Matrix Blog


Coastal Prices Loft Zips

April 25, 2006 | 12:01 am | |

In Sara Clemence’s special report: The Most Expensive ZIP Codes [] she ranks the top 500 zip codes nationally, which is quite an undertaking. (ok – shameless plug: my firm provided the Manhattan stats)

Only 2 Manhattan zips made the cut, which was similar to last year. Whats so interesting to me is that the zips that you would think made the list, those that contained Fifth Avenue, Park Avenue and Central Park West, didn’t make the cut. California was most represented at the upper end of the list, and those are nearly all are adjacent to some waterway. Eastern Long Island did well, posting the highest zip code on the list, 11962 in Sagaponack, New York.

Only 10013 and 10007 made top 20 and these zips happen to be primarily loft areas in the neighborhood known as TriBeCa (acronym for triangle below Canal Street). In the mid-1990’s the downtown loft markets of SoHo (South of Houston Street) were discovered and became one of the most popular areas for new development, primarily through conversion of manufacturing buildings to residential condominiums. As the market matured, loft spaces were getting larger, especially as the dot com boom blossomed. From a practical nature, units tended to sell for more on a per square foot basis, so developers made them larger. From a physcial standpoint, subdividing loft space was tricky and with 4,000 square foot floor plates on many, it made sense to market 4,000 square foot units or 2,000 square foot units but not much in between. This market appealed to existing residents, but more importantly, they appealed to residents in more traditional residential neighborhoods like the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side.

The Most Expensive ZIP Codes []
Zip Zip Hooray for the Hamptons [NYP]
Forbes: Tribeca, Soho Go Zip Zip Zip [Curbed]
Forbes: Most Expensive Zip Codes [Gawker]

_Other Zip Studies_
Most expensive housing markets [CNN/Money]
Gulp! It’s $528K for Boulder home [RMN]


[Curbed] Three Cents Worth: Square Feet On The Other Foot

April 19, 2006 | 8:24 am | | Columns |

Its Wednesday, so its that time of the week to provide my Three Cents Worth, as a post for Curbed, a real mother of a real estate web log.

Curbed: Three Cents Worth: Square Feet On The Other Foot

Previous posts can be found here.

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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].


Curbed: Three Cents Worth: Inventory’s Up and It’s Not Our Fault

April 12, 2006 | 11:49 am | | Charts |

Here is my Wednesday post for Curbed, the grand-nephew’s cousin, twice-removed of all real estate web logs.

Curbed: Three Cents Worth: Inventory’s Up and It’s Not Our Fault

An archive of previous posts can be found here.

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Stat Correlation Of The Day: GDP And New Housing Starts

April 12, 2006 | 12:01 am | |
Calculated Risk

A hat tip to Calculated Risk for this article by Danielle DiMartino Real estate indicator gets notice [Dallas Morning News].

While I always thought of most housing stats as trailing economic indicators, apparently a number of economists have correlated GDP with new housing starts. There may be a 3 quarter lag between the two indicators.

Mr. Kasriel takes the Rosenberg analysis one step further by plotting the quarterly average observations of the year-over-year change in economic growth against the year-over-year change in new-home sales, which he then advanced by three quarters. This three-quarter advance yielded the strongest correlation to gross domestic economic growth.

“In other words, as pointed out by Mr. Rosenberg, the behavior of new-home sales is a powerful leading indicator of overall economic growth,” Mr. Kasriel wrote.

Calculated Risk says New Home Sales is one of my favorite leading indicators of future economic activity. The one exception, the 2001 recession, was due to a dearth of business investment after the burst of the stock market bubble. For the consumer led recessions, New Home Sales has been an excellent leading indicator.

While I also have used GDP to correlate to housing prices [Curbed], I am not sure if its going to work in 2006 with all the economic noise from last fall showing weak growth.

Economists never rest. [yawn]

Curbed: Three Cents Worth: Getting Our ARMs Around Studios, 1BRs

April 5, 2006 | 4:51 pm | | Columns |

Here is my Wednesday post for Curbed, the third cousin, twice removed of all real estate web logs.

Three Cents Worth: Getting Our ARMs Around Studios, 1BRs

An archive of previous posts can be found here.

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[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 []
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]




[WCBS Radio]

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Curbed: Three Cents Worth: Manhattan Gets Zipped & Ranked

March 29, 2006 | 4:27 pm | | Columns |

Here is my Wednesday post for Curbed, the great uncle’s second cousin twice removed of all real estate web logs.

Curbed: Manhattan Gets Zipped & Ranked

An archive of previous posts can be found here.

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Broker-Bashing For The Sake Of Broker-Bashing®

March 29, 2006 | 12:01 am | |

I had heard about the ABC spot through the rumor mill and then Curbed laid it out for me in its full glory: Corcoran Gets Real, Offends REALTOR®

What Your Broker Won’t Tell You [ABC News] is more of a promo for her series on Good Morning America [] but I think that the message in the piece is just plain wrong. Who does it help? The consumer? Thats really not fair for BC to frame the piece this way, even to the cynical and it only appeals to the lowest common denominator. But then again, its the sensational stuff that draws viewer eyeballs. -sigh.

Barbara Corcoran’s segment on Good Morning America piece essentially stereotypes ALL real estate brokers as liars.

In fact, the comments in the Curbed post were mainly pile-ons and broker-bashing. Granted, brokers can be an easy target because of their visibility, marketing intensity, the dollars involved and the emotional aspects of real estate. Admittedly, I get annoyed when I see the Code of Ethics shoved in my face in the NAR’s recent advertising campaign, but its all about the people and most brokers I have met are nice and decent people.

Barbara Corcoran came to the New York real estate market, she innovated the real estate brokerage profession, conquered it, was well compensated and moved on. She is effectively out of the business but continues to try to stay relevant by “stirring it up” as she was known to do throughout her career.

I have been critical of the NAR of late, especially in the way their public relations machine handled the phraseology associated with the cooling housing market. For example: Housing Expansion, but in this case, I find myself agreeing with the NAR (kind of). Here is the NAR take on this matter.

Although you have to admit, Curbed’s curiousity about whether NAR President Thomas M. Stevens would actually would say: ‘”registered trademark!” after every time he utters the word “realtor?” Because that would be pretty damn weird.’

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Shameless Self-Promotion: Top 25 Real Estate (Related) Blogs

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

In an unscientific poll, Realty Blogging: A Network of Blogging Evangelists Writing On Effective Real Estate Blogging ranked Matrix and Soapbox in the top 25 of all real estate related blogs. Matrix also won Most Interesting Real Estate Blog.

This does not really represent any real in depth surveys or analysis but its fun nonetheless.

Hey, I am the only one to have 2 blogs on the list! 😉

The winners are the main sites I read daily with a few new sites in the mix (get the links here)

Affordable Housing Institute
Behind The Mortgage
Central VA real estate news, trends and opinions
Center for Realtor Technology
Hot Property
Housing Panic
My East Bay Agent
Northern Virgina Real Estate
Property Grunt
Rain City Guide
Real Estate Marketing Blog
Tampa Bay’s Inside Real Estate Journal
The Mortgage Reports
The Real Deal
The Real Estate Blog
Toronto at Home
Urban Digs
The Walk-Through

Ok, back to work…

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Curbed: Three Cents Worth: Appreciate While You Still Can

March 23, 2006 | 12:23 am | | Charts |

Here is my Wednesday post for Curbed, the mother-in-law-twice-removed of all real estate web logs.

Curbed: Three Cents Worth: Appreciate While You Still Can

An archive of previous posts can be found here.

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Curbed: Three Cents Worth: The Rich Inherit the Market

March 15, 2006 | 5:19 pm | | Charts |

Here is my Wednesday post for Curbed, the mother, father, sister, brother and second-cousin-twice-removed of all real estate web logs.

Curbed: Three Cents Worth: The Rich Inherit the Market

An archive of previous posts can be found here.

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