Tripping Housing Drama Without Dropping The Pizza

Did you miss last week’s Housing Notes? April 14 – Housing Without Furniture

But I digress…

Connecticut Has Limited Listing Inventory, But Plenty Of Demand Despite Higher Mortgage Rates

I’ve been the author of and expanding series of market reports for Douglas Elliman since 1994. Fairfield County, Connecticut, has been part of this series since 2014, and we just added New Canaan in the past year.


Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Fairfield County Sales

“Median sales price continued to press higher as listing inventory fell to a near-record low.”

– Median sales price rose annually for the fifth time remaining sharply above pre-pandemic levels
– Sales fell annually for the seventh consecutive quarter
– Listing inventory edged higher year over year to the second-lowest level on record
– Luxury median sales price declined annually for the first time in three quarters
– Luxury listing inventory expanded annually but remained sharply below pre-pandemic levels
– Luxury bidding war market share was nearly a third of all sales


Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Greenwich Sales

“Price trends remained mixed as low listing levels challenged consumers.”

– Single family median sales price increased annually and remained significantly above pre-pandemic levels
– Single family sales fell year over year for the past six quarters and remained below pre-pandemic levels
– Condo sales rose annually for the second straight quarter as price trend indicators pressed higher
– Luxury price trend indicators slipped annually and remained well-above pre-pandemic levels
– Luxury listing inventory declined year over year to the second-lowest level on record


Elliman Report: Q1-2023 New Canaan Sales

“Listing inventory remained unusually low.”

– Single family price trend indicators showed mixed annual trends but remained sharply higher than pre-pandemic levels
– Single family listing inventory rose year over year for the second time but significantly below pre-pandemic levels
– Condo sales rose annually for the first time in five quarters

For more, view the chart library.

It Takes A Stand-up Comedian To Tell Us Why NYC Is So Expensive (Non-Funny Edition)




Downtown Boston Prices Set Records With Bidding Wars

It’s fun to report on my birthplace – we’ve been covering this market since 2018.


Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Downtown Boston Sales

“Price trend indicators rose to a record and near-record levels.”

– Median sales price rose to a new high after twenty-three years of tracking
– Sales declined year over year for the fifth straight time
– Listing inventory expanded annually, yet more than one in four sales closed above list

“Average price per square foot reached a new high as sales continued to slip.”

– The annual change in price trend indicators showed mixed results
– Sales declined annually for the third consecutive quarter
– Listing inventory rose year over year for the first time in eight quarters

For more, view the chart library.

Deed-Theft In Brooklyn

This is wild and tragic.

A House Divided: How a Band of Speculators Seized Deeds of Black-Owned Brooklyn Brownstones [The City]

An investigation by THE CITY found that a group of investors — Doran, Jonathan Marcus, Vincent Longobardi and Earl Davis — have acquired or attempted to acquire fractional stakes in more than 50 properties, mostly in Brooklyn’s gentrifying historically Black and Latino neighborhoods, in some cases enriching themselves many times more than the heirs they profess to help


Altos Research: “The housing market rebound this spring is stronger than you think.”

Mike Simonsen always has research to back up what he says – THREAD

In the thread, Mike shares a brilliant response suitable for framing on paranoid “doom vectors.”:


Florida Housing Market Sees Low Inventory, Rising Prices And An Overcorrection In Sales Decline

I’ve been covering the Florida housing market for Douglas Elliman since 2011 and the coverage has expanded significantly across the state. The reports can be viewed at

MARKETS [alphabetical order]

Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Boca Raton
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Coral Gables
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Deerfield Beach
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Delray Beach
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Ft. Lauderdale
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Jupiter/Palm Beach Gardens
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Lighthouse Point
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Manalapan
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Miami Beach
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Miami Mainland
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Naples
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Palm Beach
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Pompano Beach
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 St. Augustine
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 St. Petersburg
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Tampa
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Vero Beach (new)
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Wellington
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 West Palm Beach
Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Weston (new)

Additional markets are in development.


Most Florida markets we cover are seeing:

– A chronic shortage of listings that, even with the gains that have occurred in some markets this year, supply remains far short of pre-pandemic conditions
– Sales have declined sharply below the frenzied elevated sales levels of 2021 and early 2022 and also below pre-pandemic levels due to higher mortgage rates and anemic listing inventory gains from record lows
– Price trend indicators continue to rise in most markets, but at a lower annual rate than a few quarters ago, as the lack of listing inventory provides a firm footing under prices
– Bidding wars continue to occur because of low supply, but at a lower level than was seen during the boom era of the prior several years
– Months of supply, otherwise known as the pace of the market, has slowed from the frenzied period of unusually low mortgage rates but generally remains faster than long-term trends

Here are a few random charts – view the chart library for more.

Richard Florida Pens A Fantastic Post-Pandemic Housing Debriefing (Cities Are Still Standing)

The Pandemic Didn’t Upend US Geography [Bloomberg]

But big cities ultimately proved incredibly resilient. The urban exodus, such as it was, proved mainly temporary. Many who left came back, and immigrants once again started to flow into large US cities as pandemic-era restrictions waned, with the 20 largest cities seeing the number of immigrants triple from 2021 to 2022.

My favorite chart from the article:

Prices Have Firm Underpinning Because of Household Formation Growth, Not Just Lack Of Inventory

There’s an interesting white paper: Remote Work and Household Formation by Adam Ozimek and Eric Carlson.

That asks, “If remote work has reduced the demand for living in big cities, then why have their rents gone up so much?”

I make this point every time I speak in public.

And the Wall Street Journal asks: How Severe Is the Housing Shortage? It Depends on How You Define ‘Shortage’

What Status Actually Means: The Value Is Tangible.

Property value includes tangible and intangible components. So did Twitter.

I lost my verified status on Twitter yesterday because paying $8 for it without any real verification was a stunning reality disconnect by the new owner. It’s not that I can’t afford $8 per month. The new public brand of anyone who “buys” a checkmark conveys a negative value – someone inauthentic, desperate for status, and willing to pay for it even though it isn’t earned.

The new Twitter owner, one of the world’s richest and smartest tech minds, can do whatever he wants, yet he never understood the value of that checkmark and worked hard to politicize it. In the world of trolls, anonymous ranters, and an army of bots, the concept wasn’t driven by social status; it was there to assure readers that you were who you said you were. His lack of understanding of this basic concept is a key reason the platform’s value collapsed. The nominal revenue from the new checkmark badge proves this empirically. Sure, there was a status component, but that’s not what drives the value of this blue checkmark badge. Most credible advertisers have left for the same reason (but not the only reason), and the value of this platform has collapsed. My own usage is way down but I haven’t found a robust replacement so cry me a river. But I do feel a loss of what the platform used to represent.

I remember an interview I saw years ago. Johnny Carson said that as someone on top of his game on Late Night Television, it was frustrating that he was mediocre in tennis. Ego drives people to conflate expertise across many disciplines.

Getting Graphic

My favorite housing market/economic charts of the week made by others

Apollo’s Torsten Slok‘s amazingly clear charts.

Kastle card swipe data charts

Remember that Kastle charts are overstating occupancy* because their pre-pandemic occupancy benchmark was 100% which is simply incorrect (*measures card swipe activity as a proxy for occupancy).

My favorite random charts of the week made by others


Pushback to Fannie Mae: Certified Appraisers vs. Unlicensed Data Collectors

Here’s a great take on the difference by Leigh Brown, President of the NC Association of REALTORS. Fannie Mae has been working hard to get rid of appraisers for years. Their latest twist is to re-categorize many appraisers as “Unlicensed Data Collectors.”

Fannie Mae will end up creating more instability for the trillions in the bond market – investors will have to process millions of valuations with the physical attributes of the home collected by unlicensed, uninsured, and unprepared individuals getting paid $10-$25 per inspection.

Fannie Mae Tested Reckless Behavior During The Pandemic…Now Confident To Relegate Appraisers As Data Collectors

Here are the stats from AEI on GSE loans that utilize an appraiser.

ASA’s John Russell On Fannie Mae’s Expansion Of Appraisal Waivers: No One Left For Consumer Proections

I’ve always found John Russell at ASA to be a stand-out industry voice of reason, and we need to listen to what he has to say about appraisal waivers.

AI Meets With Fannie Mae Regulators To Address FNMA Initiatives That Disenfranchise New Trainees

The following letter to FHFA provides an overview of Fannie Mae’s initiatives that will inevitably threaten collateral integrity in the multi-trillion bond market. Fannie Mae seems to be working hard to disincentivize new appraisers from entering the profession. Kudos to Craig Steinley’s leadership.

OFT (One Final Thought)

I can’t believe how many episodes of Who’s the Boss? I watched in the 1980s.

Brilliant Idea #1

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