When I became a real estate agent 30 years ago there were certain immutable truths of the business. Wealthy people wanted to live on the Upper East Side (or maybe Central Park West if they were Bohemian…) Most young couples wanted to move to the suburbs when they had kids. There were some buildings to which you COULD NOT bring some people. And the business went to sleep in July and August (not to mention between Thanksgiving and New Years) because, as the mother of a friend once put it, “Everyone’s in the country.”
No longer! Today everybody lives everywhere. You cannot make any assumptions about anyone based on their address. As the 9 to 5 Dad morphed into the 9 to 9 power couple, more and more families decided to stay in the city so family life wasn’t an hour away twice a day on the train. And the city, with its beautiful parks, clean streets, endless events and wonderful restaurants is paradise for little people and middle sized people as well as big people. Not to mention the parental relief of knowing that your teenager and her drunk friends will be traveling by train or taxi and not in someone’s car. Fair housing laws and changing attitudes have opened up closed doors all over town. And finally, people shop for real estate all year long.
This July, Warburg placed as many deals under contract as we did in May and June. And May and June were active months. My agents tell me they have never been busier. Open house activity is high, offers are flowing in, and deals are being made. Prices are very substantially lower than they were two years ago, and that is good news for all of us. The buyer pool is bigger and more inclusive. The pace at which deals get made is measured ( or in many cases downright slow, with bank approvals still taking weeks to obtain.) But there is no summer slowdown. Activity now drops off between August 15 and Labor Day, and between December 15 and New Year’s Day. Otherwise we are busy all year round, helping buyers and sellers navigate what is for most of them the biggest financial transaction of their lives.