September 25, 2023
September 25, 2023

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Waiting for the Story to Change

It’s been more than a year now that a historic market shift has been in progress. Across all facets of real estate, pressure has moved pricing upwards. Historically low interest rates, buyer demand arising from COVID disruptions, scarcity in building materials, labor shortages, a dearth of homes for sale and my favorite—people’s overarching desire to find their stability in a “home”—have all been factors in creating today’s market.

But as in all stories, good and bad, the plot tends to change—and the question on everyone’s mind is “What comes next?” I am increasingly asked by customers and friends whether there have been any noticeable changes in the market.

One past client, to whom I sold a home many years ago, posed a question to me in the following manner: “I have been hearing for months that once COVID restrictions are lifted those sellers who were sitting on the sidelines and reluctant to make their next moves would finally begin to do so, thereby raising the available stock of homes on the market… has this happened?” My answer: “From what I can see—nothing has changed. There are slightly more homes on the market this October than last October, but still nothing comparable to historic norms.”

A builder I was talking to had virtually the same comments to make vis a vis the construction sector with which he is involved. From his perspective all the news this past summer was that the cost of lumber was finally coming down. “Great,” he thought, “now pricing will go back to normal.” As it turns out, the cost of materials for almost every other category of construction has risen, including metals, windows, tiles, sheetrock and concrete, and to top it off… in the last few weeks lumber prices have risen again. He sighed and exclaimed, “I guess nothing has changed.”

And so the story continues—will interest rates finally go up???? They haven’t yet. Will people start going back to work in the city? Not yet. Will labor shortages soften, thus making construction easier? Still no. Will demand for suburban homes ease? No indication of this as of yet.

And so the story continues…

Nechama Polak is broker of record and owner of V and N Group LLC, located at 1401 Palisade Ave in Teaneck. [email protected] 201 826 8809

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