Sunday, June 30, 2019

Still More Apartments

Every time we turn around, someone else is announcing a new project with rental units.  Some are in Hartford, some in the suburbs all over, but New Haven is garnering (still) the biggest share.  There seems to be no end to the demand, or at least, we haven't seen it yet.  We all know that it will come, but who can say when the demand will dry up?

There are a few signs of increasing competition for tenants, which would indicate that the peak has passed.  However, we all know that the height of demand is usually demarcated in the rear view mirror.  Real estate is always cyclical.

This begs the question, however, of the other needs that all those tenants will have.  They tend to have high utilization of restaurants, entertainment, and convenience services.  The profile of a renter is different from that of an owner, if only because they aren't spending time or money on home maintenance or improvement.  That leaves them more time to work or play; if it's work, that leaves them also with more money, and a need for time-saving services.  Food places that deliver, pet and beauty options, and retail choices within walking distance will all increase. People who walk places can also drink in bars, since they are walking or Ubering home. Although they have been opening up regularly, the demand may be outpacing the supply, given all those new renters.

Why not try to be ready with commercial offerings. that will be ready when the units come on line?

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Our New Milford Office

We recently opened a beautiful new office on the Milford Green, where many of our best commercial agents ply their trade, and we've been getting lots of compliments on the space (and the agents!).  We wanted to embrace our commitment to the Greater Milford market by putting our best foot forward, and we did.  The office had several big transactions in the works at the time of the ribbon cutting, and we are looking forward to a booming summer. Come visit us!


Monday, May 6, 2019

Embrace the College Towns of Connecticut

We are fortunate to have places in Connecticut where universities drive the economy.  While Storrs was a farming community, New Haven and Hartford had industry.  As that industry leaves or automates, we can be glad that students followed.  College towns have a vibe all their own, and we should enhance it, not fight it.

Students look for a different type of retail, as well as later hours and trendier choices.  They also seek alternative housing in many cases, and have income from parents, in many cases, which extends their buying power.  We have learned in New Haven that high-end housing is affordable to many graduate students, in particular, and that those units are snapped up far more quickly than we all expected.

The same dynamics should apply to retail.  Disposable income is spent differently by demographic profile,and younger people tend to use more discretionary services. They learned from us that time is money, but they act accordingly, while we don't always do that.  Places that specialize helping others live more graciously, healthfully, or pleasantly are key to this movement, and should inform our investing and developing choices.  And the rest of us can benefit from those offerings, so we all win!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Tax Effects Uncertain

Pundits spent a lot of time last year, trying to predict what buyers would do in light of the many tax law changes.  People in Connecticut were especially nervous, given our status as a state where changes in the treatment of SALT (state and local taxes) would have a big effect.  Here we are, a whole tax year later, and it's hard to say for sure what happened.  In my own case, many different laws were applied or eliminated, and my total taxes in the end were so close to what we paid last year that I questioned whether we could have signed last year's return again.

On the residential side, where we really thought capping SALT deductions would cause high-end prices to fall, the opposite seems to be happening.  Properties along the coastline especially are flying off the market as quickly as they come on.  Perhaps it's supply, which has declined, perhaps it's the increasing number of years since the last big hurricane, or perhaps people are generally doing well, despite what they may tell pollsters who call them.

Anyway, if you've been thinking that there are no buyers for your properties, think again.  They are out there, and they are buying.

Friday, March 29, 2019

My Sabbatical

I am perhaps one of the unusual people who has stayed in the same job for most of my adult life.  I have been running Pearce Real Estate since the mid-1980s, after leaving the practice of law to work with my father in late 1981.  Although it's challenging and absorbing, and I love the people with whom I work, this seemed like the right time for me to take on a new challenge for a little while.

Connecticut Hospice has been a part of my life since childhood, when my father was on the Board and his best friend was the Board Chair.  Over the years, we have represented them in real estate transactions, including the move into their current location.  Pearce Real Estate has done a Day of Caring there, after Hurricane Irene, which was shortly after my father died there.  I have always known what a special place it is.  When I was recently asked to help them, after a period of turbulent management change, I didn't hesitate.  I agreed to become the interim CEO, and I started almost immediately, a few weeks ago.

It has been the most intense professional experience of my life.  There is so much to do, and I am also trying to master a new field.  However, I have great people working with me, and CH has extraordinary employees, who believe passionately, as I do, in the mission of Connecticut Hospice.  They have supported me every step of the way, and thanked me for coming to work every morning.  What happens in that building, and in all the places where CH delivers home care, is a labor of love for every staff member.  I am privileged to have been asked to lead such an amazing organization.

I am also blessed with a terrific team at Pearce Real Estate, where everyone clapped, or even cried with joy, when I said that I was going to spend the next year at Connecticut Hospice, They, too, are extraordinary people, and always in my heart while I work to make Hospice thrive.  I am proud of the work they do as well, and the professionalism with which they assist clients with all types of real estate needs.  Nanette Pastore, who is running Pearce in my absence, is the best partner any executive could ever want--talented, hardworking, caring, and committed.  She is more than ready for this challenge, and she deserves all the support she is getting from everyone.

This blog will continue, as well my commitment to Pearce Real Estate, although most of my time is fully taken at the moment!  I look forward to continuing the dialogue about issues in buying and selling, and to your ongoing readership.