The Bankable Color Of Housing Money

Just like Paul Newman in the movie, but with paws.

But more importantly, this commercial is about showing off.


I wanted to give my shoutout to my excellent Columbia Grad students who participated in this week’s Zoom lecture (from a dark corner of my Florida hotel room) on the nuances of market analysis. Here’s that same tip: you don’t need to concern yourself with the “Appraiserville” section down below where I bring transparency to the appraisal industry, especially with the larger institutions that influence it. But by all means, feel free to read at your leisure.

But I digress…

I’m very light on content today – just got back from Florida to visit my dad who is not well.

Helicopter Parents Are Becoming Helicopter Commuters

There was a great insight within a Bloomberg piece that shows how many want to return to their cities but are simply waiting until it feels safer. This is clearly geared towards the more affluent, but it offsets the “exodus” or “fleeing the city” narratives that have deluged our newsfeeds during the pandemic. Helicopter commuter services are booked solid.

Near-empty office buildings are the reason normally thriving central business districts are empty in many U.S. cities.

What he soon realized was this: well-heeled New Yorkers who fled the city aren’t committed to staying away. But they’re not ready to move back either. Schools are still largely online, and the cultural institutions and restaurants that give the city its buzz remain partially shuttered. That’s pushing even committed urbanites toward suburban retreats, with enough space to learn, work and play. But they still have apartments in the city, and offices are open — just enough reason to commute in now and again.

Spinning Crane Brings Back Billionaires’ Row Memories

The construction crane at 111 West 57th Street broke loose reminding us of the crane problem exactly eight years ago at One 57.

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For context, here’s a photo of what the crane looks like.

Bloomberg Radio: We’re At Peak Zoom, With Falling Affordability In Co-primary Housing Markets

Here are a couple of Bloomberg Radio hits from yesterday with Bloomberg Radio’s Denise Pellegrini.

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U.S. $50 Million And Up Sales Are Still A Thing Despite COVID

The latter half of this chart reflects largely single-family activity since most of the recent condo contracts in markets like Manhattan were sold 3-4 years ago and were waiting for construction to be completed before they could close.

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Getting Graphic

Our favorite charts of the week of our own making

Len Kiefer‘s Chart Handiwork


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

TAF Is So Flush From Charging Appraisers For USPAP That They Won’t Be Taking Grant Money in 2021

From today’s TAFAC meeting: TAF president Dave Bunton said:

“Earlier this week the Foundation notified the ASC that it would not be seeking any grant funds for 2021”

Turning down “free” grant money means that TAF is counting heavily on appraisers to foot the bill when ethically, TAF should be making USPAP free. They are not taking the money because they are trying to avoid the “strings attached” from ASC (translation: avoiding oversight from ASC).

The Cosmic Cobra Guy Jeremy Bagott Asks Us To See TAF As A Disney-like Rights Management Operation

From Buzzcast: Junkets, Petitions, and the Need for Clawbacks with Jeremy Bagott

It’s a great listen and everyone needs to buy Jeremy’s book: Dispatches from the Cosmic Cobra Breeding Farm

From the show:

Buzz: I don’t think, as some have accused you, of vilifying Appraisal Foundation chief, Dave Bunton, in your book. Can you comment on that?

Bagott: I actually salute him for his technical bravura. The regulatory organism he’s created is a masterful system, and it’s doing everything the current arrangement incentivizes it to do – harvest government money; travel internationally; copyright and continually revise a growing number of proprietary products – standards, criteria, test questions, teaching materials. It teaches and credentials the teachers; teaches and credentials the enforcers; hosts foreign delegations; and charges what it can get for the standards. Rinse and repeat. He has mastered the art form.

A TAF Disney-Like Fable: TAF Didn’t Refuse The ASC Grant Because They Saved So Much Travel Money From The COVID Lockdown

As Jeremy mentioned in his excellent Buzzcast interview I mentioned earlier, he is also representative of the larger uninformed buy-in of the oft-repeated TAF narrative of why they refused to accept the $3M ASC grant this year. It’s not Jeremy’s fault – its the public spin TAF has narrated repeatedly during COVID.

Here’s the reality: TAF used the COVID shutdown to tell a “fable” that TAF declined the ASC grant because of cost savings due to less travel – because of COVID. That is completely false because TAF had already planned to decline the grant before COVID ever hit, as they were afraid the ASC would publish USPAP for free if they helped fund it. TAF was terrified of the “strings attached” aspect of accepting grant money as they ratcheted up their defiance to “oversight” by ASC. This was also illustrated in TAF’s “bat-shit crazy” letter to ASC.

OFT (One Final Thought)

Sometimes, it’s just better to admit when your idea is wrong.

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 spooked;
– You’ll show off;
– And I’ll make some charts.

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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