Bloomberg View Column: Income Inequality Hits the Housing Market

March 15, 2015 | 6:27 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Income Inequality Hits the Housing Market.

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This article turned out to be my most-commented on piece so far. The topic of affordability generates a hotbed of conversation.

Here’s an excerpt…

There’s been plenty of talk recently about signs of recovery in the housing market. Rather than think about housing as a single market, it might be helpful to look at housing as many markets based on everything from geography to price to new versus existing…

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Bloomberg View Column: Real-Estate Agents Ride High Again

March 1, 2015 | 8:00 am | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Real-Estate Agents Ride High Again.

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It was disappointing to have so many Realtors go on the attack over this piece showing they missed the entire point – I was writing about the trend, not the dollars or the splits. Are commission incomes higher in say Manhattan than in rural Texas. Doh! The very idea that incomes are rising after years of low transaction volume plus the lack of resurgence in NAR membership since the financial crisis has made for a little less competition today. This seems like good news to me for the industry. But with the barrier to entry so low, the window will close sooner than later.

I even had a PR executive at NAR send me a critical email concerning my numerical calculations and results but made the mistake of exposing her significant lack of understanding about what data NAR actually publishes. To avoid embarrassing her I opted not to share the letter in this post.

Here’s an excerpt…

This is turning out to be a pretty nice time to be a residential real-estate agent. As the housing market recovers, average income has been rising faster than sales largely because there are fewer agents planting for-sale signs…

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[Three Cents Worth #278 NY] Murray Hill Has the Most Micro Units in All of Manhattan

February 26, 2015 | 8:00 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:

Uptown may have the smallest studios, but which Manhattan neighborhood can claim the most micro units? To find out, I looked at where apartments measuring 300 square feet or less are located and determined what they have in common—besides being small. We’ve appraised many micro apartments over the years, so I was admittedly a little confused at how micro apartments were some sort of new concept…



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My latest Three Cents Worth column on Curbed: Three Cents Worth: Murray Hill Has the Most Micro Units in All of Manhattan [Curbed]

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[Three Cents Worth #277 NY] Which Manhattan Neighborhood Has The Smallest Studios?

February 24, 2015 | 8:00 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:

Although I’m often a bit macro in this column, it’s Micro Week at Curbed. So I thought I would rank Manhattan neighborhoods by the average square footage of their studio apartments based on all the closed sales of 2014. The results are in: if you want a plethora of small apartments, look uptown. On both the East and West Sides above 96th Street, from Morningside Heights and the Upper East Side to Harlem and Inwood, the average studio clocks in at under 500 square feet. By contrast, downtown, in areas like Soho, Tribeca, Battery Park City, and the Financial District, studios are larger…



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My latest Three Cents Worth column on Curbed: Three Cents Worth: Which Manhattan Neighborhood Has The Smallest Studios? [Curbed]

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Bloomberg View Column: Housing Market Blows Hot and Cold

February 8, 2015 | 5:32 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Housing Market Blows Hot and Cold.

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Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View. Here’s an excerpt…

The northern third of the U.S. is locked in a straitjacket of snow, ice and bleak weather better suited to staying at home than going out and hunting for a new one. I can almost hear it now: Remember how awful last year’s polar vortex was for the fledgling housing-market recovery?…

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Flipping Out About East Brooklyn’s Gentrification

January 28, 2015 | 9:59 pm | nymaglogo | Charts |

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This infographic was part of an epic must-read Andrew Rice piece for New York Magazine called: The Red Hot Rubble of East New York which explores the gentrification frontier where investors and New York City’s efforts to create affordable housing are running headlong into each other.

As much as 10% of the property sales are flips and prices are up 150% over the past 2 years.

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Tallest Chart in the History of Manhattan Real Estate, Continued

January 22, 2015 | 1:32 pm | curbed | Charts |

With the closing and recording of the record $100.47 million penthouse sale at One57, I thought it was time to dust-off the tall chart I created in 2012 when the prior record price of $88M at 15 Central Park West was set.

This week I ended up writing a piece about tall towers in my Bloomberg View column called Living the High Life, another one on Curbed NY for my Three Cents Worth called Proving New York’s Blockbuster $100M Sale Is An Outlier which provided some needed context for the new record sale in the following scattergraph. Note the $100.47M record sale in the upper right hand corner and then scroll down…a lot.

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[Three Cents Worth #276 NY] Proving New York’s Blockbuster $100M Sale Is An Outlier

January 22, 2015 | 1:08 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:

Finally, after nearly two years of referring to the $88 million sale at 15 Central Park West as the “highest Manhattan residential sale on record,” we get a change of scenery. A new record was set with the $100.47 million sale of the penthouse at One57 recorded late last week. Timing is everything, although, in this case timing really wasn’t. I believe this sale went to contract in 2012, which would be shortly after the $88 million sale went to contract in December 2011 and closed in early 2012. While these super luxury sales are more of a circus sideshow and have little, if anything, to do with the vast majority of the Manhattan housing market, I find them surreal to consider…



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My latest Three Cents Worth column on Curbed: Three Cents Worth: Proving New York’s Blockbuster $100M Sale Is An Outlier [Curbed]

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Bloomberg View Column: Living the High Life

January 22, 2015 | 11:24 am | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Living the High Life.

Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View. Here’s an excerpt…

Never have so many residential buildings had such lofty aspirations. Based on the number of stories in buildings worldwide that are more than 650 feet (200 meters) high, we’re in the midst of an edifice eruption. An even bigger surge is forecast for next year. The interest in what might be called pinnaclenomics has been driven by capital seeking higher returns in hard assets like luxury real estate in the world’s financial centers — especially in developing nations….

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Bloomberg View Column: Do First-Time Homebuyers Need Help?

December 31, 2014 | 5:59 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Do First-Time Homebuyers Need Help?.

Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View. Here’s an excerpt…

To bring more first-time buyers into the housing market, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently said they would offer certain mortgage programs that require down payments of as little as 3 percent, down from 5 percent. Because first-time buyers already make up a large share of the housing market, the wisdom of this policy change should be open to question…

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