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Archive for August, 2013

[Video] Talking Housing, Case Shiller, on Bloomberg TV’s Surveillance 8-28-13

August 28, 2013 | 11:13 am | bloomberglogo | Videos |

I had a nice discussion with Tom Keene, Sara Eisen and Alix Steel, along with guest host Byron Wien, vice chairman of Blackstone Group LP’s advisory services on the state of US housing and the latest Case Shiller numbers.

More importantly, I’m still the mayor of Bloomberg TV’s Green Room on Foursquare.

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[Manhattan Absorption] July 2013 – Most of Market At Breakneck Pace, But North of $5M Slows

August 22, 2013 | 10:54 am | Charts |

[click to expand]

Absorption defined for the purposes of this chart is: Number of months to sell all listing inventory at the annual pace of sales activity. (The definition of absorption in my market report series reflects the quarterly pace – nearly the same)

I started this analysis in August 2009 so I am able to show side-by side year-over-year comparisons. The blue line showing the 10-year quarterly average travels up and down because of the change in scale caused by some of the significant volatility seen at the upper end of the market. The pink line represents the overall average rate of the most recently completed month.

Side by side Manhattan regional comparison:

July 2013 v. July 2012

[click images to expand]

This month I began to make the Y-Axis fixed in height so better side-by-side comparisons can be made in the future. The disparity in pace of the market between the $5M+ (slowing) and the remainder of the market (brisk) widens. An exception to this seems to be the co-op market from $5M to $10M which is absorbing at an average pace while the condo market in the same price range is moving much more slowly. This is likely because re-sale units are competing with the surge in new condo units entering the market (most won’t start closing until next year) and are often over listed, influenced by the new dev pricing even though buyers view new development with a premium value.


Manhattan Market Absorption Charts 2013 [Miller Samuel]
Manhattan Market Absorption Charts 2012 [Miller Samuel]

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NAR July 2013 US Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Rise 6.5% M-O-M

August 21, 2013 | 12:08 pm |


Source: NAR

After slipping in June, NAR’s Existing Home Sales for July jumped 6.5% unexpectedly from the prior month. Last month the results showed an slight decline (and were adjusted downward for this release) and the thinking was that the market is starting to cool off with the introduction of rising rates to the market in May. The bulk of May contracts probably closed in July, the likely basis of this most recent release. However it looks like the market continued to see a rise in demand in June, following the May bump in rates as people looked to get in the market before rates rose further.

Still, this month over month stuff is pretty ridiculous to place a lot of faith in. The year over year surge of 20.7% (non-seasonally adjusted) and 17.2% jump (seasonally adjusted) is much more telling of the long term market change.

Here are a few other charts to review. Inventory is much lower than a year ago while showing some gains in excess of seasonal trends. Median sales price growth is off the hook. 13.7% YoY growth is not sustainable with flat income, tight credit and high unemployment and underemployment. Thanks goodness for rising rates.


Source: NAR


Source: NAR

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[Three Cents Worth NY #244] Manhattan’s Middle Market Shows Life

August 20, 2013 | 3:11 pm | curbed | Charts |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed NY, at the intersection of neighborhood and real estate in the capital of the world…and I’m here to take measurements.

Check out my 3CW column on @CurbedNY:

This week I thought I’d take a look at the breakdown of sales by price in the most recently completed quarter. Last year I was using a donut analogy to describe the Manhattan apartment market—weak in middle and strong on the outside (bottom/top). I wanted to illustrate how the mix in 2013 could be showing signs of change rather than continuing to see a disproportionate amount of activity on the margins. For reference I provided an inset in the form of a pie (sorry) chart to show a simple breakdown of the market in the second quarter of 2013…

[click to expand chart]

 


My latest Three Cents Worth column on Curbed: Manhattan’s Middle Market Shows Life [Curbed]

Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed NY
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed DC
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed Miami
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed Hamptons

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Housing Can’t “Recover” Until Fundamentals Recover

August 20, 2013 | 1:58 pm | Videos |


Source: Yahoo! Finance

I had a nice conversation with Lauren Lyster today over at Yahoo!’ The Daily Ticker.

I find the bifurcation (yes Bernice, I actually used this word!) between those who see the housing market as recovered and those who don’t fascinating. A recovery is a process and we are in the middle of it – but it hasn’t reached it’s destination. As far as the <7% unemployment comment in their post headline goes…I see housing as normalizing when employment normalizes – not that 7% is a trigger for housing to suddenly recover below this threshold. Nuance, baby.

Why else would so many fret about rising mortgage rates? Nearly every comment on the video – 146 when I wrote this, referenced the weakness of the job market, under employed, lower wages.

I think rising rates are a good thing for housing, long term because they take some of the froth out of the market. Seriously – how can prices rising more than 12% YoY with flat income, high (but improving) unemployment and tight credit? One could even argue that a better rate spread with higher rates and bank business decision pressure to loosen standards as refi volume drops sharply will bring some easing to underwriting standards eventually.

Aside
If you want to get some clarity, watch this video earlier this morning over at The Daily Ticker on Why Investors Should Ignore Economists. No one makes a point more clear (or more bluntly) than my friend Barry Ritholtz.

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Zillow Acquires StreetEasy, Goes Vertical, Literally

August 19, 2013 | 10:41 am | bloomberglogo |

I was reading my twitter feed and it just jumped out at me: Zillow announced their acquisition of StreetEasy for $50M in cash. I also heard it simultaneously on the show Bloomberg Surveillance. Their CEO Spencer Rascoff will be on the show tomorrow morning to talk about the acquisition.

While there will be lots of prognosticating about Zillow‘s entrance into the NYC housing market through a heavily used resource like StreetEasy (Zillow was here already, just not taken very seriously).

I think there’s a bigger story for Zillow. If Zillow leverages the StreetEasy data presentation model, Zillow will be shaking up the housing market real estate information space across the US.

Think highrise urban housing markets – I call them “vertical” markets (not to be confused with “vertical” in marketing parlance).

• All national data aggregators and brokerage companies haven’t yet figured out vertical housing markets yet in terms of their presentation of information.
• MLS systems remain firmly single family orientated and have yet to present data in highrise markets in a visually logical way – ie co-ops and condos. Symbolic of the general primitiveness of MLS systems in handling multi-unit housing, one MLS system in the NYC metro area still tags “co-ops” as “condos.”

Kudos to Streeteasy for shaking up the market from day one. When they launched, StreetEasy became the housing data resource of choice for most in NYC. I met most of the team a while back and I was impressed with how a small group of people could really shake things up in a huge market. While presenting clean data in a very dirty data environment continues to be a challenge, I think their greatest contribution to the housing market has been how they displayed their information – in a way that consumers screamed for.

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[Three Cents Worth Miami #243] Midyear Snapshot On Improving Magic City Housing Market

August 15, 2013 | 4:11 pm | curbed | Charts |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed Miami, at the intersection of neighborhood and real estate in the Magic City. And I’m simply here to take measurements.

Check out my 3CW column on @CurbedMiami:

This week I thought I’d give a quick look at the last 18 months – the period where Miami transitioned its US image from poster child for distressed real estate back to a luxury real estate location. If these are thrown into one bucket, the drop in lower priced distressed activity unreasonable skews the overall market higher so I thought it would be good to break out the market like we do in the market reports we prepare for Douglas Elliman…

[click to expand chart]

 


My latest Three Cents Worth column on Curbed: Midyear Snapshot On Improving Magic City Housing Market [Curbed]

Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed NY
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed DC
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed Miami
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed Hamptons

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[Three Cents Worth Hamptons #242] Now About That $5M+ Hamptons Market…

August 14, 2013 | 3:05 pm | curbed | Charts |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed Hamptons, at the intersection of sand dunes and real estate in the East End of Long Island, NY.

Check out my 3CW column on @CurbedHamptons:

This week, I thought I’d show how the other half (the top 4.9%) live—well, actually, how they react to large external events like economic collapse and repeated fiscal cliff drama. We seem to be having these significant events on a 2-year cycle now, at least for the past 6 years. The end of the year seems to be where a lot of the drama occurs..

[click to expand chart]

 


My latest Three Cents Worth column on Curbed: Now About That $5M+ Hamptons Market… [Curbed]

Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed NY
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed DC
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed Miami
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed Hamptons

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[Three Cents Worth NY #241] Brooklyn Prices Closing Gap With Manhattan

August 14, 2013 | 2:48 pm | curbed | Charts |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed NY, at the intersection of neighborhood and real estate in the capital of the world…and I’m here to take measurements.

Check out my 3CW column on @CurbedNY:

After last week’s release of our rental report for Manhattan and Brooklyn and with all the talk about the gap between the boroughs closing, I thought I’d revisit the topic and add the sales market to the rental mix…

As an added bonuses, notice all the troll commentary in this post. I’m noticing there is more of this as the market rises.

[click to expand chart]

 


My latest Three Cents Worth column on Curbed: Brooklyn Prices Closing Gap With Manhattan [Curbed]

Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed NY Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed DC Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed Miami

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Our Rental Market Report Makes Cover of New York Post

August 13, 2013 | 10:23 am | delogo |

I thought the dog days of August would result in little interest in the state of the NYC rental market. With the release of July Manhattan/Brooklyn report we prepare for Douglas Elliman last Thursday, I was clearly wrong.

In addition to the coverage of the report on Thursday, a New York Post cover page story screamed about the high cost of Brooklyn rentals using our research the next day (Friday). Of course we had to share the page evenly with the Facebook Killer, but hey, it’s the New York Post we all love.

Does any other US housing market rival New Yorker’s infatuation with real estate?

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