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Douglas Elliman

Long Island 3Q 2006 Is Available for Download

December 1, 2006 | 12:31 am | | Public |

Miller Samuel has been producing real estate reports covering the Manhattan market on behalf of Prudential Douglas Elliman for more than 12 years. With a lot of great data out there, it remains a mystery to me why Long Island has not been analyzed like so many other markets in the region have. With roughly 10,000 transactions per quarter, its a substantial market area.

Beginning with the 2nd quarter of this year and now the 3rd quarter, the Long Island Market Overview (LiMO) has been created and is now on track to be released on a timely basis beginning with the 4th quarter 2006 version shortly after the quarter ends.

but I digress…

The LiMO report covers the Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, North Shore, Luxury (top 10%) and Condo markets. The Hamptons and the North Fork are unique enough to warrant a separate report, which is currently in development. Other markets are slated to follow.


…The current quarter provided a marked change from the prior quarter results. The average sales price and median sales price showed modest gains, the number of sales increased after a year of steady activity, listing inventory appears to have leveled off, the time it takes to sell a residential property has remained consistent, and sellers are slightly more negotiable. Sellers appear to be more in tune with market conditions, which would explain the combination of larger listing discounts and rising prices, the increase in the number of sales, and stabilizing inventory. Since the seasonal expectations of the next quarter are defined by lower number of sales and weaker price levels, the first quarter of next year will provide a better indicator as to whether the current quarter was an anomaly or the beginning of a new market trend of listing stabilization…

Download the 3Q 2006 Long Island Market Overview.

Be notified by email when new reports are released.

3Q 2006 Manhattan Market Overview Available For Download

October 24, 2006 | 12:01 am | | Public |

The PDF version of the 3Q 2006 Manhattan Market Overview [Miller Samuel] that I write for Prudential Douglas Elliman [PDE] is available for download. I have been writing these market reports for them since 1994. The delay in getting this pretty version ready was my fault this quarter…sorry.

In addition, you can see the [methodology]) that went into the report including the neighborhood boundaries and the type of content we have available.

You can also build your own custom data tables using the aggregate report data (from 1Q 89 through 3Q 2006) and view a series of market charts, many related to the current market report.

_An excerpt_

…Prices are off in the current quarter from record levels set in the prior quarter but remain above levels seen in the prior year quarter. Overall inventory has stabilized for the first time since the end of 2004 but that appears to be due more to the offsetting decline in co-op re-sale inventory and increase in condo inventory where more than 60% of the growth is attributable to new development. Fixed and adjustable rate mortgage rates fell over the quarter but that did not stimulate additional demand. There seems to be plenty of buyers out there as lenders report rising numbers of pre-qualified buyers. Other factors such as stable local economic conditions, including an optimistic Wall Street bonus outlook, reasonable employment and payroll levels, fiscal austerity by local government and currency exchange rates encouraging foreign investment added to the stability of the market. Nevertheless, these conditions have not convinced would-be buyers to make a purchase decision as evidenced by weaker sales and increased rental activity….

Download report: 3Q 2006 Manhattan Market Overview [pdf]


Real Estate Next: Long Island Real Estate Conference: October 19th

October 13, 2006 | 9:12 pm | | Public |

A new real estate conference is being offered for the Long Island market on October 19th. Here’s the announcement:

Click here for registration [$225]

A new, one-day real estate conference called “Real Estate Next: Key Trends in Residential Real Estate and What You Need to Know About the Changing Market on Long Island” is set to take place on Oct. 19, 2006 at the Long Island Marriott Hotel & Conference Center in Uniondale, N.Y.

Ron Roel, an accomplished former Deputy National Editor and Deputy Business Editor of Newsday is one of the conference organizers, invited me to participate in the conference. I am really looking forward to it.

I get to be a moderator for the opening morning session and on the panel for the lunch session.

_9:00 a.m.-9:50 a.m._
Opening Panel: Suburbia is Dead! Long Live Suburbia! Are Long Islanders Seeking a More Urban Lifestyle—and What Does That Mean for the Housing Market?
Moderator: Jonathan Miller, President, Miller Samuel
Panelists: Chris Jones, Vice President, Regional Plan Association
James Morgo, Suffolk County Commissioner, Economic Development and Workforce Housing
Ron Stein, President, Vision Long Island
Geri Solomon, Assistant Dean, Long Island Studies Institute, Hofstra University
John Venditto, Supervisor, Town of Oyster Bay

_Noon-2:00 p.m._
Lunch and Panel Discussion: Beyond the Bubble: Where is the Regional Housing Economy Headed Next Year?
Moderator: Ron Roel, Real Estate Next
Panelists: Jonathan Miller, President, Miller Samuel
Dottie Herman, CEO, Prudential Douglas Elliman
Robert Campbell, Professor of Real Estate and Finance, Hofstra University
Henry Weber, President, RE/MAX of New York
John Cameron, Managing Partner, Cameron Engineering
Dr. Thomas Conoscenti, Urban Regional Economist, New York University

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Live At The 92Y: Making Sense of Manhattan Real Estate

October 6, 2006 | 12:01 am | | Public |

For each of the last two years, Paul Purcell and Kathy Braddock of Braddock and Purcell have organized a panel discussion on the state of the Manhattan residential market at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan.

Pamela Liebman, CEO of the Corcoran Group, Alan Rogers, former Chairmer Chairman of Douglas Elliman and moi, moderated by Paul. We have lively discussions with very good chemistry. I always learn something from them.

This year the event was again slated for all three of us, but Alan, with a last minute conflict, is being replaced by a mystery guest. It should be fun. Hope to see you there.

The event will be held on Thursday, Oct 12, 2006 at 8:00pm. Click here for tickets.

BTW, the 92nd St Y blog is a pretty cool resource and well-written.


[Media Chain-Links, Fenced In] 3Q 2006 Manhattan Market Overview

October 4, 2006 | 11:13 am | | Public |

The 3Q 2006 Manhattan Market Overview that my appraisal firm, Miller Samuel, authors for Prudential Douglas Elliman, was released for publication today. The raw numbers were released and a summary of their interpretation were provided to the media. The pretty report will be available for download later this week or early next week. I wait until the end of the quarter before I start working on it so there is not enough time to get it together before publication of the results. This quarter ended last Saturday so it made for a long weekend.

The actual data and charts will be available soon. The actual report pdf will be available next week.

For perspective, every quarter I place links to articles about the report for a few days after publication to make it easy to compare how each media outlet (big and small media, blogs) presents the exact same set of data.

This article list is presented in no particular order, basically when I found them. I include some duplicate news feeds because I like to see what regions are interested in the story.

Manhattan real estate finally starts to cool [CNN/Money]
Buying in Manhattan? Apartment Prices Steady [New York Times]
Manhattan apartment prices slip in latest quarter [New York Daily News]
Manhattan apartments selling slower [Newsday]
Manhattan apartment market seen in soft landing [Reuters]
Manhattan Co-Op Apartment Prices Dip 16% as Buyers Favor Condos [Bloomberg (no link yet)]
Manhattan Housing Stays Stable []
Manhattan apartment prices leap despite sales drop [Reuters]
Jonathan Miller On Summer ’06: New York Realty Isn’t So Bad [NYO The Real Estate]
Prices down, sales up in Manhattan housing market; co-op prices slump [The Real Deal]
As Dow Hits Record High, Homes Falter [NY Sun]
Manhattan real estate market slows down [Inman]
DownMarket Reports: Choose Your Own Adventure! [Curbed]
Sector Snap: Manhattan Apartment REITs [AP] Highlights from the Prudential Douglas Elliman Third Quarter Overview [True Gotham]
Manhattan residential real estate market cools [Valuation Review]

Here are a handful of tv spots as well.


[Bloomberg TV]




New Brokerage Models Flourish (NAR Needs Redfin’s PR Firm)

September 5, 2006 | 12:01 am | | Radio |

Damon Darlin’s The Last Stand of the 6-Percenters? [NYT] was a really great overview of new brokerage services that are being offered. The article was very informative. However, after reading it, the article made me wonder who on earth would ever use a traditional broker again? Its not what I think the intention of the piece was.

New technology and new business models were pitted against longstanding tradition and a proven track record. There was a great phrase in the article referring to the difficulty of innovation in the real estate brokerage industry:

It’s a thousand tiny shackles on innovation.

A valid point. Innovation can ruffle feathers.

Well, rather than the idea that full service brokers are obsolete, I think the takeaway should be that there is room for both the old and the new. Like Dottie Herman, CEO of Prudential Douglas Elliman (the firm for whom I author their market reports for) said at Inman San Francisco: Technology won’t replace agents, agents with technology will replace agents [RCG]. Exactly.

The irony in all this is the fact that the housing boom coincided with new venture capital monies which provided the opportunity for so many real estate start-ups to in fact, start-up. In fact, I see this as more of a dotcom real estate boom, with so many legitimate business models, rather than most of the silliness we saw in the previous dotcom boom, where thoughts of actually turning a profit would be figured out later.

Some of these new real estate technology sites will fail as the housing markets cool or their idea doesn’t catch on, while others will survive and thrive. Change can be good but its kind of hard when the system in place has been around for a long time.

I find that one of the weaker arguments to the new real estate models has been the idea of cost savings. Despite the near monopoly of listings through traditional MLS systems, there is the assumption that its an even playing field. In other words, users of these discount brokers assume that the property gets exposed equally whether its a Foxtons listing (remember Your Homes Direct?), a Redfin listing or a full service listing, when in fact, I would speculate that it does not.

More eyeballs on a property, especially broker eyeballs, yield a higher chance for a higher price or simply a sale. In other words, a seller may be saving costs, but they could be working off a lower base (sales price) number because of the lower exposure. The cost savings seems to be more of a potential future benefit than at present and its not really comparing apples with apples (in theory it is, but not in practice). The MLS system is proprietary.

And what is it with NAR and public relations? How can the NAR stir such ill will on a consistent basis? I continue to be amazed by their complacency and their disconnect with the public as an organization. Its tough to accept their word as gospel anymore. Even their current radio and TV ads about code of ethics seems to be too little too late. Its simply not fair to most realtors who are nice normal people and not the stereotype the profession has gained a rep for in recent years.

As a result, if you want to create a new real estate brokerage business model, now seems to be as good a time as ever.

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2Q 2006 Manhattan Market Overview Available For Download

July 31, 2006 | 12:02 am | | Public |

The PDF version of the 2Q 2006 Manhattan Market Overview [Miller Samuel] that I write for Prudential Douglas Elliman [PDE] is available for download. I have been writing these market reports for them since 1994.

In addition, you can see the [methodology]) that went into the report including the neighborhood boundaries and the type of content we have available.

You can also build your own custom data tables using the aggregate report data (from 1Q 89 through 2Q 2006).

_An excerpt_

…The phenomenon of rising prices and declining sales is a classic sign of a market in transition. The market has entered a period where the sellers no longer have a clear advantage in the typical sales transaction. Buyers were expecting a deep discount on all transactions while sellers remained fairly firm in their pricing. As a result, the number of sales dropped as the buyers who were resistant to rising prices simply chose not to participate, while those who stayed in the market paid record prices on average. The modest uptick in mortgage rates since the beginning of the year tempered demand as both existing and new development inventory was rising. While inventory levels are the highest they have been in ten years, the selection for buyers has not improved as much as the inventory numbers would suggest as sellers have not yet responded to the weaker demand. There is still a substantial portion of listings that are priced as if the market was seeing double-digit annual appreciation that occurred over the past several years. As a result, it is taking longer to sell an apartment and there is generally more negotiability…

Download report: 2Q 2006 Manhattan Market Overview [pdf]

The Real Deal Podcast: Jonathan Miller On Manhattan 2Q 2006

July 11, 2006 | 12:01 am | |

[The Real Deal has innovated the delivery of information about the New York real estate market in its magazine and online format to its readership. This podcast is part of a series on the state of the New York housing market. -ed]

Jonathan Miller

Prices are at record highs, but sales keep dropping – what’s going on in the Manhattan housing market? Jonathan Miller explains the second-quarter numbers. [TRD]

The podcast format allows me to summarize the results of the just completed 2nd Quarter 2006 Prudential Douglas Elliman Manhattan Market Overview and provide some insights into the future of the market (while looking admittedly Trump-esq) in 7:37 minutes.

For hard stats, you can view those right now on my web site. The pretty report will be posted on my web site later this week.

[Media Chain-links] 2Q 2006 Manhattan Market Overview

July 6, 2006 | 6:07 am | | Public |

The 2Q 2006 Manhattan Market Overview that my appraisal firm, Miller Samuel, prepares for Prudential Douglas Elliman, was released today. Each quarter I place links throughout the day of publication to make it easy to compare how each media outlet (big and small media, blogs) presents the exact same set of data.

Even more interesting to me is how the other real estate brokerage companies who write alternative reports, frame their comments in the articles. While I have not had access to their specific results, I understand that some of the statistics such as average sales price, differed from the results in our report. Some of the reporters that cover the real estate market in New York have expressed frustration at trying to discern what actually happened this quarter.

To view the actual data and charts (going live by noon Friday 7-7-07). The actual report pdf will be available next week.

This list is in no particular order and were generally presented when I found them. I included some of the duplicate news feeds because I found it interesting who picked up the story. I will keep adding to the list through the remainder of the week.

Little Shift in Prices of Manhattan Apartments [NYT]
Manhattan Has Most Apartments for Sale Since 1994, Report Says [Bloomberg]
Mixed messages on Manhattan home prices [CNN/Money]
Manhattan apt. price hits record [NY Daily News]
Disparities in Manhattan apartment prices show a market that is neither booming nor busting [NY Newsday]
Condo Expectations May Be Rethought As Prices Plunge [NY Sun]
Manhattan apartment prices leap despite sales drop [Reuters]
Manhattan real estate inventory grows [Inman]
NYC Housing Prices Keep Climbing []
Manhattan condos again outsell co-ops [The Real Deal]
Sales drop, prices rise in Manhattan market [The Real Deal]
2nd Quarter 2006: “The Boom is Done” [The Real Estate]
Manhattan housing prices up [USAToday (Miller Samuel)]
Brokerages Submit Reports, Hope to Avoid Summer School [Curbed]
Manhattan Apartment Price Hits Record Highs [All Headline News]
Investing: Rising rates depress N.Y. apartment sales [IHT]

_Duplicate News Feeds_
Sales mellow in Manhattan [Houston Chronicle]
Manhattan apartment prices leap despite sales drop [Yahoo News]
Manhattan has most apartments for sale since 1994 [The Journal News (Westchester, NY)]
Manhattan apartment prices leap despite sales drop [Washington Post]
Sales of Manhattan apartments falling [Sun-Sentinel]
Apartments On The Market In Manhattan Hit 12-Year High [Tampa Tribune]
Manhattan apartment prices leap despite sales drop [MSN Money]
Manhattan apartment prices leap despite sales drop [7KPLC (Lake Charles, Louisiana)]
Manhattan apartment prices leap despite sales drop [Wave3 (Louisville, Kentucky)]

Here are a handful of radio and tv spots as well – more to come.

[Bloomberg TV]


Morning Call [Bloomberg TV]

Bloomberg Morning Markets [Bloomberg TV]

Squawk Box [CNBC]

News at Ten [WB11]

News at 5 [Fox 5]

WSJ Report [WCBS Radio]
NPR poor fidelity – better clip coming [WNYC]

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Buyers Are Liars

May 15, 2006 | 12:01 am | |


There has been a lot of ink (not literally) about real estate brokers as part of the problem in the real estate sale process.

But what about their side of the story?

In this Sunday’s My Broker, My Therapist [NYT] article by Teri Rogers, she explores the difficulty that New York brokers have dealing with their clients. (note: The Halstead real estate broker used in the cover photo has got to be one of the luckiest brokers around.)

Brokers, like therapists, have to understand what buyers really want in order to help them get it. While that might seem easy, it is not, because buyers often don’t know themselves what they would like — hence an old real estate maxim, “Buyers are liars.”

I think many critics of brokers, don’t fully understand what they have to go through to make a living. Its a very tough business. They are paid on commission. Both buyer and seller are usually not revealing their entire financial and personal situation which would be relevant to the sale. Broker colleagues are not always candid or a limited by prior agreement as to what they can reveal. A deal can die at the whim of a co-op board. The couple, parties, etc. may not be in agreement or may have different motivations as to why this transaction is occuring in the first place. Brokers try to assess their client’s needs [NYT], but its difficult because the buyers don’t usually know it themselves.

The sheer emotional aspects of a real estate transactions can bring out the worst in all of us.

Some of the notable quotes were:

  • “More so than any other profession, I think you get to see the window of people’s inner souls in a kind of hyper-reality superquick time,” said Rob Gross, a senior vice president of Prudential Douglas Elliman.

  • Mercedes Menocal Gregoire, an agent for Stribling & Associates, is surprised at what is sometimes revealed. “People get absolutely shameless in front of you,” she said….”In the middle of Park Avenue, she started screaming at the top of her lungs: ‘I can’t take it anymore. You never give me what I want.’ He says, ‘I give you whatever you want,’ and he bought her the apartment.”

And my personal favorite:

  • “Public fighting is the worst,” said Diane Saatchi, a senior vice president of the Corcoran Group East End in East Hampton. She described the frustrated wife, shopping for a $3 million summer home, who turned to her husband and uttered one line that said it all: “I wish you had a good job so we didn’t have to live like this.”

I suspect the broker will get to sell that summer house again real soon – so perhaps the instability of their clients can lead to more sales. [wink]


Manhattan Market Reports Available For Download

April 27, 2006 | 3:47 pm | | Public |

I was a bit tardy getting these posted online, but here are the PDF versions of our two latest market reports that I write for Prudential Douglas Elliman [PDE].

In addition, you can see the [methodology]) that went into the reports including the neighborhood boundaries and the type of content we have available. You can also build your own custom data tables here [aggregate data for 1Q 2006 will be available online early next week in this data section):

1Q 2006 Manhattan Market Overview [pdf]

A quarterly survey of more than 2,000 Manhattan co-op and condo sales.

Although the three price indicators showed growth over the prior year quarter and the prior quarter, price per square foot best characterizes market conditions for the current quarter since it is least impacted by the shift in unit mix toward larger apartments this quarter. The average price per square foot of $1,004 was the highest ever recorded in this study but was essentially unchanged from the prior quarter result of $1,002 for a 0.2% increase. The average sales price and median sales price jumped 9.6% and 8.6% respectively over the prior quarter. The average sales price was one of the highest on record at $1,300,928, second only to the second quarter of 2005 when the average sales price set an all-time record of $1,317,528. This indicator was 7.1% above the prior year quarter average sales price of $1,214,379. Median sales price saw a similar pattern, setting a record at $825,000 in the current quarter, up 17% over the prior year quarter median sales price of $705,000. The contradiction in the average price per square foot compared to these indicators was due to a shift in the mix of apartments to larger units that sold for the quarter…

Manhattan Market Report 1996-2005 [pdf]

More than 80,000 co-op and condo sales transactions from more than 6,400 buildings over the last ten years were analyzed. Each of the 53 different market areas was analyzed with data tables and charts as well as a summary matrix with prior year and prior decade comparisons.

The Manhattan market saw record prices in all major price categories: Average sales price, average price per square foot and median sales price. All categories saw year-over-year gains in excess of 20%. Average sales price remained above $1,000,000 and set a record of $1,221,265, increasing 21.6% over the price year average of $1,004,232. Average price per square foot set a record at $965, increasing 25.8% over the prior year average price per square foot of $767. Median sales price set a record at $750,000, increasing 23.8% over the prior year median sales price of $605,859.With all three price indicators showing similar percentage gains, there were broad-based price increases across most market categories. One of the distinctive characteristics of the market in 2005 was the decline in the number of transactions. A modest increase in mortgage rates and double-digit price gains have reduced affordability. Mortgage rates were above the prior year but are still below levels seen ten years ago. Analysts expect fixed and adjustable rates to increase slightly in the first half of 2006 as the economy continues to improve but the shift in the housing market to more modest price gains may keep further near term rate gains in check…

NYC Brokers Try Rebranding Their Brands To Something Brand New (As Market Changes)

April 17, 2006 | 12:01 am | |

I ran across this article on Friday: William B. May Ramps Up for New Era as Top New York Firm [RISMedia] and it dawned on me that this is the umpteenth (ok, 4th) rebranding effort I have run across specific to Manhattan real estate brokers this year.

These firms are all in the process of rebranding all or varying pieces of their corporate identities.

What is rebranding? Rebranding is about realignment [Buyer2Brand].

Is it coincidence that these efforts seemed to occur after the market started to cool? With all the excitement and energy that went into keeping their sanity during the housing boom, were these efforts delayed simply because there was too much going on back then?

There was a lot of consolidation. The big firms bought smaller firms and marketing companies. Public breakups.

Brands collided, so consumer confusion was a looming concern. Images could get stale and no one wants to be complacent.

Is this a good thing? Sure it is. Its merely an effort for a company to better connect with the clients they serve. Can it confuse the consumer further? Sure it can, but given the marketing savvy of these firms, I doubt they will have much trouble.

Here’s a real estate broker that, in an unusual move, debranded [Inman].
Here’s a real estate firm that had to change its name after scandal [REJ].


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