Buying Real Estate in NYC | Latest Trends

July 3, 2019
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Global Connections: Buying Real Estate in NYC – Latest Trends

In the video above, I had  the wonderful opportunity to sit down with two top Keller Williams agents for New York City, Rachel Kelly and Matthew Steer from the Steer Kelly Team.  We discussed the current trends in the NYC property market as well as the common elements across global cities like New York and London.  Rachel and Matthew also shared how they differentiate themselves when working with buyers, sellers and developers in the highly competitive NY City market.

It’s a Buyers Market

The current NYC property market is a buyers market due to oversupply of new developments and lots of stock in the pipeline.  Currently there are over 7,400 units in Manhattan alone, so this has taken a toll on the price of property and days on the market.  For buyers it means loads of choice.

For many buyers, the slowdown started in January 2018, when the Tump tax cuts came into effect and  many New Yorkers feared they would not get as many of the deductions they were used to for owning real estate.  Matthew added now that we are in 2019 and people have filed their taxes, they are becoming more comfortable with the reality and what the changes actually represent.  Buyers are out there, but they are looking for great opportunities and luxury developments with real wow effect.

We here in London have seen some of the same effects in our shift to a buyers market that was largely driven by government initiated increased stamp duty rates which has added a significant burden to purchasing a property, therefore cooling buyer demand.  These changes clearly show that government regulations and policies have real-world effects on supply/demand in the property sector. You can find out more about Stamp Duty in my video, here.

For New York City, with the reduced buyer demand, it has meant that property developers are now offering significant incentives to entice them to purchase.  As Matthew notes, developers would prefer to do this rather than reduce the price as that will show up in the land records.  Rachel further adds, that the incentives can be significant including kitchen upgrades, parking spaces and premium amenities that can run upwards towards $200,000 in extras, a huge differentiator for buyers.

This is why having a buying agent with real-time market knowledge and negotiating skills is so important to getting the most for buyers, whether that’s in New York, Los Angeles, or London.

Buyers are Looking for ‘Boutique Iconic’ Design

Another major trend that Steer and Kelly are seeing in the NYC real estate market is that buyers are looking for unique designs with real character and distinction.    Developments are utilising rare materials and shapes to create real distinguishing features for their buildings. They are also moving from neutral greys and whites to bolder styles and this isn’t just for the interiors but also for the  exteriors and facades of buildings as well.

Here in London we are seeing developers also be daring and creative and one unique building that comes to mind is a residential building in Kensington where luxury jewellery designer Shaun Leane was commissioned to design bronze balcony railings and gates.

Beyond looking for the truly standout properties for discerning buyers,  Matthew and Rachel are also focused on the strength and skill of the development team to gauge their ability to complete on the projects that may be years away.   This means that they are looking closely at the members of the team, their past projects, the architect that the developers are working with, as well as their source of financing.

As a former real estate banker, I can certainly appreciate how important it is to assess the quality of the development team.  One of the things I learned is that when there is market turmoil, it is the skilled and experienced developers that will be able to navigate through and be able to deliver and complete.

Top Customer Service

As Keller Williams agents, we appreciate the power of relationships and no one does it better than Rachel and Matthew.  For them, it starts with “loving up” on their affiliate partners and focusing on building a sphere of working with the best partners.   This means that they can be central to connecting the best people at the right time.  For their clients, it means having the best referral partners including settlement attorneys (solicitors), finance providers and contractors who can deliver exceptional customer service and has the customer as a priority.

For me, great customer service is so important when running your own business as  trust and rapport are crucial.  As an independent property agent, my entire business is built on word-of-mouth and referrals so we need to do a good job not just for our clients but also for the relationships and contacts that have referred us.  We also discussed how being honest and truthful with each client, even if it is bad news is something we have to be committed to.  It’s not always easy but if you’ve been communicating regularly, clients are more likely to accept and believe the feedback.  As Matthew said, regular communication is critical and no communication is a ‘bad idea’.

Listing Presentations and Other Intangibles

It’s all well and good to have great customer service, but it starts with a team that knows their market and can prepare all the relevant data and present it so that clients feel that they are in safe hands. Matthew and Rachel reflected on the importance of a great listing presentation that shows latest market information as well as the global team of estate agents at their disposal to assist clients.  Specifically, they include contact details for some of their Keller Williams global network partners (including myself) so that clients can see that there is the opportunity to discuss any questions with other local experts.  Over the years we have shared referrals and been able to tap into each other for real-time market knowledge and assistance. It’s all part of the great experience we are committed to delivering for our clients and having the Keller Williams connection allows us to do this.

On the final point, we talked about the technology advantage we have as Keller Williams agents.  With a company that has invested over a billion dollars in technology, it means we are powered not just by a great company and brand, but also the latest technology to help our clients.

It’s a real global community within Keller Williams and  I think that is one of major distinguishing points of our business.  There are teams all over the world and I can tap into them to discuss market dynamics or assist one of my clients who is looking to invest in their areas.

With Keller Williams, the investment in technology, great training, and a worldwide network of top agents are just some of the many reasons why we continue to be excited about growing our businesses as Keller Williams agents.

So whether it’s New York City or London, if you have any real estate related questions, please get in touch.  Let me know if you found this video useful or and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I post weekly content on London property market and living in this fabulous global city.


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