The Hedges Market Report for December 2017

hedges market report december

Welcome to our first Hedges Market Report! Every month we will poll local real estate agents and others in the industry about their sense of the market and how their business is doing. The following is the results of the December survey; at the end of the post is the new survey for January.

The first question was “How do you feel about your business in the past month compared to the same time last year?” 56% replied “Good. I did well.” 34% replied that business was about as busy as usual and 9% thought business was terrible.

Next up was “How do you feel about your business in the upcoming month?” 59% were optimistic, 25% pessimistic and 16% neutral.

“Are you concerned about how the new tax bills proposed by Congress will affect the Hamptons market?” 69% are worried, 19% are not concerned, and 13% believe the tax bills will benefit our market.

The next question asked for agents’ sense of the market as a whole. Many replied that the current market is strong, with one stating that they were looking forward to a strong spring. Other replies: “Luxury market is strong. Lower end (what’s affordable for regular folks) is moving briskly.” “Money is starting to come back in, but still nervous.” “There are active buyers, but sellers are unrealistic with prices. Houses priced right are moving quick!” “Every time I think things are going down, something happens (like a sale!) to prove me wrong.” “The Hampton market is the last one affected by whatever happens in ‘ordinary’ parts of the country. I’m starting three new projects (two in East Hampton, one in Sag Harbor) and that shows that I’m confident in a strong 2018.”

Another set of people reported mixed feelings. “There is a lot of inventory on the market, and homes are generally sitting on the market a long time. The lower end of the market is stronger than the rest.” “Lukewarm on the higher end, slower than the lower end.”

“More people will rent. There will be sales at the lower end, so can write off some Interest. As for the property tax issue–will [owners] use the $10,000 limit on NYC property taxes? If not good for Hamptons with low taxes.”

“The top of the market will continue to do well if this tax bill passes. The people at the lower end of the market may well pause further given the uncertain resolution of the estate tax, the student loan interest deduction, the property tax capped at 10K. The second home market reflects discretionary purchases.”

One writer said that the market is “Strong at entry level. OK at midpoints. Overpriced at the top.“

Then there were the agents who were negative about the market. “Flat.” “Sluggish. Sellers are stubborn and do not negotiate.” “Hesitant.” “Quiet.” “About to peak. RE market is going to flatten and will start to decline by end of 2018.” “Many lookers and not so many takers…. odd market!”  “A little sluggish but I think that’s the case everywhere.” “It is becoming increasingly available to only a few.”

The last survey question asked if there was anything else polltakers would like to add. Replies were interesting! “A stock market correction will make real estate look a whole lot better.” “The tax bill sucks.”

“I feel the market has changed and now our spring market is much more vibrant than the fall!”

“RE in the Hamptons is generally swinging towards short term rentals. Law must change or they will take all chances of making any rental commissions out of the equation, and make criminals of all homeowners. THIS HAS TO CHANGE!!!”

“I’d like to add more sales.” Another person wrote, “This month is always slow because of the holidays.”

“I had couple of foreigners walk away from 10M dollar deals just because of American government. I hope that our leaders will be able to wake up and smell the coffee and see that what they are doing is not good for our nation as a whole.”

And finally: “It’s about time somebody did a survey like this! Thanks.”

No—thank YOU all for participating.

Here’s a link to the January questionnaire—don’t worry, it’s very short and fast. Remember, it’s entirely anonymous, so please be honest.

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Got an opinion? There’s room for entering any concerns you have on the poll, or feel free to drop us a line. Thanks for your time.