The Supply Flood


By Ian Slater | May19th, 2020
Today, some more insight into what the “summer”-- or “delayed spring”-- market may bring.
The list of apartments I have ready to come to market is growing slowly but surely, but I am not bringing any of them on yet for a couple of reasons. One, for the vast majority of them, I simply cannot access the apartment to create marketing materials -- photographs, floor plans, virtual tours -- all of this is still non-essential or buildings are not allowing outside access. So, we have nothing to market! Two, most purchasers remain focused elsewhere, either physically or mentally. And three, our job remains non-essential except in very specific situations, such as a Facetime walk through, which is helpful, but not highly efficient to an actual transaction.
All of the inventory that I have ready to go, which is nearing one dozen listings, has been held off of the market since March. The general consensus is that the amount of listing supply, between things “pulled off of the market” and things “not yet listed, but ready to be listed,” that is not present right now, is about 30-35% of the actual inventory “available” at the moment.
This means that when Phase II of reopening begins, which includes real estate brokers, I anticipate there being a supply jump that we haven’t seen in a long time. It is possible that the amount of listings on the market will climb within a period of days to 30-40% above current levels-- and potentially even higher than normal for the time of year as more people decide they may want to try their luck at putting up their city apartment on the market as they’ve elected to stay out of the city for a year or two, or indefinitely. 
This will obviously be good, although potentially slightly confusing, for buyers, because of the sheer inundation of choice. And of course, it will be more difficult for sellers to stand out from the crowd when inventory comes on all at once.
However, I kind of look forward to this day. The day after Labor Day every year is a similar day-- usually about 800 to 1000 listings come on the market and damn, I have a lot of fun sifting through inventory that day. Just think-- if you felt the availability right now was “stale,” you very likely are going to see an enormous and all-at-once jump of things on the market, many of which have never been offered before! It could be that dream West Village loft that someone has been holding for forty years, or that stunning mansion townhouse on the UES that is finally offered at an attractive-enough price, or that starter new development you’ve been waiting for that has just the right mix of amenities, views and location. 
Everyone has their fist closed right now and we aren’t sure what’s inside. Right now, that moving target date looks to be somewhere between June 6th and June 13th (and in my opinion, it likely will be extended for a period beyond this-- I am an avid Cuomo watcher)-- but when that day happens and the green light is given, my feeling is bring on the supply flood.

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