Matrix Blog

Humor or Whimsy

Series of Tubes and Time Lapse Documentation, Manhattan Style

December 4, 2012 | 7:00 am |

With the demolition of the Drake Hotel and the pending construction of Manhattan’s tallest residential condominium 432 Park Avenue, passers by get the opportunity to observe a series of tubes and it’s not the Internet on an adjacent building.

Check out the very cool visual documentation of the 432 Park Avenue development site.

I marvel at old school (modern) engineering when a solution to a problem doesn’t require aesthetics and it’s exposed. Thankfully this masterpiece will be covered as the new 432 Park is constructed.

[click to expand]


Why Doesn’t NAR Lobby Against Standard Time?

November 4, 2012 | 1:30 pm | |

[click to read about Daylight Savings Time]

We got an extra hour of sleep last night (in theory) as we left Daylight Savings Time.

I came across this post yesterday that got me thinking (more like chuckling), why doesn’t the National Association of Realtors rally public support for shifting the US from using Standard Time to go all Daylight Savings Time in order to promote more housing activity?

Afterall, who wants to get up early and view a purchase or rental property and isn’t housing significant part of the economy? Daylight in early hours benefits farming while daylight in later hours benefits housing activity. Agriculture is about 1% of GDP and housing is 17% to 18% of GDP.

From Wikipedia:

As modern societies operate on the basis of “standard time” rather than solar time, most people’s schedules are not governed by the movements of the earth in relation to the sun. For example, work, school and transport schedules will generally begin at exactly the same time at all times of the year regardless of the position of the sun…if “standard time” is applied year round, a significant portion of the longer sunlight hours will fall in the early morning while there may still be a significant period of darkness in the evening.

Admittedly this idea is way out there, and NAR would be unlikely to lobby this point anytime soon because they would look foolish.

I guess I just don’t like it getting dark at 5pm and I don’t even sell real estate.

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[New Yorker] Social-Networking My _ _ _ Off

August 9, 2012 | 11:13 am |

I’m just back from vacation and had taken a break from social media. Now that I’m back, this New Yorker cartoon struck a chord.

Source: New Yorker


[Ellen Show Video] Super Awkward Realtor Branding

June 21, 2012 | 1:58 pm | TV, Videos |

Tom Royce over at Real Estate Bloggers – who always has interesting things to check out – posted a video that will make you “squirm.”

How NOT to brand yourself as a professional.

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Best Real Estate “For Sale” Sign Ever

May 30, 2012 | 11:26 am |

Getting to the point in Knoxville, TN.


[Here’s A Sign] How NOT to Market Your Home

June 14, 2010 | 11:38 am | |

About five years ago, my wife and I were bidding on a house (that we didn’t get) but later found out from friends that the sellers were moving because of a nightmare neighbor. Scary.

It sounds like this seller has one of those neighbors, or more likely, the seller is the problem – they can’t seriously think a buyer is going to purchase their home. This ran last Friday [hat tip: Curbed via CityNoise] but I thought about it this weekend seeing all the for sale signs in my neighborhood and how such a sign would stir things up.

Good grief.

[SOTU] In The Hamptons

January 28, 2010 | 3:33 pm | |

Since attaching my head to other people’s photos appears to be in vogue, here’s the latest. Gotta love Curbed Hamptons.

They are referencing our two market report releases covering the Hamptons & North Fork 4Q 2009 and 2000-2009.

[Banking On Honor] To Make Mortgage Payments

January 18, 2010 | 3:32 pm | |
The Colbert ReportMon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word – Honor Bound
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorEconomy

Straight from the Colbert report – about halfway through the clip in his “The Word” segment, Colbert refers to Roger Lowenstein’s NYT piece in favor of abandoning your mortgage obligations and sources pundits about sending the wrong message to your family. Of course banks placed a lot of faith in your word to pay – your honor – so much so that they gave you a free toaster and they…

…bundled your honor with other people’s honor, with other people’s honor, cutting those honors with securitized honor derivatives, etc. But that doesn’t mean that banks are responsible. Only we are?

This insane honor logic is worth listening too since its basically what happened.

[Matrix Hack] Medicinal Proof Housing Market Is Up

November 4, 2009 | 11:56 am |

My blog was just hacked in a pretty clever way. Search “matrix miller” and click on the top link for Viagra – it takes you back to my blog.

Per my developer.

I went through the template line by line and I think I found a place where someone inserted some code. It points to code on a remote server that’s not up right now, I don’t know what that could would do when loaded. I suspect that they changed the content of the template at night, when we wouldn’t notice. If you look at that text-only version of the cached Google page, none of your content is on it.

As I understand it (and thats quite a stretch), the source of the cached page is ok – its the title and meta tags in Google’s cache that have been altered.

Order Generic Viagra Online – Online Drug Store, Best Prices Order Generic Viagra Online. Pill Shop, Secure and Anonymous. We ship with EMS, FedEx, UPS, and other. Personal approach!

in the cache while the source says:

Matrix | Interpreting the Real Estate Economy

The google link takes you to my blog even though it displays different titles. We’ve removed the hack and once Google re-indexes in a few days, it’ll go away.

Just imagine how quickly we could fix healthcare, global warming and the Mets pitching rotation if this brainpower was put to productive use.

[Bobbleheads] Known For Their Ubiquitous Media Verbosity

November 3, 2009 | 10:23 am | | Public |

In the current issue of The Real Deal magazine, the article Real estate’s most verbose talking heads: A look at the busy schedules of NYC’s go-to market pundits

…goes haywire with Adobe Illustrator and selects four go to media resources:

Barbara Corcoran, the founder of the Corcoran Group and now a regular on the “Today Show”; Jonathan Miller, the ubiquitous president of appraisal firm Miller Samuel; Dan Fasulo, managing director at Real Capital Analytics; and Bob Knakal, chairman of Massey Knakal Realty are just a few among a growing bunch of go-to contacts.

I think the bobblehead designation is a compliment? Verbosity? I always used that word in the “long-winded” connotation. Well, my phone simply rings – plus – I’ve been known to hang out on car dashboards on the weekends.

Aside: Bob Knakal is a long time colleague who has generously agreed to sit down with me on my podcast, The Housing Helix, in a few weeks.

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[Philling Up With Yankees Stimulus] Bomber World Series Victories Boosts Economic Growth

November 2, 2009 | 9:55 pm | |

Because we can’t let an obvious economic trend pass me by – and it has nothing to do with being a Yankee fan. After all, I pride myself on my neutrality in housing market coverage – 26 World Series Championships aside – 27th coming shortly.

WSJ’s Real Time Economics does a fun (ok, in their words, stupid) analysis, arguably for the Yankee brethren, that:

Win or lose, just an appearance by that Yankees in the World Series seems to foretell the next year’s growth. The economy grew an average of 4% in years after the Yankees lost the World Series. We’d also note that the last time the Yankees played the Phillies in the World Series (the Yankees won in four games) the economy grew a robust 7.7% the following year.

Phillies victories, it seems, don’t foretell the same kind of economic boost. The Phillies have twice won the World Series — last year and in 1980. Growth in 1981 was a paltry 2.5%, while economists expect the full-year number for 2009 will be negative. But what about growth after Phillies’ World Series losses? About 5%, on average.

[Central Park v. Detroit] $363,538,692,000 v. $4,500,000

October 26, 2009 | 11:57 pm | |

Source: Google Earth

Back in 2005, I did a fun exercise for New York Magazine – I was asked to value Central Park (just for fun) in about 3 minutes. It was within an article that ranked the reasons to love New York and was item number 3.

The New York Observer recently asked me to update this calculation using the same methodology (in 3 minutes and just for fun) and I came up with $363,538,692,000 which is a far cry from $528,783,552,000. The same disclaimers apply as the original effort, seriously.

To put this in perspective, about 9,000 Detroit properties were auctioned (hat tip WalletPop) with opening bids of $500. Only 20% received bids. The total land area of these properties was equivalent to Central Park. If all 9,000 properties received a bid of $500 (which is probably not far off if you assume the 20% that received bids were over $500 and the rest $0), that represents a total value of $4,500,000.

Thats’s not much of a value and these properties also pull down values around them – plus they are off the tax roll placing more financial burden on existing properties.

Not a good sign
Most of the bidders were investors and vacant land in Detroit equals the entire footprint of Boston.

As much as I love my time spent in Michigan and my relatives there, I believe this is called an economic failure spiral.

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