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[In The Media] Fox Business Network Money For Breakfast 7-25-08

July 28, 2008 | 2:00 pm | | TV, Videos |

Last week I was attending the Inman Real Estate Connect in San Francisco and was contacted by Fox to discuss the latest RealtyTrac foreclosure numbers just released that day and the conversation spilled over into other related topics such as the Housing bill.

The segment was to air live at 7am EST time, 4am in San Francisco, and I had to get there by 3:30am, meaning I got up at 2:45am. Well, sleep is overrated anyway.

Alexis Glick was the host – she’s sharp and thinks at 100mph. Always a pleasure. Here’s her blog post on the segment. She seemed pretty excited about the foreclosure features on

After the segment, I teased my colleague at RealtyTrac, thanking them for giving me content and for giving me a reason to wake up at 2:45am.

What’s particularly interesting about the foreclosure numbers is that 16 of the 20 major metro areas tracked were located in California and Florida. I think that the average consumer thinks half of all sales in their locale are foreclosures which is simply not true, however, it is a serious concern. I keep harping on the lack of activity in the MBS markets and lack of liquidity out there.

All else feels like “cart before the horse.” Until financing is more readily available I find it hard to see much of an end to this mess in the near future.

Here’s the clip

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Inman SF, A Convection Oven Of Information

July 24, 2008 | 12:09 pm | |

I thought I wouldn’t make it there:

Here’s a glass is half empty whining, seeking empathy recap:

  • Drove to JFK, pouring so hard traffic would periodically come to a stop on the expressway
  • JetBlue flight was packed, with warm air blowing like a convection oven at about the halfway mark
  • Two kids, about 3 and 4 years old, screaming, fighting and crying for 6 hours directly behind me, parents oblivious or helpless
  • Two people next to me became fast friends, speaking so loud for 6 hours straight, I couldn’t tune them out with my iPod. I now know their mortgages, financials, plans to divorce, how they met their spouses in intimate detail
  • My tv screen went black halfway into the flight
  • Room wasn’t ready for 2 hours at the hotel
  • Apple store across the street ran out of iPhones 20 minutes before I got there, and were surprisingly rude

Here’s a glass is half full, glad to be here in San Francisco summary:

  • But I made it, alive
  • 65 degrees, sunny (perfect)
  • Met a ton of old friends, long time online friends finally in person
  • Brad Inman can still put on a show
  • Chief Economist at BofA main session gave great, forthright overview
  • Listened to Craig Newmark – quirky and endearing, “Constitution gets used again after the election” discussion (plus, as an added bonus, Craigslist discussion)
  • Hung out with Dustin Luther, saw his terrific presentation at the main conference
  • Winced at hyperinflation talk (1000%, 20 years, without factoring in corrective market forces) but otherwise loved the bull vs bear discussion, and at the end decided I didn’t need to jump off the Golden Gate
  • Couldn’t twitter during the conference, no ATT reception on the main conference and didn’t realize how simple the wireless password was. duh!
  • Went to the Trulia BBQ – on the trolley and spoke at length with the Marker Man who had to turn sideways to fit – best (only) meatballs I have ever had in SF
  • Had dinner with some of the smartest econ bloggers out there – UrbanDigs, Naked Capitalism, Calculated Risk and their better halfs
  • Realized it was about 2:30 am EST and had to end the evening without going to the Curbed party (I know, serious wimp)

Going to cook some more today.

[Party Like Its 2009] 2Q 2008 Manhattan Market Overview Available For Download

July 2, 2008 | 11:58 am | | Public |

The 2Q 2008 Manhattan Market Overview that I author for Prudential Douglas Elliman was released today. Other reports we prepare can be found here.

The [data]( and a series of [charts]( are also available

An excerpt

…Like the prior quarter, fewer sales occurred compared to the prior year quarter, but more than the corresponding quarter two years prior. There were 3,081 co-op and condo sales collected at the close of the quarter, down 21.8% from the prior year quarter. The decline in activity was evenly spread across coop and condo property types with the lower level of demand related to tighter credit and a weaker economy. With tighter credit conditions for market participants existing today as compared to last year, it is reasonable to expect a lower level of activity relative to 2007 for the remainder of 2008. In fact, there were more co-op and condo sales in 2007 than in any other year over the past 20 years…

In 2005, I began posting the links of the coverage of each report to see how each media outlet reports the market using the exact same data. I find it to be an interesting way to look at how this information is interpreted and presented.

The media coverage of the report will be provided here as they are released over the week (in no particular order).

Manhattan Second-Quarter Apartment Sales Fall by 22% (Update1) [Bloomberg]
Manhattan apartment prices zoom but more on market [Reuters]
Wall Street’s ills weaken Manhattan apartment sales [NY Daily News]
Curbed Roundtable: July State O’ the Market Report [Curbed]
Manhattan housing prices edge up, but sales slow [The Real Deal]
The High-End End? [New York Observer]
Manhattan apartment sales drop, but prices climb [Associated Press/Businessweek]
Manhattan housing market slows [Crains New York Business]
Manhattan real estate starts to soften [CNN/Money]
Apartment Sales Remain Vigorous in Manhattan [New York Times]
City Housing Slump May Hit In 2009 [New York Sun]
Sales still falling in Manhattan [Inman News]

[July 2, 2008] [Bloomberg TV](

[July 2, 2008] [NY1 TV](


[Gettin’ Heavy] Real Estate Connect San Francisco 2008

June 5, 2008 | 12:01 am | | Public |

The upcoming Inman Real Estate Connect San Francisco conference is a must see event for real estate professionals, plus it is in San Francisco, one of my favorite places. Check out the deal for bloggers.

Inman News has been touting the wide swath of speakers as:

  • The Best and the brightest;
  • Real estate industry’s champions; and
  • Industry heavyweights

Ok, ok. I get the hint. I need to lose a few pounds….

Inman Real Estate Connect is great because it attracts decision makers and innovators. I always learn something a lot and meet many great people.

Brad, Joel, Jessica and company know how to run an event.

On Friday in the main conference venue, I’ll be participating in the last panel discussion of the conference:

When Will the Housing Market Turn?

  • Alex Perriello, CEO, Realogy
  • Joel Singer, EVP, CAR
  • Jonathan Miller, Co-Founder, Miller Samuel
  • Patrick F. Stone, Chairman, The Stone Group

Should be a great time.

[Housing On Fire] Blogoshere Hose-Down, Heaven Can Wait Edition

May 30, 2008 | 12:01 am | |

Periodically, I like to round-up some of my favorite recent blog posts or articles that are housing market/credit/economy related. It’s journalism heaven: housing provides an endless supply of stuff to write about and this week was no exception.

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Social Networking For Real Estate Deals

May 21, 2008 | 12:01 am | |

Ok, I admit it. I am slowly getting sucked into social networking. I am evolving from the experimentation stage to the exploration stage. I am now ready for the productivity stage.

My usual go to sites for Social Networking these days are all over the map.

  • Twitter – a good place to see a steady stream of consciousness and an occasional cool link.
  • Facebook – my first step into SN. Beyong playing Scrabulous and Oregon Trail with friends and strangers, I am not the originator of much communication through this medium.
  • LinkedIn – a business Facebook with the centerpiece around my resume.
  • Inman – a huge resource and a great way to stay in touch with people in the industry.
  • Trulia Voices – I get a steady stream of questions and answers (including mine) that pertain to topics I am interested in. The alternative to blogging by real estate agents.

I have tried a few others but these have been the sites that have peaked my interest.

Now a new social network site called MyDealBook has entered the fray, leveraging the 300,000 register users of Property Shark, one of the best real estate data resources out there. Ryan Slack, the CEO of MyDealBook called and gave me an overview of the concept.

The “deal” is the centerpiece of the conversation and links to the deal build the credibility of the originator of the deal, hopefully to entice clients to consider using them. It is a very cool concept and perfect for those in real estate.

MyDealBook is a social network. It is a place where real estate professionals, investors, developers and service providers such as architects, contractors, appraisers and attorneys can maximize their professional opportunities.

[NAR Forecast] You Can’t Make This Up

May 20, 2008 | 12:01 am | |

For as hard as the typical Realtor works to make a living, that goodwill is quickly undone when looking at the forecasts that come out of Lawrence Yun’s office at NAR. Disbelief has been a recurring theme in the blogosphere since LY took over the reigns from DL.

Nearly once a week, I am hammered with some sort of press release spin that is, for lack of a better word, gross.

Now that the subprime market has dried up, and loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration and those purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are making a comeback, the housing markets will strengthen and prices are likely to begin a steady uptick in the coming months, Yun said.

Based on what?

“There are many reasons for people to get into the housing market today, and very few reasons not to. With the plentiful supply of homes for sale at affordable prices, interest rates approaching 40-year lows, and the strong track record of housing as a good long-term investment, conditions are ripe for buyers,” he added. “Those are the facts, plain and simple.”

Those aren’t the facts, plain and simple. It’s so simplistic a statement, it’s sad, actually. The problem remains with credit and the large drop in purchasing power that created artificially high demand. Bloated inventory levels are still a significant factor.

One could reasonably argue that Yun is committing consumer fraud by trying to entice people to buy into a market that is poised to fall further. I suppose he thinks his ridiculous predictions will restore confidence in the real estate market. If in fact his role is to spread optimism, the NAR should be legally required to post an appropriate disclaimer stating their real purpose.

Please watch this video – is it just me or is this just plain gross? What is the NAR thinking? They desperately need to reconsider this approach to public relations. The consumer needs to be given credit for having intelligence.

It’s embarrassing. Really.

You Can’t Make This Up

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[Housing On Fire] Blogoshere Hose-Down, Cinco De Mayo Edition

May 5, 2008 | 11:29 pm | |

Periodically, I like to round-up some of my favorite recent blog posts that are housing market/credit/economy related. And a good reason to mention Cinco de Mayo even though it has no connection with any of these posts.

Quote of the week…

In all large corporations, there is a pervasive fear that someone, somewhere is having fun with a computer on company time. Networks help alleviate that fear. – John C. Dvorak

[Inman] Real Estate Connects Golden Gate

April 12, 2008 | 10:36 pm | | Public |

The San Francisco edition of Real Estate Connect is approaching. I attended last year for the first time (I am a veteran of the New York version, which is usually about 5 blocks from my office). I get to meet a lot of smart people and pick up a lot of great information and discovered a lot of new resources. I am on slate to participate in some capacity this year.

[St Patrick’s Day’ March Madness] Like A Carnival Of Real Estate

March 17, 2008 | 12:01 am | | Milestones |

I have been out of the Carnival of Real Estate for quite a while and forgot how interesting it was to get posts from bloggers I wasn’t familiar with, as well as some great posts from long time friends.

I started getting post submissions on Monday and by today I had a lot of reading to do. Although the carnival hosts are expected to post only their favorites, how can I do that? I decided to provide a top ten list and then everyone else. I excluded a few get rich quick posts and those who seemed to be more interested in selling something or extra posts from those who submitted more than one. If I missed any legitimate posts, my sincere apologies.

Matrix Top 10 List

  1. Jay Thompson presents Deceptive Listings in the Phoenix Area posted at The Phoenix Real Estate Guy.
  2. Aaron Dickinson presents Star Tribune Prints the Wrong Story posted at Twin Cities Real Estate Blog.
  3. Howard Arnoff presents Understanding buyer agency posted at Charleston Real Estate Blog.
  4. John presents The Worst of Home Foreclosures Yet to Come posted at Top Real Estate Blog and Tips of Selling Home from Real Estate Guru Who Sells Home Like Crazy.
  5. MyNewPlace presents Green Apartment Construction Hinges on Living Density posted at MyNewPlace Blog.
  6. Tim Anderson presents The Copenhagen Report: The sound of the popping bubble: A bit about psychology and Copenhagen’s housing market posted at The Copenhagen Report.
  7. Dan Green presents Mortgage Video: Why It Matters When Mortgage Guidelines Change (Redux) posted at The Mortgage Reports Blog.
  8. Dan Melson presents San Diego Housing Market March 2008: Heating Back Up posted at Searchlight Crusade.
  9. Kathy Koops presents Why Bother Paying for Owner?s Title Insurance? posted at The Cincy Blog by Kathy Koops.
  10. Cindy Jones presents Northern Virginia Foreclosures-What Don?t You See posted at VA Real Estate Talk.

Here are other posts of note submitted in no particular order but are all a good read:

Thanks to all of those who submitted posts. It was a fun read and I’ll be expanding my blogroll this week. Don’t forget to check out Inman News Blog, next week’s host for the Carnival of Real Estate.

Its now 11pm EST on Sunday. Gotta get some sleep for a busy week ahead. an anticipated FOMC rate drop, plus more shoes to drop (are there any left?), making my March Madness picks and most importantly, someone has to paint that green line on the parade route tomorrow in Manhattan.

UPDATE: In my $2 per share Bear Stearns stupor and flood of emails, I inadvertantly left a great post off the list:

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[Miller Samuel Love] Miller Samuel And Radar Logic Part Ways For Now

March 7, 2008 | 5:54 pm | | Public |

Last September I announced in my “Radar Love” post that our Miller Samuel firm was being acquired by Radar Logic. It was an exciting time for my family, my company and of course, me.

I was so confident in the deal being completed by year end that I agreed to assume the role of Executive Vice President and Director of Research before the deal closed. I created the RPX Monthly Housing Market Report, provided my expertise, spoke on behalf of the company on real estate matters and made presentations at conferences.

The end of the year came and went.

I have decided it was best for Miller Samuel to move on.

Our parting with Radar Logic is amicable and I wish them great success. The firm is comprised of brilliant, innovative, hard-working people and I am glad that I had the experience of working with them.

It is a tumultuous time for residential real estate. It is a watershed moment for the appraisal industry, the economy is moving towards recession, the credit markets are in disarray, foreclosures are rising, there is a presidential election that promises much change and most importantly, the iPhone is going to get a lot of cool applications.

In other words, the real estate market actually needs neutral valuation experts more than ever.

Miller Samuel will continue to be an appraisal and consulting firm that many consider the best in the business. We will explore new opportunities, continue to prepare and expand our series of market reports on the New York region and provide housing commentary in a local, national and international context.

More to come and thanks for listening.

Ok, back to work.

Jonathan Miller
Miller Samuel Inc.
Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants

UPDATE (Mar 07, 2008 7:00PM ET): Press release placed on MarketWire by Radar Logic.

UPDATE 2: News coverage:
Miller Samuel, Radar Logic Break Off Engagement [New York Observer]
Miller Samuel backed out of merger with Radar Logic [Crains New York]
Miller Samuel parts ways with Radar Logic [Inman News]
Miller Samuel backed out of merger with Radar Logic [The Real Deal]


[New Inman Site] In Beta, But Already In The Community

March 1, 2008 | 9:47 pm | |

Inman News is one of those essential resources for real estate market professionals as well as buyers and sellers. Its important social media environment (although, admittedly, I am partial to Oregon Trail on facebook). The new look for Inman is crisp and easy to read:

…and Inman News has created a blog network and Matrix is one of the inaugural members. More on that to come!

Hey if you get a chance, consider reviewing Matrix on Blogged. Thanks!

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