Recognized as one of the top-producing real estate agents in the U.S., Scott Harris is an expert on the New York City real estate market. He recently starred in an episode of the popular YouTube series Urban Digs, where he discussed both the Manhattan and greater New York City markets.
With prices and interest rates rising as inventory falls, the video is a must-watch for anyone planning to buy or sell in the city amid the current climate.
Here are some edited highlights from Harris' interview. To watch the full piece and learn more, see above.
What have you seen happening in the current market?
It’s almost like buyers have traded in their masks for armor in order to buy real estate. There is a lot of bidding going on for properties under $2 million and others that are well priced. I also see properties come to market that are underpriced, and I know it’s done intentionally to generate bidding. It seems like brokers and sellers are aligning with the strategy of gaining as much interest as possible out of the gate in order to create multiple-bidding situations. It’s all about proper pricing right now. If a property is priced well, then there will likely be a lot of interest and a quick transaction and flow. We’re also seeing price drops, which could indicate that a healthier market is emerging. It is not hard to underprice an apartment right now, but it’s very difficult to overprice.
As we approach the peak of the busy spring season, what are the complexities in the under-$2 million market, especially considering rising rates of the last few weeks?
What I’m seeing now is a “perfect storm.” Buyers on a budget are looking at rates starting to tick up, and they’re very concerned. In the meantime, managing agents with clients whose contracts are facing delays due to processing and board reviews are starting to hit their rate-lock deadlines. If they lose that rate lock, their buyers won’t be able to afford to buy.
Do you have buyers who are pulling their purchases forward because of rising rates and fear of missing out? What about sellers?
There's a lot of excitement around ownership right now. Brooklyn, for instance, is as hot as it can be. Finding a two-bedroom apartment there for under $1.5 million is very challenging. FOMO is only a small part of it, the bigger issue is rates. Buyers want to take advantage of things now. Sellers, on the other hand, are looking at all of these factors while trying to take advantage of constrained inventory. They're listening to us [real estate agents] and considering all the financial factors that buyers are looking at today, even beyond mortgage rates—i.e., monthly maintenance fees, utilities, etc.