Friday, January 12, 2007

Buyers definitely expressing a preference for new

During 2006, and reinforced repeatedly in the first few weeks of 2007, buyers decidedly made their preference known for new, newer and more new.

Last year, my buyers purchased new product 50% of the time. Add in buyers that purchased fixer-uppers and renovated to new condition before move-in, and the percentage was more like 75%.

Listings that were new flew off the market, and there was demand for condo conversions in vintage buildings as long as there were all new finishes inside. The dark clouds in inventory last year were condos with perfectly servicable kitchens and baths from 10 years ago or longer.

We clearly saw buyers willing to travel out to up-and-coming neighborhoods for new or rehabbed, rather than purchase the listings in Premium neighborhoods but with tired (or worse) fits and finishes.

Sellers may have to make improvements to kitchens and baths just to get their property sold rather than choosing to undertake the work as a way to make additional profit.