Hello Halstead Open House Index
supporters and subscribers!
How are you adjusting to this new
corona order of things? Is someone writing a screenplay or a book
with a working title “Open Houses in the Time of Coronavirus”? And
before I go into averages, just know that Midboro Management has
prohibited open houses in all of their buildings. I just heard that
50 Lexington Avenue did the same. Orsid Management sent a long e-mail
instructing owners and brokers on how they will operate during the
coronavirus siege. Did you get it? If not, e-mail me privately, I
will send it to you. Also, Tudor Realty cancelled all closings for
the time being. Share news from the front lines, and I will include
in my newsletter next week.
As expected, the average attendance in
NYC cratered last weekend. The average fell to 2.36, from
181 open house surveys received. The number of open houses held last
weekend dropped dramatically. There were 3927 scheduled for Saturday
and Sunday, but it is a safe bet that much fewer were actually held.
There was a slew of e-mails on Saturday and Sunday morning informing
us that “open house was cancelled.” This is 28% less open houses
scheduled this past weekend compared to the weekend of March 8. On
average, each weekend this year, from January 5 to February 16, 5279
open houses were held. I expect the number of open houses planned for
this coming weekend to drop further.
The average of 2.36 per open houses
is 42% less traffic, compared to the weekend earlier when our Index
recorded 4.10. In turn, 4.10 was 14% less than the weekend of March
1., when we recorded 4.77. And March 1 was 15% down from the weekend
of February 23, when we recorded 5.62 visitors per open house. All in
all, we are witnessing a 58% reduction in traffic at open houses from
February 23 to March 15. But not as bad as the stock market, which is
down about 33%, as I am writing this on Wednesday at 1pm.
32% of open houses in our survey had
zero traffic. 58 open houses reported zero, out of 181 in our survey.
If that % holds across the board, it means that 1256 open houses last
weekend had zero attendees. Very gloomy!
Still, some first open houses had
very good attendance, damn the crowds and risk of the virus! Accolade
for the most visited open house goes again to Amelia Gewirtz
and Andrew Phillips from Halstead. Their first open house
at 146 ½ Java Streetin
Greenpoint attracted 32 buyers! Here in Amelia’s words: “Not
even CDC could stop the crowd from beloved 146 ½ Java premier open
house! Wow! 5 offers, multiples over ask, within 2 days. Think
positive NYC, we will get through this. Hong Kong is back to eating
at outdoor cafes!” Top four open houses by the number of visitors
were in Brooklyn.
According to my estimate, there were
roughly 2453 buyers hopping from one open house to another this past
weekend. Margin of error: huge. Here is the
dataset. Let’s check the action in each borough:
Manhattan – the average fell to 1.79 per open house. It
was 4.03 the weekend earlier, a 55% drop!! Shocking to see UWS below
the average with 1.73 from 22 open houses. UES was above the average
with 2.68 from 31 open houses. Midtown East was dreadful with 1.03
from 29 open houses. See the rest below.
Brooklyn – the average fell to 4.62, not bad when
compared to weekend prior of 4.88. Just 5.3% drop for Brooklyn. If we
remove top three record open houses (with 32, 15 and 15 attendees),
the average drops significantly to just 2.77. Perfect example how
small sample sizes in statistics skews the averages. See all details
Bronx – the average dropped to 2.00 per open house,
from 2.31 the weekend earlier. Just two surveys received from the
Queens – the average dropped to 3.54, from 5.23
recorded the week earlier. 32% drop in Queens. 13 surveys received from
Queens, so again: beware of the small sample sizes.
Staten Island – 1.5 attendees on average from two open houses
received from the Richmond County.
Size – JR4s and 1BRs apartment were most visited
(2.75 and 2.53 respectively). Slow at studio open houses with 1.52.
Price – Best traffic in $2M-$3M range (5.62), helped
with those record open houses in Brooklyn. Slowest was in $3M+ range
Condition – the wrecks (8.00) won this time, and
“excellent/mint” (2.58) came in second.
First Open House – again large premium for first open houses
(5.13) vs. just 1.79 for the “stale” ones.
By Appointment Only – “Normal” open houses saw 2.55 attendees and
“by appointment only” just 1.71. Huge increase in number of By
Appointment Only open houses: 22% this past weekend, vs. just 7% the
StreetEasy – just eight open houses were marked as not
being on StreetEasy and their traffic was 1.63. 173 open houses that
were advertised on StreetEasy recorded attendance of 2.39. 27% premium
for advertising on StreetEasy.
This is all for today. As the last
week, I decided to share some of the most interesting comments you
left in the survey (to see them all click on the dataset).
Miles Chapin: “Normally I would have thought about 25-30 people
would show up for the first OH for this landmark townhouse in the
Hunter's Point Historic District. We had at least 12 (that many
signed in, but it was a bit of a madhouse) which is a dozen more than
I was expecting.”
Mallory Brown: “*Has 900sf of private outdoor with outdoor
kitchen. Can’t believe we had so many people. I thought it would be
ghost town. We are pulling off the market tomorrow- hoping one of
these interested parties (or more than one!) make offers even though
we will be off market. Multiple parties say they are submitting but
they said that last week and nothing happened - so needless to say,
we are taking this day by day.”
Doreen Mangan: “Exactly half the number of groups who visited
last Sunday, which was the first open house. I was pleased with the
turnout, given the current environment. Some seemed to be beginning
their search, but there were serious buyers there, too. I had
booties, disposable gloves, Lysol wipes, etc., as before. As I
mentioned last week, there's tight inventory in Washington Heights
for apartments this size, and they're in great demand. We have one
offer, and expect more.”
Milutin Nikodijevic: “I was very surprised that I had 8 people given
all the external factors in play. It was the second open house. The
first one had 6 people and no SE exposure. For this open house I did
put it on SE. I have 2 offers on the apartment.”
Bridget Harvey: “At this price point & for first open house,
we usually have at least 20 parties. I wasn’t sure what to expect,
and 6 parties meant I was able to sanitize between parties, so I’m
counting as a success.”
Chris B Georgakopoulos: “The buyers were out and about Sunday -
Hallelujah! Perhaps it was the glorious weather or maybe a feeling of
resistance against any interruption of a well thought out life plan.
How strong is our desire for security and comfort that even in the
midst of a pandemic, we through caution to the wind and take flight
to safety via house hunting. There's nothing more secure and
comforting than owning a home. The ultimate place to self-quarantine.
Sending blessings to all.”
Joanne Gay: “Outdoor space. FYI. My open house was shut down
by the building after 25 mins. Not notice was given to owners not to
have open houses. We are in new territory for sure!”
Best of luck at your open houses
this weekend. Share your experiences, this shall pass too.
Wash your hands and the best advice
I heard on Twitter was: Behave like you already have a virus and you
do not want to give it to anyone!
See below the line chart of
attendance in 2020. The week between Feb 23rd and March 1 was when first case of Corona virus
was announced in NYC. The chart tells you all that you need to know!
PS: Do not forget to check my
reports on my blog at https://halsteadopenhouseindex.blogspot.com/.
Also, check the link to dataset. (in
the comments section you may find the exact address of the property,
or if there was a recent price drop, outdoor space, etc.)
To Sign Up to Receive Halstead’s
Open House Index ReportClick Here
Halstead Open House Index contributors and followers!
The numbers are infrom the 2nd weekend after the coronavirus
was detected in New York City, the fear and worry is creeping in, and
in our field, everyone is asking: how is this going to affect buyers
and sellers of real estate?
come to my weekly recap of the last weekend’s numbers, quick note.
Yesterday morning I inserted one more question in the survey: “Is
Your Listing On StreetEasy?” By this morning I received 15 new
replies and you can read the numbers on the bottom. As the number of
listings labeled “Not on StreetEasy” is growing, I think it will be
interesting to track the open house traffic in this category.
they are. The average attendance last weekend in New York City was
4.10 per open house. I received 340 replies, fantastic increase of
25% from the weekend prior, when we received 270 surveys. So, does
this number indicate that panic over the virus is affecting the
market? I’d say yes, but it is more complicated; it is the virus AND
the stock market. Of course, these two are connected. The buyers
really do not want to liquidate their stocks in order to pay for real
estate. When one’s portfolio is down 20-25%, this is a reasonable
position to take. With nervousness about their decimated stock
portfolios comes insecurity about real estate valuations. If buyers
feel that values of real estate will further depreciate because of
the virus and financial instability, they will postpone their
decisions to buy. In the short run, in my opinion. If we are able to
replicate Chinese efforts in curbing the virus, then by mid-July or
early August we should see the markets and buyers confidence coming
back to normal.
this number 4.10 into perspective. On February 23rd (before the virus news) the average was 5.62 per
open house. Followed by the drop of 15% to 4.77 per open house on the
weekend of March 1 (after the news about the virus in NYC broke out).
This followed by another 14% drop in traffic, from 4.77 to 4.10 this
past weekend. 4.10 per open house represents the slowest weekend in
the first quarter of 2020. The true indicator will be to watch the
traffic at the rest of the weekends in March and early April. A
number of you also left me interesting comments in the surveys, I
decided to print some of them at the bottom of this
houses reported zero traffic, this is 12.9% from all surveys
received. Last weekend that percentage was 11.5% and the weekend
before that it stood at 9%.
visited open house honorary mention goes to Zoe
Kellerhals-Madussi from LG Fairmont. Her first open house at 340 E 80th Street attracted
31 parties! (who is afraid of virus on Upper East Side?). Here, in
her own words: “Hi Fritz, wow so cool. Thank you! Answers
below. 1.Why was your exclusive so attractive? The exclusive was
attractive because the price is right and the layout is great. It
needs work but it ticks off all the boxes in terms of the essential
needs one would seek for in an apartment. 2. How
did you handle the crowd? We were very surprised to see so many
people. The building requires we bring attendees up from the lobby so
two agents from our team were present. We just let attendees do their
thing. We have been doing second showings all week. 3.Any
offers? Yes multiple offers. We are considering accepting one by the
end of the day.”
Here is the dataset. Let’s check the
action in each borough:
Manhattan – the average dropped to 4.03
per open house, a drop of 14% from the weekend earlier. Busy in Other
Upper Manhattan Areas (8.25) and Soho & Tribeca (8.00), East
Village (5.60), Chelsea (4.89). Upper West Side (4.80) and Upper East
Side (4.54) were above the average. Slow in Midtown West (2.17),
Midtown East (2.74) and Harlem (2.68). Last year, on March 10, 2019
weekend, the average was 3.34 - and there was no virus or Dow
Jones madness then! See the rest of the numbers below and beware of
the averages with small sample sizes. We received 264 responses from
open houses in Manhattan.
Brooklyn – the average dropped to 4.88,
from 5.53 recorded the weekend earlier, an 11.75% drop of traffic in
Brooklyn. Busy in Crown Heights (12.00), Fort Greene (9.50) and
Park Slope (7.50). Slow in Dumbo (2.00), Bed Stuy (2.00) and Cobble
Hill (2.50), but again: beware of the small sample sizes. We received
42 replies from Brooklyn. Last year, on March 10, 2019 weekend, the
Brooklyn average was 4.13.
Bronx – the average dropped to 2.31 per
open house, from 4.10 recorded the weekend earlier. We received 16
replies from the Bronx open houses.
Queens – the average went up, to
5.23, from 4.33 recorded at the weekend prior. Anything is possible
with low sample sizes – we received just 13 replies from the Queens
Island – two
visitors at one open house reported from the Richmond County.
Size – Multi-units buildings were
strong with 7.67. Among apartments, 1BRs (4.79) and 2BRs (4.39) had
the most traffic. Slow at studio open houses with 2.46). See the rest
Price – the most traffic was in
$1M-$2M price range, the slowest in $3M+ range.
Condition – fairly equal distribution
this week, somehow “Mint/Excellent” condition lagged with 3.80 per
open house. Are you placing a bit too much value on the renovations?
House – 291%
more traffic at first open houses vs. at the “stale” ones. 9.21 vs.
Appointment Only – 74% more traffic at “normal” open houses vs.
those advertised “by appointment only”. I think with the virus issue
we will see a shift to more open houses “by appointment only” or to
no open houses at all!
StreetEasy? – received
just 17 replies, so don’t make much of the averages, the sample is
too small. 5.87 for StreetEasy “YES” and 5.00 for StreetEasy “NO”.
I am quoting here some comments I received from you this week:
Brown Bogard: “Terrace (private) is the crown jewel of this
home. 900 sq ft with outdoor kitchen, green egg smoker, custom wood
sectional seating, and more. Glad the coronavirus didn’t keep the
Mangan: “I was
pleased with the turn-out, given virus concerns. Was ready with
booties, disposable gloves, and Lysol wipes. Of the 18 parties,
possibly three were neighbors. There isn't much inventory for an
apartment this size in Hudson Heights/Washington Heights at the
moment, and at less than $1million, in a lovely coop, there is a
great deal of interest.”
Peter Poljan: “Might be interesting to know
how many people are doing by appointment open houses due to
wanted to mention that we just dropped the price on this apartment to
the basement and only had three attendees. I am beginning to wonder
if fear of going out and the coronavirus is affecting open houses.”
interest rate lows, the fear of the coronavirus and daylight savings
we think were very impactful this past weekend.”
Beauchamp: “I look
for the index weekly, find it valuable to see data from other open
houses and notes from fellow agents. This was first open house since
the week of non-stop corona virus news in NYC- and I wonder if that
had any impact on people coming out at all. Very curious to see what
others experienced today. This was the third open house for this
listing, and the first one where we had zero attendance.”
note – I think it is high time for all of us in the brokerage
industry to get truly politically active. Political winds from Albany
and the City Council are so damaging and unfavorable for our
industry. Poorly written rental laws from June of last year (with so
many unintended, bad, consequences) is just one example. The
pied-a-terre tax law, if passed, will be devastating. We need to
start supporting political candidates with some common business
sense. Let me know what you think.
like to hear from you more about how the virus issue is affecting
your business? Do you see sellers taking their properties off the
market? Or delaying placing them on the market? Do you see buyers
pulling out of deals? Do you see buildings forbidding open houses?
Share here and I will print your comments next week!
Best of luck
at your open houses this coming weekend. Weather forecast is good for
Saturday and Sunday. Keep up the good work and encourage your
colleagues in the industry to participate in our survey.
PS: Do not
forget to check my reports on my blog at https://halsteadopenhouseindex.blogspot.com/.
Those of you comfortable, you can write in here the exact address of
your exclusive, so it becomes visible to all. Also, check the
link to dataset. (in the comments section
you will find interesting data, such as addresses of properties or if
there was a recent price drop, outdoor space, etc.)
To Sign Up
to Receive Halstead’s Open House Index ReportClick Here