Housing's Convenient Bad Zoom Connections

Housing’s Convenient Bad Zoom Connections

A Weekly Shout Out To My Columbia Grad Students

Our final class of the summer semester was held on the Columbia University campus this week, and my students continue to be one of the most engaged groups of students I’ve had.

To continue the conversation on correlation versus causation, I shared some charts from Tyler Vigen’s essential book “Spurious Correlations” as the last slides of the class.


Did you miss last Friday’s Housing Notes?

July 28, 2023: Housing In Wizard of Oz Synced With Dark Side Of The Moon

But I digress…

Bloomberg Surveillance 8-1-23: The Pandemic Wiped Out Housing Inventory: Miller

I always have great conversations with Lisa Abramowicz, anchor on Bloomberg Television’s Bloomberg Surveillance.

The TV clip captures about half the conversation. For the my full interview, check out the Bloomberg Surveillance Podcast.

Jonathan Miller, Miller Samuel President & CEO, says housing prices have leveled off.

One key difference between what’s happening in the U.S. housing versus the UK and most of the world is that the U.S. borrower relies on fixed-rate mortgages, and the rest relies on variable-rate mortgages. Hence the more significant weakness in housing price trends in the UK because higher rates are directly impacting housing prices. For fixed-rate US borrowers, 80% locked in at 5% or below and won’t likely venture back into the market soon.

Sternlicht: Commercial Real Estate Rocks Landlords Like A Cat 5 Hurricane

Sage words on current conditions. It is interesting to see more and more commercial office owners be more open about the severe problems coming their way.

Southern California Keeps Seeing A Sharp Drop In New Inventory

While newly signed contracts remain below the year-ago housing boom, the even bigger drop in new listings is keeping the market ultra-competitive.

Elliman Report: July 2023 California New Signed Contracts

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

Los Angeles County
The year over year decline in newly signed contracts is a comparison against the year-ago housing boom, yet new listings declined over the same period at an even higher rate, keeping the pace brisk.

Orange County
The year over year decline in newly signed contracts is a comparison against the year-ago housing boom, yet new listings declined over the same period at an even higher rate, keeping the pace brisk.

San Diego County
The year over year decline in newly signed contracts is a comparison against the year-ago housing boom, yet new listings declined over the same period at an even higher rate, keeping the pace brisk.

Foreign Buyer Sales Keep Falling

There was an interesting WSJ piece this week on foreign buyers of residential real estate: Foreign Purchases of U.S. Homes Slump to All-Time Low (Note: NAR has only been tracking for 12 years).

International buyers purchased 84,600 U.S. homes in the year ended in March, down 14% from the prior year, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors.

While these insights are only based on survey data of its members, this is the only foreign buyer data due to redlining and fair housing restrictions.

A big reason for the lack of foreign buyers is the currency play has been eliminated because of the persistent strong dollar – the Euro and US Dollar are nearly on par with each other, for example.

A Little Ditty About 270 Park (Big Banks Are Doing Fine)

Thoughts on Greedflation – We Consumers Are Drivers Of Inflation

Barry Ritholtz and Josh Brown at Ritholtz Wealth Management are prolific providers of financial market insights. It’s an endless flow of amazing content.

My First Restaurant Recommendations (sort of real estate related)

I had a little fun with the original Curbed and Eater founders in their new venture, “Found NY” Check it out.

PODCAST Homeowners Don’t Want to Sell. So Builders Are Cashing In

The WSJ’s “The Journal” co-produced by Gimlet Media is one of my favorite daily podcasts. This week there was a great WSJ piece on the dominance of new construction supply over existing supply.

[click on the image to play]

Public Speaking

About 15 years ago I co-authored my one and only white paper in academia: The Condominium v. Cooperative Puzzle: An Empirical Analysis of Housing in New York City. It was a joint effort led by the NYU/Furman Center who is one of the foremost experts on affordable housing. We’ve kept in touch, and speaking to the group this week was a pleasure.

Getting Graphic

My favorite housing market charts of the week of our own making

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).

Len Kiefer‘s chart handiwork

My favorite random charts of the week made by others


I’m on vacation!

OFT (One Final Thought)

Investigative Reporting Can Be A Whopper. In France.

And one more (since I’m on vacation):

I moved to NYC in 1985 and the city was still in 70’s mode so the imagery was similar. In the 1990s the city began to improve, with cleaner streets, more new construction and less crime. Once you decide to get off your couch and move here, you’ll experience why we still love it.

Brilliant Idea #1

If you need something rock solid in your life (particularly on Friday afternoons at 2 p.m.) and someone forwarded this to you, , or you think you already subscribed, sign up here for these weekly Housing Notes. And be sure to share with a friend or colleague if you enjoy them because:

– They’ll freeze on zoom;
– You’ll sign a new contract;
– And I’ll get a Whopper with Cheese.

Brilliant Idea #2

You’re clearly full of insights and ideas as a reader of these Housing Notes. Please share them with me early and often. I appreciate every email I receive, as it helps me craft the following week’s Housing Note.

See you next week!

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