Buyer interest definitely picked in the first few weeks of January. I think most of us in the business here were holding out breath after the New Year, waiting to see if the typical mid-winter market developed or fizzled. This weekend (a 3 day holiday weekend), I’m booked every day and so are my 2 colleagues at CBA. On Friday, I had to turn a couple of folks away who wanted to out and see property this weekend, and I’ve had a number of people already request appointments as far as mid-February.
There are some differences, though, between this winter spurt and last year. Almost everyone I’m seeing looking for a vacation home is shopping at a moderate price point, between $200,000 and $300,000. I’m seeing very, very few requests above that. There’s tremendous pressure on the inventory priced below $300,000 and its leading to a real inventory shortage of attractive properties in that range. (A number of favorites in this price range that have been on the market for months now have deals on them.) There’s quite a bit of attractive inventory priced around $400,000, but I’m just not seeing many buyers at that price point, and definitely not seeing the $300K buyer willing to stretch or even look into the upper $300’s and low $400’s.
The other BIG difference I’m noticing this year is that I’m not seeing Wall Street people at all. In the past few years, 30-something financial industry people comprised the lion’s share of my upper end business.