In reference to my New York Times quote this weekend by Vivian Toy – Bidding Wars Resume:
Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, estimated that two-thirds of the roughly 4,000 [8,389] apartments for sale in Manhattan are priced too high for the current market.
“So,” Mr. Miller said, “you have this weird situation right now where you have above-average inventory, but people are fighting over the ones that are priced correctly.”
(I’m not sure where the 4,000 number came from because Manhattan 3Q 09 showed 8,389 but the specific amount is irrelevant.)
The difference between a bidding war of two years ago and the current market is the irrational nature of bidding wars back then – it was all about “winning.” The market today is about obtaining value – with prices having fallen an average of 25% since pre-Lehman.
Also, there is a larger disconnect between buyers and sellers than a few years ago as measured by the lower pace of sales. There was a reprieve this summer when sales surged, but listing inventory is still above average levels and a higher level of listings are priced above market level leaving purchasers fighting over a smaller selection.
Although this is anecdotal, I do believe that there are fewer bidding wars that occur above list price than we saw a few years ago.
When my friend and bigger than macro Big Picture blogger Barry Ritholtz refers to me as “Our man Jonathan Miller drops the truth bomb” I am confident I nailed the current state of bidding wars.