Matrix Blog

New York City

[Three Cents Worth #287 NY] Tracking New York Rents and Asking Prices Over a Century

June 3, 2015 | 6:04 pm | | Charts |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed NY, at the intersection of neighborhood and real estate in the capital of the world…and I’m here to take measurements.

Check out my 3CW column on @CurbedNY:

Back in 2011, I embarked on a fun research project for Douglas Elliman’s 100th anniversary, in which I traced how sales prices and rents changed since the 1910s. I explain in detail how I did the research here, but I ended up with a very loose proxy to represent price per square foot for sales and average monthly rents during each decade…

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Here are some other ways to view the 100 year trend based on feedback from readers.

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My latest Three Cents Worth column: Three Cents Worth: Tracking New York Rents and Asking Prices Over a Century [Curbed]

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[Three Cents Worth #286 NY] How Many NYC Apartments Are Bought With Cold Hard Cash?

May 30, 2015 | 5:53 pm | | Charts |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed NY, at the intersection of neighborhood and real estate in the capital of the world…and I’m here to take measurements.

Check out my 3CW column on @CurbedNY:

The Washington Post published an article last year titled “8 in 10 Manhattan home sales are all-cash,” a statement that was (and still is) hyperbole; the actual figure was 45 percent. The data is worth revisiting, though, and I thought it might be a good time to look at the makeup of Manhattan apartment purchases in regards to cash versus financing. Obviously, there has been some confusion in the past, so I thought it would be helpful to display a year’s worth of trend data…

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My latest Three Cents Worth column: Three Cents Worth: How Many NYC Apartments Are Bought With Cold Hard Cash? [Curbed]

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NYT Mag: Love That ‘Old New York” Neighborhood

May 26, 2015 | 1:38 pm | | Favorites |

Saw this is in the most recent edition of New York Times Magazine. Brilliant

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[Three Cents Worth #282 NY] Renters Love Small Apartments; Buyers Are Relegated To Them

May 19, 2015 | 8:00 pm | | Charts |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed NY, at the intersection of neighborhood and real estate in the capital of the world…and I’m here to take measurements.

Check out my 3CW column on @CurbedNY:

Since both the sale and rental markets in New York City continue to plot a parallel course—and that’s upward—I thought I’d break down both markets by the number of bedrooms and see how they compare. Turns out the mismatch is quite pronounced at the extremes of each market…

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My latest Three Cents Worth column: Three Cents Worth: Renters Love Small Apartments; Buyers Are Relegated To Them [Curbed]

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[Three Cents Worth #281 NY] 6 Graphs That Prove New York Real Estate’s Love of Mondays

May 16, 2015 | 9:10 pm | | Charts |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed NY, at the intersection of neighborhood and real estate in the capital of the world…and I’m here to take measurements.

Check out my 3CW column on @CurbedNY:

After covering more serious topics as of late, this week I thought I’d lighten things up and look at New York city’s signed contracts by day of the week. I used the roughly 2,000 contract dates I had for the closed sales in Q1 of 2015, as used in the Elliman Report for that time period, and parsed out the market by day of the week. Strategically, there is probably nothing to be learned from this exercise, but hey, it’s an angle I’ve never examined before…



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My latest Three Cents Worth column on Curbed: Three Cents Worth: 6 Graphs That Prove New York Real Estate’s Love of Mondays [Curbed]

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Bloomberg View Column: Invest in a Painting, Not a Condo

May 4, 2015 | 11:00 am | | Charts |

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Read my latest Bloomberg View column Invest in a Painting, Not a Condo.

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Here’s an excerpt…

A couple of weeks ago, Laurence Fink, the chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc., observed that “the two greatest stores of wealth internationally today is contemporary art … and apartments in Manhattan, apartments in Vancouver, in London”…

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My Bloomberg View Column Directory

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[Three Cents Worth #280 NY] Smaller Manhattan Apartments Keep Getting More Expensive

April 26, 2015 | 2:02 pm | | Charts |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed NY, at the intersection of neighborhood and real estate in the capital of the world…and I’m here to take measurements.

Check out my 3CW column on @CurbedNY:

A lot of time and energy has been spent writing about one of the biggest challenges to the New York City housing market in recent years: affordability. One of the primary observations of the purchase market has been the lower number of first time buyers, both locally and nationally. Tight credit, slow household formation, and a creaky economy have been a root cause of keeping their participation muted, but it’s also the disproportionately higher price growth over the long term for smaller apartments. Here’s my attempt to illustrate this trend, using data from the last 25 years…



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My latest Three Cents Worth column on Curbed: Three Cents Worth: Smaller Manhattan Apartments Keep Getting More Expensive [Curbed]

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[Three Cents Worth #279 NY] New York’s Building Boom Doesn’t Mean More Units For Sale

April 26, 2015 | 1:57 pm | | Charts |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed NY, at the intersection of neighborhood and real estate in the capital of the world…and I’m here to take measurements.

Check out my 3CW column on @CurbedNY:

Now that I am fully recovered from Micro Week, I thought I would think a little bigger and present the Manhattan inventory picture by comparing new development and re-sales. I’ve charted it from the pre-Lehman high (PLH for those in the know) through the end of 2014 in two graphs. One shows the year-over-year change, and the other tracks inventory by units to help tell the whole story. Inventory was in a state of free fall for both types from 2009 through 2013, but in 2014 the picture clearly changed…



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My latest Three Cents Worth column on Curbed: Three Cents Worth: New York’s Building Boom Doesn’t Mean More Units For Sale [Curbed]

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Wired’s Phallic Take on the High-Rise Boom

March 2, 2015 | 9:27 am |

When first moving to New York City in the mid-1980s I remember seeing this epic quote in New York Magazine:

“You know what this business is all about? Weenie-waving. Everyone does it. I do too.” -real estate developer Bruce Eichner

Fast forward to the latest copy of Wired Magazine with the theme “Sex in the Digital Age.” The real estate angle includes a mandatory SuperTall building graphic with the theme embedded subtitle.

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[Three Cents Worth #278 NY] Murray Hill Has the Most Micro Units in All of Manhattan

February 26, 2015 | 8:00 pm | | Charts |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed NY, at the intersection of neighborhood and real estate in the capital of the world…and I’m here to take measurements.

Check out my 3CW column on @CurbedNY:

Uptown may have the smallest studios, but which Manhattan neighborhood can claim the most micro units? To find out, I looked at where apartments measuring 300 square feet or less are located and determined what they have in common—besides being small. We’ve appraised many micro apartments over the years, so I was admittedly a little confused at how micro apartments were some sort of new concept…



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My latest Three Cents Worth column on Curbed: Three Cents Worth: Murray Hill Has the Most Micro Units in All of Manhattan [Curbed]

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[Three Cents Worth #277 NY] Which Manhattan Neighborhood Has The Smallest Studios?

February 24, 2015 | 8:00 pm | | Charts |

It’s time to share my Three Cents Worth (3CW) on Curbed NY, at the intersection of neighborhood and real estate in the capital of the world…and I’m here to take measurements.

Check out my 3CW column on @CurbedNY:

Although I’m often a bit macro in this column, it’s Micro Week at Curbed. So I thought I would rank Manhattan neighborhoods by the average square footage of their studio apartments based on all the closed sales of 2014. The results are in: if you want a plethora of small apartments, look uptown. On both the East and West Sides above 96th Street, from Morningside Heights and the Upper East Side to Harlem and Inwood, the average studio clocks in at under 500 square feet. By contrast, downtown, in areas like Soho, Tribeca, Battery Park City, and the Financial District, studios are larger…



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My latest Three Cents Worth column on Curbed: Three Cents Worth: Which Manhattan Neighborhood Has The Smallest Studios? [Curbed]

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Good and Bad Super-Luxury Condo Buyers Love the LLC

February 9, 2015 | 9:46 am | | Favorites |

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One of the great ironies of modern residential real estate has been the expansion in transparency of information, along with greater secrecy of ownership. I think the latter coincides with the much greater wealth that is being put into hard assets like real estate. Privacy and security are indeed very important to many, including the wealthy and especially those near the top of the financial pyramid. There is nothing sinister or unseemly about the desire for privacy. The use of limited liability corporations (LLCs) has been a legal vehicle (and a gift) from lawmakers who created it that allows people to keep certain transactions hidden from view. However the LLC also provides an opportunity for bad actors to shelter their often ill-gotten assets too.

Louise Story and Stephanie Saul of The New York Times have explored this in “Towers of Secrecy: Stream of Foreign Wealth Flows to Elite New York Real Estate,” an epic data visualization along the lines of “Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek” This article is a must read covering the hypersensitive subject of high end real estate and privacy.

The ongoing debate about the dying middle class versus the booming fortunes of the wealthy, the lack of affordable housing versus the super-luxury residential tower boom and municipal governments grappling to keep construction and development moving forward to keep tax revenue flows coming in, have made this effort long overdue.

Towers of Secrecy” is careful not to stereotype users of LLCs in high end real estate transactions as exclusively foreign buyers. Within the Manhattan market, foreign buyers are not the majority of overall high-end real estate purchasers. However they tend to be concentrated around the Midtown central business district (aka ‘Billionaires’ Row’) whereas domestic purchasers tend to favor markets found to the north and south of Midtown.

UPDATE There’s a great recap over on Curbed NY too:
Scandal-Plagued Foreigners Park Millions in Midtown Condos

Here are a few screenshots of the embedded videos within the “Towers of Secrecy” piece.

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