Real estate ... returned!
Apologies from the Author for the delay in posting as I was on the road on the east coast on a whirlwind trip!
My last stop was in New York City (hopefully you will have an opportunity to visit this vibrant city!). In my discussions with local realtors, they had plenty to say about their market. There have been many reports of a slowing of the real estate market, and even a decline in prices in NYC. The realtors state that they feel the numbers are skewed due to the fact that fewer high end properties sold in the third quarter than sold in the second quarter. This was reflected in the report of declining prices in the third quarter. The realtors agree that the market has slowed. They tell me that the market is typically slow in the summer, but that the market has remained slow since August. There are fewer buyers out there. Prices are softening in New York City, with an increase in price reductions of properties that have been on the market. However, they report strong activity in the studio and one bedroom units (entry level).
Showing property in NYC (Manhattan) is very different from our market in Southern California. They do not use lock boxes. (One realtor asked me what a lock box was!)
Access to show a property is via an appointment. This can significantly slow down the showing process as you spend time waiting and do your best as an agent to schedule appointments at timed intervals. And, you have to factor parking into the equation. Showing property in Manhattan means parking your car ... not an easy thing to do!
Plus, there is no central multiple listing service in NYC. Not all companies belong to the Real Estate Board of New York (http://www.rebny.com/). What this means is that if you are a buyer, you may not see all available units by working with just one agent. It makes a more difficult process for buyers.