Matrix Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Superstorm Sandy’

Bloomberg View Column: The Myth of Real Estate Stigma

August 31, 2014 | 4:52 pm | BloombergViewlogoGray | Charts |

BVlogo I gave some thought to what the long term impact of a nationally-covered local tumultuous event on a local housing market might be…

The Aug. 9th shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer has roiled Ferguson, Missouri, thrusting it into the national spotlight. But what happens to the town of 21,000 outside of St. Louis after the turmoil ends — more specifically, what happens to property values?

Read my latest Bloomberg View column
The Myth of Real Estate Stigma. Please join the conversation over at Bloomberg View.


My Bloomberg View Column Directory

My Bloomberg View RSS feed.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Incentivized by FEMA, ‘Houses on Stilts’

March 31, 2014 | 6:00 am |

Nearly a year ago, my wife and I went for a drive in the next town over from where we live in Connecticut and stumbled across a slew of houses being modified to the FEMA Base Flood Elevation (BFE). It was eye opening for me since I never envisioned a house – especially houses built 30-50 years ago – as so readily moveable. As a kid I had observed my dad have his real estate office moved 2 doors down so he could sell his lot to an adjacent condo developer….and 40-years later both of those buildings are standing.

Note all the”tall” garages.

IMG_3703
IMG_3707
IMG_4555
IMG_4557

It also raises valuation issues. How will an appraiser handle the valuation of the house next to the house that was raised? We may see the market apply a penalty to the house not on stilts in a flood zone.

This was a home being lifted last spring…

IMG_3715

and with the work complete…

IMG_4559

What would a potential buyer of the house next door (in a flood zone) think?
IMG_4560 2

Tags: , , , ,


Manhattan Luxury Housing Buyers: ‘Eager but not Desperate’

February 15, 2014 | 7:37 pm | bloomberg_news_logo | Public |

There was a terrific Bloomberg News story by Oshrat Carmiel: Manhattan Trophy Home Sellers Test Buyer Limits on Price that delved into the disconnect between reality and perception of the luxury housing market in Manhattan. I talk about this phenomenon on Bloomberg Radio’s ‘Taking Stock’ with Pimm Fox and Carol Masser.

It all began with Sandy Weill’s $88M sale of 15 Central Park West PH20 to a Russian Oligarch back in late 2011 that closed in early 2012. He was reportedly purchasing the unit for his 20-something daughter to crash when she wasn’t at her home in Monaco but it was more likely a divorce strategy. The home sold for $13k per square foot, 30% more than the recent $10k ppsf record previously set within the building (ie definition of an outlier).

Combine this outlier with the dearth of high end new development until recently and this 13k ppsf threshold became a new pricing tool for hopeful sellers and real estate brokers of large properties. The $100M resale penthouse listing at CitySpire was the new symbol of “outlier pricing” phenomenon. Other examples of aggressive pricing are cited in the Bloomberg story.

Despite the fact that this nearly $100M subset represents a tiny sliver - a handful of listings and sales – in the overall Manhattan market, consumer (buyers and sellers) have been subjected to a buzz saw of news reports about trophy properties giving the impression that properties like this comprise most of the housing market.

In reality there have only been a handful of contracts signed near the $100M threshold at buildings like One57 and 432 Park Avenue (the near $100M townhouse contract doesn’t count because it’s roughly 1/2 the ppsf of those apt sales)..and otherwise the overall Manhattan market seeing very modest price growth.

Yet none of the trophy apartment resales are selling at this new price point. Sellers have been testing the waters to see if someone across the globe will be willing to pay for something here, that in relative dollars to their home market is a good deal or they hope they will get lucky and these buyers will over pay.

Apparently these trophy sellers haven’t used the Internet.

UPDATE
Just got this feedback emailed from a real estate agent: In every neighborhood and property class “testing the waters” is an age-old technique that has enough utility to go on forever. As an agent, I prefer the price that results in a quick sell but I never turned down a client who insists on an absurd Ask. In most such cases, I have picked up a few customers and sold them something else they could afford before the “outlier” ran out of inquiries and the seller dropped its price or took it off the market. I like it when journalists report activity at the extremes of price and value because it helps me to identify the evolving dimensions of the market.

____________________________
Bloomberg Radio’s ‘Taking Stock’ with Pimm Fox and Carol Masser
Bloomberg News: Manhattan Trophy Home Sellers Test Buyer Limits on Price

Tags: , , , , , ,


Group Claims Glass Curtain Walls “A Major Step Backward Environmentally”

February 4, 2014 | 4:42 pm | wsjlogo | Radio |

wsjglasshouse2-3-14

The Wall Street Journal released an intriguing article about the use of glass curtain walls on new buildings: Study: Glass Condos Could Pose Health Threat Through Overheating: Hot Summer Could Raise Temperatures Into Triple Digits.

The piece was inspired by content provided by the Urban Green Council, who are trying to push for more rigorous building standards in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. They’ve had a PR bonanza for this one since the story was even picked up by Gawker.

But the findings were disputed by some developers and architects, who said that glass buildings in recent years have made big advances in overall energy efficiency. That includes improved glass with special coatings to reflect heat and more insulated surfaces in building walls, to comply with increasingly rigorous city and state energy codes.

The idea of glass curtain walls became a bigger issue in the recent boom and the current boom than in years past: the technology has improved, and with shift in the mix towards luxury development, the need for expansive views and light to raise values made it more popular. The irony of this is, and this is certainly not a definitive statement, that glass curtain walls can be less expensive for luxury development than using more traditional mortar/window installs if it is not load bearing.

And Toronto seems to hate them (when not writing about Mayor Rob Ford) in this CBC piece: Throw-away buildings: The slow-motion failure of Toronto’s glass condos.

UPDATE

Ilya Marritz at WNYC just posted on this topic with the understated title: People Who Live in Glass Houses are Really Hot. Here’s the radio version:

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


[Three Cents Worth NY #239] 13 Thousand Little (Manhattan) Closings

July 30, 2013 | 4:45 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:

It’s been quite a 12-month window on the Manhattan market and since I am going on a beach-related vacation tomorrow, I thought I’d get granular like sand (sorry). I took a look at the past year’s worth of co-op, condo and townhouse closings to view the impact of Hurricane Sandy and the Fiscal Cliff on closing patterns, throwing in holidays for good measure…

[click to expand chart]

 


My latest Three Cents Worth column on Curbed: 13 Thousand Little (Manhattan) Closings [Curbed]
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed NY
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed DC
Three Cents Worth Archive Curbed Miami

Tags: , , , ,


[NYTimes] What Could Disappear Interactive Charts

December 4, 2012 | 10:00 am | nytlogo |

I’ve been remiss in not presenting the now week old interactive web page on the New York Times site called, alarmingly, What Could Disappear.

These maps are based on elevation data from the U.S. Geological Survey and tidal level data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Maps show the extent of potential flooding relative to local high tide. The 25-foot sea level rise is based on a 2012 study in the journal Science…

I think Sandy brought this conversation front and center in NYC. The Bloomberg administration brought this issue up last year.

While we are talking hundreds of years for an ominous 25 foot increase in sea levels, it’s a wake up call for cities located in low lying areas. How does this impact the future of real estate in these areas?



What Could Disappear [New York Times]

Tags: , , ,


Lower Manhattan’s Early November Rental Activity Down 70% Y-O-Y

November 29, 2012 | 12:40 pm | Charts |

I took a look at closed rental activity for the first part of November, two days after Sandy left us to observe it’s impact of rental activity in Lower Manhattan. For these purposes, I defined this area as the 4 zip codes of 10280, 10004, 10005, 10006 when trying to show a before and after metric. I could have gone later in the month (ie today) but I wanted to have a good week of data to fall in after the expiration of the period analyzed so the year-over-year was more comparable.

There were 199 closed rentals in this period in 2011 compared to 60 closed rentals in 2012, a 69.8% drop in rental activity. However, the decline is due to buildings being off line and there being initial access issues, not lack of demand. With 40 something commercial and rental buildings off line in a more broadly defined Lower Manhattan, inventory remains tight and it is hard to see much in the way of a reprieve in rental price levels as a result of the storm.

The mapping software I have isn’t able to reflect multiple apartment rentals in a building. Still, you can see fewer locations represented in 2012.

November 1-21, 2012

[click to expand]

November 1-21, 2011

[click to expand]

Tags:


Manhattan’s 1% Prefer Proximity to Central Park Over Waterfront

November 20, 2012 | 5:40 pm | Charts |

With the post-Hurricane Sandy heightened awareness of waterfront living and flooding risk, I thought I’d provide a visualization of where the top 1% most expensive properties in Manhattan are located. Manhattan’s top 1% of the housing market starts at $10M. I presented all the co-op, condo and 1-3 family townhouses that closed at or above January 1, 2003 in Manhattan. I used the same data set (but updated) when I presented the Tallest Chart in the History of Manhattan Real Estate a while back.

Fairly consistent pattern – clustered around Central Park and lofts downtown with only a handful along the waterfront.

Tags: , ,


Sandy Aftermath – 60 Minutes Story on Belle Harbor, Queens, New York

November 12, 2012 | 6:56 pm | Videos |

A few thousand people in Belle Harbor have endured so much – inspirational – community. This is one of many areas devastated by Hurricane Sandy in NYC region. And it’s why I feel so petty when asked about what happened to us in the storm – that I lost power for 5 days. They faced losses from 9/11, a jet crashing in their neighborhood in 2001 and now Sandy.

Good grief.

Tags: , ,


[Sandy] SNL’s Comic Relief in Sign

November 4, 2012 | 8:00 pm |

Tags: , ,