2010 reported Sales Figures for the first week in May are up from 2009 and down from 2008 and still way down from 2007.

Looks like this next 3-6 months, with values down 25-35% and interest rates still low, will be the time that buyers look back on and say either:

“I’m glad I bought when I did”, or ” I wish I bought in 2010″.

I’m not saying we are going to see a “v” shaped recovery by any means, but take a look at a mortgage table and see what a one point increase in interest rates does to your monthly payments. One point could offset another 10-15% or greater drop in values, and do you think that both values will continue to drop AND interest rates will stay this low?  Sure, the Greece debacle and the fat fingered Wall Street trader dinged rates this week, but it’s conventional wisdom that rates can only go up.  For may people, it makes quite a difference in affordability. If you are a cash buyer, it looks like values are stabilizing.

If you’ve read this blog in the past, you know that I am a reformed bull.  I didn’t believe that what happened here ever could or would.  I also believed that Manhattan and the fabulous Humptons were immune to the events that took place in more ordinary and mundane places.  Well that was nothing that a gigantic kick in the ass and a swift 4×4 across the bridge of the nose, courtesy of the 2008 real estate market, couldn’t cure.

Much of the posts here the last two plus years have been reporting what was happening in the East End real estate market and about news that might impact our market. No gossip, no unsubstantiated claims of  “the market is back”.  Some colleagues have accused us of  “spreading bad news”. Well, the news is the news and there hasn’t been much good news to spread.  Even today, when the headlines read “Sales up over 100%!”,  the fact of the matter is that sales are still down nearly that same amount from 2006 and 2007 and all the denial and attempts at hiding the facts won’t change that.  Through the relationships I have developed in the industry as well as my time working with Redfin on Long Island, even this Hamptons broker has come to understand and appreciate the difference between transparency – showing all the facts- versus marketing – showing only the good stuff that you hope will compel people to do what you want them to do.

Property Shark, Zillow, Trulia, Street Easy, as imperfect as they are, still provide much of the information that brokers have, for generations, tried to keep private in hopes of keeping the buyers in the dark. The curtain has been pulled back, and agents need to stop stammering around like the befuddled little man who has just been exposed.

Buyers and even sellers are calling for the implementation of an MLS on the South Fork. More and more sellers are choosing real estate brokers who are Long Island MLS members to sell their homes because they realize that they will expose their listings to many more potential buyers, increasing the likelihood that it will be sold. I hear that a group of South Fork agents at one of the most established brokerages are putting together a petition to have their broker, who happens to be a member of MSL “west of the canal and on the North Fork” join the MLS in their “east of the canal offices” – Blasphemy!!! But what happens if those gum chewers with big hair from “up-island” come to sell our properties?!?  Heaven forbid!

I guess you’ll just have to sell the property and fulfill your fiduciary responsibility to your seller.

So, glass half full? – or – glass half empty?   Neither – just half a glass.

                        East End Sales Statistics
Week Ending 05/09/08
Number of Sales                66
Total Dollar Amount         $97,638,609
Median Price                    $     617,450
Average Price                  $  1,479,373


Week Ending 05/08/09
Number of Sales                28
Total Dollar Amount          $19,396,914
Median Price                     $     489,050
Average Price                   $      692,747


Week Ending 05/07/10
Number of Sales                41
Total Dollar Amount          $44,854,933
Median Price                     $     740,000
Average Price                   $  1,094,023

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