Sitting In The Housing Waiting Room
Right now we are all sitting in a waiting room, patiently hoping the COVID crisis will somehow be resolved in the not too distant future. So there’s this.
The fact that today’s Gen Z know Fugazi’s ‘Waiting Room’ is mindblowing to me. Of course, Cleveland.
It compares well with the original by Fugazi:
But I digress…
ABC World News Tonight Segment On Looming Mortgage Defaults And Evictions
I was interviewed for Deirdre Bolton’s national ABC piece with a conservative pink plaid shirt and hopefully some helpful insights.
And ended up with a 7/10 score on @roomrater. I’ll take it.
August 16, 2020 
Portland Keeps It Weird With Low-Density Zoning Reform
The reform sets a new standard: up to four homes on almost any lot, or up to six homes for price-regulated projects.
Comparing Closed Sales Trends After A Catastrophe
The Wall Street Journal’s Covid-19 Pounds New York Real Estate Worse Than 9/11, Financial Crash  does a big story on the state of the high-end real estate market and its not pretty but my charts are:
New Ways To Look At Market Conditions: Deals In Progress
Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP  came up with a creative way to share market performance during the COVID lockdown. This law firm is one of the more social media savvy firms  I’ve come across. Their residential reports  are a cross between data and anecdotal and useful in a world devoid of data right after lockdown.
Scrolling through their deals, you can see anonymized transactions and whether they had contingencies (most do) and what the discounts are like (not that much).
Housing Starts Show Recovery, Also Shows Release of Pent-up Demand
 You will find more infographics at Statista 
(For earlier appraisal industry commentary, visit my old clunky REIC  site.)
ASC Is Not Invited To SRAG By TAF
Let me jump out of the DC acronym hellscape for a minute. The following tweet describes the State Regulatory Advisory Group (SRAG) that has been revived by The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) that includes representatives of the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB), the Appraisal Standards Board (ASB) and the Association of Appraiser Regulatory Officials (AARO). SRAG was originally created so that representatives could have informal discussions on matters of the day. Later on, when AARO changed its periodic Saturday meetings to Fridays to coincide with TAF board meetings, SRAG was seen as duplicative and disbanded. In the original incarnation of SRAG, The Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) was a part of this informal discussion process. Yet, in today’s resurrected version of SRAG, they are not part of it.
Yesterday was the first meeting of our new State Regulatory Advisory Group. Thank you to all the state regulators who participated. We appreciate the opportunity to work with you to continue to improve public trust in the valuation profession.— The Appraisal Foundation (@TheAppraisalFdn) August 18, 2020 
The restriction of SRAG is actually a good thing because the experience level at TAF has been hurt by the large staff turnover in recent years, especially with the exit of a long time stalwart of all things USPAP, John Brenan. So getting TAF together with regulators is good. The omission of ASC from SRAG when they were part of the original version is bad but consistent with TAF actions against ASC over the past few months.
The exclusion of ASC appears intentional due to the feud that boiled up in recent months culminating with that bat-shit crazy letter  (sorry) to the ASC board.
Here’s why. The ASC enforces compliance with USPAP by the states. They are not in the room with these informal discussions so the states are going to take TAF’s views as the default, yet they are not getting any input from the entity that enforces them.
The long time relationship between TAF and ASC has been participatory and now, in recent years, that has clearly changed. Why?
When A TAF Board Member Has A Conflict, That Doesn’t Mean A Recusal In Attendance
Back when Practical Applications of Real Estate Appraisal (PAREA) was being planned and discussed, a board member representing a national company (one seen by most of my appraiser peers as a data monopoly), recused themselves from voting on the board in that matter due to conflict, but sat in and actively participated in the development discussion.
This tells me that there is not a full awareness in leadership that TAF’s reason for being is to ensure the public trust. You can’t do that when large companies have the potential for “inside baseball” early knowledge of new programs or have the ability to shape the outcome to their company’s advantage.
We Already Know Who Will Be The Next President of TAF
One of the worst kept secrets in Washington is who will be Dave Bunton’s replacement. Dave has two more years to go on his contract before retirement. He has been the only president that TAF has ever had. To give him his due, he has done a lot of good during his tenure and I have found him to be a very nice person. But a replacement for his position is too important to the appraisal industry to be hidden from view. His replacement is critical to the future of the appraisal industry. There are many changes on the horizon and TAF needs someone that works well with other agencies and is able to keep talented staff in place. The replacement should be obtained through a national and fully transparent search process and compensation should be analyzed to be at the market rate.
That is something we did not see over at the Appraisal Institute in the search for the replacement for the former CEO that left essentially in the middle of the night. It was a predetermined pick with a decorative executive search.
I hope for the industry’s sake, the executive search for TAF’s next president is completed with full transparency.
OFT (One Final Thought)
This is great https://t.co/TFhR7eR7HB — Scott Galloway (@profgalloway) August 16, 2020 
Brilliant Idea #1
If you need something rock solid in your life (particularly on Friday afternoons) and someone forwarded this to you, or you think you already subscribed, sign up here for these weekly Housing Notes . And be sure to share with a friend or colleague if you enjoy them because:
- They’ll be more patient in the waiting room;
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- And I’ll not avoid my next visit to the waiting room.
Brilliant Idea #2
You’re obviously full of insights and ideas as a reader of Housing Notes. I appreciate every email I receive and it helps me craft the next week’s Housing Note.
See you next week.
Reads, Listens and Visuals I Enjoyed
- Land & Buildings Jonathan Litt on His Pandemic Office Shorting Strategy [The Real Deal] 
- The Hottest Commodity in Pandemic New York? Fresh Air [NY Times] 
- Portland just passed the best low-density zoning reform in US history [Sightline] 
- U.S. Homebuyers Continue to Gravitate Toward Suburban Areas [Mansion Global] 
- Why Jumbo Mortgage Rates Make No Sense Right Now [Wall Street Journal] 
- The economics of skyscrapers: A synthesis [VOX, CEPR Policy Portal] 
- REITs Struggle After Landlords Faced Toughest Ever Quarter [Institutional Investor] 
- As New York Hurtles Toward an Eviction Crisis, These Are the Tenants Most at Risk [Curbed NY] 
- Urban Exiles Are Fueling a Suburban Housing Boom Across the U.S. [Business News World] 
- Trumps' Palm Beach County tax bills could approach $1.5M, preliminary estimates show: exclusive [Palm Beach Daily News] 
- Tiny house in Toronto listed for $1 million sells for $800k over asking [blogto.com] 
- How to bring New York City back [City and State NY] 
- Catskills Town Leads U.S. in Rising Home Prices With NYC Exodus [Bloomberg] 
- Amazon will hire 2,000 NYC employees at new Lord & Taylor building location [6sqft] 
- New York City: after the pandemic, poised for rebirth [Neighborhood X] 
- Residential Market Reports — Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP [CPL Law Firm] 
- CFPB Issues Proposal to Permit Mortgage Lenders to Make Unaffordable Loans Without Consequences – National Consumer Law Center 
- Pied-a-Terre Tax May Pass in Albany in 2020 [The Real Deal] 
- Ten American Towns That Feel Like Europe [Smithsonian Magazine] 
- FHA Mortgage Delinquencies Reach a Record, Led by New Jersey [Bloomberg] 
- WSJ News Exclusive | Vail Mountain Home Sells for $57.25 Million, Setting New Record for Colorado Town [Wall Street Journal] 
- Zillow 2020 Urban-Suburban Market Report [Zillow Research] 
- The Biggest Bedroom Is No Longer a ‘Master’ [NY Times] 
- As Lake Michigan Rises, Homeowners Scramble to Protect Their Properties [Wall Street Journal] 
- The coronavirus made us realize that faster change had always been possible [Neighborhood X] 
- For U.S. Homes, More Than Half of All Offers Faced Competition in July [Mansion Global] 
- Suburbs Can Woo City People By Being More City-Like [Bloomberg] 
- China Home-Price Growth Slows in July Amid Fresh Wave of Curbs [Bloomberg] 
My New Content, Research and Mentions
- Video: Fears of housing crises loom as homeowners begin to miss mortgage, rent payments [ABC World News Tonight] 
- Most real estate developers have hit pause. Why Terra’s David Martin is forging ahead [Miami Herald] 
- NYC, state legislature must protect tenants amid 'NYC exodus,' says de Blasio [PIX11] 
- Urban Exiles Are Fueling a Suburban Housing Boom Across the U.S. [Bloomberg] 
- A record high of 13,000 apartments are empty in Manhattan – the most in 14 years [New York Times Post] 
- June marks a full year of declines in new leases signed in northwest Queens: Report [QNS.com] 
- Manhattan Empty Rental Apartments Reach Record High [The Jewish Voice] 
- 纽约人外逃 曼哈顿1万3千套公寓空置 – 大纪元 [Epoch Times] 
- New survey finds a slim margin between asking prices and accepted initial offers for NYC apartments [Brick Underground] 
- Thousands of NYC apartments empty due to exodus to suburbs [Amsterdam News] 
- Manhattan Vacancy Rate Climbs, and Rents Drop 10% [NY Times] 
- Empty apartments in Manhattan reach record high, topping 13,000 [London Daily] 
- More than 13,000 apartments are empty in Manhattan [KIRO7] 
- Manhattan rents plunge as pandemic hits real estate [Yahoo Money] 
- Rents are down, vacancy rates are up in NYC rental market [Marketplace] 
- Manhattan sees record number of vacant apartments amid coronavirus [NY Post] 
- Trending Market News Thursday: WeChat, Jobless Claims [The Street] 
- There's a record number of vacant rental apartments in Manhattan [Yahoo Finance] 
Recently Published Elliman Market Reports
- Elliman Report: Manhattan, Brooklyn & Queens Rentals 7-2020 [Miller Samuel] 
- Elliman Report: Colorado New Signed Contracts 7-2020 [Miller Samuel] 
- Elliman Report: California New Signed Contracts 7-2020 [Miller Samuel] 
- Elliman Report: Florida New Signed Contracts 7-2020 [Miller Samuel] 
- Elliman Report: New York New Signed Contracts 7-2020 [Miller Samuel] 
Appraisal Related Reads
- Flawed Florida Court Decision Could Affect Hotel Valuations [GlobeSt] 
- Good Appraisers Lived That Hell Too … Lumped in with the Bad Appraisers [Jonathan Miller/Appraisers Blogs] 
Extra Curricular Reads
- America is now dealing with a pepperoni shortage [Timeout] 
- The Number Ones: Van Halen’s “Jump” [Stereogum.com] 
- “We Were Locked Up in One Country and Released Into Another”: Horror and Hope as Protests in Belarus Continue [New Yorker] 
- Rapid Testing Is the New Velvet Rope [NY Times] 
- The Ultimate Guide To The Hot Sauces in The Hot Sauce Issue [Whalebone] 
- How a One-Product Company Found a Way to Beat Counterfeiters [Bloomberg] 
- Inside the graffiti-covered 191st Street tunnel, NYC's deepest subway and only underground 'street' [6sqft] 
- The Great Gotham Vroom Boom of 2020 [NY Times] 
- A Visual Guide to the Best Commuter Bikes [Bloomberg] 
- In Love's Shadow [THE BITTER SOUTHERNER] 
- Dennis Quaid adopts cat also named Dennis Quaid [news.avclub.com] 
- NBA Ratings Nosedive Proves Sports Are Not Essential [Deadspin]