Matrix Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Brownstoner’

Love Thy Neighbor (and/or Broker)

May 3, 2006 | 12:01 am |

Well it finally happened. Thanks to Brokerate, a new site by the creator of Brownstoner, there is finally a way to rate real estate brokers. Its kinda the same concept as providing a comment to a blog post with each broker representing a separate post.

It is a real community effort because it relies on mainly anonymous submissions and are they ever intense. Within every community there are those who use this as a tool to “get even.” From the buzz within the real estate community, I get the impression it will be heavily trafficked by real estate brokers who seek to provide first-hand experiences of their interaction with a particular broker.

While I suspect the amount of flames will be significant, I suspect that this will evolved into a significant tool for consumers looking for a real estate broker as well as a monitoring tool that uses peer pressure to keep morally flexible brokers on their best behavior.

Truly a neat concept.


[Media Chain-links] 1Q 2006 Manhattan Market Overview

April 4, 2006 | 7:39 am | | Public |

The 1Q 2006 Manhattan Market Overview that my appraisal firm, Miller Samuel, prepares for Prudential Douglas Elliman, was released today. I always think its interesting (actually, its fun) to see how the various media outlets (Big and Small Media, Blogs) respond to the exact same set of data and how the real estate brokerage companies who write alternative reports, frame their comments.

This list is in no particular order and excluded all the redundant articles (ie news feeds). I will keep adding to it through the week after the initial post.

Apartment Prices Up Again After a Slump in Manhattan [NYT]
Housing frenzy slows down[NYDN]
Wall Street bonuses lift Manhattan apartment prices [Reuters]
Reports: Luxury Housing Boom May Be Reaching Its Crest [NY Sun]
First Quarter Reports: Thousand Island [NYO The Real Estate]
Housing market still steady [NY Newsday]
City Apts. Defy U.S. Bubble Trouble [New York Post]
Condo boom boosts Manhattan real estate market [Inman News]
Manhattan housing market shows weakness [CNN/Money]
Manhattan Apartment Sales Cool Off []
Manhattan Apartment Prices Climb at Slowest Pace in Three Years [Bloomberg] IMMOBILIARE: SALE, SI SGONFIA OPPURE CROLLA [Wall Street Italia]
Manhattan housing market booms in first quarter [The Real Deal]
State o’ the Market Update: Through Thick and Thin, ‘Essentially Flat’ [Curbed]
Brokers say New York real estate market is cooling [Financial Times]
[Wall Street Bonuses Fuel Manhattan Real Estate Surge [DJ]](no link)
A game of telephone [Property Grunt]
Manhattan Market Up, Psychology Down in Q1 [Brownstoner]
Real Estate Rashomon [Walk-Through]

Here are a handful of radio and tv clips as well.

[Bloomberg TV]




[WCBS Radio]

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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
Central VA real estate news, trends and opinions
Center for Realtor Technology
Hot Property
Housing Panic
My East Bay Agent
Northern Virgina Real Estate
Property Grunt
Rain City Guide
Real Estate Marketing Blog
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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Edward L. Glaeser: An Economist Who Looks At Supply Side Of The Housing Equation

March 6, 2006 | 12:02 am |

Source: Brownstoner

This weekend, NYT Magazine had an interesting article (I think I spent most of the weekend reading this real estate issue) on the noted Harvard economist Edward L. Glaeser [NYT]. Unlike that of most other housing economists, Glaeser’s recent work on real estate addresses the issues of supply rather than of demand. He is far more interested in the forces shaping land development and residential building in the United States than in the forces shaping buyers’ motivations and actions.

I think that what I call economic geography, such as the layout of a city, its transportation system and its geography has taken a back seat to consumer-based economics, especially during the most recent housing boom.

I first came across the work of Glaeser in “Why is Manhattan So Expensive? Regulation and the Rise in House Prices” [pdf]. [I always have a soft spot for any noted economists who cite my firm in their work -ed]

He is skeptical about arguments citing the lack of land as causing high housing prices and believes that the housing crisis was man-made. Here’s a couple of stat facts:

  • 95% of US land is undeveloped.

  • if every American were given a house on a quarter acre, so that every family of four had a full acre, that distribution would not use up half the land in Texas.

In other words, its all about zoning and land-use rules.

For example, in Manhattan, 30 years ago, the price of an additional floor was essentially its additional cost. However, over the last 30 years, the average height of a building has actually decreased. …if prices in Manhattan are skyrocketing, you should be building more and more at 50 stories, rather than at 30. Not the reverse…and estimated that one half or more of the value of condominiums in the borough could be thought of as arising from some type of regulatory constraint preventing the construction of new housing.

I think one of the most interesting aspects of his research came from his work with Joseph Gyourko on the relationship between housing and urban poverty. In markets with poor future economic prospects like Detroit, why doesn’t it experience a much faster outflow of population, especially to other areas of the country that are doing better economically? The conclusion was the permanence of housing. In Detroit, the median sales price of a house was $63,600 in 2000 yet the cost to build a new house to replace it would be $80,000. No builder would build new houses because it was not cost effective, so as long as those houses remain standing, the people who seek that price point will remain. This is presented in their paper Urban Decline and Durable Housing [pdf]


Real Estate Blogs [Part II]: Speaking To People We Don’t Know, For Reasons We Can’t Explain

March 6, 2006 | 12:02 am | | Public |

I love the Real Deal magazine – definitely filling a needed void in real estate coverage. Brownstoner wouldn’t divulge where he gets those cool masks from (see photo). However, after reading this article, I think that the real estate blog topic is now officially passe as a news feature (unless Matrix is featured).


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