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July 16, 2021

There Is No Housing Sympathy For the Devil

s Housing market conditions across the U.S. are relatively consistent: Booming without the aid of mortgage lender moral flexibility. Sales are rising, prices are rising and inventory is falling, and in most cases, all metrics are approaching or have set records.

Lenders have no sympathy for those home buyers that can not qualify as underwriting standards remain tight. And buyers are having a devil of a time finding homes to purchase. (see what I did there?)

The video quality of a circa 1968 take on the early creative moments of Sympathy for the Devil [1] to get to the final version [2] is astounding.

I wanted to give a shoutout to my Columbia grad students [3] who endured four hours of my lectures this week and asked some really sharp questions. My students don’t ever need to focus on the “Appraiserville” section at the bottom of these Housing Notes.

But I digress…

Fairfield County, CT Sees 50% Of Sales With Bidding Wars

I’ve been the author of the expanding Douglas Elliman market report series [4]since 1994. I’ve not seen the intensity of NYC suburban markets like I have now. Our Fairfield research was released yesterday and showed 50% of all Q2 closings were sold above ask.

The Bloomberg coverage of our research was the fourth most read by the 350K Bloomberg Terminal subscribers yesterday.


and a chart!



“All price trend indicators set new records as second-quarter sales rose its highest level since 2005.”





“A record one out of four sales closed above the asking price as sales nearly doubled from last year.”


South Florida Has Nothing To Sell

Of course, I’m exaggerating but it feels like. In a remarkable turnaround, inventory levels have come way down, especially at the high-end.

There was some great coverage on the state of the Florida housing market across our thirteen reports – see the links down at the bottom of this newsletter.


“The brisk market conditions continued into the new year with record highs for pricing and sales but with chronically low listing inventory.”



“The overall market moved at a record pace with an elevated market share of bidding wars.”



“The market continued to see record and near-record highs for prices and sales volume, as well as record lows for listing inventory and marketing times.”



“The market continued to see record highs for prices and sales volume, as well as record lows for listing inventory.”



“The market continued to see record highs for prices along with sharply falling supply.”

– Single family price trend indicators and the number of sales surged year over year
– Condo price trend indicators jumped annually as listing inventory fell to a record low


PALM BEACH GARDENS – Single family price trend indicators and the number of sales rose to a new record
– Condo price trend indicators increased annually as listing inventory fell to a new low



“The market continued to see significant year over year gains for sales and price trend indicators and new lows for listing inventory.”

– Single listing sales surged year over year for the fourth straight quarter
– Single family listing inventory fell to a new low for the second consecutive quarter
– Ocean Ridge condo sales and price trend indicators surged year over year


“Condo sales quintupled year over year as the market moved at its fastest pace in more than eight years.”



“All single family price trend indicators reached new records in each of the past five quarters.”



“The market continued to see record highs for prices and sales volume, as well as record lows for listing inventory.”



“The market continued to see large annual gains in prices and sales volume, as well as significant declines in listing inventory.”



“Price and sales gains continued to define this region’s housing market.”

– Condo sales nearly doubled as listing inventory declined to a record low for the second straight quarter
– Luxury listing inventory fell to a record low as all price trend indicators surged to record highs

– Overall price trend indicators for the region continued to rise sharply from year-ago levels
– Regional sales surged annually for the fourth straight quarter as listing inventory fell sharply



“The housing market continued to see record highs for prices as well as record lows for listing inventory.”



“The market continued to see large annual gains in prices and sales volume, as well as record lows for listing inventory.”


Yahoo TV Interview On The Housing Market

On Thursday I joined Yahoo TV’s Alexis Christoforous for a discussion on the U.S. housing market. It’s always fun to speak with her [23].

[click on image to play video]

New York Fed: NYC Metro Views Business Climate Since Pandemic Better Than Normal

Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s July 2021 Business Leaders Survey [24]:

[click image for report]

The survey’s headline business activity index came in at 41.7, little changed from last month’s record high. The business climate index rose six points to 6.5, indicating that for the first time since the pandemic began, firms generally viewed the business climate as better than normal for this time of year. Employment levels and wages continued to rise at a solid clip. Both the prices paid and prices

Bloomberg Radio’s Surveillance Talks Housing With Jonathan Miller

I joined Bloomberg Radio/TV this morning [25] for a quick conversation about the state of inventory, especially in NYC-Metro and Florida (at the 16 min mark). I didn’t get the TV clip yet, but you’ll only see the inside of my Detroit hotel room. Host Lisa Abramowicz [26] gives me the nicest introduction I could ever ask for.


The Compound & Friends Podcast: The Suburban Housing Boom is Only Getting Started (with Logan Mohtashami)

A great conversation on the housing market here in a macro context.

Miami-Dade County Buildings by Year Built

In the context of the Surfside condo collapse that has dominated the news in recent weeks, our team at Miller Samuel crunched the data to arrive at a break out by year built for condos in Miami-Dade County and a GPS placement of the buildings.




This was similar to the results found in this recent Wall Street Journal piece [30] along with their graphic.


Thread: Top 10 Housing Charts From John Burns Consulting

Fantastic NYC Townhouse Illustrations

Wonder City Studios [34] has terrific illustrations. Click to expand this NYC townhouse version to its full glory.


Getting Graphic





Len Kiefer [44]‘s Chart Handiwork



(For earlier appraisal industry commentary, visit my old clunky REIC [46] site.)

Heather & Claire Have Terrific Grasp Of Regional Hypocrisy In The Sham Petition Process

As I finish up these Housing Notes, reflecting on the fact that I am sitting here on vacation and my wife is asking me to join in the fun. So I am frustrated that I don’t have enough time to do this post justice today before the deadline, so look for a full breakout on how the NNC works within the sham petition process and how that compares to the actions of FOJs in Region V. Plus I give well-deserved shoutouts to Jim Amorin and Trevor Hubbard as well. After I finish the post on Sunday, I will also post the link here.

The TAF 2020 Financials Aren’t Something To Be Proud Of For A Not-For-Profit

Before I get started, when is the Internal Revenue Service Going To Start Looking At The Appraisal Foundation? I mean, seriously.

TAF 2020 Financial Statement [47]

The Appraisal Foundation’s 2020 Looked Like This:

Here’s their self-congratulatory video, which literally doesn’t share any real change to diversity, just bureaucratic change to keep the money grab from appraisers going.

And of course, lets not forget their bat-shit crazy letter [48].

OFT (One Final Thought)

Actually, it’s the sound of illegal bitcoin mining equipment in China.

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 [54]. And be sure to share with a friend or colleague if you enjoy them because:

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 [55]
Miller Samuel Inc. [56]
Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants
Matrix Blog [57] @jonathanmiller [58]

Reads, Listens and Visuals I Enjoyed

My New Content, Research and Mentions

Recently Published Elliman Market Reports

Surfside Condo Tragedy

Appraisal Related Reads

Extra Curricular Reads