How Many Zoom Calls Does It Take To Stabilize A Housing Market?

I’m doing 3-5 Zoom calls per day and while it is cool to bring your message to as many as 1,500 people in one shot, the number of them many of us are doing is a bit soul-draining. Plus I want to wear t-shirts and not shave, but my sense of professionalism is overpowering the casual impulse.

But then again, Goats make the world tolerable.

But I digress…

Where Are New Yorkers Going During The Pandemic?

The New York Times does a brilliant visualization on Where New Yorkers Moved to Escape Coronavirus.

Miami and Philadelphia are the two top destinations. There are a bunch of other visualizations in this piece but here are some of my favorites. Wow!



AUDIO New York Real Estate: How Low Will Prices Go? (Not Sure Without Data)

This was a terrific event I was fortunate to participate in. The moderator and the other panelists were really great. More than 1,500 people listened to the event when it was live. They’ve since placed the recording on their web site – you can listen online now.

‘The Con’ Documentary on the Financial Crisis Launches This Summer!

Many of my friends and appraiser colleagues around the U.S. were interviewed by Bill Black’s documentary team in San Antonio in 2018 at “AppraiserFest 2018.” One of the event organizers and who is an appraiser, Phil Crawford, invited him because appraisers have a story to tell and were generally victimized in the post-financial crisis narrative.

I hope I made the final cut!

The following is an interview with Bill Black, a former federal regulator, and author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own OneThe Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One and his team of accomplished documentary filmmakers is coming out with a new film this summer called ‘The Con.’

The Con is a 4-part series that was inspired by Patrick’s own experience during the 2008 Great Financial Crisis. He was a successful producer and entrepreneur who had built a business and owned a home for his young family. The financial crisis wiped him out.

Here’s the interview with the filmmakers. I can’t wait until its release!

VIDEO De-Mystifying the Data Conversation Webinar Was Fun And Had Little Data To Work With

This was a super fun data-wonk fest without the data by Chief Economist Greg Heym of Terra Holdings, Urban Digs founder Noah Rosenblatt and myself, moderated by Eric Barron TripleMint CRO. We had the conversation earlier this week.

VIDEO CBRE Panel: Exodus From NYC? Probably Short Term

I enjoyed the conversation platform CBRE created here – a mix of residential and commercial insights for NYC metro. I especially enjoyed the content surrounding the drop in rents for the commercial office market in NYC in the second half of the zoom call.

The Magic of Softbank Has Been Exposed As a Unicorn Pipe Dream

The Japanese venture capital fund Softbank posted massive losses this quarter as it looks like many of their unicorns are hemorrhaging. That in itself is not the point since many companies are hemorrhaging right now due to the economic collapse. The thing is, they’ve been exposed since the WeWork collapse as providing little to no due diligence for backing Unicorns. Remember Wag?..the $300 million dog-walking app-maker that lasted two years? What once was a bragging right of association, is now something being hidden, especially after the founder just compared himself to being misunderstood like Jesus Christ and The Beatles.

I’ve been openly critical about Compass for years, the real estate brokerage company, more recently for downplaying their connection to Softbank here in these Housing Notes, an about-face from prior actions. Of course, I am not criticizing their brokers, just the odd nature of the business model. How will a traditional brokerage company get a valuation as a tech company so the founders can cash out now that the Softbank hoopla has cooled off? I was on a call yesterday and was told that the number of Compass software engineers is now upped to 500? Really? That comment seems oblivious to the wildly silly number it represents. And how will leadership behave now that their IPO hopes may have been dashed for years?

Payment of Rent Is Distorted Higher

The data below from the National Multifamily Housing CouncilNational Multifamily Housing Council covers 11.5 million apartment units nationwide, and it shows that:
1) the share of people paying their rent on time in April and May 2020 is not dramatically different from what we saw in April and May of 2019, and
2) the share of people paying their rent for May 2020 is ahead compared with the same time in April 2020.
In sum, the story that “everyone is falling behind on their payments” is not correct. In fact, we are seeing an improvement in the rent payment profile from April to May.

This chart has been making the rounds of social media over the past several days but it is pretty misleading and needs to be clarified. About half of the multi-family building owners are small businesses and are not included in this dataset. It follows that unemployment has been heavily skewed towards hourly wage earners, the gig economy, and independent contractors rather than mid-level salaried workers. Therefore, the non-payment of rent nationwide is much worse than these rosy projections.

Using A Price Index To Adjust Inflationary Impact On Monthly Mortgage Payment Is Sobering

From John Wake at Real Estate Decoded

This Week in Aspirational Pricing: A $350K Monthly Rental Ask

A developer is betting that wealthy LA urbanites will flock to rentals like this.

Cue the music:

VISUALIZATION – Generally Speaking, Central Banks Seem To Be Doing Their Job

Visual Capitalist publishes a doozy.

Getting Graphic

Love this use of Apple mobility trend data!

Upcoming Speaking Events

What is happening with Long Island Real Estate?

When: Thursday, May 28th, 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: What is happening with Long Island Real Estate?

For this week’s Real Estate Community Forum please join me in welcoming Maria Babaev (Douglas Elliman Long Island), Jonathan Miller, President and CEO of Miller Samuel, and Marc Spector, FAIA, Principal of Spectorgroup who will discuss new dynamics in real estate and architecture in anticipation of the wave of buyers moving from NYC to the Long Island.

Moderated by Jamie Heiberger.

Register in advance for this webinar:

Per Jamie: As my forums are FOC, we do ask that you meet the minimum suggested donation of $10 to help support Northwell Health.


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

RAC’s Extraordinary Webinar Series: Immediate Past AI President Steve Wagner

I got a lot out of Steve’s presentation this week to our RAC members and thanks to RAC member Allen Gardiner for setting this up.Stephen Wagner Town Hall Meeting Slides.

One of the points made that hit home was replacing the word “anecdotal” with “qualitative” when describing market conditions. Initially, my firm was talking about the market conditions “post-covid” as an extraordinary assumption but have since changed our thinking. Stephen’s presentation made the case for that approach when informing the client.

OFT (One TWO Final ThoughtS)

Yes, this is such a great upbeat video. I love OK Go.

And here is some of my chalk artwork as we move into the holiday weekend mode:

View this post on Instagram

Since the mid-90s, I wrote a chalk message to our four sons at the end of the driveway on their first and last day of school. One year I ran out of chalk so I used masking tape and one year it was pouring so I made a poster and hung it on our door, but I never forgot those days (ok, sometimes my wife reminded me). I believe in traditions, even the quirky annoying (to them) kind – it makes mundane things in life special and shows you care. Our youngest son is away at college taking online classes and today is his last day of school and he has completed his undergrad degree. Super proud of him and his brothers too. Of course if any of my followers need some chalk, I have some leftover.

A post shared by Jonathan Miller (@jonathanmiller) on

Brilliant Idea #1

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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
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