Instead of a Flood of Housing Inventory, Ida Gave Us Water

I walked through Hurricane Ida’s torrential downpour on my way to Grand Central Terminal for my ride home and it was an adventure. NYC is always an adventure, but now with climate change overwhelming a 100+ year old public transportation system, its more precarious. For more videos on Ida’s impact on NYC, go here.

This shows the raw danger of Hurricane Ida…

But I digress…

Manhattan New Signed Contracts Are Up Seventy Percent YOY and Seventeen Percent 2YOY

I’ve been the author of the expanding Elliman Market Report Series since 1994 for U.S. real estate firm Douglas Elliman. Our latest series was created during the pandemic lockdown in the spring of 2020, covering four regions in the U.S. This month we added three counties to the Florida report: Duval, St. Johns and Collier.

Elliman Report: August 2021 New York New Signed Contracts Report

Elliman Report: August 2021 Florida New Signed Contracts Report

Elliman Report: August 2021 Colorado New Signed Contracts Report

Elliman Report: August 2021 California New Signed Contracts Report

The Lasting Impact of Redlining By Federal Government’s Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC)

From the St. Louis Fed’s Blog: Residential redlining of U.S. neighborhoods

The lasting impact of the HOLC maps on home values is visible in the layering of the data series: Up until 1990, redlined neighborhoods consistently recorded the lowest home values. In the following decades, gentrification closed the value gap with traditionally more attractive neighborhoods.

When The First Tall Buildings Are Built…Others Follow

Even though I’m not afraid of heights and lived in a tall Manhattan building when I first came to the city, its probably a useful exercise to imagine any tall building without any neighbors. The comfort of adjacent buildings seems to be more of an illusion.

The Counselors’ 2021-22 Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate

This is always a terrific annual effort by The Counselors of Real Estate – I am a member. This is a good overview – I encourage you to read it.

As published in Institutional Real Estate Americas…

The U.S. Rental Market Has Clearly Rebounded From The Pandemic Lockdown Era

NYC Lags In Its U.S. Employment Share

One of the key issues facing big cities besides COVID vaccine adoption has been the delay in company callbacks of their employees. After all, those workers power demand for street-level retail. The Delta variant continues to push the return to work calls by employers until the new year. Just a few months ago, September was a certainty. Here’s a rundown: The Work-From-Home Economy and the Urban Job Outlook.

Restaurant Associates is probably going to have to keep improvising. Just as things started looking up in the summer — with some museums reopening, businesses scheduling a return to the office, and catered galas bouncing back in full force — the Delta variant of the coronavirus brought everything, again, to a halt.

That San Francisco Tower Is Still Sinking!

Here’s a timeline through 2008.

Through 2008

Since its opening in 2009, the 58-story skyscraper has sunk 17 inches and tilted another 14 inches to the northwest, generating concerns among residents that the building’s foundation could jeopardize their safety.


The building (301 Mission Street) now leans 22 inches and the $100 million plan to fix the building has been paused. It’s not clear what the impact will be on the value of units with this recent development.

UPDATE 9/3/21 4:28PM ET

My friend and colleague Ryan Lundquist just read the post and shared a chart he ran for sales in the building.

Market Chart & Art From Douglas Elliman Magazine’s Fall Issue

Douglas Elliman‘s Fall Magazine is out and as usual, I get to come up with charts that show key market characteristics in their U.S. coverage area. For the next issue, my contribution will take more of the form of a visual column. Click to expand to their full glory.

New in the California Real Estate Lexicon: BANANA

I saw this in a Paul Krugman column last week. “BANANA” is an extension of NIMBYISM, that he used to describe why housing was driving adults without a college degree to leave (bold my emphasis).

Instead, what we see in California is that while highly educated workers are moving in to serve the tech boom, less educated workers are moving out:

There’s no great mystery about why this is happening: It’s because of housing. California is very much a NIMBY state, maybe even a banana (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone) state. The failure to add housing, no matter how high the demand, has collided with the tech boom, causing soaring home prices…


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

TAF Is Literally Doing Nothing Tangible About Diversity Yet Proclaiming To The World They Are

From the TAF September Newsletter…and the people that gave you the bat-shit crazy letter

A lingering story in the appraisal profession over the last eighteen months has been allegations of bias and discrimination in home appraisals. As I have said in past letters here, and readers overwhelmingly agree, there is no place for discrimination in the appraisal profession.

And we have been taking action. Our boards and the Special Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion have undertaken a number of projects aimed at diversifying our profession and ensuring appraisers have the tools they need to protect the public trust.

Aside from adding one African-American appraiser to the AQB for the first time in their thirty-year history, nothing else tangible has been accomplished. It’s not like I have an expectation that there will be progress made towards diversity with the current leadership. The president of TAF has been in full command of TAF for more than three decades – nothing has changed on the diversity front. I’m talking about meaningful change. The first sentence in the newsletter I quote above infers that bias and discrimination just became a problem in the past eighteen months? There have been a series of newspaper stories that imply that a handful of appraisers, whether guilty or innocent, were biased in their valuation. Yet our industry has no credible leader. It seems TAF either just realized there is a diversity problem because they have blinders on, or they still don’t see it and are focused on busy work to push away scrutiny. Yet any actions TAF has taken over the past year and a half are ONLY because myself and a handful of others publicly shamed TAF into doing something, anything.

But the PAVE task force is not going to be about “checking a box” that TAF specializes in with its massive bureaucracy. PAVE will have an actionable solution from cabinet-level members of the task force within 180 days.

Dave says!

We have provided letters to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge and other officials outlining the current standards and qualifications in the appraisal profession and how we are continuing to take action to protect the public trust.

This is bureaucratic gobblygook. TAF has enabled the difficulty of minorities to enter the profession with the old school mentoring system – after all, appraisers are 96.5% white and 70% male, more than any other profession and TAF sets the standards to enter the profession.

There, I just did the math for you.

ASC Fall 2021 Roundtable: Building a More Equitable Appraisal System

Here is an ASC email announcing the public meeting that I suggest all appraisers register for and continue to stay connected to the PAVE effort.


On September 22, 2021, the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) will convene the ASC Fall 2021 Roundtable: Building a More Equitable Appraisal System, to address historical and contemporary factors that have contributed to the inequities challenging the appraisal system today. We urge you to join us for this groundbreaking event, which will bring together leaders in government, finance, real-estate, non-profits, and communities impacted by the appraisal system. The full lineup of speakers will be announced in the coming week.

The ASC Fall 2021 Roundtable will take place virtually on September 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET (8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. PT) and will include featured speakers, audience question and answer sessions, theme-based concurrent breakouts, and closing comments outlining next steps.

The goals of the roundtable are to: 1) engage audiences around the challenges and opportunities of building a more equitable appraisal system; 2) educate stakeholders on issues of bias and inequity in the appraisal process; and 3) collaborate with ASC’s partners on potential strategies for achieving a more equitable appraisal system. The key outcome of this interactive event will be a set of potential actions for implementing change, both near- and long-term, at local and systemic levels across the industry.

Please register for the ASC Fall 2021 Roundtable using this link. We look forward to having you join us for the event. Please reach out to Josh Lasky at our partner firm LINK Strategic Partners by replying to this email with any questions.


James R. Park
Executive Director
Appraisal Subcommittee

OFT (One Final Thought)

This is what all those backyard trampolines are for!

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 rock like a hurricane;
– You’ll jump on a trampoline;
– And I’ll stay dry and well-grounded.

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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