Real estate industry leaders expressed optimism for the New York area’s housing market at a virtual panel discussion held last week. 

Hosted by OneKey MLS and the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, the panel included Richard Haggerty, the newly minted CEO of OneKey MLS; Kevin Brown, senior global real estate advisor at Sotheby’s International Realty; Elizabeth Stribling-Kivlan, senior managing director at Compass; and Sherry Tobak, senior vice president of Related Cos., who oversees sales at Hudson Yards.  

The panelists discussed sales activity, property valuations, foreign investments and other factors influencing the market heading into 2023. 

“If you look solely at the numbers and compare 2022 to 2021, it looks grim, but you have to give it context,” said Haggerty, who heads the regional multiple listing service that covers nearly a dozen counties in the greater New York area, including Long Island, Manhattan, and Westchester and Sullivan counties. “While the numbers are down about 30 percent, we have to focus on two things: We lost all seasonality to the market during the 2020/2021 years, when we had a rush of activity. That wasn’t sustainable. Also, buyers were taking a pause at the end of 2022 as interest rates were going up. It’s what we expected. Now, we’re seeing interest rates come down, more normalcy and a return to seasonality.” 

Certainly, 2022 was a year of transition for the residential real estate industry here. Home sales on Long Island have seen year-over-year declines since the overheated pandemic market began to cool in the second half of 2021. There were 28,214 homes contracted for sale in Nassau and Suffolk counties in 2022, a nearly 21.5 percent drop from the 36,065 pending sales in 2021. 

The panel weighed in on some of the 2022 statistics, economic factors, interest rates, inflation, and the shift from a buyer’s to seller’s market, offering predictions on property values and the return of foreign investors seeking properties in New York City. 

“Foreign investors are coming back,” Tobak said. “I’m really excited about China opening up again – as luxury buyers, they are very savvy, very smart, they follow market trends and aren’t afraid of jumping into new situations, i.e., Hudson Yards. We’re also seeing Europeans, certainly Brits, and I met a couple from Australia who was buying here. This is New York, everyone wants to be here, everyone wants a piece of the action. I’m very bullish on the market for 2023.” 

Haggerty asked the panel about “hidden gems” or neighborhoods they’re particularly bullish on in terms of value for 2023.  

“Queens is such an overlooked borough. It’s closer to Manhattan, and there’s some really great housing stock,” said Stribling-Kivlan. “Queens is a launching pad for so many incredible people, ideas and cultures and we don’t give it enough credit.”  

The webinar is part of the “Be Your Best” series created by HGAR and OneKey MLS, to help real estate brokers and agents navigate a changing landscape amid the pandemic. The event was moderated by Brian Tormey, president of TitleVest, a Manhattan-based provider of title insurance and related real estate services, which also sponsored the program. 

David Winzelberg

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