Matrix Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Urban Digs’

[In The Media] Theory Of Negative Milestones Means A New Beginning

November 9, 2008 | 8:30 pm | | Milestones |

I have long believed in what I call the “theory of negative milestones.” There are seminal events that mark new periods of real estate activity. (both map mashups courtesy of NYT)

This weekend’s New York Times real estate cover story was based on my firm’s ongoing research of the Manhattan housing market. The content in the article was thoroughly fleshed out by my friend Noah over at Urban Digs so I won’t elaborate.

In 2008, the influence of the credit crunch has been characterized by various levels of impact on segments and a lower level of activity. Everyone who lives in Manhattan can feel it, especially those in the real estate brokerage business. The events of the past two months have marked a new milestone with the bailout of Frannie, the $700B stimulus package, collapse of Lehman, the purchase of Merrill, the reclassification of Morgan and Goldman to commercial bank status, aggressive actions including cutting rates by the Fed, a culmination of 22 months of campaigning, a new party taking over the executive branch and gaining power in Congress. In other words, change.

The promise or anticipation of change makes people in real estate pause and reflect.

Still, there is real estate activity, albeit at a slower pace. Informed buyers are signing contracts. Many participants are optimistic about the new direction promised by the new administration, and in the short term, that may cause a slight bump up in activity. However, the credit crunch continues to overshadow housing markets in the US.

Stabilize credit, then and only then, can the housing improve.

Speaking of wolves at the door…


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[List-o-links] From The Tank: Tools, Lessons And Messages

October 27, 2006 | 12:05 am | |

Periodically I purge some links I collect that are worthy of a post or were interesting or fun, but I didn’t have enough time to expound upon and too much time had passed by. Since I didn’t want them to let them be forgotten, I pulled them out of the tank – definitely worth checking out.

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Matrix Makes The Cut: 2006 Inman Innovator Award Finalist

June 29, 2006 | 12:01 pm | | Public |

Inman News has announced their Inman Innovator Award Finalists to be presented at Real Estate Connect San Francisco at the Palace Hotel on July 26, 2006. Apparently Inman likes Matrix.

Matrix along with 5 other real estate blogs were presented as finalists including Rain City Guide, The Walk-Through (New York Times), Center for Realtor Technology, SocketSite and Urban Digs.

Given worthy competition, I don’t see much of a chance to win, but its definitely fun to be a finalist.

UPDATE: Here’s the official press release.

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Shameless Self-Promotion: Top 25 Real Estate (Related) Blogs

March 24, 2006 | 12:01 am | | Public |

In an unscientific poll, Realty Blogging: A Network of Blogging Evangelists Writing On Effective Real Estate Blogging ranked Matrix and Soapbox in the top 25 of all real estate related blogs. Matrix also won Most Interesting Real Estate Blog.

This does not really represent any real in depth surveys or analysis but its fun nonetheless.

Hey, I am the only one to have 2 blogs on the list! 😉

The winners are the main sites I read daily with a few new sites in the mix (get the links here)

Affordable Housing Institute
Behind The Mortgage
Brownstoner
Central VA real estate news, trends and opinions
Center for Realtor Technology
Curbed
grow-a-brain
Hot Property
Housing Panic
Inman
lenderama
Matrix
My East Bay Agent
Northern Virgina Real Estate
Property Grunt
Rain City Guide
Real Estate Marketing Blog
Soapbox
Tampa Bay’s Inside Real Estate Journal
The Mortgage Reports
The Real Deal
The Real Estate Blog
Toronto at Home
Urban Digs
The Walk-Through

Ok, back to work…


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Hybrids Don’t Cost An ARM And A Leg

January 9, 2006 | 12:01 am | Public |

In this article by Steve Kerch, real estate editor for MarketWatch about Adjustable-rate mortgages he says:

Adjustable-rate mortgages have been maligned in recent years as some critics have contended that, in an era when fixed-rate loans were at historic lows, ARMs were only being used by marginal buyers who could not otherwise afford to buy houses. The implication was these were all risky loans that would eventually come back to haunt lenders and the housing market.

Source: NASA

“The reality is quite a bit different. Yes, ARMs do account for a significant portion of the mortgage market — 32 % in 2005, Freddie Mac says, down only slightly from a 10-year high of 33% in 2004. But the most popular ARMs aren’t the risky ones everybody assumes.

Instead, the reason the ARM share of the market has remained so high while 30-year fixed rates have remained so low is that buyers have been flocking to hybrid ARMs, adjustable loans that don’t adjust right away but have a fixed-rate period for a number of years. The biggest among those hybrids is the 5/1 loan, which means the borrower has a fixed rate for five years before the mortgage begins to adjust every year. In fact, 5/1 ARMs accounted for 40% of all adjustable-loan applications in 2005, Freddie Mac said.”

“This idea of better matching your housing plans to the financing you put on the housing is a relatively new one, since these hybrid ARMs — you can find three-year, seven-year and 10-year versions as well — have only been around a few years. (Freddie Mac only began tracking the 5/1 hybrid rate in 2005.) But the practice makes perfect sense: Homes turn over in the U.S. every seven years on average and first-time buyers especially often plan a short stay in their “starter” home before moving up. “

See 5/1 ARM A Good Idea? [Urban Digs] for a rational discussion on the strategy of obtaining a hybrid mortgage.

These have become very popular as buyers have been forced to rethink traditional financing (aka 30-year fixed mortgages). The logic has become: if a homeowner plans to move in 5 years, why pay a premium for a 30-year fixed when the hybrid has a steady payment for the same period of time? Some say that you should select a hybrid that has a fixed term of 2 years longer than you plan on staying in the house.

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