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Douglas Elliman

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 [TheStreet.com]
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]

[WPIX WB11]

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 | |

Source: Jerf.org


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]


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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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The Real Deal Podcast: Jonathan Miller On Manhattan 1Q 2006

April 5, 2006 | 11:42 am | | Public |

[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 is part of a series of podcasts on the state of the Manhattan housing market. -ed]

Jonathan Miller

Is the Manhattan housing market cooling or is it still hot? [TRD]

The podcast format allows me to summarize the results of the just completed 1st Quarter 2006 Prudential Douglas Elliman Manhattan market Overview without rattling off a bunch of statistics – those you can get from my report which will be posted on my web site shortly.



[Media Chain-links] 1Q 2006 Manhattan Market Overview

April 4, 2006 | 7:39 am | | Public |

The 1Q 2006 Manhattan Market Overview that my appraisal firm, Miller Samuel, prepares for Prudential Douglas Elliman, was released today. I always think its interesting (actually, its fun) to see how the various media outlets (Big and Small Media, Blogs) respond to the exact same set of data and how the real estate brokerage companies who write alternative reports, frame their comments.

This list is in no particular order and excluded all the redundant articles (ie news feeds). I will keep adding to it through the week after the initial post.

Apartment Prices Up Again After a Slump in Manhattan [NYT]
Housing frenzy slows down[NYDN]
Wall Street bonuses lift Manhattan apartment prices [Reuters]
Reports: Luxury Housing Boom May Be Reaching Its Crest [NY Sun]
First Quarter Reports: Thousand Island [NYO The Real Estate]
Housing market still steady [NY Newsday]
City Apts. Defy U.S. Bubble Trouble [New York Post]
Condo boom boosts Manhattan real estate market [Inman News]
Manhattan housing market shows weakness [CNN/Money]
Manhattan Apartment Sales Cool Off [TheStreet.com]
Manhattan Apartment Prices Climb at Slowest Pace in Three Years [Bloomberg] IMMOBILIARE: SALE, SI SGONFIA OPPURE CROLLA [Wall Street Italia]
Manhattan housing market booms in first quarter [The Real Deal]
State o’ the Market Update: Through Thick and Thin, ‘Essentially Flat’ [Curbed]
Brokers say New York real estate market is cooling [Financial Times]
[Wall Street Bonuses Fuel Manhattan Real Estate Surge [DJ]](no link)
A game of telephone [Property Grunt]
Manhattan Market Up, Psychology Down in Q1 [Brownstoner]
Real Estate Rashomon [Walk-Through]

Here are a handful of radio and tv clips as well.


[Bloomberg TV]


[WNBC-TV]


[WPIX WB11]


[WABC-TV]

[WCBS Radio]


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NYC Mayor Gets “Dramatic” Over Housing

January 23, 2006 | 12:10 am | |
Source: Fox News

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday said the real estate market was slowing “dramatically” and only a “miracle” could stop soaring mortgage rates from eating into housing prices [Reuters].

The real estate market is slowing down dramatically and we’re going to have a problem down the road,” Bloomberg said.

“If people who want to sell their houses have to wait a longer time before someone comes along and buys it, it would be a miracle if prices didn’t start to go down,” he said.

The Reuters story referred to the report [pdf] I prepare for Prudential Douglas Elliman so perhaps he was referring to the sharp drop in the number of sales we saw in the fourth quarter. He said that if people have to wait longer to sell their properties, then price levels will weaken.

From a macro perspective, it seems like he is going out on a limb in his characterization [Inman], especially given his business experiences with the sensitivity of the financial markets. A statement like this could cause many in the real estate market pause and wonder what else does he see? He refers to “soaring” mortgage rates but the Fed is signaling it is near the end of its “measured increase” strategy on short term rates and long term rates have been falling since November.

From a political perspective, the city is running a large surplus ($3B) coming in part from the taxes paid by the housing sector and one could speculate he is positioning himself in the next fiscal year to lower the expectations of those who would like to spend it.

Now that the MTA transit union fell 7 votes short of ratification [NY Post] of the agreement hammered out by the union leaders and the city, it will be more difficult to take a hard fiscal stance with that kind of surplus.

Other local and state governments seem to be wary of housing’s impact as well: Housing Slowdown: Impact on State Government [Calculated Risk]

Experts say funding depends on strong real estate market [SF Chron]
Late taxes hint at housing’s toll [OC Register]



Manhattan 4Q 2005 Chain Links

January 5, 2006 | 12:01 am | |

We released the data for the Manhattan Market Overview I author for Prudential Douglas Elliman for the 4th Quarter 2005. Here’s a summary of the media coverage. Otherwise, here’s a list of the articles that covered the study. It provides an interesting perspective on how each media outlet covers the same story:

[NY Times]
[WSJ]
[CNN/Money]
[Int’l Herald Tribune]
[Reuters]
[NY Daily News]
[NY Sun]
[The Real Deal]
[Inman News]
[NY Observer]
[Crains NY]
[NY Newsday]
[TheStreet.com]
[Honolulu Star-Bulletin]
[NY Post]

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Manhattan After The Hoopla Over A 12.7% Drop: What Really Happened In 3Q 05?

October 9, 2005 | 9:05 am | | Milestones |

After the release of our 3rd quarter Prudential Douglas Elliman Manhattan Market Overview last Tuesday to the media and the frenzy of coverage during the week as a result, the New York Times ran an excellent overview of the market story this weekend called A Mixed Message [NYT].

Since then, I have received many inquiries about the state of the market over the week from real estate brokers, wall street firms and lenders to interpret the statistics in the report that were played over and over in the media firestorm. Whats been fascinating about this whole experience is how much coverage was given to the average sales price statistic, which could not stand on its own without explanation. Hopefully I don’t sound too cynical but this stat was likely used because it showed the most negative result.

Here’s a quick list of the highlights of the current market that are most useful:

  • The average price per square foot set an all-time record reaching $984 per square foot and rising 1.4% from the prior quarter. This is the telling statistic. The overall market increased this quarter, but not at the same torrid pace as before. The rate of appreciation has eased. In fact, since larger apartments generally sell for more on a per square foot basis than smaller apartments, one could make the argument that the shift in unit mix also tempered this indicator as well.
  • There was a significant shift in the mix of apartments that were sold. The average sales price dropped 12.7% because the market share of entry-level apartments (studio and 1-bedrooms) spiked 5% and activity at the upper end dropped off.
  • Entry-level sales surged because of concerns over modest increases in mortgage rates are expected. Of course, this has been the speculation since mid 2003 but this time, with rising fuel prices, comments from the Federal Reserve about housing, mortgage rates may actually rise.
  • High end sales activity eased rather than prices dropped. The luxury market average sales price dropped 26% from last quarter because fewer sales at the upper end occurred. There were 17 sales at or above $10M in the 2nd quarter and only 4 sales at or above $10M tracked in the 3rd quarter. In fact, a high end broker contacted me to say there were 5 such sales this quarter, but didn’t realize that one of them closed in the prior quarter. Nevertheless, whether 4 or 5, the sales activity was well below 17 sales. This doesn’t indicate that prices collapsed, but that a shift in the mix of apartments that sold in the upper 10% of the market.
  • Inventory did increase this quarter and was more heavily weighted with condos than co-ops. Since inventory came on at generally the same pace as the number of sales eased, inventory built up. This was attributable to seasonal considerations (thats a stretch) and bad economic news, rising gasoline prices, over saturation of bubble speak for the past 6 months and negative economic news relating to the 2 hurricanes.
  • There are expectations of record Wall Street bonuses at yearend due to the solid year seen by investment bankers and a number of other sectors in the financial district. Historically, Wall Street bonus income has flowed through the real estate economy after the New Year.

Here are a handful of all the interviews I did which basically re-iterate most of these points.


[Focus on Business (Canada)]


[Bloomberg Television]


[WCBS Channel 2]


[WNYC Radio (Brian Leher Show)]


[WNYC Radio]


[Bloomberg Radio]


[WCBS Radio]


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Making Sense of Manhattan – Panel Discussion at the 92nd St Y

August 7, 2005 | 10:05 pm | | Public |

Making Sense of Manhattan @ the 92nd Street Y

After the positive feedback received for last year’s panel discussion of the same name, Braddock & Purcell (Kathy Braddock and Paul Purcell) are again hosting the same panel members at the 92nd Street Y this fall.

Last year Paul Purcell asked tough questions of all three panelists: Pamela Liebman, Alan Rogers [former Chairman of Douglas Elliman] and yours truly. I have learned a lot from Pam, Alan and Paul over the years and anticipate that this second edition of the panel will be equally, if not more informative.

Apparently the 92nd Street Y did as well because they booked a larger auditorium!

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