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July 9, 2021

Paging The Housing Market

A long time ago (25 years?), I was about to appraise a three-family townhouse for a purchase mortgage. I was a block away when my pager went off, but I was right on time for the appointment. I considered waiting to call the office after my inspection so I wouldn’t be late. But since there was a payphone on the corner right in front of me, across the street from the property, and I had a roll of quarters (standard equipment pre-mobile phone), I called my office. I could tell audibly that my employee was relieved I called. She told me to cancel the inspection. The tenant in one of the apartments was a war vet and suffered from PTSD. The broker had been in the process of opening up the house for me and the tenant was startled by the agent and pointed a gun at him. The agent bolted from the house, and then when he got his composure, he called my office to warn me.

I’m drowning in deadlines this week/weekend so today’s and next week’s iterations of Housing Notes will be more brief than the ‘War and Peace’ missives I usually publish.

But I digress…

The Manhattan, Brooklyn & NW Queens Rental Markets Continue To Boom As Tenants Lock-In Longer Leases

I’ve been the author of the Elliman Report Series [3] for Douglas Elliman Real Estate [4] for 27 years and have seen some significant ebbs and flows within various housing markets. However, the heavy leasing volume of 2021 has been nothing but remarkable for a city housing market declared dead forever [5].

Douglas Elliman published our June 2021 rental report research this week, and Wall Street was quite interested in the results, given the coverage of our article was the 8th most read piece on Thursday by the 350K Bloomberg Terminal subscribers.


And a chart!


Elliman Report: June 2021 Manhattan, Brooklyn & Queens Rentals [7]


“The number of new lease signings continued to set records as the length of leases expanded.”





“Third highest new lease signings total on record as rental prices stabilized.”





[Northwest Region]
“Record new leasing activity has helped moderate rental price declines.”




Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties Continue To Boom

The northen suburbs of New York City showed exceptionally robust conditions with heavy sales, price growth and limited supply.

Elliman Report: Q2 2021 Westchester Sales [17] Elliman Report: Q2 2021 Putnam/Dutchess Sales [18]


“Nearly four out of every ten sales sold above the last listing price.”





“All price trend indicators rose to new records as the market pace moved significantly faster.”





“Median sales price jumped to a new high as months of supply moved at the second-fastest pace on record.”




Brooklyn, Queens and Riverdale Continue To Flirt With Record Prices

The market pace is brisk werever you go.

Elliman Report: Q2 2021 Brooklyn Sales [28] Elliman Report: Q2 2021 Queens Sales [29] Elliman Report: Q2 2021 Riverdale Sales [30]


“Record prices set for the third consecutive quarter pulling more listing inventory onto the market.”





“Price trend indicators set records as the number of sales more than doubled from the prior year.”




[includes Fieldston, Hudson Hill, North Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil]

“Sales reached their highest total in three years as price trends edged higher.”




This Week in Record Prices

A Palm Beach investor property purchase for speculation clocked in at $85 million, and yet it was only the fourth highest sale of the year. Here’s the Shiny Sheet scoop on the closing price [40] and the WSJ scoop when it went to contract [41] earlier this year.


New in the Real Estate Lexicon: “Dungers”

A friend shared this screenshot of The Real Deal magazine [43]‘s Daily Dirt column [44] from a Bloomberg story [45] I read about “Dungers” with the chapter heading “Housing Gets Dung and Dunger [46]

Dungers. The term for dilapidated, crumbling houses comes from New Zealand, which is in the grip of a striking property boom.


A Ritholtz Rant On What We Get Wrong About Residential Real Estate

Ok, maybe its not quite a rant, but at the very least, a dressing down on all the misinformation being applied to current housing conditions. Follow this entire feed. I’m in there somewhere.

Getting Graphic

My favorite charts of the week made by others


Len Kiefer [49]‘s Chart Handiwork



(For earlier appraisal industry commentary, visit my old clunky REIC [51] site.)

Feedback About The Hateful 8 And The Sham Petition Process

I was limited on time this week for a full column but here are some key thoughts about last week’s post and what it represents:

The membership of the Appraisal Institute needs to speak up before the next board meeting in August, or the organization is essentially done.

The irony of what has happened is that diversity ends up taking a back seat like Jim intended when he dismantled the diversity committee in 2015. Unfortunately to AI, the diversity committee became something he couldn’t control, so it was scuttled and relegated to a panel with no money or power to lead—the panel reports to Jim, not the board.

Next Week I Take A Deep Dive On TAF’s Financial Statements And Other Hypocracies

I ran out of time this week!

OFT (One Final Thought)

I was using a pager back in this throwback photo – the movie is still on my iPhone but the New York Story is much more optimistic.


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 [53]. 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 [54]
Miller Samuel Inc. [55]
Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants
Matrix Blog [56] @jonathanmiller [57]

Reads, Listens and Visuals I Enjoyed

My New Content, Research and Mentions

Recently Published Elliman Market Reports

Surfside Condo Collapse

Appraisal Related Reads

Extra Curricular Reads