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Friday, July 3, 2020

Seller’s market for real estate

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Coronavirus is making the summer of 2020 a seller’s market in the Catskills again.

Delaware County was lucky during the worst of the pandemic. We had only a handful of cases of Covid 19. And now we’ve got one of the lowest infection rates in the state.

This area felt the effects of 9-11, but gradually, that wave receded. Values never went back to the remarkably low levels they were before 2001, but there were still bargains to be had. That’s changing.

Houses are selling for close to asking price and over asking price. That’s become normal in Ulster County, but it’s not common in Delaware County. Or it wasn’t.

Houses I’ve listed that fit the country cottage model got snapped up fast. Farmhouses in good shape don’t stay on the market long, either. A check of the local MLS shows the number of houses in contract outpacing the new listings. That’s unheard of here.

I’ve had agents tell me their clients are growing disheartened. Every house they want to see gets bought before they can see it.

My buyer-clients are reading articles about the Upstate real-estate boom, but they don’t realize what it means to their home-buying experience.  Then they try to bid low on a house, and find the seller won’t even consider anything below asking price.

What’s not selling yet? Commercial property and multi-families. I remember seeing this in Kingston, when the rush there began. First, the houses started getting snapped up by downstate expats. Commercial and multi-families followed, as investors realized there was money to be made.

I’ve listed a former stone-block gas station that’s been converted into a cute home with a small vineyard. There’s a house in a cool arts village that has an office and three apartments. It could be a restaurant or store, too. And there’s a property with two small commercial buildings and a modular home on a busy traffic circle between Delhi and Oneonta. They’re not moving yet. But I suspect it’s just a matter of time.

Read more installments of Village Voices by Susan Barnett.

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