Housing Is Flying High Like A Bird?

This video is an obvious metaphor for the recent mentions of “buyer fatigue” in the U.S. housing market in the recent weeks (more on that further down the page):

This is a shoutout to my Columbia grad students who endured two hours of my lectures this week and as always, asked some really good questions. My students don’t need to focus on the “Appraiserville” section at the bottom of these Housing Notes unless they are looking for soapbox entertainment within a professional service industry.

But I digress…

The Financial Pressures On Households For Renters Are More Severe Than Homeowners

There is a great interactive chart over at JCHS that illustrates the economic impact by state:



Zumper Rental Study Shows The Greater Lag In Price Rebound For Cities Over Suburbs

This July 2021 Zumper study provides the useful insights in the comparison between rental price gains in cities and suburbs.

“Buyer Fatigue” Is More About The Jump In Rates


Mortgage rates surged from late February 2021 through mid-April and so the “slowdown” we are hearing from brokers seems like the translation to sales activity. In many markets, bidding wars encompass at least half of all sales. At the same time, affordability is not as bad as we think due to the drop in mortgage rates.

After all, I’ve never seen such enormous dependence on mortgage rates to drive the housing market during my 35-year career. That short-term 2021 surge in mortgage rates likely took some of the wind out of the sails of the perfect storm of demand that roared in the new year.


The length of this trend seems pretty insane to me and represents a low-rate financial structure that is firmly embedded – it probably can be used to make fun of narratives that include potential rate spikes over the next few years.

Thinking Of An Unsold Super Luxury Condo As A “Used Car”

The Curbed article I tweeted was an excellent piece about a Manhattan housing market super luxury subset where the participants have run out of real-world problems. This sharp quip to my highlighted quote about used cars was particularly perfect.

Ritholtz: How Everybody Miscalculated Housing Demand

My friend Barry Ritholtz, host of the Bloomberg Radio show Masters in Business, wrote a great piece on how we got U.S. inventory so wrong.

How Everybody Miscalculated Housing Demand [The Big Picture]

Two great takeaways from the piece (bold my emphasis):

2000s (pre-GFC): The stock market crashed, dotcoms imploded, and the Tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 81%. The Fed cut rates to 2% then 1%. But salaries had been lagging, education and health care costs soaring. People are reluctant to lower their standards of living, so mortgage equity withdrawal (MEW) was substituted for wage gains. This was an important factor leading up to the GFC.

and this:

NINJA really stands for No Income, No Job, or Assets

NYC Data Lag During The Pandemic Is Severe

Got this note from a concerned appraiser in the NYC metro worried about litigation exposure in valuation – we spoke directly. Presumably because of the recent boom in sales, NYC data is lagging entry into the public domain more than usual. Staten Island always seems to lag the rest of the city. The lateness of data to be recorded (shared with the public) becomes problematic for those that depend on it.

There is a substantial time lag in the reporting of transactions released by the New York City Department of Finance. Reporting lags may have many possible causes and we are still within a pandemic. It raises concerns that this could be occurring elsewhere in the country and the world.

I am a real estate appraiser and approach my appraisal research as a database developer.
As those I have addressed this email to probably recognize, appraising is, to a large extent, a micro local discipline. I do not generally research and analyze system wide data. In this case I have examined this issue just carefully and closely enough to recognize the potential for extreme danger. I have compared my notes with someone who deals with data throughout New York City on a regular basis. We appear to agree on the extent of the problem.

Anecdotally, I do not recall ever seeing a reporting lag this severe. The initial data set of some of the boroughs released approximately 2 weeks after the end of May 2021, appeared to be missing towards 40% of the May transactions included in the updated data set released approximately 6 weeks after the end of May. Staten Island’s apparent missing transaction count appears to have been substantially greater.

Appraisers may consider adding to (strengthening) their appraisals with an assumption regarding the potential impact of possible time lags in the reporting of transactions.

Let’s get the insurance companies on this as well. They face a danger of additional insurance claims and I would expect them to put their lawyers right on this.

An appropriately strong legal assumption for inclusion within appraisals would be most welcome.

You may forward this email. Let’s keep appraisers safe out there.

John Tolve, MAI


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


Analyzing The Actions of Super-Duper, The Consigliere, and “Dear Leader” As The Sham Election Draws Near

Since this is the last Housing Note I will publish before the big Board of Directors meeting where the sham petition process is finalized, I thought I would take a closer look at some of the characters in the sham petition process.

The key players of the 2021 sham petition process:

Firstly, there is “Super-Duper” Bishop who literally parrots whatever “Dear Leader,” Jim Amorin says. I’m told that some people swear Jim Amorin mouths the presentations that Super-Duper gives in his capacity as an executive because he knows every word that is going to be said (because they’re Jim’s words). I would imagine that Duper is about done with his ±50 selections for next year’s appointments. Let’s all keep a close watch on Duper to see if he opts to pick the same inner circle as other FOJs would or if he actually thinks for himself and selects his own choices and begins to build his legacy for the next year as someone who cares about the future of the Appraisal Institute. I’m told that Duper actually cares about diversity and continuing the diversity path Rodman Schley is taking AI. His 50± appointments will be the test of his integrity as an industry leader in an industry that is under siege without leadership. I’m really pulling for FOJ Super-Duper Bishop to shine at this moment, but the odds are low based on previous actions. I hope he ends up inspired to do the right thing. That would be Super and it would enable him a step toward building a solid reputational legacy in the eyes of the majority of the membership.

Second/Thirdly, Stephen Roach is the FOJ “consigliere” for “Dear Leader” Jim Amorin – someone who does Jim Amorin’s dirty work – gets stuff done and is rewarded for it. After all, Stephen has been on at least 6 committees simultaneously which is absolutely ludicrous. So many appointments made to one person are a disservice to the 17,000 members when there are plenty of talented members who are never considered because they are not in the FOJ inner circle. And most importantly, Stephen twisted several arms on the Board of Directors to sign the sham petition process in 2020 and 2021 in order to keep Dear Leader in power.

Fourth, Rodman Schley has literally been a singular voice for diversity in the profession through his position but if the sham petition process succeeds on his watch, he will have a bad legacy and it will taint his reputation to coach others toward success in his next career after appraising. As much as I appreciate Rodman’s efforts, it is hard to process the fact that his appointments for the Finance Committee reflect badly on his reputation. The finance committee had three slots to fill last year, a board member and two non-board members. Rodman selected, you guessed it, FOJ Stephen Roach and Stephen Roach’s business partner for the non-board member slots. Why? I certainly hope Rodman can eliminate my doubts and prevent a tarnished legacy should the sham petition process ignore the vetted choice of the NNC.

Just to be clear, whoever supports to sham petition process and ignores the reasons it came about is playing “Stupid or Liar” – This is a sham process cooked up when Leslie Sellers threw a fit that he wasn’t selected by the NNC to be Vice President circa 2007. It is just a sleazy political move intended to keep FOJs in power and enables them to continue to ignore the membership for personal gain. It’s really that simple.


Deadline Approaching on AI’s VP Election Fraud Using The Sham Petition Process

Time is running out – and I’m not being melodramatic when I say the future of the Appraisal Institute is at stake. Please read this to understand what to do to stop the FOJs from converting AI to a permanent monarchy for AI Dear Leader CEO Jim Amorin. This is the moment we have all been waiting for – this is the moment that determines whether AI will be relevant as an organization in the future or a slush fund for FOJs indefinitely.

Here is a letter recently sent around to Appraisal Institute members to inform them of the petition process:

Dear AI Professionals,

I am writing to remind and encourage you to write to the Board of Directors (BoD) regarding the current 2021 Vice President (VP) Election and the National Nominating Committee’s(NNC) Nominee for 2022 VP, Steven G, Stiloski, MAI.

As I indicated in my last email, This is not about the candidates, but it is instead about the process and the collective voice of the membership of the Appraisal Institute. It is not about which candidate you prefer but rather about supporting our National Nominating Committee (NNC) members and the job they have completed. We need to recognize and affirm the decision of these volunteers, who put in dozens and dozens of hours studying the three candidates’ backgrounds, bio/resumes, written questionnaires, and conducting live interviews that included challenging questions. Based on that in-depth research and analysis, the NNC nominated Mr. Stiloski last May as the member’s choice for AI’s 2022 VP. Candidates NOT chosen by the NNC were Sandra Adomatis, SRA, and Rob Moorman, MAI, SRA, AI-GRS.

Several active members would like their letters to be more widely available to all AI professionals to help the VP election process become more transparent. To aid In that effort, they have offered their permission for their letters to be publicly available at the following link:


I hope [this] letter may help you get motivated to express your opinions with regard to the VP Election and Petition.

Recap on the Process

About the NNC:
The NNC consists of 10 representatives, one elected from each Region, who are not only knowledgeable but independent, impartial, and objective. The NNC members are the representatives of the membership and serve to set the direction of the organization by nominating AI’s future officers – starting with the Vice President position. The NNC fully vets the VP candidates via background checks, listens to the members through letters and personal calls, interviews each candidate by asking identical questions, and ultimately makes the hard decision about the best candidate to lead the organization into the future. The ten members of the NNC are the voice of membership. Members need to be heard, especially at this critical point when the future of the Appraisal Institute is at stake.

About the Petition Process:
The national Board of Directors has the right to petition for a candidate other than the NNC’s nominee. Based on changes made to the process last January, at least eight (-8-) members of the 25-member Board of Directors must sign a petition with an alternate candidate(s) and state thoughtful rationale for the need to petition. Unfortunately, the rationale for this divisive process in 2021 has not been provided to the membership.

This petition was put in the Bylaws as a last resort or safety valve in the process of electing AI’s next VP. If negative information becomes known between the NNC’s nomination in May and the final election/confirmation by the Board of Directors in August, the petition process allows for corrective action by the BOD. Unfortunately, in my opinion the petition process has been weaponized for the second year in a row by a handful of Directors to overturn the work of the NNC, and therefore the member’s choice for the next VP. While the NNC is definitely NOT political, the petition has now turned the VP election into a contentious and political process, which is very distasteful and disappointing. The NNC was created to keep politics OUT of the VP election; their work truly finds the most qualified candidate.

How to HELP by Supporting the Members of the Appraisal Institute and the NNC:
I am asking you to encourage all members to send letters supporting the work of this year’s NNC and their nomination for the 2022 VP, Mr. Steve Stiloski, MAI. It is so important for your voice as a dues-paying member to be heard by the Board of Directors.

The deadline to submit letters of support as a member, a Chapter, or a Region is August 4, 2021, by 5pm CT. All such messages should be sent by email to aielection@appraisalinstitute.org

Please continue to be an engaged member and have your voice heard. Please send your letter in support of the NNC process and its nominee. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Jennifer Marshall, SRA, AI-RRS


TAF Goes Rogue & Finally Scrubs Its Web Site Of References To Their ASC Oversight Referenced In Title XI

I predicted this would happen in my Housing Notes for October 16, 2020 and it came to be: see “How Many Days Until TAF Takes Down ASC ‘Oversight’ Mentions?” As a reminder of what they removed from their web site, here are a few before and after comparisons. This is clear evidence of the rogue behavior TAF is engaging in regularly now. I harken back to their bat-shit crazy letter last year if you need a reminder of how improper their behavior has become.

Up until the point where Dave Bunton/Kelly Davids decided it was in their best interest to go rogue and essentially claim that Congress had created The Appraisal Foundation without oversight and that it was ok to amass an $11 million reserve as a not-for-profit, they are systematically attempting to erase all ties to anything that suggests they have oversight by anyone.

Before I get started, I wanted to let Dave and Kelly know that they forgot to scrub this graphic which clearly states that ASC has oversight of TAF. I mean c’mon if you’re going to cover up your actions, do the job right. I’ll be checking back to this page periodically to see how long it takes them to finish TAF’s clandestine effort to represent to the world that they have no oversight despite what Congress intended. Remember that the oversight came from the grant money from ASC because it has strings attached – TAF is no longer accepting ASC grant money because they have built an expensive bureaucracy that is run like a for-profit business.

But I’m begging TAF to leave John Brenan’s video image on the page – even though he is no longer at TAF. TAF lost a good person in John to explain to the industry what USPAP is all about – plus, his video image on the landing page is quite the handsome visual of intensity.

But I digress (again).

The following pages have been scrubbed by TAF to carefully and quietly remove the word “oversight” because they changed their minds and have opted out of doing what Congress intended. The edits are not part of a website redesign since pages are literally unchanged since October except for references to “oversight by ASC” omitted. I don’t know when these pages were changed but I discovered them yesterday and thought I’d share them with you:

Example I
My Screenshot of the page on October 16, 2020

My Screenshot of the page on July 29, 2021

Example II
My Screenshot of the page on October 16, 2020

My Screenshot of the page on July 29, 2021


OFT (One Final Thought)

This raw video clip at Abbey Road was amazing.

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 bird-like;
– You’ll be more rate-driven;
– And I’ll listen to my old Beatles albums.

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.
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