Bloomberg View Column: Rent Control vs. Keeping Landlords Happy

June 26, 2015 | 10:00 am | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Rent Control vs. Keeping Landlords Happy.

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Here’s an excerpt…

The past few weeks have offered a window on the tensions between landlords and tenants in New York’s real estate market. Amid the political machinations in the city and the state’s capital, the New York State Assembly let rent controls lapse, temporarily placing more than 2 million tenants in housing limbo. A tentative deal has since been worked out to extend the regulations for four years but the details are not yet available…

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[Three Cents Worth #289 NY] Proof: Summer Is the Hardest Time to Rent in New York City

June 25, 2015 | 11:07 pm | curbed |

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 dig out some of the residual stuff from last week’s rental report to explore the vacancy hyperbole. As far as I know, firms that present the vacancy rate (including mine) use a sampling of buildings from different neighborhoods/regions of Manhattan where building rental status is continually updated. The bottom line—and a reality check—is that the vacancy rate has always been low. It’s remained below 5 percent since at least World War II. (At least that’s what I’ve read; I only started writing for Curbed circa 2004.)…

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My latest Three Cents Worth column: Three Cents Worth: Proof: Summer Is the Hardest Time to Rent in New York City [Curbed]

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Bloomberg View Column: Want a House? Good Luck With the Down Payment

June 25, 2015 | 10:56 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Want a House? Good Luck With the Down Payment. This post also went #1 on the Bloomberg Terminal and on the public facing BloombergView.com site for 2 days. Super crazy.

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Here’s an excerpt…

Saving for a down payment has long been a big challenge for anyone who wants to buy a home. And it got harder after the financial crisis, as lenders insisted on down payments of 20 percent or more for conventional mortgages, which make up the bulk of the market…

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Bloomberg View Column: How Long Before a Home Lists for $1 Billion?

June 25, 2015 | 10:49 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column How Long Before a Home Lists for $1 Billion?. This post went #1 on the Bloomberg Terminal and on the public facing BloombergView.com site for about a day and a half. Crazy.

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Here’s an excerpt…

When a Los Angeles hilltop home that’s under construction was recently priced at a record half-billion dollars, it looked like a one-off in excess. The same thought occurred to me late last year when real estate investor Jeff Greene, who won big betting against the housing market before the financial crisis, priced his renovated Beverly Hills, California, home at $195 million…

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[Video] Fox Business ‘Risk & Reward’ w/Deirdre Bolton 6-25-15

June 25, 2015 | 10:39 pm | foxbusiness |

Always enjoy having a conversation with Deirdre Bolton. Her new show was moved to a new studio and given a prime time slot. I’m dropping in again next Thursday at 5:30pm ET.

Tonight we spoke about this WSJ piece: Call It a Comeback for Risky Home Buyers.

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[Video] Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg Surveillance June 17, 2015

June 25, 2015 | 10:20 pm | bloomberg_news_logo | TV, Videos |

Always fun to visit with Tom Keene on Bloomberg Surveillance Television – I forgot to post it last week.

Did I tell you I have a lot going on?

It’s a short clip on housing and why we don’t have enough inventory. Bloomberg Intelligence’s Carl Riccadonna spoke along with me – never met him before but he was impressive and best of all, we were in sync.

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[Three Cents Worth #288 Hamptons] Comparing Price Trends in the Hamptons and Manhattan

June 3, 2015 | 6:25 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:

Now that we’ve crossed over into June, I thought I’d illustrate the price trend relationship between the Hamptons and Manhattan. The former seeing a majority of single family sales and many second home purchases. The latter with a housing market of 98% apartments and single family family sales are a rounding error. Despite the differences in their housing stock, their behavior in terms of price trends has been similar over the past decade…

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My latest Three Cents Worth column: Three Cents Worth: Comparing Price Trends in the Hamptons and Manhattan [Curbed]

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Bloomberg View Column: Costly City Housing Is an Economic Drag

June 3, 2015 | 6:12 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Costly City Housing Is an Economic Drag.

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Here’s an excerpt…

It’s tough living in a big city — the people, the traffic, the noise. Oh, and did we mention the cost of housing? Contrary to conventional wisdom, high and rising housing costs in the U.S.’s biggest cities are not ideal for an economic recovery. Just the opposite: When housing costs take a big bite out of incomes, it diverts money that could be spent on local goods and services or invested in new businesses that stimulate growth…

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[Three Cents Worth #287 NY] Tracking New York Rents and Asking Prices Over a Century

June 3, 2015 | 6:04 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:

Back in 2011, I embarked on a fun research project for Douglas Elliman’s 100th anniversary, in which I traced how sales prices and rents changed since the 1910s. I explain in detail how I did the research here, but I ended up with a very loose proxy to represent price per square foot for sales and average monthly rents during each decade…

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Here are some other ways to view the 100 year trend based on feedback from readers.

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My latest Three Cents Worth column: Three Cents Worth: Tracking New York Rents and Asking Prices Over a Century [Curbed]

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Infographic: 25 Year Demise of the Bank Appraisal Industry and the Rise of AMCs

May 31, 2015 | 8:05 pm | Infographics |

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I thought I’d build a visual representation of the decline of the appraisal industry – sort a flow chart, but really an excuse to use different colored shapes and sizes. This is a work in progress so please feel free to let me know what I’ve missed, which presumably is an infinite amount of detail.

Open the timeline as pdf.

UPDATE – Fixed a few typos and grammar weirdness in graphic.

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[Three Cents Worth #286 NY] How Many NYC Apartments Are Bought With Cold Hard Cash?

May 30, 2015 | 5:53 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:

The Washington Post published an article last year titled “8 in 10 Manhattan home sales are all-cash,” a statement that was (and still is) hyperbole; the actual figure was 45 percent. The data is worth revisiting, though, and I thought it might be a good time to look at the makeup of Manhattan apartment purchases in regards to cash versus financing. Obviously, there has been some confusion in the past, so I thought it would be helpful to display a year’s worth of trend data…

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My latest Three Cents Worth column: Three Cents Worth: How Many NYC Apartments Are Bought With Cold Hard Cash? [Curbed]

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Palace: When A $500 Million Asset Is Not A Home

May 26, 2015 | 3:15 pm | bloomberg_news_logo |

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When I was called by Bloomberg News about a new Bel Air (LA) listing that was asking $500m and another one down the block by the same architect but different developer at around $400 million, my initial reaction was laughter. I wasn’t doubting that there could be a buyer somewhere out there somewhere…but rather at the absurdity of it. It also seems like a strike against it to have a nearby home done by the same architect, no?

As I told a bank executive/client this morning that it’s clearly a strange world when someone builds spec housing for a handful of buyers worldwide and no houses in the local market have ever sold close to half the proposed asking price (including Jeff Greene’s $195 million listing that has been on the market since December.)

At a combined $100k square feet (main house + 3 smaller houses), it will be bigger than “Versailles” a 90k square foot house outside of Orlando, Florida that was the subject of the documentary “Queen of Versailles.”

According to NAR, the U.S. median home sales price is currently $219,400.

If the Bel Air home is sold, it is doubtful this would end up as someone’s primary residence. Perhaps we should label this type of asset as something else besides a “home?”

How about a Palace?

That’s what the architect suggested:

“It’s very similar to a palace,” he said. “The house is about public functions rather than domestic living.”

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