Bloomberg View Column: Housing’s Misleading Health Indicator

November 30, 2014 | 11:00 am | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Housing’s Misleading Health Indicator. Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View. Here’s an excerpt…

The National Association of Realtors will release its monthly U.S. existing home sales report tomorrow. Among other things, the report includes what’s known as the absorption rate, or how many months it would take to sell all inventory at the current sales pace. This report and the media coverage around it will inevitably provide the well-worn insight that when the rate is less than six months, housing is “healthy”…

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Bloomberg View Column: Housing Bust Wasn’t About the House

November 30, 2014 | 9:00 am | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Housing Bust Wasn’t About the House. Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View. Here’s an excerpt…

Unless you live in a cave, you’re no doubt familiar with the outlines of the housing bust that marked the beginning of the financial crisis: Real-estate prices plunged, people lost their homes, banks went under and the economy tumbled into a recession. We are still grappling with the hangover…

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Bloomberg View Column: Hedge-Fund Guys Have Foreclosure Fatigue

November 7, 2014 | 4:28 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Hedge-Fund Guys Have Foreclosure Fatigue. Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View. Here’s an excerpt…

One of the most important ways to strengthen the U.S. housing recovery is to get distressed properties into financially stronger hands. Shortly after the financial crisis began, institutional investors started snapping up foreclosed homes. These buyers, according to RealtyTrac, are entities that buy more than 10 properties in a calendar year. Blackstone Group has been among the most active, acquiring more than $20 billion of foreclosed properties, then making necessary repairs and renting them out…

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Bloomberg View Column: Buying Condos Based on a Drawing

October 30, 2014 | 4:22 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Buying Condos Based on a Drawing. Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View. Here’s an excerpt…

Almost half of all contracts for Manhattan properties costing $4 million or more are being signed based on floor plans — an architectural drawing of an apartment that hasn’t been built yet…

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Bloomberg View Column: Credit Crunch Lives on in Housing

October 22, 2014 | 5:05 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Credit Crunch Lives on in Housing. Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View. Here’s an excerpt…

Don’t be fooled by low mortgages rates, which once again are below 4 percent: Credit for buying a home or refinancing an existing mortgage has almost never been tougher to get.

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Bloomberg View Column: Rent Control’s Winners and Losers

October 21, 2014 | 3:31 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Rent Control’s Winners and Losers. Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View. Here’s an excerpt…

Any renter in New York City has probably has felt the pain of coming up with the monthly payment. There are plenty of reasons for the city’s steep rents…

..So what would happen if rent control and its cousin, rent stabilization, disappeared overnight?

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Bloomberg View Column: Only Brooklyn Is Over the City’s Housing Bust

October 13, 2014 | 2:32 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Only Brooklyn Is Over the City’s Housing Bust. Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View. Here’s an excerpt…

Housing prices in four of New York’s five boroughs still haven’t reached their pre-crash highs. The outlier? Brooklyn.

Housing prices in Brooklyn now are more than 8 percent above the peak reached in 2007. The other four boroughs, meanwhile, are all more than 10 percent below their highs, with the Bronx still down by almost a quarter….

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[Manhattan Absorption] September 2014 – While All Markets Cool, Sub $3M Remains Brisk

October 4, 2014 | 3:27 pm | Charts |

9-2014Manhattan [click to expand]

Thoughts A noticeable downshift from last year yet the market remains brisk. Nearly all price segments are showing slower absorption rates with more weakness seen above the $3M threshold (roughly where the luxury market begins i.e. top 10%).

Side by side Manhattan regional comparison:

September 2014 v September 2013
9-201409-2013 [click images to expand]

I started this analysis in August 2009 so I am able to show side-by side year-over-year comparisons. (I got tired of the red/gray look in 9-2014 so I changed it) The blue/red line shows the 10-year quarterly average for context. The pink/orange line represents the overall average absorption rate of the most recently completed month for that market area. 

Definition Absorption defined for the purposes of this chart is: Number of months to sell all listing inventory at the current annualized pace of sales activity in our market report series.


Manhattan Market Absorption Charts [Miller Samuel]

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Bloomberg View Column: When $7 Million Is Average for Manhattan

October 3, 2014 | 12:05 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column When $7 Million Is Average for Manhattan. Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View. Here’s an excerpt…

It’s pretty much universal knowledge that Manhattan real estate is expensive. What isn’t so well known is what’s happening at the top of the market: Price increases have been crazy.

Ever since the financial crisis, housing prices for the most-expensive 10 percent of the Manhattan market have increased more than 15 percent. Compare that with the modest 2.5 percent gain for the remaining 90 percent of the market….

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Bloomberg View Column: Giant Condo Tower Needs More Billionaires

September 29, 2014 | 2:26 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Giant Condo Tower Needs More Billionaires. Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View. Here’s an excerpt…

In post-crash Manhattan’s high-end real estate, few projects loom larger or more visibly than the 1,004-foot-high One57, the tallest residential-hotel building in New York. This is a rarefied market, with two penthouse units selling for more than $90 million each, including one to hedge-fund baron Bill Ackman.

Amid all the hyperventilating about the tower, including complaints that it’s out of scale with the neighborhood, it’s poorly reviewed design and that it casts an afternoon shadow on Central Park in the winter, the little known fact is that the 92-unit building seems to be less of a hit with buyers than one might glean from the PR machine….

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