Matrix Blog

Commercial, Retail

[Bloomberg] Manhattan Luxury Housing Market Charts 3Q-2012

October 9, 2012 | 12:00 pm | bloomberg_news_logo | Charts |

A few years ago Bloomberg created indices for the Manhattan Luxury Housing market based on our data to be seen by their terminal subscribers. Cool to have an index based on our research (and a project triggered by our report efforts).

The top 10% of the market (Luxury) is hovering at just over $2,000 per square foot for the past year [top chart]. Median sales price has remained just above $4M for the past 3 years [bottom chart].

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[Appraising The Decade] Miller Cicero’s 10-Year Anniversary

August 30, 2012 | 10:32 am | Milestones |

It’s officially been a decade since we launched our commercial valuation affiliate Miller Cicero, LLC and it’s been a great run so far. In appraiser years, it actually feels longer than a decade.

Our partner and co-founder in this commercial venture, John Cicero, MAI, CRE, FRICS with nearly 3 decades of valuation experience, runs the firm. Besides being a good friend and especially because he thinks I have a good sense of humor, is still one of the smartest guys I know in commercial valuation. He’s got a great executive team and staff providing commercial valuation expertise throughout the NYC metro area.

The commercial real estate world is a mess right now and Miller Cicero provides reliable neutral valuation insight to it’s clients. Give John a call.

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[Interview] Jonathan D. Miller, Miller Ryan LLC, Author, Emerging Trends in Real Estate

December 26, 2010 | 3:23 pm | ULI | Podcasts |

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[AVPO] Another Valuation Pseudo Offering: “Appraiser Assisted BPOs”

February 21, 2010 | 6:18 pm |

Last week the appraisal community was up in arms about a $55 “appraisal” product that was an appraisal but no self-respecting appraiser could complete the report completely, be USPAP compliant and still make a meager living. The consensus is that it will attract shysters and promote short cuts. There is a rabid discussion forum on this topic right now on LinkedIn if you are a member of the group.

A new product by First American has now appeared which is explained in technicolor by Tyler King, our resident Phish fan and hipster over at Commercial Grade called an AVPO:

So to recap: The (licensed) appraiser looks at a set of comps, from these comps logical adjustments are made, and the appraiser formulates a value opinion. Yes…I see…that sounds nothing like an appraisal.

aside: First American owns eAppraisIT, who’s slogan on their web site, incredibly, is “Redefining Value.” For those who may have forgotten, NYS AG Andrew Cuomo filed suit against eAppraisIT back in 2007 for conspiring with Washington Mutual to inflate real estate appraisals.

First American claims “this is not an appraisal” to which the Appraisal Foundation replies:

While it is not within our purview to determine whether any particular product or service complies with USPAP, we can tell you that, as far as USPAP is concerned, the product appears to qualify as an appraisal or an appraisal review assignment. The press release states, in part:

“While this is not an appraisal, a licensed appraiser confirms the specific set of values determined by a local Realtor® by looking at comparable sales and verifying accuracy. If discrepancies are found, the appraiser provides a new set of values, complete with an explanation of how they were determined.”

If an appraiser is required to comply with USPAP (such as a licensed appraiser in a state that mandates such compliance), the above product would have to comply with STANDARDS 1 and 2, or STANDARD 3.

Best regards,

John S. Brenan
Director of Research and Technical Issues
The Appraisal Foundation
www.appraisalfoundation.org
(202) 624-3044


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[Commercial Grade] Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village Rent Decontrol Ruling Explained

December 17, 2009 | 1:29 am |

One of the mysteries of the recent credit boom was the way very smart people made decisions that they now regret. Hugh Kelly and I in our latest podcast agreed that “you do the math” simply wasn’t enough. Knowledge of rent regulation intentions was imperative.

Rental office site for Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village

One of the largest examples of the credit disconnect and the moment I realized the credit bubble had peaked was the moment I heard that the price paid for Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village was $5.4B a few years ago.

A recent ruling on rents may have been the last straw.

My commercial partner John Cicero in our Miller Cicero commercial valuation concern lays this out plain as day in his Commercial Grade blog extolling the virtues of an excellent white paper by Barbara Byrne Denham, Chief Economist of Eastern Consolidated Properties.

Here’s a great blog on the building complex.


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[Interview] Hugh F. Kelly, Real Estate Economics, NYU Associate Professor, Brooklyn Catholic Charities

December 15, 2009 | 9:53 am | Podcasts |

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[New Blog] Commercial Grade Goes Solo

December 1, 2009 | 1:13 am |

For the past several years, John Cicero, my partner in our commercial appraisal venture Miller Cicero (hands down the best commercial appraisal firm in the NYC metro area), has been laboring in fits and starts to convey his views on commercial real estate valuation in the public domain.

Largely because Miller Cicero is humming on all cylinders…

At first John’s efforts were a regular column on my former Soapbox Blog called Commercial Grade which has been merged into a stand alone blog called, surprisingly, Commercial Grade. when he revamped the Miller Cicero corporate web site.

His latest is a post on commercial rent control. Check out the blog and check it often.


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[Interview] Neal Elkin, President, Real Estate Analytics LLC, REAL

November 30, 2009 | 12:38 pm | Podcasts |

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[The Housing Helix Podcast] Robert Knakal, Chairman, Founding Partner, Massey Knakal Realty Services

November 20, 2009 | 4:26 pm | Podcasts |


I sit down with Bob Knakal, the founding partner and Chairman of Massey Knakal Realty Services, who sell more commercial properties in New York City than any other firm. In 2009, Real Estate Forum magazine named Mr. Knakal one of the top 10 investment sales brokers in the United States.

He’s also a prolific commentator on the commercial real estate economy. Check out his blog StreetWise which is an initiative of his firm and GlobeSt.com as well as his weekly commentary in the New York Observer’s Commercial Observer. His recent State Shouldn’t Make a Whole New Ball Game of Mitchell-Lama is mandatory reading (no, not because of the Yankees World Series analogy).

I have long admired his market insights and his hair. We have a great conversation.

Check out the podcast

The Housing Helix Podcast Interview List

You can subscribe on iTunes or simply listen to the podcast on my other blog The Housing Helix.


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[Interview] Robert Knakal, Chairman, Founding Partner, Massey Knakal Realty Services

November 20, 2009 | 12:01 pm | Podcasts |

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[Bobbleheads] Known For Their Ubiquitous Media Verbosity

November 3, 2009 | 10:23 am | trdlogo | Public |

In the current issue of The Real Deal magazine, the article Real estate’s most verbose talking heads: A look at the busy schedules of NYC’s go-to market pundits

…goes haywire with Adobe Illustrator and selects four go to media resources:

Barbara Corcoran, the founder of the Corcoran Group and now a regular on the “Today Show”; Jonathan Miller, the ubiquitous president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel; Dan Fasulo, managing director at Real Capital Analytics; and Bob Knakal, chairman of Massey Knakal Realty are just a few among a growing bunch of go-to contacts.

I think the bobblehead designation is a compliment? Verbosity? I always used that word in the “long-winded” connotation. Well, my phone simply rings – plus – I’ve been known to hang out on car dashboards on the weekends.

Aside: Bob Knakal is a long time colleague who has generously agreed to sit down with me on my podcast, The Housing Helix, in a few weeks.


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[KMS Commercial] High Flying Irish Residential Real Estate Marketing Firm Turns Deadbeat

November 3, 2009 | 12:42 am |

During the housing boom, a slew of foreign buyers came to New York City to take advantage of the falling dollar. Largely from Europe and with a high concentration from Ireland, this movement was characterized by tales of Irish carpenters buying multi-million dollar luxury condos. Booming economies and a weak dollar made investors hungry to go farther to seek out higher returns.

One of the more well-known Irish marketing firms to find Irish investors to buy luxury condos and other properties was KMS Commercial, and we usually dealt with Cathal McGinley, the Managing Director. Our residential and commercial firms dealt with his firm on several occasions as the housing boom roared on and even after it corrected at the end of 2008.

Here’s where it went sour between my commercial appraisal firm Miller Cicero and KMS Commercial.

On April 28, 2009, Cathal/KMS hired our commercial firm Miller Cicero via a signed engagement letter for a substantial appraisal assignment covering the residential component of 835 Sixth Avenue, a new large mixed-use project going up on Sixth Ave at 29th Street developed by JD Carlisle (Jules Demcheck).

The report was delivered within the agreed upon time and the appraisal fee was due in full.

Hence the reason for this post, which is basically us venting our frustration since KMS Commercial is acting like it doesn’t intend to honor its financial obligations. My partner John Cicero has been trying to collect the fee for past 5 months and has been treated less than honestly – and he’s torqued about that. His first few attempts at contact were met with his assistant saying they were on vacation, etc. until finally there was no response at all.

Appologiese for not reply before but Cathal and I are both on holidays and will not be back in the office until 14th August. I will remind Cathal re payment as soon as we are back and will send you confirmation of same.

After several months with no response, John began to think he had the wrong contact info (they moved) but it was hard to believe such a high-flying well-known firm would simply disappear. Someone we know had a contact in Dublin who went by the building and indicated that KMS Commercial does not appear on the building directory that is listed on their correspondence. Weird.

After repeated efforts by John to contact Cathal, he finally got a response on October 23 which necessitated this post due to their sarcasm:

On Oct 23, 2009, at 9:40 AM, Cathal McGinley wrote:

John

I am in receipt of your 27 various email last night and today. I can confirm that I met today at 11am my time with my partners to advise them of the urgent need to pay your bill which I agree is long overdue for payment. I personally hold a 5% interest in KMS Sixth Avenue LP with the balance of the shareholding held by two others, Liam Smyth 85% and the O’Malley family 10%. As, to date I have not been put in funds, other than my own contribution, by my partners I have been unable to pay the invoice however they have both assured me that they will put me in funds by early next week (it is a bank holiday here on Monday) so assuming this happens I will send the money out probably on Wednesday or Thursday. In the mean time if you like I can send you my $600 today or wait to send it all at once. You’re choice.

Regards

Cathal

Cathal McGinley
Managing Director
KMS COMMERCIAL

The Malting Tower
Grand Canal Quay
Dublin 2
Ireland

t: +353 1 6425220
f: +353 1 6619708
e: c.mcginley@kmscommercial.com

Of course this was October 23rd. Its now November 3rd and our follow up efforts after the above email have not been answered.

It’s a shame that there aren’t any viable options to pursue them in Ireland. It’s hard to believe they can’t afford our appraisal fee (that they agreed to in advance).

We have to pay our staff for the time it took to complete the report which was not nominal. Our conclusion has to be that KMS Commercial is either under severe financial duress or it is a business strategy – 5 months of repeated attempts to contact them is a reasonable period to draw these conclusions.

We recognize that this is one of the risks of doing business and we assume KMS Commercial will never pay us for the services they sought us out for and received. However, our treatment was so unprofessional, we felt it necessary to talk about it in a public forum. For all appraisers out there – if you are contacted by KMS Commercial for an assignment, think twice. If you are, make sure you are paid in advance and in cash. We have twelve thousand reasons to believe this is a tested assumption.

Ok, venting complete – back to work.


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