North Fork: "Ask Zen." A Snapshot of the 2018 Residential Real Estate Market
Episode 5. A Snapshot of the 2018 Market.
Hummingbird checked back in with Zen Realtor, Barry Novick, for a year-end update on the North Fork residential real estate market, and to learn what we can expect…. possibly…. in 2019.
"Ask Zen" is a series about Real Estate on the North Fork of Long Island. Links to the first four episodes are below.
HB: From the outside looking in, it seemed like 2018 has been a very active real estate year on the North Fork. How would you describe the overall market in 2018?
ZEN: In a word, robust. There was consistency in sales throughout the year, with prices on the rise.
HB: What were the “best” selling price points?
ZEN: “Hot commodities” include waterfront homes in the $900K to $1.3MM range; off the water residences priced from $600K - $800K; and anything in the $400Ks - $500Ks. Conversely, the more challenging sales were those over $1.1MM off the water. These sales have typically had a longer time between listing and contract, while for the “hotter” segments of the market, we see accepted offers many times within one or two weeks of listing.
HB: Did the strong market also result in significant increases in prices during the course of the year in any specific segment of the market?
ZEN: Yes, during the course of the year, we saw homes that in 2017 would have been priced in the $600Ks priced and selling in the $700Ks in 2018, and from the $700Ks in 2017 priced and selling in the $800Ks in 2018.
HB: Have you noticed any interesting trends regarding components that result in homes selling well, other than price?
ZEN: The most significant trend, which was a change, that I noticed in 2018 is that buyers were looking for “turn-key” homes. They were willing to sacrifice on location for a house that required no work.
HB: We know you hate to look into your “crystal ball” — which could be fraught with “traps,” but, if we asked you to “predict” what we will see in the market for 2019, could you give us a “glimpse?”
ZEN: With the caveat you stated, I anticipate a trend of increasing value, barring any unforeseen economic occurrences. The biggest challenge in the market next year will be a lack of quality inventory.
Buyers should approach the market with patience and also the realization that they might have to “overpay” to get just what they want. With a lack of quality inventory, competition for the best properties will increase.
We also saw a rise in vacant land sales in 2018, with prices stabilizing, and increasing. New construction has rebounded and is an important component of the market. I expect this trend to continue as buyers continue to focus on move-in ready homes.
HB: And last, do you have any advice for prospective sellers thinking about putting their North Fork homes on the market?
ZEN: Sellers should make their homes as move-in ready as possible prior to listing. This would include painting, getting all mechanicals in good functional order, including plumbing, heat, electrical, air conditioning, etc., and taking care of all general maintenance. If there is something you know is an issue, fix it. Sellers want the initial reaction to their home to be, “I can move right in.”
And this is very important: make sure that anything you are representing in the sale is “to code,” permitted, and legal.
The above interview is the fifth in a series. If you have specific questions you would like to see answered in upcoming interviews, please let us know by clicking here.
Catch up on Previous Episodes:
“Ask Zen,” Episode 5: A Snapshot of the 2018 Residential Real Estate Market (This one)
Note from HB: This interview is intended to give an insider’s view of the North Fork real estate market, and is not intended to provide investment advice.