Matrix Blog

Luxury, Super, Ultra, Mega

Miller Samuel Luxury Market Indices on Bloomberg Terminals Through 2Q 2013

August 12, 2013 | 8:41 pm | | Charts |

Here are the 3 Manhattan luxury housing price indices we provide for the Bloomberg Terminals through 2Q 2013.

MLH AVG Index (Miller Samuel Manhattan Luxury Housing Average Sales Price) [click to expand]

MLH SQFT Index (Miller Samuel Manhattan Luxury Housing Price Per Square Foot) [click to expand]

MLH MED Index (Miller Samuel Manhattan Luxury Housing Median Sales Price) [click to expand]

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Miller Samuel Manhattan Luxury Market Indices on Bloomberg Terminals [1Q 13]

April 28, 2013 | 7:08 pm | | Charts |

A while ago Bloomberg created three luxury housing indices using our Manhattan historical data for their terminal subscribers. Kinda cool. For all the high end housing market hype, the upper end has remained fairly stable for several years. That may change a bit going forward (higher).

Here are the latest:

MLH SQFT Index (Miller Samuel Manhattan Luxury Housing Price Per Square Foot)

[click to expand]

MLH MED Index (Miller Samuel Manhattan Luxury Housing Median Sales Price)

[click to expand]

MLH AVG Index (Miller Samuel Manhattan Luxury Housing Average Sales Price)

[click to expand]

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Manhattan Diverged From NYC At US Housing Boom Peak

February 14, 2013 | 10:54 am | | Charts |


[click to expand]

As the above chart illustrates, the aggregate median housing price in New York City, based on co-op, condo and 1-3 family property sales, with and without Manhattan sales go their separate ways circa mid-2006, at the Case-Shiller Home Price Index peak of the national housing market. This also makes the decline in the New York Case Shiller HPI all that more maddening (because it’s not Manhattan, or co-ops or condos or new development and includes Long Island, Fairfield, Westchester, Northern New Jersey and a county in Pennsylvania).

The market share for new development sales in Manhattan peaked in 2Q 06 at 57.9%. The 4Q12 market share was 12.5% but fear not, more new development is coming per The Real Deal.

During the boom through today, the shift in the mix towards Manhattan luxury property, largely from the combination of new development activity as well as vigorous Wall Street and international demand has expanded the difference between Manhattan and the rest of New York City. In other words, the gain in median sales price for NYC was caused by a shift in the mix toward higher end properties.

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Miller Samuel Luxury Market Indices on Bloomberg Terminals

January 28, 2013 | 11:00 am | | Charts |

Here are the 3 Manhattan luxury housing price indices we provide for the Bloomberg Terminals.

MLH AVG Index (Miller Samuel Manhattan Luxury Housing Average Sales Price)
[click to expand]

MLH SQFT Index (Miller Samuel Manhattan Luxury Housing Price Per Square Foot)
[click to expand]

MLH MED Index (Miller Samuel Manhattan Luxury Housing Median Sales Price)
[click to expand]

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CNBC: $60,000 Per Month In Maintenance Charges With Park Views+Terrace

January 28, 2013 | 3:00 am | TV, Videos |


[click to expand]

The average co-op maintenance in Manhattan was $1.68 per month in 4Q12. I got a call from Robert Frank at CNBC who was researching maintenance charges for their new reality show – tonight’s show features a $95M co-op listing overlooking Central Park with a large terrace and a $60,000 per month maintenance charge. At nearly 8,000 square feet, that’s $7.50 per square foot per month or 4.5x the Manhattan average co-op maintenance per square foot.

To watch everyone on CNBC’s Sqwawkbox oooh and ahhhhh over the listing, check out the video as well as Robert Frank’s post on maintenance charges.

It remains to be seen whether the market supports the price but whatever the price paid or whoever the buyer is, rest assured they will pay all cash and probably won’t live in it full time.

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[In The Media] Bloomberg’s “Money Makers” 12-28-12

December 29, 2012 | 11:50 am | | Public |

Had a nice chat with Erik Schatzker and Sara Eisen on the top 5 closed Manhattan transactions to date (there may be a few more squeezed in). We got through 3 and then there was a breaking news event – the president was announcing the status of the “fiscal cliff” talks.

Imagine that! As if the “fiscal cliff” was somehow more important than learning where the super wealthy invested their money in real estate? Ok I’m kidding.

I’ll finish the list and include the top sales in a post later today when the howling snow storm hits CT.

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Series of Tubes and Time Lapse Documentation, Manhattan Style

December 4, 2012 | 7:00 am |

With the demolition of the Drake Hotel and the pending construction of Manhattan’s tallest residential condominium 432 Park Avenue, passers by get the opportunity to observe a series of tubes and it’s not the Internet on an adjacent building.

Check out the very cool visual documentation of the 432 Park Avenue development site.

I marvel at old school (modern) engineering when a solution to a problem doesn’t require aesthetics and it’s exposed. Thankfully this masterpiece will be covered as the new 432 Park is constructed.


[click to expand]

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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.

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Luxury Real Estate as the New Global Currency

November 18, 2012 | 5:46 pm | | Articles |


[click to read article]

Over the summer Camilla Papale, Douglas Elliman’s CMO asked me if I would present something about the state of luxury real estate for their Elliman Magazine (and iPad app!). The finished result contained 3 parts:

  • I wrote a brief piece about the influx of international demand as high end consumers were seeking a safe haven from the world’s economic problems. I called the piece: “LUXURY REAL ESTATE AS THE WORLD’S NEW CURRENCY” This post’s title was my working title which I also liked.
  • Plus I did a little research on housing prices across the globe using Knight Frank’s resources and
  • I moderated a discussion on the subject with Dottie Herman, President & CEO of Douglas Elliman, Patrick Dring, Head of International Residential at Knight Frank, and Liam Bailey, Head of Residential Research at Knight Frank. They all provided great insights to the subject.

Here’s the full piece in Elliman Magazine . I’ve inserted a portion of the presentation below in 2 parts:

LUXURY REAL ESTATE AS THE WORLD’S NEW CURRENCY

Since the beginning of the global credit crunch in 2008, luxury real estate has morphed into a new world currency that provides investors with both a tangible asset and a cachet that cannot be found within the financial markets. It’s as if these emboldened investors zoomed out of their local Google Earth view to discover the wider global perspective on luxury real estate.

HOW DID WE GET HERE? The US dollar has weakened in the years following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the onset of the global credit crisis. The S&P downgrade of US debt in August 2011 from its benchmark AAA rating brought a flood of investors into US financial securities. That meant that our currency allowed us to buy less abroad, and the strength of other currencies provided international buyers with large discounts when purchasing property in US dollars. But it went further than that.

THE RISE OF LUXURY REAL ESTATE AS A “SAFE HAVEN.” The volatility of global financial markets and the resulting political fallout shook investor confidence, which in turn spurred a rise in foreign buyers seeking a safe haven to protect their assets. A wave of international buyers from Europe, South America, and Asia entered the US housing market, helping set record prices and revive luxury markets including New York, The Hamptons, and Miami.

SUPPLY-DRIVEN DEMAND. The luxury real estate market has become defined by the supply of available properties. While demand has remained constant and elevated, inventory has become a critical variable, particularly at the very top of the market, where surging international demand for one-of-a-kind properties has surpassed the limited supply. The resultant record-breaking sales of “trophy” properties have enticed more owners of luxury homes to make them available for sale.

THE RISE OF THE “TROPHY PROPERTY.” The trophy property has become a new market category that does not follow the rules and dynamics of the overall marketplace. One stratospheric price record is being set after another, and it is not only the list prices that are defining these record sales; the rarity of location, expanse of the views, quality of amenities, and the sheer size of these unique homes have all played an important part in attracting the interest of foreign buyers.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? Driven by the global credit crunch and political instability, the two factors that are expected to remain unchanged for the next several years, the US luxury housing market is expected to remain a “safe haven” for foreign investors for quite some time.

A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE COMMERCE OF GLOBAL LUXURY REAL ESTATE

I sat down with Dottie Herman and our friends across the pond, Patrick Dring, Head of International Residential, and Liam Bailey, Head of Residential Research at Knight Frank, to chat about the state of real estate in the prime markets across the globe and the rise of a foreign investment phenomenon.

JONATHAN MILLER: Douglas Elliman has a broad coverage area that includes some of the most affluent housing markets in the US. Are you seeing any short-term issues that may influence luxury investor decisions over the coming year?

DOTTIE HERMAN: At the end of this year, we may see a repeat of the consumer behavior we saw at the end of 2010 when US capital gains tax rates were expected to rise. Ultimately, the rates did not increase, but many consumers in the luxury market took preventative action before the potential tax increase and raced to close their sales by the end of 2010. Despite the ups and downs in the quarters that followed, the luxury housing market was not adversely impacted in the long-term.

JM: Paddy, according to Knight Frank’s Global Briefing blog, housing prices in central London are up sharply, but the pace of growth appears to be slowing, perhaps because of the new stamp duty (a tax on properties priced at £2M–the equivalent of $3.15M–or more). What does this mean for the luxury market?

PADDY DRING: In short, the £5M ($7.85M) market is up year-on-year. The new stamp duty on property sales above £2M seems to be having an impact only on the band just above the new £2M threshold. Foreign demand remains high and, notably, we have sold to over 62 different nationalities within the last 12 months. They are less affected by the changes in stamp duty, since the rates in London are still in line with many other European countries.

JM: Dottie, your firm has sold a large number of luxury properties this year, despite a lukewarm economy and tight credit conditions. Record sales and listing prices are becoming nearly commonplace and a significant portion of this demand for luxury real estate is coming from abroad. Do you see this developing into a long-term trend?

DH: It’s certainly been a year of records and I do think we are embarking on a period where luxury real estate has the potential to outperform the rest of the housing market. Several of the markets that we cover, Manhattan and Miami in particular, have been firmly established as highly sought-after international destinations. As much as we fret about how slowly our economy is recovering, the US has proven itself as a “safe haven” for many international investors who are concerned about the turmoil of the world economy and political stability. Luxury investors from much of Europe, Russia, Asia and South America have been buying here at the highest pace we have seen since the credit crunch began.

JM: Liam, the US is seeing a higher-than-normal influx of real estate demand from foreign investors who seem to be focusing on the upper end of the housing market. These investors are well represented from Europe, Asia and South America. Are you seeing the same phenomenon when it comes to luxury properties in the UK? What are the primary regions where this demand is coming from?

LIAM BAILEY: The focus of demand continues on London and its easily accessible suburbs. London is facing even higher global demand than New York, with the top end strongly led by Russia, Europe, Canada, and the Middle East, and demand in the new development investment market very much led by Asia.

JM: In the US, access to financing is a key challenge to domestic purchasers, including luxury investors. What are some of the key challenges facing your clients who are looking to purchase real estate outside of their own countries?

PD & LB: Financing remains a consideration for many, although mortgages are more available in many of the markets than people are led to believe. Of course, the property needs to be quality and in a core location and have a more conservative loan-to-value ratio, however, many of our clients purchase in cash, so they are more affected by market sentiment and, of course, liquidity if they need to sell unexpectedly in the future. Factors affecting market sentiment include the usual considerations, such as exchange rate, a stable political base, as well as a sound legal system that guarantees clarity of title and tax considerations. The latter of course is affecting not only the cost of acquisition (stamp duty), but also, in some countries, the cost of holding (wealth tax) and ultimately selling (capital gains tax). Access, infrastructure, and climate (if lifestyle-driven) all remain key, as do low crime rates as people become more aware of their privacy and personal safety.

JM: Since the beginning of the credit crunch, you’ve constantly stressed to your clients that the terms of a sale are just as important as the price of a sale, given the challenges of obtaining financing. How do international buyers fi t into this new world defined by tough lending standards?

DH: Despite mortgage lending in the US remaining tight, luxury markets in the areas we cover have improved quickly. I can only imagine how much stronger the US housing market would be if we saw credit ease to historically normal levels. International buyers tend to pay cash or obtain financing from their native countries, which has given them an advantage over many domestic purchasers. Combine the ability to pay in cash with both the weakness of the US dollar against many of their native currencies and a volatile global economy, and you can begin to understand why we are seeing a strong presence of international buyers in our markets. Like our friends at Knight Frank, these luxury investors are interested in our proven core markets that already have a large concentration of luxury properties. Overall, we continue to be excited about our market’s expanding presence in the global luxury housing market—there are many opportunities out there for this new international investor to explore.



Luxury Real Estate as the World’s New Currency [Miller Samuel (pdf)]
Luxury Real Estate as the World’s New Currency [Douglas Elliman]
Elliman iPad App [iTunes]

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Knight Frank Tall Towers Report Shows London With Similar Manhattan Height Premium

November 6, 2012 | 10:00 am | | Reports |

Knight Frank released their new report exploring the floor level premium in London’s high-rise residential developments with the coolest report name ever: Knight Frank Tall Towers Report 2012

While NYC has a taller residential housing stock than London but the premium per floor is similar. London shows a 1.5% increase in value per floor. My rule of thumb for Manhattan has been 1% to 1.5%, but closer to 1%. However we treat floor level as a different amenity than view and that’s probably the reason for the slightly larger adjustment in London. What’s particularly of interest is how much more the per floor cost of development is for higher floors:

Net to gross area ratios in tower schemes are lower, since the percentage of space taken up by the cores and service provision areas are comparatively high. This means that the effective revenue-generating 43% Uplift in construction costs per sq ft between the 10th and 50th floor.

I’ve explored the subject myself in New York Magazine and The Real Deal Magazine.



Tall Towers Report 2012 [Knight Frank]
Manhattan Values By Floor Level [Matrix/New York Magazine]
The cost of a view [The Real Deal]

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Hamptons High End Market in 4Q: Hedging Against Possible Rise in Capital Gains?

November 6, 2012 | 8:00 am | | Charts |


[click to expand]

This chart is an enlarged version of a chart that appeared within our just released Elliman Report: Hamptons/North Fork Sales. I’ve expanded it because I was struck by the randomness of activity in the $5M and up sector of the market (blue columns). Clearly the pattern follows the market stall after Lehman’s ’08 bankruptcy for a few quarters but otherwise, the sales don’t seem to follow a pattern, seasonal or otherwise.

The two quarters with a spike of 38 sales, 4Q 2010 and 2Q 2012 could be explained perhaps but the reasons aren’t that compelling in comparison to how much they stand out.

4Q 2010 The looming Bush tax cut expiration at the end of 2010 caused many sellers to bring high end properties and they were quickly absorbed.

2Q 2012 The prior quarter seemed to be an elevated spring surge.

4Q 2012 Will the 4th quarter see the same phenomenon as 4Q 2010? The capital gains implications are the same – will the Bush tax cuts be extended? – I’m not sure but our appraisal practice is inundated with valuation assignments of high end properties hedging against the potential end of year rise in capital gains tax.

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the imminent Snor’eastercane may change the 4Q 2012 results.

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[Bloomberg] Manhattan Luxury Housing Market Charts 3Q-2012

October 9, 2012 | 12:00 pm | | Charts |

A few years ago Bloomberg created indices for the Manhattan Luxury Housing market based on our data to be seen by their terminal subscribers. Cool to have an index based on our research (and a project triggered by our report efforts).

The top 10% of the market (Luxury) is hovering at just over $2,000 per square foot for the past year [top chart]. Median sales price has remained just above $4M for the past 3 years [bottom chart].

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