From the NY Times:
THE five-bedroom four-bath farm ranch on more than 2.5 acres that Margaret Trautmann owns in Upper Brookville has been on the market for nine months. Originally listed at $1.695 million, the 51-year-old slate-roofed house has since had its price cut by $100,000.
Ms. Trautmann has received four offers, but none for what she hoped to get for the 3,000-square-foot home where she reared three children and lived for 25 years.
“You have to stay in the game,” goes the advice — which translates as, plan to keep the listing active through the winter. “The houses today are at least a year on the market,” Ms. Trautmann said of the homes priced from $1 million to $2.5 million in her well-to-do neighborhood.
In years past, said Liz English, an associate broker with Netter Real Estate in West Islip and the president-elect of the Long Island Board of Realtors, the perception was that a house for sale would benefit from being taken off the market close to Thanksgiving and relisted at a higher price, with “a fresh approach,” in early spring. “That was because we were going up and up and up,” Ms. English said.
Four years after housing prices peaked, there is no sign that prices will be higher next spring.
In any case there is now a glut of luxury homes, particularly between $1 million and $2.5 million, and in some areas $5 million and above, on the North Shore market and in pricey South Shore areas like Woodsburgh, Hewlett Harbor, Hewlett Bay Park, Hewlett Neck and Back Lawrence.
Over all, in Nassau County, there are 1,590 residences listed at $1 million or more, according to the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island; in Suffolk in that range there are 1,058. Listing service data indicate that over the last five years, contracted sales typically peaked in July and August. The slowest months for closing sales are January and February.
In the Five Towns, Mr. Pugatch said, fall sales pick up in October, after the Jewish holidays. “December is my best month,” he said. “The people who come out in May and June and want to be chauffeured to eight or nine houses, they are all looking; they are not buying yet.” But by December, he said, 75 percent of lookers buy. “They are out looking in the rain and the snow,” he said. “Those are the best buyers you can get.”
And for those homes that are “priced right, if you are not in real-estate-denial mode, you can sell in 30 days.”
But Nava Mitnick, an associate broker with Daniel Gale, takes a different approach. Ms. Mitnick has multiple listings in Sands Point, where 64 homes (about 7 percent of the housing stock) are on the market, at a price range of $999,000 to $30 million. She suggested that sellers not “initiate a listing in November or December,” saying: “You won’t get the proper attention because people are otherwise occupied. It is not starting off on the right foot.”