There’s been so much noise and news over the last 2-3 years.
How can you separate the two?
I mean, I have tried to ignore it, to stop watching TV News, to ignore political Twitter, you name it.
It is hard not to feel like Michael Corleone.
You think you’re out and then you get dragged back in.
Sure, Elon Musk tries his best to steal some spotlight, but in the end Donald Trump and his Administration, attorneys, catch phrases, insanity, all dominate the news day in and day out.
In no way can I even compare myself to reaching the level of outrage that has consumed so many people in New York about the current administration.
I am a marathon runner, and it feels like all-out sprinting to maintain that anger.
I just can’t hold up the pace!
But I watch the outrage with a lot of curiosity and think about its impact.
Has the Trump phenomenon, and subsequent Trump Administration been a net drag or a net gain for the NYC Housing Market?
It is hard to say exactly, but I think net net it has been a pretty meaningful negative to property value in New York City.
First, let’s cover the 2015-2016 election cycle.
No one could stop talking about the pending election.
No one in New York seemed to think that Trump could win, yet no one could think about anything else, either.
It was an utterly brain-dominating experience.
The housing market began to slow down as the election itself got closer and closer, fewer and fewer showings, offers, closings.
And then…the surprise win by Trump.
Mourning, shock, depression, zombies walking around.
The end of 2016 was in turmoil in the market, which took time as Thanksgiving approached, typically a slower time anyway.
2017 never really shook off the political considerations/distractions.
Between inauguration, national protests, rising mortgage rates, uncertainty about tax rates, and some type of shocking piece of news nearly every day, the outrage in New York City never seemed to get below a low boil.
Add to this disgust on the part of foreign buyers, who largely shunned investment here post-election.
The tax plan and the build-up to its passing created additional distraction.
Add to this a stock market that didn’t seem to mind at all, continuing to rise all year.
A bull market that stayed focused.
Many buyers who were thinking about buying saw the stock market rising, and were nervous about buying into a falling market.
Plus a seller group that had not gotten the message that things had changed in the market.
A huge gap between buyer and seller expectations.
Let’s say for a minute that the Trump Administration actions probably had something to do with the stock market performance.
But funny as it seems, the strong stock market was a negative for the housing market here.
So we can put another demerit in the column for our purposes.
All of that combined into a rough year for NYC real estate.
What changed this year?
Choppy waters, for sure.
We have seen meaningful lulls in the market over the course of the year.
Buyers froze for a bit, then sellers capitulated, it seemed for a while that the tax plan may not be as bad as people initially thought, and the stock market continued to perform.
It seemed for a while that there was a lull, and buyers could go back to focusing on their housing needs.
But not at the high end, and definitely not for condos over $10mm, not that there’s as massive a market there at any point.
Mortgage Rate increases, solid jobs and economy seems to push buyers into the market.
It would seem that this year has been a net positive, in the sense that properties are trading.
But I don’t believe that there’s been less of a drag from DC.
It’s juset that there are enough other pieces moving in a positive direction to overcome the drag.
And of course this may not last.
The question is WHAT HAPPENS NOW.
Will things come grinding to a halt again as we approach midterms?
Will we remain riveted to media channels as this crazy scene plays out?
Or will buyers be able to shift focus to their purchases as they get off the beach and back into their business attire?
I am not sure.
Sellers seem to have gotten the message, mostly.
Buyers feel that there is value.
If the stock market shifts, what will happen?
Lots of questions, not enough clear answers.
This will be a talked-about period of time for many years to come.
We are certainly living in interesting times.
My hope is that we can soon go back to a less-frenzied news cycle, at least as it relates to politics.
I don’t see it happening anytime soon, though, with lots of surprises for the housing market, I’m sure.