Taking A Polaroid Of The Anabolic Steroid Housing Market Asteroid-Like Meteoroid Into The Paranoid Android Annoyed But Still Employed Humanoid Void That's Not A Destroyed Pink Floyd

Taking A Polaroid Of The Anabolic Steroid Housing Market Asteroid-Like Meteoroid Into The Paranoid Android Annoyed But Still Employed Humanoid Void That’s Not A Destroyed Pink Floyd

It’s actually Radiohead. This is truly a spectacular take on their song Paranoid Android.

Radiohead’s live version…

And Weezer’s interpretation…

But I digress…

The Downtown Boston Luxury Market Is Booming

I’ve been tracking my birthplace on behalf of Douglas Elliman for several years and it continues to be one of those city markets that doesn’t seem to stop growing. The quarterly Downtown Boston report is part of our expanding series of U.S. reports for Douglas Elliman that I began in 1994.

Here are two versions of the same chart in the Bloomberg coverage of the report:


Elliman Report: Q1-2022 Downtown Boston Sales

“All price trend indicators rose significantly from prior-year levels as listing inventory fell sharply.”

– One in four sales went through bidding wars for the fourth straight quarter
– Price trend indicators saw significant annual gains but remain short of pre-pandemic levels
– Listing inventory declined sharply year over year for the fourth straight quarter

“The number of sales expanded annually and were above pre-pandemic levels.”

– Sales rose annually for the fourth straight quarter and remained well above pre-pandemic levels
– Listing inventory fell sharply year over year for the fourth consecutive quarter and fell well below pre-pandemic levels
– Median sales price hasn’t shown a year over year decline in nine years

WaPo’s U.S. Rental Analysis Shows Rents Are Up (Duh!)

An epic U.S. county rental analysis interactive tool released by The Washington Post. In the NYC metro area, rents are rising faster in the outer reaches rather than within NYC itself.

Rising mortgage rates will likely push rents higher.

…the shortfall of affordable rentals is likely to get even worse in the coming months, as mortgage rates, already reaching highs not seen since 2011 thanks to rising interest rates, drive would-be homeowners to rent instead.

The Greenwich, CT “Back Country” Finally Booms

When I first started covering the Greenwich housing market 6-7 years ago, the area known as “Back Country” which is the region north of the parkway, didn’t sell. The predominantly big homes with a lot of land were generally overpriced by many multiples because the owners saw the NYC boom and applied the same growth to their luxury market, even though none was warranted. The high-end NYC suburban market was passed over after the financial crisis as affluent buyers were drawn to NYC and the new urbanism boom (just to be able to buy strawberries around the corner at 3 am from their NYC apartments). Well, remote work changed all that and the Greenwich market (and suburban luxury markets) have been booming in the pandemic era. Months of supply was four years in 2018 and now it is four months, on par with the pace of the overall market and all that excess listing inventory has been cleared from the market.

Here is Bloomberg’s chart of the trend in Greenwich Mansion Buyers Revive Deals in Sleepy Back Country:

And our version of the same data…


Elliman Report: Q1-2022 Greenwich Sales

“Listing inventory has fallen sharply enough to restrain sales.”

– Single family listing inventory fell to the lowest on record, restraining sales
– Single family median sales price expanded annually and significantly above pre-pandemic levels
– Condo listing inventory fell to a record low for the fifth time in six quarters
– Luxury listing inventory fell to the second-lowest on record after five straight record lows
– Luxury price trend indicators declined annually due to the drop in average sales size but remained sharply higher than pre-pandemic
– Back Country months of supply showed the fastest pace in seven years of tracking


Elliman Report: Q1-2022 Greenwich Sales

“Listing inventory fell to a record low for the second straight quarter, restraining sales.”

– Listing inventory fell to a record low for the second straight quarter
– Price trend indicators rose year over year and remained sharply above pre-pandemic levels
– Sales fell year over year for the third straight quarter, with bidding wars occurring in nearly half the sales
– Luxury listing inventory fell to a record low for the seventh straight quarter
– Luxury price trend indicators rose year over year and remained sharply above pre-pandemic levels
– More than three out of ten luxury sales were sold through a bidding war

The Luxury Housing Indices We Power On The Bloomberg Terminals Show The Crazy Rollercoaster Of The Past Two Years

I lost track of how long we’ve been powering these charts on the terminal but its been quite a long time. There are 3 Manhattan luxury market sales indices and 3 Manhattan luxury market rental indices that sit on the Bloomberg Terminals. The past two years, especially for the rental market, has been quite volatile.

Manhattan Luxury Rental Indices

Manhattan Luxury Sales Indices

Thought: Is The Bulk Of Remaining Listing Inventory Unappealing?

Listing inventory is in short supply and the remaining product from my vantage point in the markets we cover is quite unappealing as buyers seem to just wait for the new stuff to come on. Hence bidding wars, galore.

VIDEO: Douglas Elliman Exec. Chairman Talks About Our Elliman Report research: Most Manhattan Sales In 33 Years

Howard Lorber, executive chairman of Douglas Elliman, joins CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’ to discuss New York’s hot real estate market as mortgage rates rise.

Canadian Housing: Take Off ‘Eh?

Canada is experiencing the same housing patterns as the U.S.

– Surging prices
– Declining listing inventory
– Falling sales

The Housing Market Is Nuts

Because of Remote Work, Top Florida Luxury Market Locations Aren’t Necessarily On The Beach

This week I moderated a panel meant for real estate agents who cover the Florida markets for Douglas Elliman Development Marketing:

The Market Share Of Bidding Wars And Cash Sales In Florida Are Higher Than You Think

While these charts don’t represent all the Florida markets we analyze, they provide a good cross-section of the various regions. With the collapse of listing inventory post-lockdown, the market share of bidding wars are expected to remain high even with rising mortgage rates.

Click these charts to expand to their full glory.

We have added many new markets to our Florida coverage. I’ve run out of time this week, but here are a couple of the markets that were published and their corresponding charts – a bunch more coming next week.


“The Florida housing market continued to see booming sales in the first quarter, enabled by the remote work phenomenon and tax policy, resulting in one of the fastest-paced markets on record. There are signs sales volume is now restrained by the continued collapse in listing inventory. In most of the housing markets tracked, listing inventory has fallen by well more than half in the past two years and bidding war market share is rising to new records. The recent rise in mortgage rates is expected to take some of the edge off the sales frenzy allowing some additional listing inventory to enter the market but it is expected to be inadequate to satiate demand.”

– Listing inventory continued to collapse, down by two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels in most markets, continuing to restrain potential sales growth
– Bidding wars market share continues to rise to new records, accounting for up to half the sales in many markets
– Single family and condo price trend indicators continued to rise to new records or remained well-above pre-pandemic levels
– The market pace across the region continued to set records for the fastest on record

Boca Raton

Elliman Report: Q1-2022 Boca Raton Sales

West Palm Beach

Elliman Report: Q1-2022 West Palm Beach Sales

Getting Graphic

My favorite charts of the week made by others

Len Kiefer‘s Chart Handiwork


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

Dave Towne Gets ANSI So We Do Too

Dave Towne has long been the appraiser’s appraiser, keeping us informed on the matters that impact our daily professional lives. If you want to get on his list, send Dave an email: dtowne at fidalgo dot net

Here is something Dave wrote last week which is a recent favorite of mine:



I was chatting with an appraiser buddy on Thurs, 4/14/22 about the ANSI measuring dilemma we all face when doing Conventional lending reports – which ultimately will wind up with FNMA.

In my view, my appraiser buddy has a brilliant ‘work around’ to solve the Subject & Comps adjustment issues, which FNMA thinks is no big deal, but what we all know will cause considerable consternation among users of our reports, and with appraisers trying to figure out how to allocate measured and valued spaces properly – per market acceptance.

It’s the mandate that “a” particular measuring method for the subject be used, while the comparables have been ‘measured’ by “who knows what” method. (By the way….while I’m on this subject, this only applies to ‘traditional’ appraisal assignments when the APPRAISER is doing the Subject inspection. Not with Desktop or Hybrid reports. “How do you like them apples??!”)

Appraisers may not know anything about the “who knows what” process was used, but for the most part, we accept that for our assignments because it has uniformity across properties. I’m referring to the local property Assessor’s process for determining and reporting sizes of homes in their taxation records. Or in some cases, it might be the local/regional MLS that keeps those figures. Use your data for your area. The point is, we appraisers generally use acceptable local data for our work, as we compare and ‘adjust’ various properties in our reports.

I’m in agreement that a common Standard should be the proper method used by EVERYONE in the residential realm to calculate the finished and unfinished areas …… but we are not there yet. Just because one entity mandates the protocol does not mean that all other people or organizations involved with home building design, assessing and sales will automatically fall in line ….. especially since they apparently were not consulted about this early on. It will take years before this will happen. And I find it incredibly interesting and revealing that the three other significant “agencies” who are involved with using our reports for mortgage lending HAVE NOT jumped on board the ANSI mandate – as yet.

The problem that many appraisers are concerned about, is our report (used by ONE “agency”) will now be comparing Apples to Pineapples in terms of Above Grade (GLA) and Below Grade (Basement) figures between the Subject and
Comparables. Reporting various areas that don’t meet the measurement Standard for living space, but do have market value, are supposed to be indicated in the report and ‘adjusted’ on the separate lines below Porch/Patio/Deck on the form. Incredible confusion likely will occur … and may have already started!

The appraiser who discussed this ‘work around’ with me is a second generation Certified General, who’s been in the appraisal trenches for 20+ years. The appraiser is FHA approved and specializes in appraising “weird-ass” SFR properties no one else wants to touch, for lending and private assignments. The appraiser has highly developed analytical skills, and thinks through situations carefully to solve the appraisal problem. Here’s the relatively simple ‘work around’ process:

For Conventional lending assignments, measure the Subject using the ANSI Z765-2021 protocol, and report your appropriate Above Grade and Below Grade measurements on the GLA and Basement lines in the form. Fill in your Comparable sales measurements info that you ‘rely on’ from whatever source you use in the correct form fields……but DO NOT ‘adjust’ those. Enter “0” for the ‘adjustment.’

Be sure your report contains the necessary ANSI Disclosure language so that the report will comply with the FNMA Assignment Condition, and so that you will comply with USPAP.

Then …. and this is the brilliant part ….. use the last available line in the grid to show the ASSESSOR’s or MLS square footage numbers that you would typically ‘rely on’ for adjustment purposes …. for the SUBJECT and the Comparables. Put your adjustment amounts for each property in the appropriate form fields, across that last line. This works because the Subject’s ‘assessment measurement’ will be done similarly to the Comparables.

To do this you will have to include additional language in the report explaining your process. Secondly, you may have to build a spreadsheet to contain your adjustments for the Above Grade and Below Grade areas, so that you can use ‘one’ adjustment rather than ‘two’, and include that in the report Addendum … so that readers can see your process.

The last line can have the topic item shown as “Assessor (or MLS) AG/BG Measurement”. Drop the BG if the home does not have a Below Grade basement. Explain what these mean in the report, either on the UAD Abbreviations page, or in your Addendum …. or maybe even on the 1004 form page 3 comment section that some appraisers don’t bother to use!

Some appraisers will grumble, saying that those three extra lines are already used. True. You’ll have to combine items on the first two lines for adjustment purposes if that’s the case, in order to implement this brilliant ‘work around.’ Just make a separate spreadsheet, or if you use one brand of software that has a built-in ‘worksheet’ spreadsheet that can transfer numbers in a particular field on the worksheet to the form field, use it.

The other aspect to consider is whether or not to use the FNMA ‘Exception Code’ as the first item on the Additional Features line on form page 1. I’m going to say NO, don’t do that – for the majority of homes you will encounter. The ‘Exception Code’ is meant to be used on the screwball, non-typical homes that the ANSI Standard has severe trouble with in terms of measuring. Use that code only if appropriate.

Please don’t misinterpret what this ‘work around’ process entails. I am in no way suggesting that the ANSI Measuring protocol assignment condition be ignored. All this suggestion does is simplify reporting of data that you are used to using in the way you would normally use it. And it corresponds to data other users already have access to.

There is no requirement in USPAP or in the various ‘Guides’ or ‘Manuals’ that an adjustment must be made just because a line item is shown on the form grid. That’s why putting a ‘Zero’ on the “normal” GLA and Basement adjustment lines works.

This brilliant ‘work around’ process maintains your requirement to produce a “credible” report per USPAP ….. as long as you provide commentary for the process you use. As a positive note, it probably will help avoid angry phone calls from agents and borrowers (and lenders) who can’t understand the “other” ANSI reporting protocol that FNMA is pushing on us, due to the confusion this will, and is, cause/causing.

Dave Towne, MNAA, AVAA, AGA


OFT (One Final Thought)

I could use this gadget in my frequent Zoom calls!

Brilliant Idea #1

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Brilliant Idea #2

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See you next week.

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