Rapping About Housing For Any Occasion

Admittedly I’m more about Delta Blues, Punk, Grunge, and Alt Rock, but Rap? While I do like Rap, but Rapping about Passover?…on the Lower East Side of Manhattan? This is sooooo New York. Those lyrics! I’m in! This is another reason to love New York City and helps confirm why Manhattan’s net migration was positive in 2022!

But I digress…

The Manhattan Housing Market Continues To Extract Itself From The Heady Pandemic Era Times

I’ve been the author of an expanding series of U.S. market reports for Douglas Elliman Real Estate since 1994. The first and most followed research piece has always been the quarterly report covering the Manhattan sales market.


Co-ops & Condos
“The market continues to transition out of the pandemic-era boom a year ago with lower sales and modest inventory growth as mortgage rates are more than double last year’s.”

Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Manhattan Sales

– Median sales price slipped year over year for the second time since the pandemic era began but remained slightly above pre-pandemic levels
– Listing inventory was nearly flat as compared to the year-ago quarter and slightly less than the five-year quarterly average
– With lower sales coming out of the pandemic boom, the pace of the market has been at its slowest rate in two years
– Co-op listing inventory declined annually and was slightly less than the five-year quarterly average
– Condo listing inventory edged higher for the fourth consecutive quarter to a level consistent with the five-year average
– The market share of luxury bidding wars rose to a new record as price trend indicators showed mixed annual trends
– Listing inventory expanded annually for the third consecutive quarter
– While the luxury median sales price declined annually, the luxury condo median sales price rose as the luxury co-op median sales price declined
– New development sales as a percentage of all sales had the smallest market share in four years
– The average new development sales square footage was the smallest since 2008


“Price trends continued to show weaker trends than during the prior year.”

Elliman Report: Q1-2023 Northen Manhattan Sales

Co-ops & Condos
– All price trend indicators continued to decline annually and remained below pre-pandemic levels
– Listing inventory fell year over year for the second straight quarter

– Price trend indicators showed mixed annual results as sales declined
– Listing inventory continued to press higher year over year

LA Mansion Tax Impact: Manhattan Mansion Tax Was A Teachable Moment

Sales surge before a tax event that is adverse to value.

The LA Mansion tax went into effect on April 1, and the amount of the tax was astronomical. I did a mock analysis using sales activity north of $5 million for all of 2022 and came up with these numbers. I’m having technical problems with the chart so you need to click on it to get the details.

And consumers rushed to beat the deadline as seen in the surge in February, giving them time to close in March.

Manhattan saw the introduction of a Mansion tax in 2019 that was significantly less than LA because it taxed the amount over the threshold which worked out to a few percent, but it caused sales to surge in the quarter before the July 1 deadline.

New Signed Contracts Show Greater Than Seasonal Growth Across Many U.S. Housing Markets

We began this new signed contract/new listing inventory series during the pandemic lockdown. The month over month data crunched during the research process tells a clearer story of the market now than a year over year analysis. Comparisons to hyper-inflated sales activity before the Fed rate pivot last year now that mortgage rates have doubled, provide less useful context for the current state of the market.

New York New Signed Contracts Report

– The New York report attached covers Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, Hamptons, North Fork, Westchester County, Fairfield County, and Greenwich, CT.

Elliman Report: March 2023 New York New Signed Contracts

More charts
Florida New Signed Contracts Report

– The Florida report includes the counties of Duval, St. Johns, Indian River (New), Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Lee (New), and Collier.

Elliman Report: March 2023 Florida New Signed Contracts

More charts

Colorado New Signed Contracts Report

– The Colorado report covers Aspen, Snowmass Village, Basalt, Carbondale, and Missouri Heights.

Elliman Report: March 2023 Colorado New Signed Contracts

More charts

California New Signed Contracts Report

– The California report contains the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego.

Elliman Report: March 2023 California New Signed Contracts

More charts

Wall Street Bonuses Fall To Pre-Pandemic Levels

The Office of the New York State Comptroller released its analysis of Wall Street Bonuses for 2022 last week.

The real estate industry used to go gaga over this report before the housing bubble. But now, with so many bonuses received as deferred compensation or in a non-cash format, the Manhattan housing market no longer sees an immediate surge in demand when bonuses are announced. Securities industry jobs seemed relatively unphased by the pandemic and the economic plunge and then surged after the lockdown.

Wall Street’s 2022 average bonus paid to securities employees dropped to $176,700, a 26% decline from the previous year’s $240,400, according to New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s annual estimate. Rising interest rates and fear of a recession led to fewer profits on Wall Street after a record haul in 2021.

I update my yearly chart series that breaks out the annual bonus results. Most notable here is the slightly diminished reliance on the securities sector, as noted by the declining salary multiplier to the private sector since the peak in 2007 and the smaller share of securities industry employment to total employment. It’s not in the chart, but the slightly lower contribution of the securities industry with its much higher-paying jobs has been partially offset by the influx of the tech sector, which pays higher wages than the overall private sector.

These chart colors are obnoxious – I was going through an obnoxiously bright color phase about 15 years ago and haven’t bothered to modernize it since, but the story they tell is still easy to read and understand.

I Was Recognized By PoliticsNY As A “Power Player in Residential Real Estate”

The other day, I found out I was selected as one of the “Power Players in Residential Real Estate” by PoliticsNY. I believe they are part of the Dan’s Papers network.

I don’t know what power I have, but it’s fun to think about!

Thoughts On The Odds Of A Recession

Every month for the past few years, there has been a round of predictions that there will be a recession in the next 18 months. Jamie Dimon has been out front on calling a recession due to the banking crisis.

Barry Sternlicht on CNBC via (The Real Deal) had me at “First of all, I’m a huge fan of Jamie (Jamie Dimon, Chairman/CEO of JP Morgan Chase).” Sternlicht doesn’t think so. But at this point, who knows?

Hell’s Angels And The East Village Housing Market

In the late 1980s, when New York City was undergoing a housing boom, much of it was through the conversion of rental buildings to co-ops. A large chunk of affordable owned housing stock entered the market during this period as a result. We moved to Manhattan in 1985 from Chicago and formed our appraisal firm Miller Samuel with family a year later.

Located at 77 East 3rd Street, I appraised a bunch of tenement walk-up apartments on that block in the late 1980s. They were all formerly rental apartments converted to co-op apartments. The first appraisal I did on the block was directly across the street from the clubhouse. While I made a full disclosure to the bank, I didn’t make a location adjustment in that appraisal if you were wondering.

The following is a typical layout in a tenement walk-up with four to five floors and four apartments on each level. These “railroad layouts” are characterized by no central hallway, with the former bathrooms moving from the common hallway to the apartment at conversion. Without the hallway, access to each room was through another room (notice the back bedrooms in the following layout. It was also quite common to see bathroom fixtures within the kitchen.

I remember walking down East 3rd Street, on the block with the Hell’s Angels clubhouse. I was always quite nervous about avoiding interaction, so I didn’t photograph the building or make eye contact with anyone standing in front of the building. I can’t understate how terrifying it was at the time – the lore passed around at that time about the clubhouse was intense. Whenever I met a broker, developer, or tenant buying an apartment during the inspection, I always asked them how they felt about their “neighbors.” Everyone I spoke to said Hell’s Angels made it the safest and cleanest block in the neighborhood. They kept traffic cones in front of their building and across the street to reserve spaces for their members’ motorcycles. It seemed like each visit included a visual of a Hell’s Angel member sweeping the sidewalk in front. The police did not seem to be interested in any interference.

Now 77 East 3rd Street has a new luxury rental building, as seen in this clip.

Reupping My Saying for 2023: The Year of Disappointment

I was thrilled that my quote/phrase on the state of the 2023 housing market was used in the New York Times Real Estate Section cover story this weekend (online now): Buying or Selling a Home? Welcome to the Year of Disappointment

It’s a great summary of the state of the national housing market with a terrific non-numeric graphic.

Old Timey Propaganda Video Of Sag Harbor, New York

During the 50s, it was positioned as a working-class town instead of a luxury residential housing enclave in the Hamptons. Still, I marvel at the one-dimensional spin of post-war life.

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).

Paul Kedrosky‘s chart collections


Took a break this week due to all the content above. I’ll be back next week!

OFT (One Final Thought)

The odds of Congress passing a law on an issue charted…

After you watched that, you probably want to watch this:

Brilliant Idea #1

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– They’ll rap;
– You’ll rap;
– And I’ll consider rapping.

Brilliant Idea #2

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See you next week!

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