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Monday, December 30, 2019


News about the economy has moved from concern over the health of the market in 2020 to optimism. Economists point to job growth, low unemployment and a good real estate market - for now. An undercurrent of concern that another recession is imminent, however, may be keeping consumer confidence low, and as a result, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) conducted  its first-ever Real Estate Forecast Summit in December, featuring the insights and market forecasts of 16 economists.

          While all the Economists had varying opinions about the state of the market, and where we are headed, the biggest takeaway is that chances of another recession in the short-term are low, tallied at an average 29% chance by the economists. Here’s what the economists had to say:

Current Market Analysis:

         “We are in a great economy,” said Lawrence Yun, PhD, NAR’s chief economist, “there is consistent job creation, leading to a super low unemployment rate of 3.6% in the U.S. The stock market is touching an all-time high, and homeowners have been accumulating wealth thanks to price appreciation.

         “But there are segments of the population that are not participating in this wealth gain. We have more people, affordability conditions are better, yet home sales are actually lower, so something is not matching up with the current environment.”

Future Market Predictions:
  • Mortgage rates will rise incrementally, possibly hitting 4% in 2021—still favorable        according to historical conditions.
  • Slight weakening in home sales, similar to 2019, driven more by lack of supply than lack of demand.
  •  Slower price appreciation that is more manageable and more closely in line with income growth.
  •  60,000 more housing starts in 2021.
  •  Rents expected to rise a little faster than home prices.

         Those economists who were less optimistic felt that if we did go into a recession, it would be a much shallower recession. Overall, predictions for the future were relatively optimistic, with concerns over a recession low—a one in three chance.

         Here’s our takeaway for North Fork homeowners and buyers. If you are planning to sell, get into the market early - don’t wait for Spring.  If you are planning to buy a home on the North Fork, buy sooner rather than later – prices will continue to go up and mortgage rates will increase.  Call us now to list your home or buy a home.  We’re available - no winter in Florida for us, we’re here on the North Fork to serve you!

Source: NAR Forecast Summit: Is a Recession Imminent? Industry Economists Share Predictions, Liz Domingues, Associate Content Editor, RISMedia, December 25, 2019.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

A Special Message for the Holidays!

 As we celebrate the holidays this year, let’s take time to appreciate and be grateful
for every day and all the blessings in our lives. May this verse inspire you to
engage in the “dance” of life and live each day to the fullest!

We hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
May you get your fill to eat but never lose that hunger.
May you never take a single breath for granted,
May love never leave you empty-handed.
We hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes, may another open.
Please give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…

We hope you dance! We truly hope you dance!
We hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance.
Living may mean taking chances, but they’re worth taking.
Loving might be a mistake, but it’s worth making.
Don’t let some hell-bent heart ever leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out – please reconsider.
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…

We hope you dance! We truly hope you dance!

Adapted from Lee Ann Womack’s, “I Hope You Dance”

All of us at Beninati Associates wish you a Blessed
and Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a very
Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 12, 2019


We’ve all heard of “buyer’s remorse,” but have you heard of “seller’s tears”?

More than a third of people who’ve sold their homes say they have shed tears over the experience.

A recent study of consumers’ ranked selling their properties as one of their most stressful life events—along with getting fired or planning a big wedding.

36% of sellers interviewed, admitted sobbing over the experience. One in five of the people surveyed said they cried five times or more while going through the process of selling their property.

 “If you’ve ever sold a home before, you know how daunting the process can be,” Zillow’s Jeremy Wacksman said in the report. “Anticipating that stress can be a huge obstacle that keeps homeowners from moving on to the next stage of their lives. Our survey found more Americans were stressed over selling their home than planning a wedding, getting fired or becoming a parent.”

What is this all about? Homeowners say that uncertainty about their home’s sale price, worries that the property wouldn’t sell and pressure to fix up the homes triggered the tears.  Neighbors, friends and relatives, trying to be “helpful” by giving advice, often only serves to add more stress to the situation.

Even though home prices in most neighborhoods have more than recovered from the 2008 crash, some sellers have high expectations, and when the market doesn’t seem to agree, and their real estate agent suggests a price adjustment, it becomes a source of consternation.

Since 60% of the folks Zillow talked to were also buying another property, buyer jitters added more stress to the already complex situation.
The important takeaway is to recognize that selling or buying a home is probably one of the largest financial transactions in most peoples’ lives – be prepared - it will be stressful.  Seller should avoid taking advice from well-meaning people who are not experts, and who are not familiar with their situation, and instead trust their professional advisors, stay focused and know that in time, all will be resolved.

Source:RISMedia,”Nothing to Cry About: More Than a Third of Home Sellers Get Weepy Over the Deal,” Steve Brown, 2019 The Dallas Morning News, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Thursday, December 5, 2019


It’s always healthy to look forward, especially this time of year, and consider how our lives may be affected in the new year.  This article by experts at Boom Town Networks, Inc.  Is thought provoking and worthy of consideration.  Here are some key trends that they believe will impact the next two years and beyond:

Generational Shifts: “Silver Tsunami” & Welcome Gen Z
              As millions of aging Americans enter their 60s and 70s, there is potential for a variety of impacts on the housing market in the coming years. Senior housing demands often mean downsizing and cost saving, so the market could see higher demand for smaller, more affordable inventory. Because inventory of these smaller one-level homes is limited across the board in the U.S., competition could increase.
            It’s also time to say hello to Generation Z. According to a TransUnion report, the number of Gen Z shoppers who took out a mortgage more than doubled in one year. Year-over-year growth was 112% in comparison to 12% from millennials. It’s important to consider what the profile of a Gen Z homebuyer looks like. Similar to millennials, they are riddled with student debt. That means smaller spaces and affordability are key. In combination with the millennial market and the Silver Tsunami, it’s easy to see why experts are predicting more of a demand for affordable inventory that is both senior- and starter home-friendly.

Recession: Facts and Fears
            Some experts predict that a recession will hit the U.S. economy around 2020-2021; however, this time around, the housing market is not the cause, as low unemployment , stricter Fed lending policy and steady/increased housing prices,  moving towards a more balanced market. The most optimistic predictions lean towards a smooth descent into a balanced market, rather than a crash.
            However, it’s important to be cautiously optimistic, but prepared. Recession fears, warranted or not, could lead to seller hesitation and exacerbate an already low-inventory market, with first-time buyers wanting to snap up good deals, but sellers wanting to wait until prices rise.

Return of the Suburb
            Census data is showing that the “back to the city” trend of the early 2010s is shifting. City population growth has declined while suburban growth has increased, mainly due to millennials.  Because millennials are now having children, the rise of suburbia makes sense. They want the stability and affordability of what the suburbs offer; however, they still want some of the city-like amenities they’ve grown accustomed to. And so, the term “hipsturbia” was born. Essentially, it means “cool” suburban communities that are more walkable, accessible and fun. We’re seeing the trend grow in smaller communities outside of New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco…and the NORTH FORK (my editorial addition!)
These trends, along with growing technological sophistication, are important to consider, especially if you are thinking about selling or buying a home on the North Fork.  If you want to explore the ramifications for you personally, I would be happy to meet with you and discuss how these trends may impact your real estate strategy in the next few years.  Call me – and let’s talk.

Source: RISmedia, “5 Real Estate Trends to Watch in 2020.” November 28, 2019.