Matrix Blog

Housing Trends & Cycles

Aspen Sales “Nosedive” as U.S. Luxury Market Returns to Sea Level

August 16, 2016 | 3:40 pm | delogo | Charts |

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When compared to the rest of the U.S. housing market, Aspen Colorado is a really a niche luxury market with an overall median sales price of $1,407,500 in the second quarter of 2016. This was 27% higher than Manhattan in New York City – with a current condo reportedly under contract for around $250 million – whose market-wide median sales price was $1,108,500 in the same period.

I saw a Denver Post article in my twitter feed yesterday that had an SEO friendly headline: Aspen real estate in a first-ever sustained nosedive and a subtitle: Brokers struggling to explain sudden, precipitous drop in luxury real estate market.

Some noteworthy superlatives used in the article were:

  • nosedive
  • precipitous
  • sudden
  • evaporating
  • boogeyman
  • jaw-dropping

If you use the article’s June year to date residential sales volume for the entire county, it is clear that 2015 was an outlier. However because most real estate brokers on commission tend to look at the market in the short run, there was an expectation that the sales trend from 2014 to 2015 would continue into 2016. Because of the uncertainty described in the article, Aspen buyers – who are by definition “luxury” buyers – are clearly pulling back (and in many U.S. luxury markets).

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I author a market report that covers Aspen for Douglas Elliman’s market report series, which I began writing in 194. The year over year drop in Aspen 2Q16 sales was 52.5%. Here is the breakdown of sales at the high end:

2q16aspen-$10M

Based on the behavior of the luxury market in high end enclaves like Manhattan, The Hamptons, Greenwich, Miami and Los Angeles that are also covered in our report series, the prevailing pattern for housing remains “soft at the top” and it looks like Aspen is no exception. The impact of the 2012 on Aspen sales didn’t seem as pronounced as this year if you believe that is a significant cause. However my theory is that the heavy luxury volume of the prior year (2015) may have poached demand from 2016, exacerbated by the 2016 election and other items of uncertainty like Brexit, the U.S. economy and the financial markets.

Think snow.

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Greenwich CT Pre-Lehman “Reno, Then Flip” Mentality Is Long Gone

February 26, 2016 | 9:41 am | delogo | Charts |

Fairfield County, CT is one of the more recent editions to our Elliman Report series. Greenwich, CT as a submarket has proven to be a market still strongly linked to the heady days before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 and the beginning of the financial crisis. There remain many owners of high end homes purchased a decade ago that remain value-anchored to those days of yore.

I took a look at the last 15 years of residential sales, measuring the amount of time that passed from a home’s prior renovation to sale. From the late 1990s to Lehman, there was a compression of time from renovation to eventual sale, reflective of the speculative conditions leading up to Lehman. Reno a home, then sell it. During those days, business cards passed out by doctors and lawyers at Greenwich cocktail parties were either “hedge fund manager” or “developer.” Not so much anymore.

Subsequent to Lehman, the late 1990s pattern that preceded the U.S. housing bubble returned by 2010 and has remained remarkably stable since.

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[Infographic] NAR gets into the Urbanization Conversation

September 1, 2015 | 10:12 am | trulialogo | Infographics |

The National Association of Realtors, who is generally viewed as emphasizing suburban single family housing markets, may be plotting a new course. NAR will be sharing more releases on the topic of urbanization in the coming months. They look to be taking the same path as Realtor.com, the online entity who licenses their name from the NAR mothership. Realtor.com has cleaned up their act and has been much more focused on city life after their recent purchase by News Corp (through Realtor.com’s parent company Move), trying to become relevant again by emulating Zillow and Trulia. And of course, the consumer wins.

It’s a good thing too since urbanization is one of the most important housing trends (affordability aside) facing the housing market going forward.

Here’s an interesting infographic released by NAR today:

NARurbanismInfographic

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[Three Cents Worth #290 NY] Tracking 24 Years of Manhattan Sales and Rental Prices

August 23, 2015 | 6:09 pm | curbed2 | 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:

It’s been a while since I dropped in on Curbed with a Three Cents Worth post but since I’m currently huddled next to an air conditioner, I really needed to take my mind off the heat and humidity. I thought I’d reach back into history and trend the year-over-year changes in the Manhattan sales and rental markets. I presented the median rental price and median sales prices by quarter back to 1991 measuring their year over year percent change. I’m surprised I haven’t done this before since there is so much discussion about the relationship between the two markets, and whether it’s better to rent or buy…

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My latest Three Cents Worth column: Three Cents Worth: Tracking 24 Years of Manhattan Sales and Rental Prices [Curbed]

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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 | curbed2 |

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: 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.

halfbillionBV

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…

[read more]


My Bloomberg View Column Directory

My Bloomberg View RSS feed.

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

June 3, 2015 | 6:25 pm | curbed2 | 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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[Three Cents Worth #287 NY] Tracking New York Rents and Asking Prices Over a Century

June 3, 2015 | 6:04 pm | curbed2 | 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…

2015-6-1curbed

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

May 30, 2015 | 5:53 pm | curbed2 | 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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[Three Cents Worth #285 Ski] Aspen Real Estate Has Had Many Peaks, But It’s Not Peaking

May 22, 2015 | 8:00 pm | curbed2 | Charts |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed Ski, whether I’m on the trail or in the base lodge of a ski mountain near you…or I’m in the lift line taking notes with my gloves off.

Check out my 3CW column on @Curbedski:

For my first Three Cents Worth column on Curbed Ski, I felt compelled to provide a look at one of the priciest ski towns around: Aspen, Colorado. As a real estate analyst and appraiser for nearly 30 years (and a skier, of course!) I have relied on information culled during the research for the quarterly housing market report for Douglas Elliman. In Aspen, the first quarter of 2015 reflected a thorough shift towards larger home sales resulting in large aggregate housing prices gains…

3cwASPEN5-21-15

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My latest Three Cents Worth column: Three Cents Worth: Aspen Real Estate Has Had Many Peaks, But It’s Not Peaking [Curbed]

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[Three Cents Worth #284 Miami] Miami Drill Down: Picking Up the Scraps of the Financial Crisis

May 21, 2015 | 8:00 pm | curbed2 | 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 taking notes on the beach.

Check out my 3CW column on @CurbedMiami:

As we make our way through the second quarter (more than halfway!), I took a look at some trends extracted from the first quarter reports we prepare for Douglas Elliman. I went all out and created a four charter that addresses a number of issues born out of the financial crisis that still touch the current market..

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My latest Three Cents Worth column: Three Cents Worth: Miami Drill Down: Picking Up the Scraps of the Financial Crisis [Curbed]

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[Three Cents Worth #283 LA] How Much Does It End Up Costing When a House Lingers on the Market in Los Angeles?

May 21, 2015 | 10:00 am | curbed2 | Charts |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed LA, texting at the intersection of neighborhood and real estate, just off the freeway.

Check out my 3CW column on @CurbedLA:

Since Los Angeles is all about relationships and you don’t know me (yet), I thought I’d better get started on my first Three Cents Worth Column for Curbed LA. I’ve been compiling and analyzing data for Douglas Elliman’s market report series for more than 20 years and one thing I’ve learned: there is nothing better than a good chart. For this column I thought I’d explore the relationship between days on market and listing discount and how that is changing…

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My latest Three Cents Worth column: Three Cents Worth: How Much Does It End Up Costing When a House Lingers on the Market in Los Angeles? [Curbed]

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