November 14, 2017




Real estate biz booming, say local realtors

Sweeney, left, addresses business people while Safier, center, and
Chamber President Ward Todd listen

KINGSTON – The local market for homes and other real properties is skyrocketing, thanks to a variety of factors including Internet technology and younger urban transplants seeking to enjoy an upstate lifestyle.

Leaders of the real estate community discussed industry numbers and rising trends at the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Tuesday.

Hudson Valley Catskill Region Multiple Listing Service (MLS) President Tim Sweeney presented fact and figures showing 2016 at the highest number of units sold on record. He added that 2017 looks to prove even better.

“We’re really starting to see a change, onward and upward for us,” Sweeney observed, noting that units sold are approximately 100 percent higher, compared to 2008, when the markets crashed. Prices and turnover times have also slowly normalized.

Sweeney said that inventory is now a pressing challenge – finding new properties to keep up with growing demand.

He was joined at the podium with Ulster County Board of Realtors President Harris Safier, who underscored professional subtleties between ordinary real estate agents and real estate agents. He cited a strict code of ethics subscribed by this national association, plus deep community involvement, and protecting legislative homeowner property tax rights.

As trends progress, business practices evolve. “Thanks to the Internet, it changes everything,” Safier said of the younger new investors who relocate upstate. “Our goal is to stay relevant, and show people when they come to the region, it’s the realtor who can make the distinction between the lifestyle in Bearsville, and High Falls,” he said.

Realtors also lobbied to limit transfer tax, and preserve the tax credit for mortgages and interest payments. “Realtors are out in the forefront, speaking at meetings, being involved in planning and zoning boards, and giving of their time, because it’s important to be engaged with what’s going on,” Safier said.

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