I Can't Get No Housing Satisfaction

I Can’t Get No Housing Satisfaction

After reading this spectacular Vulture.com article, I found this SNL clip from 1978 which I saw live, and memories flooded in. I’m dating myself, but the song title is a metaphor for how brutal the housing market is for buyers right now. I don’t think DEVO gets enough love today for how creative this was at the time. Their movements on stage were incredible while donning $4 hazmat suits. Wait for it…

But I digress…

NYC Rental Market Continued To See Sharp Gains

I’ve been covering an expanding number of housing markets since 1994 for Douglas Elliman. This week they published our research of multiple housing markets, all presented within these Housing Notes.

I’ll start with the rental market in NYC. NY1 waxes poetic about something I called a “Youth Rennaisance” in the early days of the pandemic that no longer exists. The Real Deal provides a good synopsis and so does Bloomberg (with a chart!)

Elliman Report: March 2022 Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens Rentals


“Net effective median rent rose to the highest on record but with a deceleration in the annual rate of growth.”

– Net effective median rent and face rent were at their highest level on record
– The vacancy rate remained below two percent for the fourth consecutive month
– New leasing volume surged from February but fell annually for the sixth consecutive month
– Bidding wars accounted for one in five new lease signings
– Doorman net effective median rent surged year over year for the ninth straight month to the highest level on record
– Non-doorman rent increased at a higher annual rate than doorman rent for the first time in fifteen months
– Luxury price trend indicators rose to their third-highest levels on record and were well above pre-pandemic levels
– Luxury listing inventory dropped to its lowest March level in six years of tracking


“Net effective median rent exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time.”

– Net effective median rent exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time
– New lease signings rose annually for the first time in three months
– Listing inventory fell year over year by more than eighty percent for the fourth consecutive month


[Northwest Region] “New lease signings surged annually for the twelfth consecutive month.”

– New lease signings reached their highest level for March in at least a decade
– Net effective median rent rose year over year for the seventh consecutive month
– Listing inventory fell year over year by more than seventy percent for the fourth straight month

Bloomberg Odd Lots Podcast: What Does the 5% Mortgage Rate Mean To Housing? Less Frenzy But Still Tight

I’m a regular listener of Bloomberg’s Odd Lots Podcast and this episode was particularly insightful. Joe Weisenthal was the first blogger I got hooked on – way back in the day, pre-Bloomberg and Business Insider.

A couple of points made:

– Unlike housing materials such as lumber that surged after the pandemic began, you can’t build up logistics – you have to start all over.

– Unlike the peak of the housing bubble, where first-time- homebuyers represented a popular growth lull in the early 1970s and the demand was driven mostly by speculation and financial engineering, current demand is real.

– Baby boomers will eventually sell towards the end of the decade and there won’t be enough buyers and prices will soften.

– Homebuilder stock values are low because of a rising mortgage rate environment.

Sales Were Restrained By Inventory Collapse in Westchester, Putnam, And Dutchess Counties

The lack of supply now restraining sales is a characteristic being seen across much of the U.S. right now. As The Real Deal headline states: Inventory has “essentially collapsed” in NYC’s northern suburbs.

Douglas Elliman published our housing research north of New York City this week.


Elliman Report: Q1-2022 Westchester County Sales

“The extended period of listing inventory declines restrained sales growth for the first time since the summer of 2020.”

– Median sales price rose to its highest level for a first-quarter on record
– The number of sales slipped annually for the first time in six quarters
– The pace of the market was the third-fastest in four decades of tracking
– Single family listing inventory fell annually for the eleventh straight quarter to the third lowest on record
– The pace of the condo market tied the prior quarter as the fastest-moving market on record
– Luxury listing inventory fell year over year for the twelfth consecutive quarter
– Luxury average and median sales prices rose annually and were sharply above pre-pandemic levels


Elliman Report: Q1-2022 Putnam & Dutchess County Sales

“Price trend indicators reached a record and near-record highs as listing inventory fell to record lows.”

– All price trend indicators rose annually, with median sales price rising to a record
– Listing inventory fell to another record low after falling sharply year over year for eight straight quarters
– With listing inventory falling faster than sales, months of supply tied the prior quarter as the fastest pace on record


Elliman Report: Q1-2022 Putnam & Dutchess County Sales

“Listing inventory fell to record lows and began to restrain sales.”

– Median sales price rose to the third-highest on record and was well above pre-pandemic levels
– Listing inventory fell to another record low after falling year over year for ten straight quarters
– The number of sales fell year over year for the first time in six quarters

Elliman Magazine Column – A Symptom of Chronic Inventory Lows: Bidding Wars Are Everywhere

For each issue of Elliman Magazine produced by Douglas Elliman, the same company that publishes most of our U.S. market research, I write a brief column and create a graphic to illustrate an important issue facing the luxury housing market. Of course, the graphic I create is then supercharged by their very talented graphics staff.

Listing inventory has essentially collapsed in most U.S. housing markets as unusually low rates against the backdrop of robust economic conditions have burned off supply to record lows. Evidence of this is seen in the proliferation of U.S. housings markets with a significant share of bidding wars. Since these are broad markets, various submarkets can see the market share at must higher levels. The proxy for market share is the share of transactions that close above the asking price at the time of sale against total period sales.

In the current issue of Elliman Magazine: Spring/Summer 2022, my column “A Symptom of Chronic Inventory Lows: Bidding Wars Are Everywhere”

[click to expand]

Newsday “Charts” The Surge In North Fork Housing Prices

News on the North Fork housing market often gets obliterated by its southern neighbor, The Hamptons (reports on both markets will be out in less than two weeks).

Newsday asked me to look at the median sales price and sales of its hamlets for 2020 and 2021 in the context of overall price trends for the region in On the North Fork, sky-high prices and few listings.

They created an awesome smorgasbord of useful charts and tables on the market.

The NYC Boroughs Continue To See Rising Prices and Limited Supply

The housing markets of the outer boroughs of NYC continued to remain frenzied but are arguably a hybrid of the extreme we see in Manhattan (somewhat elevated listing inventory) and the regional suburbs (listing inventory has collapsed). The rush to buy before mortgage rates increase further played a role in high sales as articulated in this Brick Underground piece.


Elliman Report: Q1-2022 Brooklyn Sales

“Low listing inventory has kept the record pricing pattern going.”

– The first quarter saw the highest number of sales since 2006 after six consecutive quarters of annual increases
– The market share of sales above $1 million rose to a record level
– Median sales price reached a new record for the seventh time in the past eight quarters


Elliman Report: Q1-2022 Queens Sales

“Record prices continue to define the borough’s housing market.”

– The highest number of first-quarter sales since 2007 after five consecutive quarters of annual increases
– Listing inventory fell year over year for the third consecutive quarter
– Median sales price reached a new record for the fifth time in the past six quarters

[includes Fieldston, Hudson Hill, North Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil]

Elliman Report: Q1-2022 Riverdale Sales

“Overall price and sales trends continued to press higher.”

– The number of sales increased annually for the fifth consecutive quarter
– Median sales price last declined year over year in the third quarter of 2020
– Listing inventory increased year over year for the sixth time in seven quarters

Getting Graphic

My favorite charts of the week of our own making

Here are a collection of our quarterly Manhattan rental charts:

My favorite charts of the week made by others

Len Kiefer‘s Chart Handiwork

Upcoming Speaking Events


(For earlier appraisal industry commentary, visit my old clunky REIC site.)

RAC Town Hall – Feeling ANSI about Fannie Mae’s new measurement requirement?

RAC offered a free one-hour ANSI webinar to provide clarity to appraisers everywhere. RAC Member and Past President Byron Miller, SRA, AI-RRS, a contributor to the 2021 ANSI standards manual Z765-2021, discussed appropriate measuring standards and updates that Fannie Mae has made effective April 1, 2022. Byron was interviewed by RAC member and Past President Jonathan Miller, CRE, CRP.

Here’s the free RAC blog post for the video and links to resources to help you better understand ANSI. The video in the post also immediately follows below:

Since Automated Floorplans Are All The Rage, Let’s Consider Their Accuracy

Over at RAC, our members have discussions and share tips on pragmatic things can assist in our everyday professional lives. If you’d like to know more, please check out our website.

Here’s an interesting presentation on the variations in accuracy between two well-known floorplan software providers and a laser measuring device.

We Have Systemic Antitrust and Regulatory Capture

I’ve been chronicling the self-serving behavior of the West Virginia Real Estate Appraisal Board and its Chairman Dean Dawson. It is good to see that the state legislature did something constructive about it relatively quickly.

From appraiser colleague and friend Lori Noble of West Virginia:


It was a busy year last year and I have a few thoughts to share about this topic. This is just my perspective but I believe the ASC planted the wrong flag at the wrong time. It took my qualified apprentice more than a year to get her license and there are dozens of others who didn’t get through the subjective barriers to entry.

There should have been a united front for regulatory reform but now all we know is the ASC has no authority and our regulatory system is built on antitrust and anti-competitive practices blocking commerce and creating barriers to entry. The PAVE report are symptoms of Regulatory Capture and blatantly ignores the level of antitrust that is built into our regulatory system.

We do not have systemic racism. We do however have systemic antitrust and regulatory capture.

In WV, HB4285 passed the House and Senate this Session with one nay vote. The bill eliminates the board’s ability to allow competitors to block entry with subjective interpretations of USPAP.

I am very proud of my state for hearing us and digging deep into administrative law but we should not have to work this hard just to be able to work. We moved mountains to benefit appraisers and commerce with no money or resources. So, I don’t understand why the ASC is pressing the narrative the appraisal profession is biased and racist without acknowledging the known barriers to entry and antitrust built-in at some state agencies they supposedly oversee, enabling the deprivation of women, veterans, and minority-owned businesses.

The only thing systemic and guaranteed within our regulatory system is antitrust and anti-competitive practices. If anyone has any questions about this legislation, just send me a note.

I hope this information is helpful.

Lori ~


Editor’s Note: It’s great to see West Virginia take needed action so quickly and how well Lori clarified the broad and important issues our industry faces. Here are some of my thoughts on the topic. The purpose of the PAVE report was to address racial bias in U.S. home valuation, not to address the regulatory capture which is also critical to our future and what TAF seems to stand for (TAF wrote the bat-shit crazy letter). Whether or not there is systemic racism or racism within the profession, the fact that the appraisal industry is 400th of 400 professions in diversity tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the latest data shows our industry is 97.7% white (up from last year’s 96.5%), with shortages in some segments, should be a concern that does warrant investigation of the appraisal industry structure. (warning: massive run-on sentence) The fact that TAF operates without oversight as a not-for-profit that always markets itself as closely allied with Congress to provide the illusion of government gravitas, and changes state laws back and forth every two years by the whims of a handful of FOD appraisers without legal review despite the lack of change actually occurring within the profession in order to make TAF money since one of their primary stated goals is financial independence, is a massive unchecked government over reach. I don’t believe PAVE is here to create more bureaucracy as TAF and AEI’s self-serving talking points incorrectly claim. Hopefully one of the outcomes of PAVE will give ASC the oversight needed to have authority over a rogue entity (TAF) that has lost sight of its mission to protect the public trust and has made appraisers’ everyday life much more expensive and difficult than it should be. Just because the structure has been the same way for decades, doesn’t mean it’s effective or even that it is right. Appraising isn’t rocket science, and neither is the resolution of its industry problems.

OFT (One Final Thought)

This sawmill video is the housing version of sitting down in front of an aquarium.

Brilliant Idea #1

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– They’ll get more satisfaction;
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– And I’ll saw more logs at night.

Brilliant Idea #2

You’re obviously full of insights and ideas as a reader of Housing Notes. I appreciate every email I receive and it helps me craft the next week’s Housing Note.

See you next week.

Jonathan J. Miller, CRP, CRE, Member of RAC
Miller Samuel Inc.
Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants
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