Column: Happy 4th of July as housing prices keep edging higher and inventory keeps shrinking

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You may be reading this online before our nation’s holiday of July 4th, or afterward, so I hope you will thoroughly enjoy that important day as well as the weekend that follows with your families, friends and significant others! We celebrated this day on July 4th 1776, as the day of the publication of the Declaration of Independence of our 13 colonies from Britain, which eventually led to the formation of the United States.

In a July 3, 1776 letter to his wife, John Adams declared that the signing of the Declaration of Independence should be a “great anniversary Festival” and “solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time on.

“We have much to be thankful for; however, times have changed and am hoping that our future will be as exciting and invigorating as our first day of independence.

That we will somehow learn to live and work together in a more productive and harmonious way and create a common goal; that our political leaders will realize that there is no “I” in “We” and that fixing what is wrong with our country (and the world) can be accomplished by discussing, brainstorming and creating and formulating ideas leading to solutions that will help the majority of our citizens instead of a small minority.

Doing what is right for our country and our people and not for their party (lately, partisan politics has been the norm and never agreeing with the other parties ideas or solutions) and make a concerted and candid effort to work in a “team” mindset!

Do we take the path that will build a more fruitful and beneficial future that will create a positive environment we truly all want or we will be doomed to go down the path of no return (as all major empires have perished throughout history).

I am quite sure the latter is not what we all want, but what are we all willing to do going forward so that our very young 242-year existence continues on the right track?

Only time will tell! Your thoughts?
Now on the subject of real estate and what has been going on lately in and around Long Island.

Inventory is still extremely and historically low, but interest rates had dropped a bit over the last two weeks. However, going forward, as prices continue to increase and rates continue to rise (Jerome Powell our Fed chair, will be raising rates at least two more times in 2018), while the economy continues slowly expanding and strengthening.

Our unemployment rate as of May was 3.8 percent according to the U.S. Labor Department.

However, this doesn’t include those that have stopped searching for a job (discouraged workers), college students and those that are 16 years or younger.

The unemployment rate equals the number of unemployed persons/labor force (includes employed and unemployed).

The percentage of people in the labor force is the labor force participation rate equals labor force/adult population.

This hot market will slow down over the next few years as rates go back to the normal 6.5-7 percent.

Most important has been the price reductions in the overbuilt luxury market in New York City as well as in the burbs, where high end new and old homes are located. S.A.L.T. (state and local taxes) only allows a maximum of $10,000 deduction on your tax returns for 2018.

This why there was a rush in December to prepay 2018 real estate taxes, especially those whose taxes were on the higher end way above the $10,000 maximum in 2018, to take the deduction in 2017.

I had read that $80,000,000 of taxes were pre-paid in Southampton!
Mortgage interest deductions were reduced on new mortgages after Dec. 15, 2017, from $1 million to a maximum of $750,000 (ask your accountant about all the changes that might affect you).

This has had a major effect on the higher end luxury market. I would suggest that if you have a home with real estate taxes considerably above the $10,000 allowable deduction, that you do not wait and put your home on the market asap.

However, if you are looking to move into New York City and want to try to get a good deal and have the cash to pay with the equity from your sale; wait until this winter (when demand is at its lowest) and you could score an amazing deal in the luxury market (for those individuals and developers, who may have to sell), as prices probably will be reduced from the excessive inventory and the decreased deductions in real estate taxes and interest on mortgages.

Phil Raices is the owner/broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 7 Bond St. in Great Neck. He has earned the designations as a graduate of the Realtor Institute and is a certified international property specialist. He can be reached by email:Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com or by cell (516) 647-4289 to answer any of your questions or article suggestions or provide you a free comparative market analysis on your property.

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