorrow.
For those looking to buy luxury units, Forbes believes there is no better time to buy than now. Buyers should not wait for prices to get lower to make an offer. They should use the power of negotiation, and act now.
On the contrary, Forbes advises that if you are downsizing and have a lot of equity in your home, sell now but buy later. Liquidate your asset today but be patient about the next chapter as it will be better to buy after prices go down to maximize retirement funds. Remember, patience is your friend.
What marketing trends will carry over into 2019?
There are some basic things that will never change. Pricing, preparation, and presentation are the keys to successful marketing.
Forbes believes technology is a blessing. Applications such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube will continue to be frontrunners in the industry. We will also see the use of more high-quality photos and videos when marketing listings. Experiential marketing is what buyers are listening to and what brokers are using to educate both peers and clients.
What is the key to selling in a competitive market?
Forbes again lists the three essential keys: Pricing, preparation, and presentation. One must be data driven and very systematic in order to be successful in a competitive market.
Forbes’ success in various markets comes from her ability to educate buyers and sellers. A good product will always sell, as long as those selling know how to study and interpret the data that is so easily accessible these days.
“I don’t think of myself as a seller. My job is to educate. One must listen to the data and price accordingly.”
Will the luxury market continue to slow down 2019?
While there are many reasons for the slowdown of the luxury market–less foreign buyers and changes to tax laws– Forbes believes the shift of the luxury market is healthy.
Today, luxury buyers have the opportunity to negotiate. We will likely see buyers using that power to take advantage of high-end properties that have been sitting on the market.
Over the next two years, New York City will likely see an increase in wealthy investors worldwide due to the uncertainties of global financial markets.
Forbes’ final piece of advice:
“Today’s housing market is a call-to-action for sellers, whether you are selling to buy bigger and upgrade in space, or selling to downsize, as many Baby Boomers are doing. Either way, it’s important to sell now before prices soften even further as a result of rising interest rates putting pressure on prices, especially if you have a lot of equity in your home. Get more today than less tomorrow! That being said, be educated about the state of the market in your neck of the woods. Have realistic expectations and list your home with an accurate price buyers will respond to. If you price yourself too high, you will end up chasing the market instead of drawing the buyers to you. Additionally, find out how lenders can help you on the sale side. The re-financing game is over so lenders are more competitive and creative with their product offerings than they have been in years. Many of them can be great negotiating tools for sellers to help get both parties to a deal. One example is the Seller-paid Mortgage Rate Buy-down. In this scenario, the seller contributes money towards the buyer’s closing costs (AKA seller’s concession) out of the proceeds of the sale to buy down the buyer’s interest rate, resulting in a deal getting done without greatly reducing the sales price and the buyer has the immediate and long-term benefits of a cheaper rate. Align yourself with a real estate professional who has knowledge of all of these available options so that they can lead, guide, and direct you to a successful transaction that ultimately begins your next chapter.”