In this week’s report on the Manhattan $4m+ property market, Donna Olshan made two observations that should concern all of us in the Real Estate industry:

1.”The average number of days on the market was 398 compared to 283 for the same week in 2015.”

Most of the contracts signed this past week were re-sales, unlike so many previous reports where a larger percentage were properties in new developments. This is the problem that needs to be fixed:  many new developments often show a signed contract on a unit that had not been released….so they list the property once a contract has been signed and then immediately show it as being in contract. This skewers averages significantly

2. “In addition, the negotiability off the original asking price reached 14% before a property went into contract, a glaringly high number.”

This observation is incomplete as we don’t know what these properties went to contract for till they close. Again, we are operating somewhat in the dark. Yes, these ASKING prices may have been lowered by an average of 14%……but I suspect their CONTRACT prices were even lower. This fact also speaks to the NEW NORMAL market whereby Sellers who adjust their pricing expectations to more realistic levels are rewarded with able and willing buyers. Just because an asking price was reduced somewhat dramatically does not mean that asking price was realistic or even market rate.

My concern with both of these observations is that if our industry wants to accurately evaluate market conditions, we need to change and deliver accurate, timely data so that reports like Donna’s can be more valuable. After-the-fact data is almost useless. I understand the need to keep certain things secretive, and I know there are complexities to this issue: Maybe this information could be kept within the profession in an agent-only accessible data bank so that agents would be better equipped to advise their clients…..with accurate facts and data.

Another concern I have is how a week-by-week analysis, while informative, does not provide a good means of delivering broader averages. It gives a gauge of what is selling which is very useful, but when it comes to healthy pricing and trending evaluation, I have become a fan of our COMPASS MARKETS APP that gives real data reporting in real time. It too would be a huge beneficiary of more accurate data input.