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2010 Real Estate In Review: Calmer, More Stable Market Returns

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As the books close on 2010, NY1’s Jill Urban takes a look back at how residential market fared during a tough economic time and filed the following report.

There was a lot of adjusting in 2010.

“2010 has certainly been a calmer year than '09 or '08, but it’s still been a year of transition and it’s still been a year of indecision,” says Paul Purcell, co-founder of Rutenberg Realty. “People are having a lot of difficulty making up their minds, sellers still finding the correct pricing, buyers still looking for the confidence to go forward.”

Purcell says overall, 2010 was a pretty stable year, with the city seeing a lot of activity as prices held from a year ago.

“I think we are discovering that we are probably still 30-percent down from the hay-day pricing,” Purcell said. “The good news is, that’s about where it was last year, so this tells me there is some stabilization out there in the marketplace, and it tells me that if you are a buyer, this might be as low as we are going to get.”

As a result, Purcell says, the prices, combined with the incredibly low interest rates, means this may be a prime time to buy.

This year, several stalled construction projects finally came to market. And although many were worried, there was a fairly high absorption rate.

And, the city saw renovation projects pick up again. Many contractors and architects say this was a very busy year.

Another big change is that in 2010, New York saw the big spenders return to the market.

“In 2009, we had an uptick in the smaller apartment buyer, first-time buyers taking advantage of the new pricing and interest rates,” Purcell says. “I saw the return of the mega-buyer. People who for whom money had no object, and they are back in New York spending $50-$60 million on properties.”

Purcell says he expects 2011 to be more of the same, but market watchers will just have to wait and see.

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