Housing Forecast Accuracy We All Aspire To

Accuracy is often underappreciated.

 
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But I digress…

The Greenwich, Connecticut Housing Market Regains Its Mojo For Now

I’ve been the author of an expanding series of market reports for Douglas Elliman Real Estate for the last 25 years.

Long forgotten after the financial crisis as buyers skipped over the suburbs to the city, drawn in by the promises of new urbanism (i.e. walkability and being able to buy strawberries at 3 am) the Greenwich market has finally re-awakened.

Apparently Wall Street still loves Greenwich as the Bloomberg story on the housing market that included our Greenwich research was the 4th most emailed article of the day (from late morning until late afternoon) by the 350K Bloomberg Terminal subscribers. The Fairfield County report where Greenwich is located, and Downtown Boston reports were also released.

And a Bloomberg Greenwich chart…

Elliman Report: Q3 2020 Greenwich Sales Elliman Report: Q3 2020 Fairfield County Sales Elliman Report: Q3 2020 Downtown Boston Sales


GREENWICH SALES HIGHLIGHTS

“Sales surged higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the decline in spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

  • Single-family sales surged to their highest level in at least a decade
  • Single-family listing inventory fell sharply from the prior quarter
  • Condo price trend indicators and sales surged from the prior-year quarter
  • Luxury listing inventory declined year over year for the sixth straight quarter
  • Back Country showed its fastest-moving pace in at least five years of tracking


FAIRFIELD COUNTY SALES HIGHLIGHTS

“Sales surged higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the decline in spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

  • The three overall price trend indicators reached new record highs in more than sixteen years of tracking
  • The number of sales rose to the highest total in sixteen years of recording
  • Listing inventory fell at the highest annual rate in twenty-three years, reaching the lowest level in twenty-four years
  • Luxury listing inventory fell to its lowest level in six years of recording
  • Luxury sales saw the least negotiability in more than thirteen years


DOWNTOWN BOSTON SALES HIGHLIGHTS

CONDO “Sales edged higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the sharp drop in spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

  • The number of sales edged higher year over year for the third time in four quarters
  • Listing inventory rose annually to the highest level in more than nine years
  • Median sales price declined annually for the second straight quarter after rising for the previous four

TOWNHOUSE “Sales clawed back most of the previous quarter’s decline in spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

  • The number of sales declined year over year for the fourth straight quarter
  • Listing inventory rose sharply year over year over the past two quarters
  • Median sales price fell annually for the second consecutive quarter after rising for the previous seven

VIDEO: 92Y City of Tomorrow: Are People Giving up on New York City?

Short answer, not really. This 92Y panel I was on was brilliantly moderated by Brad Grossman, and included myself, Dr. Ayman El-Mohandes, Mindy Fullilove and Lindsay Greene. It was 30 minutes of insights that I got a lot out of.

[click to open video landing page]

PODCAST: The Comeback With Jonathan Miller

Last month I spoke with transactional attorneys Alan Perlowitz, Esq. and Andrew Luftig, Esq. of Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP for their “The Comeback” Podcast that chronicles the housing market recovery out of the COVID lockdown. These guys want to share their experiences and speak to the real estate brokerage industry all the time. In the middle of the lockdown when I was about to speak on a panel with Andrew, I suggested he compile their results (anonymized) as a report and they did so almost immediately!

Florida Housing Markets Feel The Burn (Of More Activity)

Douglas Elliman published a slew of our market research this week and activity remained high. In fact on a quarter-over-quarter basis, most of the markets sales rebounded 50% to 100% from the previous quarter.

The Elliman Reports for Florida released this week can be found here (click on “Florida”)

I ran out of time inserting charts into all of the Florida markets, but you can view them here in our chart gallery.

[alphabetical order]


BOCA RATON / HIGHLAND BEACH HIGHLIGHTS

“Sales rose sharply higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the restraint of spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

  • In a rebound from the prior quarter, condo and single family sales saw their largest annual rise in seven years
  • All single family price trend indicators rose year over year as sales saw its largest jump in nearly nine years
  • All luxury condo price trend indicators showed a substantial year over year increase


CORAL GABLES HIGHLIGHTS

“Total market sales pressed higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the restraint of spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

  • Single family sales surged and listing inventory fell from the prior year quarter as the lockdown ended
  • Condo listing inventory declined annually for the fifth consecutive quarter
  • Luxury single family listing inventory declined sharply year over year for five straight quarters


DELRAY BEACH HIGHLIGHTS

“Total market sales pressed higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the restraint of spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

  • Single family sales increased at their highest year over year rate in five years
  • Condo sales reached their highest third-quarter total in twenty-two years of tracking
  • Both single family and condo luxury listing inventory fell sharply from the prior year total


FORT LAUDERDALE HIGHLIGHTS

“Sales rose higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the restraint of spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

  • All condo price trend indicators rose year over year as the number of sales jumped
  • Single family sales surged, and listing inventory fell sharply from the prior-year quarter
  • Single family median sales price increased annually for the eighth consecutive quarter


JUPITER / PALM BEACH GARDENS HIGHLIGHTS

“Sales rose higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the restraint of spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

JUPITER – Single family sales jumped year over year as listing inventory dropped sharply – The most third-quarter condo sales in fifteen years

PALM BEACH GARDENS – The most third quarter single family sales in fifteen years – Condo listing inventory declined annually for the sixth straight quarter


MANALAPAN HIGHLIGHTS

“Sales rose higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the restraint of spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

MANALAPAN, HYPOLUXO ISLAND & OCEAN RIDGE – Single family sales surged from the year-ago quarter, rising for the first time five quarters – Listing inventory declined annually for the third time in the four recent quarters – All price trend indicators slipped from year-ago levels as listing discount rose to the highest level in more than a year


MIAMI BEACH/BARRIER ISLANDS HIGHLIGHTS

“Sales rose higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the restraint of spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

  • Condo price trend indicators increased as sales and listing inventory edged higher
  • Overall single family price trend indicators set new records as sales surged year over year
  • Luxury condo price trend indicators jumped year over year, aided by a shift to larger sized sales

MIAMI COASTAL MAINLAND HIGHLIGHTS

“Sales rose higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the restraint of spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

  • Condo price trend indicators and sales moved higher as listing inventory slipped to a three-year low
  • Single family price trend indicators set new records as sales rose to their highest level in more than five years
  • Luxury condo price trend indicators increased year over year as listing inventory declined annually for the second time in three quarters

PALM BEACH HIGHLIGHTS

“Sales rose higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the restraint of spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

  • All three condo price trend indicators increased year over year for the fifth straight quarter
  • Single family sales nearly tripled from the year-ago quarter as listing inventory fell sharply
  • Luxury listing inventory fell significantly year over year for the third consecutive quarter

ST. PETERSBURG HIGHLIGHTS

“Sales rose higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the restraint of spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

  • Single family price median sales price has risen annually each quarter for nearly nine years
  • Condo listing inventory has declined year over year for the first time in six quarters
  • Markets including Snell Isle, Historic Old Northeast, and Downtown have all seen large year over year gains in sales levels

TAMPA HIGHLIGHTS

“Sales rose higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the restraint of spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

SOUTH TAMPA – Single family sales fell annually for the third time in four quarters as inventory posted a large decline – Condo listing inventory declined for the fifth consecutive quarter as the overall price trend indicators pressed higher

GREATER DOWNTOWN TAMPA – Downtown price trend indicators and the number of sales rose above prior-year quarter levels – Davis Island sales and price trend indicators increased as listing inventory slipped


WELLINGTON HIGHLIGHTS

“Sales rose higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the restraint of spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

  • Condo sales surged annually at their highest rate in eleven years as listing inventory edged higher for the second straight quarter
  • Single family median sales price rose annually for the twelfth straight quarter as listing inventory dropped sharply
  • Luxury condo median sales price more than doubled year over year as listing inventory saw a significant annual decline

WEST PALM BEACH HIGHLIGHTS

“Sales rose higher year over year, rebounding quickly from the restraint of spring market activity at the onset of the COVID crisis.”

  • Condo median sales price has risen each quarter on a year over year for more than nine years
  • Single family listing inventory has fallen at a rising year over year rate for five consecutive quarters
  • Luxury condo listing inventory has posted large annual gains for three of the past four quarters

Bloomberg TV – Ivy Zelman On How U.S. Homebuilders Can’t Keep Up With Demand

My friend and one of the best housing analysts out there, Ivy Zelman of Zelman & Associates spoke with Bloomberg’s Joe Weisenthal on his show “What’d Ya Miss?. Joe was one of my favorite all time bloggers pre-Bloomberg gig.

The latest data shows that U.S. new home sales advanced to the highest level in almost 14 years as record-low mortgage rates continued to entice buyers into a market with ever-shrinking supply. Ivy Zelman, CEO of Zelman & Associates, speaks with Bloomberg’s Caroline Hyde, Romaine Bostick and Joe Weisenthal on “What’d You Miss?” about the boom in U.S. housing. (Source: Bloomberg)

Getting Graphic

Our favorite charts of the week of our own making

Len Kiefer‘s Chart Handiwork


Appraiserville

(For earlier appraisal industry commentary, visit my old clunky REIC site.)

How Many Days Until TAF Takes Down ASC ‘Oversight’ Mentions?

I’m not a gambling man, but after I point out the following, I want to take bets on how long it takes TAF to remove references to their clear belief in ASC’s right to ‘oversight’ and how it contradicts the statements and actions of their recent “bat-shit crazy” letter that TAF sent to ASC proclaiming ASC has no right to provide oversight – only “monitor and review.”

Something is clearly tainted in the water at TAF that has eliminated their long term memory. After all, there are three clear references as of today that provide an acknowledgment that ASC has ‘oversight’ rights over TAF. As I’ve mentioned before, it is quite bizarre that TAF suddenly believes that Congress created a non-profit that seems focused largely on money reflected by how hard they have fought to renew USPAP every two years but has no “oversight.” I’ll bet Congress is now learning about this change in philosophy, especially with the non-profit having the same leader for more than three decades.

The following pages on the TAF website illustrate TAF’s firm belief that ASC has clear oversight over TAF. The following references have been on the website as long as I can remember – I’m guessing at least a decade, but that’s just a guess. I’ve shared screenshots here to confirm this when the references are removed later on.

Exhibit I

The following graphic describes the “oversight by ASC on TAF” on The Appraiser Regulatory System in the United States page (bold my emphasis):

Provides oversight, funding & services to ensure compliance with Title XI of FIRREA; members are from federal finance-related entities.

Exhibit II

On the same page as Exhibit I, a similar reference to “oversight” by ASC on TAF can be found (bold my emphasis):

The Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council has oversight authority over the states and the Foundation to ensure the minimum qualifying criteria to license and certify real estate appraisers are implemented and that appraisers are held to a professional set of ethical standards.

 

Exhibit III

Another similar reference to “oversight” by ASC on TAF can be found (bold my emphasis):

The ASC is responsible for monitoring the individual states in the licensing and certification of real property appraisers. In addition, the ASC acts as an oversight mechanism for activities of The Appraisal Foundation (Foundation) relating to real property appraisal.

 

Kelly Davids at IAC/TAF: TAF Will Do Beautiful Things With Scott Dibiasio of AI

On the last IAC call, Kelly Davids, Senior Vice President of TAF announced TAF plans to do (and I’m paraphrasing) beautiful things together with Scott Dibiasio of the Appraisal Institute. That’s a shocking revelation and illustrates how desperate TAF is to have a friend during this rogue adventure they seem to insist on having. Prediction: This will end badly for current TAF leadership.

For more than a decade, The Appraisal Foundation (TAF) and The Appraisal Institute (AI) were arch enemies – and that’s a clear understatement. The feud has been all about the two leaders of two institutions – Dave Bunton of TAF and Jim Amorin (and his group) of AI (a.k.a. Hatfields & McCoys). The vitriol between these two individuals is legendary and has been all over the public space for years, illustrating a disconnect that does nothing but selling actual residential real property appraisers short. I’ve seen it first hand. I was there when TAFAC voted down AI from re-joining because they wouldn’t agree to the TAF mission statement which was insane for AI to even try that tactic. A bunch of AI appraisers with MAI designations during the contentious vote actually said: “The mission statement is just a sentence!” They were so wrapped up in their bias with AI that they didn’t realize what they were actually saying. How can you be a member of an organization but disagree with its mission statement? It’s been an endless AI v. TAF soap opera that has redirected efforts away from the well-being of residential appraisers.

In fact, TAF has sent many of their former employees to testify around the U.S. to stop the damage and misinformation that Scott Debiasio has perpetuated. AI seemed to have thoughts about being the replacement for TAF to get all that money from the license registry, much like they took all the money from their local AI chapters. Long ago, I shared Scott’s testimony at the Montana real estate appraisal board where he essentially said he didn’t need them and would go straight to the legislature. What he didn’t realize at the time, is that the legislature would simply defer law changes to the real estate board for guidance – that demonstrates the culture of arrogance and incompetence within the operational leadership of AI.

And Scott continues to work against residential appraisers on a state level. The absurdity of TAF reaching out and being best friends with AI after all that is quite bizarre but shows the incredible scale of desperation. I’m certainly not saying the two institutions shouldn’t try to mend fences, but the AI corruption at the top still exists with the recent Quid Pro Quo: The Right Candidate Got Elected And Corrupt Leadership Got To Keep Their Sham Election Maneuver.

Industry-loved 16-year TAF Veteran John Brenan Presented With The ‘Chair’s Public Service Award’ From TAF Board of Trustees

Over the years John Brenan carried the water for The Appraisal Foundation (not to diminish the contribution of the other half dozen or so TAF employees that left in the past several years). He has presented USPAP and all things appraisal seemingly 24/7 during my career. He lived and breathed the actual mission of The Appraisal Foundation. I always found him to be highly knowledgeable, always professional, always accessible, but most importantly, always got my Dad jokes.

When he left, he was recognized for his contribution to the institution with the prestigious ‘Chair’s Public Service Award’ From TAF Board of Trustees.

This was a well-deserved public recognition of John’s contributions to TAF and the appraisal industry. It also speaks to the devasting loss of institutional knowledge at TAF with the exodus of staff with decades of experience in recent years and how TAF’s recent actions reflect a pivot away from focus on the appraisal industry to focus on a non-profit making a lot of money and claiming no one has the right to give them oversight. That “bat-shit crazy” letter serves as an historical marker of the collapse in the integrity and credibility of today’s TAF.

And it’s going to get worse.

Who is going to work to protect the public trust now and protect residential appraisers?

OFT (One Final Thought)

For reasons I don’t understand, I found this ‘homebuilding in a van’ video very inspirational.

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 accurate;
  • You’ll be buying a van;
  • And I’ll write some more market reports.

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.

Jonathan J. Miller, CRP, CRE, Member of RAC
President/CEO
Miller Samuel Inc.
Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants
Matrix Blog
@jonathanmiller

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