Steve Wilhite, credited as the inventor of the GIF format, just passed away. How would we do memes, messages and humor without them? In the following video, he gives his acceptance speech as a GIF and tells us how it should be pronounced. Wait for it.
I was barraged with ads like this as a kid. “Jif” is embedded deeply in my brain so obviously “GIF” is pronounced “jiff”…
But I digress…
Redfin’s Conventional Wisdom Of Housing Market Conditions Versus Zelman’s
There was a widely watched 60 minutes segment last weekend on the state of the housing market:
And this Daily Show clip (NSFW) reiterates a lot of the same points. One talking point that comes up over and over is that buyers are flocking to the suburbs because of COVID, when in fact, that was already the trend pre-pandemic.
Now that you have firmly established your understanding of the housing shortage using conventional wisdom, here’s an evidence-based (and fascinating) discussion on the topic provided by Zelman & Associates on this Moody’s podcast and why there is already an oversupply of new residential development underway.
Soon To Be Released Book: New Kings of New York
Published by the Real Deal, Adam Piore pens what is promised to be an epic account of NYC real estate in the modern era. He called me early in the process to talk about the market from my perspective. Here are some snippets from other interviews for the book on its Instagram page: @thenewkingsofnewyork
Here are two recent promos. I’ve pre-ordered it already for the release on May 24th. Can’t wait to read it!
Newsday Project Bidding Wars By Community Are Off The Chart
Our firm crunched the numbers by town across Long Island for Newsday built a sortable table and map with the data. No surprise – bidding wars are everywhere.
These LI towns had the fiercest competition for homes in 2021 [Newsday]
Big Cities Lost Population At Highest Rate In History
2021 was not a good year for large U.S. cities which offset the jump in population change in nearly everywhere else.
Although I suspect next year’s data will show a rebound based on early impressions…
…sharp population decline through mid-2021 resulted largely from temporary patterns earlier in the pandemic, including an uptick in residents fleeing to the suburbs and exurbs, fewer immigrants, deaths from Covid and lower birthrates. They said these patterns had most likely lessened or reversed during the second half of 2021, which is not captured in the data.
Wall Street Bonuses Reach Records, Generally Favorable For Housing Demand
The NYS Comptroller published their annual report on the securities industry:
Listings Are Experiencing More Showings Than Last Year
ShowingTime, a Zillow Group affiliate, publishes a monthly index compiled using data from more than six million property showings scheduled across the country each month. It tracks the average number of appointments received on active listings during the month.
Another sign of inadequate listing inventory has been the increased frequency of showings of active listings. U.S. showings are up 14% year over year to almost 13 showings per property.
One Housing Note Reader In Ukraine?
For obvious reasons, I was surprised to see this in my Mail Chimp stats last week:
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.)
PAVE Gets An Audience With The Senate
The Senate Banking Committee held a “Strengthening Oversight and Equity in the Appraisal Process” public hearing on Thursday with Melody Taylor and James Park as witnesses. You can watch it here:
The committee chairman made some good points:
From 1934 to 1968, redlining was legal and 98% of borrowers for FHA mortgages were white.
It seems clear that Dave got to Senator Toomey. While he came across as measured, he presented some misleading talking points including:
“This is going to make appraisals more expensive for the consumer”
When in fact, PAVE will bring more appraisers into the profession and with that, more diversity. It’s ironic that within our industry, there are still those that don’t understand the laws of supply and demand. Solving diversity brings more appraisers into the profession. More appraisers mean more modest fees for consumers and reduce the flight to AVMs.
He also claimed that racial disparity was just supported anecdotally in the report, aside from two reports, but seemed to think that releasing GSE data was helpful to quantify empirically. He said that only the two reports cited by PAVE were not enough and had different conclusions? The reason these two GSE reports were cited in PAVE was that the data needed to further understand the lack of industry diversity and unconscious bias is controlled by the GSEs. I was glad he was open to getting that information out into the sunlight.
I wonder if he knew that TAF has no supervision and stresses in public their right to NOT have supervision as noted in this bat-shit crazy letter. TAF is two levels below Congress with ASC inbetween.
He wants the VA added to the ASC which Jim Park thought was a great idea. The VA is unique since they directly engage appraisers and probably understand the industry better than most federal agencies.
What I especially appreciated was his criticism of the two-year mentor system:
Training people to be in competition with them doesn’t make sense.”
Asked – do desktop appraisals work to remove unconscious bias? The witness Melody Taylor noted that there were 28,000 fair housing complaints last year
Asked whether education will help consumers understand that they have a path to take when there is a fair housing issue.
She noted that there have been decades and decades of racist federal policies. The problem with AVMs aside from being created by human beings is that they are based on the data created from “past racial disparities.”
Senator Cortez Masto
Commented that AVMs are not reliable in rural or non-homogenous markets and thought the inclusion of manufactured housing in the data was important, especially in rural markets. Jim Park noted that manufactured housing wasn’t currently included in PAVE.
Another big takeaway for us to better understand diversity is for the GSEs to release the physical characteristics of properties. Fannie Mae has always fought back hard against this, likely because they envision getting rid of appraisers in the future. Both the chairman and the ranking member expressed interest in getting the data released.
The House Finance Committee’s Message To TAF on PAVE “The Asphalt Is Coming”
I’d hate to be either SuperDuper or Dave at next week’s House Financial Services Committee next week after seeing the title: Devalued, Denied, and Disrespected: How Home Appraisal Bias and Discrimination Are Hurting Homeowners and Communities of Color. This is a much more adversarial tone than we saw in the Senate.
The current TAF structure is broken and I think both of them are going to find it awkward as witnesses. Here is how I describe TAF:
The Appraisal Foundation as structured is the worst form of federal overreach possible: TAF is a private entity with no financial or legal accountability (nor offers transparency) yet it can pre-empt state law whenever it chooses for their financial gain.
That’s a shockingly bad existing structure that I am sure Congress did not intend and Senator Toomey and others don’t realize because they are listening to the wrong lobbyists who want to preserve the status quo.
TAF represents the biggest threat to the appraisal industry there is because its actions are pushing potential appraisal services users towards AVMs. And who can blame users of our services when they have deal with the insane bureaucracy we are embedded with that was created to generate revenue for a not-for-profit without any oversight?
Another key issue is that a bunch of appraisers including personal property and business appraisers (who are not subject to states’ licensing so they are’t actually bound by USPAP) are making rules that are embedded in state law without legal review by TAF. This is a clear overreach by TAF because it implies that those professions will be regulated (by TAF).
We’ve already had the NFHA and the CFPB take positions that some of the ASB and AQB provisions were illegal or elements in the USPAP course are factually false. Yet because of the structure, the ASC has to force states to accept these incorrect statements, policies, or rules that are illegal and flawed. How screwed up is that? Appraisers are forced by law to take a USPAP class that is flawed? Where does the liability go when that appraiser is sued for violating fair housing laws?
Keeping Up With The
Kardashians Appraisal Foundation
Like the Kardashians, who are celebrities for being celebrities, the Appraisal Foundation uses their “Congress” branding on everything they pump out yet they are a private company and not a government agency. They come across as wanting the illusion out there that their ongoing actions are blessed by Congress.
TAF is two levels below Congress with ASC inbetween.
I know a thing or two about branding and PR but TAF has always leaned heavily on their Congressional connection to boost their credibility. The problem with this approach is they have been coasting on solving the real problems of the industry, no diversity and initially letting PAREA die and then coming back in to take credit for moving it forward. PAREA still doesn’t exist and yet it’s a viable alternative to the current 2-year mentoring system that has essentially allowed the industry to become 97% white.
The Appraisal Foundation is congressionally-authorized to set
standards and qualifications for real estate appraisers. It is governed by a Board of
Trustees which oversees two additional boards, the Appraisal Standards Board and the
Appraiser Qualifications Board, responsible for writing the standards and qualifications
Incidentally, in more than three decades of existence, there has only been one person of color on one of the TAF boards. But yet, here is the press release by TAF on the PAVE plan which, when read, suggests that they are very much on top of things.
OFT (One Final Thought)
Because we need this.
Brilliant Idea #1
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Brilliant Idea #2
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Reads, Listens and Visuals I Enjoyed
- Renting Vs. Owning [Ritholtz/The Big Picture]
- Did the COVID-19 Pandemic Cause an Urban Exodus? [Cleveland Fed]
- Cities Lost Population in 2021, Leading to the Slowest Year of Growth in U.S. History [NY Times]
- Conservation Easements Are Targets For Abuse [Barrons]
- Tommy Hilfiger Gets $50 Million for Aspen Ski Home [Mansion Global]
- These Retirees Won’t Settle for Sleepy Suburbs—They’re Moving to the Big City [Wall Street Journal]
- StreetEasy to Yank Listings Posted Elsewhere, Not Ban Agents [The Real Deal]
- Keller Williams’ Sherman Oaks Branch Breaks Away As New Brokerage [The Real Deal]
- February New Home Sales: Few Completed Inventory, High Number of Homes Under Construction [Calculated Risk]
- A More Resilient Housing Market Can Withstand a Hawkish Fed [Bloomberg]
- "Moody's Talks" Podcasts / Inside Economics / Higher Rates and House Price Angst [Moody's]
- Greenwich Village Cul-De-Sac Sells for $32M [The Real Deal]
- Robert Reffkin’s Net Worth Plummets [The Real Deal]
- Russian oligarchs rush to sell their multi-million dollar NY property [Daily Mail UK]
- Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies Report: America’s Rental Housing 2022 Release [HUD USER]
- Photo Essay: Time and Space on the Lower East Side [Untapped New York]
- What Happened to the Gilded Age Mansions of New York City? [Wall Street Journal]
- China’s housing market needs a bazooka, not a slingshot, of support [SCMP]
- Would-be home buyers may be forced to rent the American dream, rather than buy it [CBS News]
My New Content, Research and Mentions
- U.S. plan aims to end racial, ethnic bias in home appraisals [Newsday]
- Beechwood Planning Dozens of Homes in Westhampton Beach [The Real Deal]
- College Money 101: From student loans to setting up a budget [CNBC]
- These LI towns had the fiercest competition for homes in 2021 [Newsday]
- Avi Dishi Buys 10 Multifamily Buildings By Yeshiva University [The Real Deal]
- The upside of buying a condo or co-op on Long Island [Newsday]
- WSJ News Exclusive | Rupert Murdoch Asks $78 Million for Two New York City Condos [Wall Street Journal]
Recently Published Elliman Market Reports
- Elliman Report: Manhattan, Brooklyn & Queens Rentals 2-2022 [Miller Samuel]
- Elliman Report: Hamptons/North Fork Decade 2012-2021 [Miller Samuel]
- Elliman Report: Colorado New Signed Contracts 2-2022 [Miller Samuel]
- Elliman Report: California New Signed Contracts 2-2022 [Miller Samuel]
- Elliman Report: Normandy Isles/Normandy Shores New Signed Contracts 2-2022 [Miller Samuel]
- Elliman Report: Florida New Signed Contracts 2-2022 [Miller Samuel]
- Elliman Report: New York New Signed Contracts 2-2022 [Miller Samuel]
- Elliman Report: Manhattan, Brooklyn & Queens Rentals 1-2022 [Miller Samuel]
- Elliman Report: Manhattan Decade 2012-2021 [Miller Samuel]
- Elliman Report: Long Island Decade 2012-2021 [Miller Samuel]
Appraisal Related Reads
- Square footage, recessions, and gas prices [Sacramento Appraisal Blog]
- Birmingham Median Home Prices: Feb '21 vs Feb '22 [Birmingham Appraisal Blog]
- Planning an Open House? Don't Forget These Key Preparations [Cleveland Appraisal Blog]
- FHFA Acting Director Sandra L. Thompson's Statement on the Final Report from the Interagency Task Force on Property Appraisal and Valuation Equity (PAVE) [Federal Housing Finance Agency]
- Action Plan [PAVE]
- Remote Appraisals of Homes Could Reduce Racial Bias [NY Times]
- What the Heck Is USPAP? [Realtor Magazine]
Extra Curricular Reads
- “I’ll Let the Chips Fall Where They May”: The Life and Confessions of Mob Chef David Ruggerio [Vanity Fair]
- Bitcoin is a lifeline for some Ukrainian refugees, like this 20-year-old who escaped with $2,000 on a thumb drive [CNBC]
- Before Dom De Marco Was a Pizza Legend, He Was a Neighborhood Guy [Grub Street]
- Stephen Wilhite, Creator of the GIF, Has Died [Slashdot]