The Housing Market And An Analogy To Rice Krispies!

By | February 29, 2016

In the search for new ways to describe the state of the U.S residential real estate, how about an analogy to breakfast cereal!

The article below, ‘Housing Goes Snap, Crackle & Pop?‘, was written by Jonathan Miller. For those that may be unfamiliar, Miller is President and CEO of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and consulting firm he co-founded in 1986.

The firm provides appraisal services on roughly $5 billion worth of property per year in the New York City metropolitan area and the articles author has been lauded by many for his real estate expertise…

• Named “Best Online Real Estate Expert” by Money Magazine.
• Business Insider named him one of “The Best Finance People on Twitter.”
• Selected as one of the 100 Most Powerful People in Real Estate by The New York Observer.
• Named one of the 20 Biggest Power Players in NYC Real Estate by The New York Post.
• Recognized by Inman News as one of the top 25 most influential U.S. real estate bloggers and his blog, Matrix, was voted one of the top five U.S. real estate blogs.

Here is his assessment…


Job Growth is Strong but Spotty

One of the drivers of housing demand has been job growth in 2015 (not wage growth) but the results are choppy. Big cities like New York (+156,400), Miami (+55,300) and Los Angeles (+135,100) are correlating well to robust re-sale housing activity.

US job growth

Hell’s Kitchen is (Now) For Children

There’s a great video series by the New York Times called “Block by Block” that covers a neighborhood where our first Miller Samuel office was located, Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan.

Rents and prices in Movies and TV don’t match what the characters can afford

Last year I consulted on housing prices and rents for a documentary on the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea and an HBO series that just came out called Vinyl. They were obsessed with getting it right.

However this is this exception, as is so accurately described in this great Deadspin article with a pretty blatant SEO title: ‘Every NYC Romantic Comedy Is Full Of Shit In The Exact Same Way’.

The only thing the article gets wrong are made up addresses. They’re always made up. Anyone who has ever watched shows like Law & Order with me, the addresses are always in places like the actual East River or a park or in between existing address. Must be a legal thing. But when those addresses appear on the screen, I go out of my way to tell everyone around me that the address doesn’t exist (while I ignore their rolling eyes).

Sales Make Gains, Prices ‘Rising Too Fast’

The NAR Chief Economist Laurence Yun said at the release of this month’s Existing Home Sales report –

“The housing market has shown promising resilience in recent months, but home prices are still rising too fast because of ongoing supply constraints,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Despite the global economic slowdown, the housing sector continues to recover and will likely help the U.S. economy avoid a recession.”

If the cheerleading numbers guy for the cheerleader of the housing market voices concerns over prices rising too fast, then we all better listen. Prices are rising despite tepid wage growth because re-sale inventory, about 85% of all housing sales, remains too low. And like I’ve said many times here, tight credit conditions are the primary cause of low supply as many homeowners can’t finance into the next sale….

Read the rest of the article at the Miller Samuel website here.

Michael Haltman is President of Hallmark Abstract Service in New York. He can be reached at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *