As February unfolds, the statistics for the 4th quarter of 2015 and the year in sum total are still being tallied as sales on Shelter Island are slowly recorded with Suffolk County.
24 transactions totaling $26,684,601 sold and closed during the 4th quarter with a median price of $760,181. Nearly $8M or 12 sold transactions were less than $1M continuing the strength of this category, which leads the market for the entire year.
Separately, there were 2 foreclosure sales totaling $1,131,601, also during the 4th quarter of 2015. Although Shelter Island has not had many foreclosure sales, in 2015 there were a handful of bank auctions of properties that were either developed during the top of the market or had mortgages with banks that were known to have written higher risk loans.
23 transactions totaling $32,669,250 sold during the 4th quarter of 2014 with a median price of $800K with no foreclosure sales during this time frame.
In October 2015, activity accelerated with many properties going into contract at a rapid pace. Once contracts were fully executed by both buyers and sellers, many transactions that were scheduled to close before the end of the year were delayed. These delays were due to banks, title companies, environmental issues and a very large piece of the pie labeled “the unknown” which includes attorneys, municipalities, appraisals and paperwork.
As a result, since January 2016, 9 transactions totaling $10,694,000 have sold and closed, with nearly $30M still in contract. One of the properties in contract is priced at approximately $12M.
The seller has no control over a buyer’s hot buttons, the bank, title company or appraiser. It is the smart seller who addresses what they can control and approaches their home sale as a business with a pre-listing inspection of their own property, correcting any problems before a property is listed. Incredibly, there are times when a fence placed incorrectly by a neighbor on a seller’s property can derail a closing for sometimes weeks, so updating one’s survey is also a wise move.
In spite of the mild weather until now, the rental market has been slow to start, possibly because many tenants have gone on to purchase properties in 2015. Many tried and true rental properties have sold and closed, resulting in lower inventory. Newer rentals that have come on the market, in many cases with more bells and whistles, are priced higher in general. Shorter term rentals, which have gained traction over the last couple of years, are more lucrative for Landlords. In sum total, it will be interesting to see how these nuances affect rentals this season and in the future.