The Year-End Massively Excessive Use of Housing Charts Edition
Consuming housing-related data via charts is like consuming too much chocolate via music. Wait for it…
But I digress…
The Weirdness of a Weakening U.S. Economy Versus Rising Housing Market Might Mean A Rapid Recovery
Please read this excellent NYT visualization this week: How the Economy Is Actually Doing, in 9 Charts 
Though the pandemic has altered Americans’ day-to-day lives, it hasn’t halted their spending as much as some feared it would. Rather, consumption has shifted toward goods over services — buying alcohol from stores instead of from bars, for example — bucking a generational trend toward a service economy.
Countless businesses have been forced to close over the course of the pandemic. However, a sign that the economy may be adapting rather than totally halting is the increase over last year in new business applications.
The takeaway appears to be that the economy has adapted quicker to the change in economic conditions than expected but at the same time, the recovery process has been even more unequal.
NPR Radio: Commercial Real Estate Weakness Will Cause Stress To Their Lenders
I was interviewed for Marketplace  for a quick piece on the NYC commercial real estate market that provided a good overview of the look on the front lines.
The Backlash Over Streeteasy’s Real Estate Listing Monopoly Begins
New York City is seeing a listing battle like never before. Gabriels is the disrupter here , battling the former disrupter Streeteasy (Zillow) to become the defacto MLS in Manhattan. After Streeteasy killed their listing competitors and won the consumer, they began to charge significant fees to the brokerage industry to hold their listings and are acting like a monopoly and the quality of their data and features has continued to erode. One of the ways Streeteasy (and Zillow) makes money is to deflect the consumer from the actual listing agent and push them to an agent who paid Streeteasy to receive the leads. Also, Zillow is now also a brokerage firm and is, therefore, a competitor with the brokerage community such as their iBuyer effort.
Zillow deflects leads away from listing agents nationwide and absolutely screws the actual listing agent by having an “imposter” poorly represent the property and provides a blatant disservice to the consumer.
It is going to be interesting to see how the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) navigates this, having been ineffective in pushing out RLS, their failed attempt to win consumers back from Streeteasy.
REBNY is not happy with the entrance of Gabriels into the mix  and hit them with a cease and desist. I think this makes REBNY look bad to their members as all of the big Manhattan firms except Corcoran seem to be on board. Why would Corcoran not be on board? Curious.
Gabriels  has been in this space for decades (remember the Gabriels guides in the books stores?).
Visualize How Housing-Related Sectors Compare To Others (Hint: Better)
The employment within industry sectors that touch housing all seem to be near the top of Howmuch.net’s visualization : financial services, construction, and professional & business services.
The Risk of Eviction and Foreclosure Across The U.S. By State is Quite High
Visual Capitalist has quite a chart  this week.
According to a recent survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, of the estimated 17 million adults who are not current on their rent or mortgage payments, a whopping 33% of them could be facing eviction or foreclosure in the “next two months”.
The Fed’s Business Leaders Survey for NYC Metro in December Shows Growing Weakness
Like the Fed’s Beige Book , I take a look at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Business Leaders Survey  as they are released. The December report  shows the dire mood about the economy right now.
Activity in the region’s service sector declined at its fastest pace since June, according to firms responding to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s December 2020 Business Leaders Survey…Looking ahead, firms expect little improvement in business conditions over the next six months.
In other words, the vaccine is the lynchpin for regional economic growth to resume.
Video: The Manhattan Rent Plunge Caused The Most New Lease Signings For A November Since The Financial Crisis
The renewed rental affordability pulled consumers into the rental market from the suburbs and reflected the efforts of many in the city to move around to find better deals. Here are the Fox5 New York article and clip  on the results of our November rental report for Douglas Elliman .
Unemployment: Big Cities Have Been Hit Harder Than Small Cities
The disparity of job postings by wage levels is something we have seen but this confirms – higher wage earners haven’t seen the same economic damage as lower wage earners. This is another reason why the sales market is faring better than the rental market.
And big cities have been hit harder, showing fewer job postings than smaller cities on a consistent basis during the pandemic.
My favorite charts of the week of our own making
My favorite charts of the week
Len Kiefer ‘s Chart Handiwork
(For earlier appraisal industry commentary, visit my old clunky REIC  site.)
Southern California Appraisers See Over-priced Home Risk But Nowhere Near 2013-14
Prolific real estate writer Jonathan Lanser at Orange County Register  wrote about the Real Estate Research Council of Southern California’s appraiser survey that began about 70 years ago.
I wonder what any of my California appraiser colleagues think of this survey ? This doesn’t appear to be like the amazingly misleading Quicken Loans monthly survey that plots trends of biased borrower estimates against appraisers. This chart junk index was put to death in 2019 .
TAF’s Lack of Diversity Made It Vulnerable To Being Ignored By The Industry
After the poor performance of the “diversity” panel last week that introduced concepts that have nothing to do with the valuation of collateral for the global bond market (I mean, wow), I am calling on TAF to announce solutions to their own diversity problem immediately. It is hard to imagine the diversity problem being turned around given Dave Bunton’s 3+ decade tenure. Even worse, if he continues his transition to auto-pilot and follows the widely understood rumor-mill that names Kelly Davids as acting president in 2021 until his term is up in about four years.
Remember that this is the leadership, including the personal property appraiser Board of Trustees Chairperson that signed the bat-shit crazy letter , a self-absorbed diatribe, to the Appraisal Subcommitte (ASC).
Friends of Jim Amorin (FOJ) Are Making It Impossible To Be Considered For Office Unless You Are An FOJ
Here’s a reminder to all members of the Appraisal Institute that there is real corruption in national leadership: The proposed changes to the AI Bylaws will not allow people nominated to executive positions to provide any outside recommendations for the second vice president position. If they are submitted, they will be discarded. Why? It’s absurd and can only be explained by the stranglehold Jim Amorin and his posse have on AI executive leadership. This was clearly done to keep honest appraisers like Craig Steinley from doing what he did and submit an overwhelming number of letters of recommendations from leaders in other organizations. Doesn’t AI want to have relationships with other professional trade groups? Why would a recommendation from a non-AI executive be banned? If you’re an FOJ focused on controlling who gets to be an executive to keep the self-dealing financial party going, then that’s why.
This sham bylaw modification is being done because Jim Amorin wants to make sure the next second vice president is of the same political loyalty to him as Jim Tankersly shamefully showed in the recent application of the sham petition process.
Jim Amorin and the rest of his loyal followers are being relentless in shutting out the best the Appraisal Institute has to offer and stick with the current corruption composition of national leadership. I thought Jeff Sherman brought new honesty into the organization but I now realize I was wrong.
At one point when does someone whistleblow to the U.S. Attorneys Office, Northern District of Illinois  to have them investigate this institutional takeover. My goodness. If this isn’t corruption, then I don’t know what is.
Just read what’s happening in Region X! They are furious with the corruption in the sham election process initiated in Chicago. My goodness.
Corruption is everywhere within the organization on the national level.
Oh, and Merry Christmas to all.
OFT (One Final Thought)
This will take your breath away (in a good way).
Brilliant Idea #1
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- They’ll make charts;
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- And I’ll chart the market.
Brilliant Idea #2
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See you next week.
Reads, Listens and Visuals I Enjoyed
- Column: Visualizing a strong affordable housing strategy for Hawaii 
- Holiday Lights Go Big This Year 
- Half of NYC landlords losing money, says CHIP | Real Estate Weekly 
- Manhattan’s Luxury Properties in 2020: Interview with Shlomi Reuveni 
- I am not so worried about inflation – Marginal REVOLUTION 
- Taking the Temperature of Habitat’s Co-op and Condo Readers 
- Inside The Fight For Survival at Ziel Feldman's HFZ Capital Group [The Real Deal] 
- City Observatory – Building more housing lowers rents for everyone [City Observatory] 
- What Happens When the 1% Go Remote [Bloomberg] 
- Number of Americans moving homes hit lowest level in 73 years [Marketplace] 
- How the Economy Is Actually Doing, in 9 Charts [NY Times] 
- New 'Homes.NYC' Resets the New York City Home Search Experience [PR Newswire] 
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s Privatization Goal Still in Play: Report [The Real Deal] 
- Ken Griffin Sells Faena House Penthouses in Miami Beach 
- Charted: How COVID-19 Has Changed Employment in the U.S. Industry [howmuch.net] 
- Mapped: The Risk of Eviction and Foreclosure in U.S. States [Visual Capitalist] 
My New Content, Research and Mentions
- LIC developer plans 19-story residential tower [Crain's NY] 
- Manhattan Apartment Leases Rose 30% in November, but Here's Why Local Investors Shouldn't Get Too Excited [Fool.com] 
- The 10 Most Expensive U.S. Home Sales of 2020 Show NYC Isn’t Dead [Bloomberg] 
- What's the future of commercial real estate? [Marketplace] 
- More Multifamily Loans Showing Signs of Vacancy Distress [GlobeSt] 
- Top Los Angeles Home Sales of 2020 [The Real Deal] 
- The hottest housing market of 2020 [AOL] 
- With vaccine in sight, renters begin to return to NYC [FOX 5 NY] 
- Co-ops in the Time of Covid [NY Times] 
- Coronavirus real estate trends in NYC [Fox 5 NY] 
- Chamber panel zooms in on real estate as Palm Beach's economic driver [Palm Beach Daily News] 
Recently Published Elliman Market Reports
- Elliman Report: Manhattan, Brooklyn & Queens Rentals 11-2020 [Miller Samuel] 
- Elliman Report: Florida New Signed Contracts 11-2020 [Miller Samuel] 
- Elliman Report: New York New Signed Contracts 11-2020 [Miller Samuel] 
- Elliman Report: Colorado New Signed Contracts 11-2020 [Miller Samuel] 
Appraisal Related Reads
- Real estate drama (and a market update) [Sacramento Appraisal Blog] 
- Reopen Your Business Safely with This Budget-Friendly Marketing Plan [Cleveland Appraisal Blog] 
- Bill Introduced in New Jersey to Amend Appraiser and AMC Laws to Include Prohibitions Against Discrimination – Christensen Law Firm [Valuation Legal] 
- The Future of Housing – What to Expect in 2021 [Appraisal Buzz] 
- ASC, End the Foolishness. Federalize Appraisal Regulation & Enforcement [Appraisers Blogs] 
- Are Home Prices in Black Neighborhoods Underpriced? [The Street] 
- Fannie Mae extends relaxed appraisal, lending standards [HousingWire] 
Extra Curricular Reads
- Is Life a Simulation? Check Out the Creepy First Trailer for Documentary A Glitch in the Matrix 
- https://twitter.com/sportscenter/status/1340131112119627776?s=12 
- Barry Ritholtz and Josh Brown Won’t Predict The Market, But They’ll Talk About Anything Else. 
- Tracking world’s biggest iceberg [Flowing Data]