'This Is A Moment' For Housing: Serenading Cows With A Trombone Edition

‘This Is A Moment’ For Housing: Serenading Cows With A Trombone Edition

A little over a year ago our market research across the U.S. began to show that housing trends were weakening, largely based on sales, not price trends. But very few in the real estate seemed to be talking openly about it. But over time the chorus got louder and by the end of 2018, it became very clear to many that market conditions were weaker now than the prior year, but to varying degrees.

This “cows enjoying trombone music” provides the perfect analogy, without getting into other quotes like “the grass is always greener…” or and “I gotta have more cowbell.

Market Report Gauntlet Q4-2018 Week 1: Manhattan (and Northern Manhattan)

To start the new year, Douglas Elliman, the 3rd largest real estate brokerage firm in the U.S., published my research on the Manhattan sales market. I’ve been the author of the expanding Elliman Report series since 1994 (and we are adding two more reports this month! – more on that later).

The Reports
Elliman Report: Manhattan Sales
Elliman Report: Northern Manhattan Sales

Video Interviews About Our Report

My interview on Yahoo Finance TV was fun!

Others bantering about our report results on Bloomberg TV based on this article:

And here is a great interview with New York City Douglas Elliman CEO Steven James on CBS Channel 2’s new streaming service:

Bloomberg created a nice chart on the $999,000 median sales price falling below the $1 million threshold.

And of course, a sample of our Manhattan charts
More here.

Going Back In Time, Block By Block

There is a fun visualization story by the New York Times if you have time to kill: Every Building on Every Block: A Time Capsule of 1930s New York

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, New York City sent photographers to every building in every borough in an attempt to make property tax assessments fairer and more accurate.

Riding Elevators All Day, Sometimes With Gruesome Results

As appraisers in Manhattan, our staff collectively rides elevators every day. According to this alarming investigative piece by The Real Deal: Elevated risk, there are 63,000 elevators in New York City enabling an estimated 1 billion rides, annually and people die more often than you think.

Since 2010, at least 22 people have been killed in passenger elevators or shafts in the city, and there have been nearly 500 incidents, 48 of which led to serious injuries, according to the DOB.

The piece has a collection of gruesome stories, many not for the faint of heart.

They built a nifty tool to verify what outstanding issues remained in each building. Thankful, the office building where our company is based is well-managed and has no issues.

TROUBLE: Things To Look For In Fraud (Video)

Back in 2008, when the Madoff case broke, it was clear that a declining market prevented his Ponzi scheme from continuing. With evidence of a national housing slowdown becoming more and more tangible, it makes me wonder if we will see such schemes related to housing begin to appear. Our firm was hired for some of the cleanup. This Institutional Investor video is a compelling narrative of an investor who didn’t fall for the Madoff fraud. Seems like good common sense advice is being dispensed. Click image to play video.

h/t to Barry Ritholtz.

[Institutional Investor – click image to play]

When Government Raises Taxes On Residential Properties, This Happens

Vancouver, Canada has been the poster child for trying to tamp down foreign buyer appetites for their new development condos. Foreign buyers, especially from Asia, flooded the market shortly after the financial crisis to diversify risk. In response, the government instituted taxes to discourage foreign investment and values began to decline. The emphasis was focused on the upper end of their market. It also interesting that the national housing stats in Canada have shown declines but Vancouver was the first to fall. With only 5 major markets nationwide, they played a large role in the national decline in housing trends.

Newsflash!!!! Higher housing costs suppress housing prices.

Upcoming Speaking Events


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

To all my friends and colleagues, I ran out of time this week to do any deep thinking (if you call my thinking “deep”). IRONY ALERT: A slew of appraisal business and research absorbed my time allotted for Appraiserville.

Next Week!

OFT (One Final Thought)

Brilliant Idea #1

If you need something rock solid in your life (particularly on Friday afternoons) 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 be more like old photos;
– You’ll want more cow bell;
– And I’ll be on TV even more in 2019.

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
Matrix Blog

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