Haute Residence Experts Offer Advice To Home-Buyers In The Current Real Estate Market

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Do you think it is a buyer's or a seller's market right now? What tips would you have for those looking to buy a home in the current market?

Debbi DiMaggio - In the Bay Area we are still experiencing a strong Seller's market. In the last week, Adam prevailed in a multiple offer bidding war to the tune of $1,000,000 over the list price. The home was listed at $2,500,000 and he sold it for $3,500,000. And last week we listed a home for $1,189,000 and within 3 days sold it for $1,425,000. We had previously arranged to hear offers after the second Sunday open house but when the preemptive offer came in the Sellers understood it was too good to pass up. I don't anticipate a Buyer's market for some time in the East Bay, but time will tell.

Silvina Andrews - In the Bahamas, at this time, I would say it's a seller's market. International Real Estate buyers have turned the market around. Condo developers are seeing their inventory selling out well before their projects are completed. I believe that the pandemic has caused a shift in people's lifestyles, and they are now seeking a second home where they can spend time with family and friends in a healthy and fun environment. 

Brenda Wild - We have yet to see a Buyer's market in the Aspen/Snowmass area. Inventory is still a bit tight, prices are still strong, and the desire to be in the Rocky Mountains continues to be strong. 

Just the fall, change is coming and for my buyers who are not in a hurry, I advise them to take their time and be patient and stay engaged. Keep with your broker who is working for you and keeping you in the know.

There is more to come and options to choose from, patience and market knowledge will be key to pulling the trigger.

Nick Salter - Over the last year, we have seen a tremendous influx of home buyers relocating from Northern cities, taking advantage of low-interest rates and tax benefits of our state. This has impacted the average sales price in the Jacksonville metropolitan. It has always been a very affordable real estate market. However, with the growth in developments and plans throughout the city as well as popularity among individuals seeking a "more affordable" lifestyle, Jacksonville real estate is seeing a rise in price tag and the market is having trouble keeping up to some extent. 

I have a couple pieces of advice for those who are shopping for a home or secondary property in the current market. First, understand that while prices may be at an influx, it is still extremely affordable to get a loan. Interest rates are still at record lows which means you are going to be paying more towards your principal each month than you would in a "typical" real estate market. If you are well aware of your wants and needs in this next property and you find a home that is an identical match. Don't waste time considering it because another buyer is sure to be interested and will make an offer before you. Don't forget there is a due diligence period; so if you decide it is not the right home for you a few days later, you will be able to get out of the contract without risk of losing any earnest money. Second, hire a professional who is willing to firmly negotiate and who has connections with well-respected professionals. I don't think it is said enough that who you work with matters. You want to be sure that your real estate agent is well perceived in their market because when it comes to reviewing offers and making a decision, the listing will go to bat for someone they know is capable of ensuring a smooth transaction.

Amy Land-de Wilde - Our overall sales volume year-to-date is the highest I have seen in the 35 years I have been in real estate on St. Croix. Our luxury market has especially seen a lot of movement and buyer activity. 

Comparable to our sister islands in the US Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, and St. John, there is more value on St. Croix in the luxury real estate market. A comparable home of quality and size on the other islands is much higher priced than a similar property here on St. Croix— we are the largest of the Virgin Islands so that makes it easier for us to live here and get around as well since we are less congested. We have seen many buyers make the leap from searching on St. Thomas and St. John to St. Croix this past year due to their low inventory and higher prices—We are even getting far more referrals from our colleagues on those islands! 

As home sales continue to climb in the states so do the attendant taxes on the profits, and St. Croix is a great place as a US territory to defer your capital gains taxes through a 1031 exchange and invest in a like-kind property in America’s Paradise. Many buyers considering warmer weather and a tropical climate for their 1031 exchange look to Florida because they are unaware that a 1031 exchange purchase is allowable in the US territories. However, the Florida market has sky-rocketed, pricing out many investors and buyers. We encourage any 1031 exchange buyers to consider the US Virgin Islands, specifically St. Croix!

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Barbara VanDyke - Just because the frenzy we saw earlier this year has slowed down does not mean we are in a buyers market--at least not in Austin. That said, the fourth quarter is typically when we see the lowest prices of the year in our market, making it a great time to be a buyer. Take advantage of this time when some have put their search on hold. Fewer buyers mean less over-bidding and more ability to negotiate on price and repairs.

Brian Pearl -It is a very strong seller's market, in fact, one of the strongest seller markets I've seen in the 15+ years that I've been in the business. The inventory is very low and even home builders have little to no inventory left, so it's important for homebuyers to have expert buyers' agents representing them on their home purchase so that they can properly navigate through the intricate details of purchasing a home, going through inspections, appraisals, the financing process, as well as many other things that often go overlooked by homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers.

I believe that buyers can be proactive by hiring an experienced Realtor who knows the area they are looking in so that their agent can find any off-market (pocket listings) that may not be available to the public yet so they can avoid these bidding wars that cause homes to sell for so much more than they are asking. Another tip would be to waive as many contingencies as possible (inspections should be done within 5 days if possible and if the buyer has the ability to waive any appraisal or financing contingencies that’s a huge value add for the seller). Escalation clauses are also something we’ve been using in our market. Overall, having the right agent working hard for you is what buyers (and sellers) need in this market.

Georgina Jacobson - It is a seller's market. There is not a lot of inventory and there is a surplus of buyers. My advice to a buyer is to get prequalified and be prepared to make a quick decision so that when a home becomes available that you like, you can jump on it.

Heidi Bintz - In 2021, Colorado resort mountain towns have continued to boom! So how can a home buyer position themselves for success in a competitive market right now?

Start by doing some homework! Which area and what type of property are you searching for? Then it’s time to draw up a short list of must-have attributes that you are looking for - is it a yard, mountain views, or distance from the ski hill? Share all of this information with your broker so that you both will continue to search in your desired areas. When you do find the property you like, also realize that you may not be able to get every single item on your wishlist, so know which items you are willing to compromise on.

Next, have all of your financial documents prepared so that once you go under contract on a property the buying process will go smoothly. In this fast-paced market, be prepared to write an offer and move very quickly! There is also more to negotiating a contract than just the price! The timing of the sale, any specific exclusions, the completion of an inspection, etc will all need to be taken into consideration when pursuing an offer. An experienced broker will be able to successfully guide you through the exciting home buying process!

Cindy Shearin: The Shearin Group - Yes, it is a seller's market in the South Bay, and it has been for a long time. Selecting the right, seasoned realtor that knows the marketplace and has access to the limited inventory is paramount in this competitive market. Working with someone with the right relationships and real estate network and access to 'coming soon' properties is a must. 

Also, obtaining a full loan approval for a particular property will put you in almost the same category as a cash buyer, which is so common today.

I currently have properties on the market and several that will be coming to market soon. Call me, Cindy Shearin, today to get the scoop. 310-200-8318

Steve Nassar - While I can certainly attest to a much better market for buyers right now, I don’t believe it’s shifted completely over to a buyer’s market at this point. What I’ve seen in the past few months is a very healthy shift to a much-needed balanced market where buyers actually have a chance at getting into a home, even if they don’t have an abundance of cash in the bank. We’re seeing contingent buyers finally getting into their dream homes and we’re seeing healthy negotiations over prices and terms on both sides of a transaction. A year ago, we joked that the only way a buyer could get an offer accepted was to offer $100,000 over-asking, waive every contingency and agree to pay for a college education for the sellers’ children. Now we’re experiencing a market that is fairer for both buyers and sellers. It’s a change I was thrilled to see happen, as the heightened market we experienced through COVID wasn’t sustainable and could have caused more economic damage than good if it had lasted much longer. My team is still very much listing-heavy, which has been a huge blessing for us, but we’re seeing the scales even out in all the best ways now.

My advice to buyers in this market would be to prepare for some competition in the market still but to keep in mind that they have more options now than ever would have been true in the past 18 months. There are many things working in favor of a buyer, including historically low interest rates and that with the right Realtor in their corner, they’ll be moving into their dream house in no time!

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Carlton International - Philip Weiser, The CEO of Carlton International has been operating in the real estate industry for over 40 years. He has spent 30 assisting clients to buy and sell their homes on the glorious French Riviera. Philip has lived through market crashes, and booms - and even the Covid-19 pandemic caught him by surprise!

The pandemic had the opposite effect on the real estate market on the French Riviera. Initially, there was a lack of foreign buyers due to the suppressive travel restrictions. The lockdowns attracted increasing numbers of French buyers who were fleeing the claustrophobic cities. The influx of French buyers caused house prices to gently increase. Many of the residents living on the French Riviera were affected by the uncertainty and the hysteria in the media. Many of them delayed the decision to sell their properties. And some withdrew their homes from the market. The supply of properties dwindled. There were just simply not enough homes for sale. This lack of supply and the increase in demand caused house prices to rise unexpectedly. Suddenly, it was a seller's market - when it should have been a buyer's market.

Check out Philip Weiser's market analysis of why right now, is the best time to invest in real estate. 

Why is the French Riviera such a nice place to live?

The French Riviera has enjoyed a pristine reputation of prestige and glamour for more than a century. The region is a prime location for investment, second homes, and a place to raise a family. Its central location within Europe makes it a hotspot for business respite. In less than an hour, you can fly to Milan, Barcelona, and Geneva. And in under 90 minutes, you can be in London, Paris, Brussels, or even Amsterdam. The economy of the French Riviera has developed around welcoming expatriates from around the world. The Côte d'Azur has some of the best international schools - and the busiest airport in France outside of Paris. 

Why are property prices higher on the French Riviera?

The French Riviera is the epitome of Sun, Sea, and Sophistication. Causing the area to maintain disproportionately higher house prices than the rest of France (Except Paris). The French Riviera has benefited from regular and steady price increases over time. Real estate prices are usually only affected by global, political, and economic crises. 

Has COVID-19 had a negative effect on house prices? Has COVID-19 caused house prices to decline?

The Covid-19 pandemic was forecast to cause chaos in the real estate industry across the world. A period that was foreseen to be great for buyers, but terrible for sellers. It was predicted that the uncertainty caused by the pandemic would result in the fall of property prices. We expected to see a surge in people wanting to sell off their extra assets of second homes. Paired with a predicted shortage of buyers due to the severe restraints on world travel. Thus creating a competitive market in the buyer's favor.

What happened to property prices during the pandemic? 

But, what happened could not have been predicted! The Covid-19 pandemic had a stabilizing effect on the value of homes - specifically in the South of France. Homes were holding their value! This surprised economists, journalists and real estate experts. A global crisis such as a pandemic should indicate a steady decline in property prices. Followed by a gradual increase in property purchases.  

So when is the best time to buy a house on the French Riviera? 

After two years since the start of the pandemic, it is the buyer's turn! Prices have shown a gradual rise for the last 12 months. The time to buy is now! Now is the time to purchase a property on the French Riviera. Buy early in a rising market - and profit from what is going to be a period of increased demand and limited supply. 

Buy a property whilst the interest rates are low and stable. Do not wait to invest in real estate when the property prices begin to rise more quickly. We are expecting property prices to reach their peak towards the end of 2022. Once properties prices have peaked - they are likely to retain their values for years to come.

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