Property Grunt

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Transit strike and open houses

Strikes on. Although it is a huge inconvience for all of New York City, I think the timing couldn't be better for the real estate market.

Before you all start throwing chairs at me, let me explain.

1.As everyone knows winter becomes the dead season for brokers since is too cold for people to come out, particularly with rentals. Brokers use this time to clean up, send gifts to clients and prepare for next year.

2. It is the holidays. (I am going to say holidays. Those of you who demand I be more specific, bite me. This my blog not the White House.) People are busy shopping, buying enormous amounts of liquor in order to medicate themselves when they see their in-laws and other relatives they can only can barely stand seeing once a year. The last thing they want to deal with is looking or showing their apartments.

3. The market has become more flaccid than Hugh Hefner going through viagra withdrawls. With a strike, brokers have a great excuse when they are getting reamed by their sellers. "I can't help it. It was the stirke."

4. Real estate agents make their own hours. Unless they have appointments, closings or lease signings, a lot of brokers are spending the time working from home with a cup of coffee while the rest of the working populations walks the trail of tears to work.

Therefore this was the best time for the strike to go down. If the strike happened during the spring or at the height of the market, I guaruntee you that the MTA and TWU would feel the wrath of the entire brokerage community. In fact I could imagine hordes of brokers hurling their cellphones and blackberries at the picket lines.

Quick update on open houses. They were atrocious. Scant traffic for all. But then what did you expect holding them on the weekend before Christmas and Hannukah? (There I said it. But I threw in Hannukah. How's that for intelligent design?)

Those were probably last open houses for the year and I can't say I am unhappy about that. Working those Sundays were just depressing as hell.