TriBrand Prosperity 2020 Complete - Page 15



space, privacy and natural beauty. This reflects the
trends that real estate is seeing around the globe
where resort/rural market activity is far outpacing
urban market activity.
Can you comment on current
housing inventories in Southern
New England?
As with most markets around the country, the
inventory of homes for sale in our markets remains
low. This has been the trend for the last few years and
it has been accentuated by the strong level of buyer
demand. As a result, properties are selling quickly
and they are selling close to the asking price – some
times over the asking price. This means that it is a
very good time to sell and that sellers can probably
expect to maximize the value of their home.
What are luxury buyers looking for in
a home today?
Lifestyle is really the key word, and interestingly the
trends of the last ten to fifteen years seem to have
reversed. Where buyers were once looking for more
of an urban feel – proximity to town, less space,
smaller yards – buyers are now looking for privacy
and more space in order to work from home or
accommodate family. Of course, proximity to the water
is always very high on the list along with gourmet
kitchens, au-pair/guest suites, media rooms, wine
cellars and outdoor kitchens. And where swimming
pools were once considered more of a headache they
are now in demand as people look for safe/secure
ways to enjoy the outdoors.
What questions should buyers be
asking you or other real estate
professionals?
They should outline the lifestyle they are looking for
and then ask their real estate professional where
they can enjoy that lifestyle at their target price point.
Even people who have been coming to Southern New
England for a long time don’t know all the different
regions. In our markets, towns are so different from
one to the next that you really need a professional
who understands the nuances of every little village.
So, knowing what a buyer is looking for helps an
agent match a buyer’s wants and needs against the
complexities of the real estate landscape.
PROSPERITY 2020
Is real estate a good investment?
Absolutely. Real estate remains the best performing of
all long term investments, consistently outpacing the
NASDAQ, the S&P 500, gold, bonds, etc. And when you
consider the other benefits of real estate investment
– the ability to leverage a small down payment, the
mortgage interest deduction, and low, long-term interest
rates – real estate really shines. The key is that real
estate needs to be viewed as a long term investment –
something that you can hold for 5 to 7 years. People get
in trouble when they try to make a quick profit on their
real estate investments. I think that’s a strategy best left
to the professional flippers.
Are we going to see a collapse of the
housing market like we did in 20062011?
No. The real estate economy is in a much better
position than it was back then. In 2006-2011 the
market was reeling from several years of questionable
lending practices, unsustainable price appreciation,
rampant speculation and long-term unemployment
issues. We have none of those factors in place today.
Lending standards are much tighter today, annual
price appreciation is much lower, homeowners have
significantly more equity and housing affordability
(median household income vs. median home price) is
very healthy. And once unemployment returns to its
pre-pandemic level we will be in a great position for
sustained growth in the housing market.
What is unique about your company?
For sellers, we do a high level of marketing, both within
the New England region and nationally. We also have
relationships with sister companies in 70 countries
and are able to expose a seller’s property to the global
market. This ability to market broadly, along with our
staff of highly trained agents and our 98 percent client
satisfaction rating, means that we are going to be able
to help sellers maximize the value of their home. And
for buyers, we are the largest company in the region
with very knowledgeable and experienced agents. Our
agents know the marketplace. They know the market
differences not only town by town, but also street by
street. This is especially important relative to proximity
to our waterways. For a buyer, the ability to tap into that
highly localized knowledge base and access talented
and experienced professionals is absolutely critical.
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