These are heady days to be in Manhattan real estate, what with supply lagging behind a demand driven to an all-time high by foreign buyers, and interest rates staying at near-historic lows.
Fredrik Eklund, agent for Douglas Elliman Real Estate and one of the stars of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York,” which returns for its third season Wednesday, April 2, just enjoyed his best month ever since he began selling properties in New York’s richest borough.
“In February, the shortest month of the year,” he tells Zap2it, “I sold $152 million in one month, which is about triple the highest amount I sold in a month in 2013, which made No. 1 in the nation.”
“I’ve been doing this for 12 years,” he continues. “I’ve never seen anything like it. … It’s booming now more than it ever has before, more than 2006 and 2007, before the downturn. The pricing is crazy; it’s very strong. You have like a perfect storm of a lot of new developments, which I control most of, and then buyers international and even sellers, which is unique. Sellers are putting their apartments on the market, so there’s a really healthy, moving, liquid market right now, yes. And interest rates are fairly low.”
This season, much of the drama will come from the agents’ personal lives, as Eklund settles into married life and considers children, fellow agent Ryan Serhant tries to balance his career with a new relationship, and Luis D. Ortiz moves out of his brother’s apartment and into a luxurious bachelor pad of his own. And then, of course, there are the deals, which can enrich agents beyond imagination but leave them emotionally drained.
“I like the difficult deals,” Eklund admits, “although I don’t feel like it at the time, when you’re crying and pulling your hair. Looking back at them, even when you fail, there is something about them that makes you remember them; you grow from them, and you change with them.
“So the month of February … I’m going to remember it with a happy heart, but it’s not like I learned anything from it, really. All the deals went so easily and quickly that the more difficult ones are, in a way, more interesting.”