3rd Qtr Update 2008
From Kathy Korte President & CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty
As the credit crisis continues to take its toll and the downturn in the economy makes daily headlines, it is more important than ever for each one of us to remain focused, objective and mindful of a broader and longer view of current conditions. Mastering the art of the deal in this environment undoubtedly means drawing upon our reserves of positive energy to thoughtfully guide our clients through the shift in the marketplace.
Although our consolidated total sales volume in the third quarter of 2008 was 27% below our third quarter sales volume in 2007, it is important to keep in mind that 2007 was a record year for our company. And notwithstanding this decrease in our consolidated sales volume, several of our individual markets did manage to close more volume in this year’s third quarter, including Manhattan and London where our third quarter 2008 sales volume exceeded prior year by more than 20%.
It is important to note that pending business written in most of our markets since the end of the third quarter seems to indicate rather conclusively that we are now shifting solidly into a buyer’s market. In all price ranges and all areas, our responsibility as industry professionals is to communicate our most thorough and unvarnished assessment of market conditions to our clients. If we leverage our expertise and creativity, we can continue to help them meet their real estate objectives in the challenging market going forward. Sellers need to be realistic and strategic in their pricing, and their properties need to be the best priced properties in their class in order to achieve an expedient and successful sale. And while buyers may continue to project a wait and see attitude, we should work to identify those purchasers still out there that want to buy now, those that need to buy now, and those with the financial wherewithal to buy now. Every market provides opportunity, and we will continue to see buyers who recognize those opportunities in current conditions that make sense for them.