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New AEI dataset: Housing Market Indicators in the 60 largest US metropolitan areas

April 9, 2019 – In my opinion, the AEI provides the most neutral analysis of the housing market.  They likely have the most data.  Unlike NAR, there is no bias.  Below is their major announcement today.  I hope you find their reports useful.

Just to be transparent – I am not a member of AEI (not even sure if such exists).  I do not contribute to them.  I have attended some of their meetings on housing.


New AEI dataset analyzes the 60 largest US metropolitan areas

Housing markets are inherently local, making them notoriously difficult to analyze due to the lack of reliable data at the local level. A new dataset from the AEI Housing Center, the first in a series of quarterly reports, aims to fill this void by analyzing housing market data for the 60 largest US metropolitan areas, as well as for the nation as a whole. The current dataset looks at housing data from 2018:Q4.

AEI Housing Center Codirector Edward Pinto and Senior Research Analyst Tobias Peter explain “Our goal is to provide the public, media, and decision makers with accurate and reliable metrics to assess the state of their local housing market in near-real time. A well-informed market place and its participants will aid in promoting sustainable homeownership.”

Among the national Housing Market Indicators for 2018:Q4:

  • Rate of house price appreciation (HPA): 3.9%
  • Mortgage risk index: 11.1%
  • Share of buyers of entry level homes: 55%
  • Average sale price for entry level homes: $197,000
  • Share of new construction sales (compared to all home sales): 11.2%

The Housing Market Indicators for the 60 largest US metropolitan areas, along with all associated data, are available on an interactive website here.

This was made possible by AEI’s new merged property and mortgage financing national dataset, which consists of over 34 million home purchase transactions.

The data are updated quarterly. The next release of Housing Market Indicators, which will analyze housing data for 2019:Q1, is scheduled for May.

Codirector, AEI Center on Housing Markets and Finance


April 4, 2019 – Two of my more fun years in appraising were being an assessor for the City of Newport News in Virginia.  I got to assess all 200 apartment projects ($400 Million) and the Newport News Shipyard ($600 Million).  A billion dollars in real estate.

It was in that job I learned that you can accurately value a property without ever seeing it.  I think I may have inspected 5 or 6 of the 200 apartment complexes.  But, we received their actual income and expenses and surveyed them all for street asking rents and vacancy rates.  We never lost an appeal.

It annoyed me then and annoys me til this day that no one wants to pay their fair share of taxes.  It was an enjoyable part of the job that we never lost an appeal during those years.

Since I seem to be annoyed by everything (The Stupid Generation most of all lol), my current annoyment (doubt that is a word and my English major wife would kill me if she read this!) is seeing the American Property Tax Counsel all over LinkedIn bragging about this court case or such that an assessor lost.

So, my question is – is there an organization that helps tax assessors with court cases and such to beat back tax reps?  Only loan officers annoyed me more than tax reps in my career lol  Annoyed must be my word of the day:)

I just have to believe there is a market for appraisers/consultants to assist tax assessors with increasing their overall assessments and defending the increases.

My experience as a tax assessor and an appraiser and a review appraiser is that 99.999%+ of properties are underassessed.  Cities and counties are leaving so much money on the table.

Tax reps can pick at over-assessed properties here and there and win some appeals.  But, helping tax assessors increase the other 99.999%+ of under-assessed properties would more than offset those few lost appeals.

If I could help a city increase their overall assessment total by say $10 Billion, wouldn’t that be worth some nice change?  Wouldn’t they want to pay me big bucks to do that?

I just think the opportunity is huge.  I don’t mind giving away the idea.  I cannot cover the country.  I just think it is repulsive that all of these companies and commercial property owners do all they can to get out of paying their fair share of taxes.  And I am not talking about the very, very rare cases where they are actually over-assessed.

I certainly like the idea of assessors being given copies of appraisals done for loans.  That would help place more assessments at market value.

I would hope the IAAO is not a hired hand for assessors.  I have not heard of them appealing assessments from the assessors side to increase them.  Or opposing property owners and tax reps that are appealing assessments.  I think they are a straight up organization that provides information to the public and assessors.  Am I wrong?

Again, are there any organizations/companies that do the opposite of what APTC does?  I appreciate your insights.

The Mann

Remember – Spend Forward, Use Forward!



March 25, 2019 – To no one’s surprise (except stupid Alt-Left Socialists…which I guess is about half of our population apparently), there was never Russia Collusion.  The odds of that occurring were much longer than me being hit by lighting twice on a sunny day!

(Not) Amazingly, the Socialist Left acts surprised by the Mueller Report.  At least 3 times that I recall, it was public info that Trump was NOT a target of the investigation or going to be charged with any criminal activity.

But, the Fake News Media simply ignored that news.  They would not let you Socialist lemmings here the truth.  They fed you lies.  There is no denying that at all now.  Unless you choose to remain a brainwashed slave of the Socialist Left and Fake News Media.  I would be so pissed if I had followed people for 2-3 years only to find out they were lying all along.

The 1st Amendment was about a free press.  That has not existed for decades.  We have a Fake News Media that is the propaganda arm of the Socialist Alt-Left Party (fka Democratic Party).  I recently saw where someone called CNN a Democratic Party PAC.  Too true.  Except it is now the Socialist Party.

The 1st Amendment Dies in Darkness of the Fake News Media.  Don’t try to defend the Fake News Media by saying we need a free press.  Attack the Fake News Media for no longer being a free press!  Nazis and Russians and such control the press just like the Socialist Alt-Left Party controls the Fake News Media.

Remember, the way a racist or sexist or fascist gets away with what they are doing is to call the opposition those names!  The Socialist Alt-Left Party has been doing just that to Republicans for decades.  It has worked fairly well by their ability to control the Fake News Media and Liberal Brainwashing Institutions (fka as schools).  Amazingly half our population hasn’t been brainwashed.  Thankfully.

Hopefully, more people will be like I was 3 years ago and #WalkAway  I was lucky enough to see the brainwashing that had been going on my whole life and I escaped it.  Like running away from a cult!  And, yes, Trump is the sole person to call out the Fake News Media and the Socialist Alt-Left and Deep State and expose them all….only a non-politician could have done that.  This country is forever in his debt for just doing this much.  Much less the economy and trade and not falling for global warming and so on.

My hope for everyone is they will stop watching CNN and MSNBC and NBC and so on…stop reading the WaPo and NYT.  None of them have any credibility for being truthful or independent.  I am not going to promote Fox News, albeit after decades of watching the others and only recently watching Fox News, there is no wonder they kick the ass of everyone else – they do their absolute best to present all sides, have people from all sides on, etc.  Obviously, I am not talking about Right pundits who aren’t trying to be independent and don’t claim to be journalists.  But, at least the Right pundits don’t literally cry on TV when their side loses!

Open your minds at least….as the saying goes, a mind is like an umbrella – it only functions when open.

Lets get back to debating issues and compromising…that is the way of a successful Republic.

Regretfully, I am sure the losers on the Alt-Left will just continue their hate Trump bull crap and do nothing to advance this country.  And, they have enough lemmings to keep voting for them to stay in at least enough power to hang around.

Don’t ever forget, right now there is NO FREE PRESS…it is simply the propaganda arm of the Socialist Alt-Left Party.

The Mann

Remember, Spend Forward, Use Forward


March 20, 2019 – For those who are religious, I am looking for your insights into the following.

I have read several situations where followers of Islam have told persons like Thomas Jefferson and others that if you are not a believer in Islam you either must convert or be killed.  I will assume those actual quotes from Muslims to others are accurate and true.  If not, please show me what their religion actually says about non-Muslims.

OK, so assuming everyone that is not Muslim is an enemy of Muslims, then how do you deal with the fact that that makes Muslims the enemy of Christians and Jews (also Buddhists and every other religion)?

How can you say that Muslims are not our enemy and must be eradicated by the time Jerusalem descends from the Heavens?  Or converted, which is unlikely as far as we can see right now.

Forget Thou Shall Not Kill.  We know humans cannot and will not abide by that Commandment.

Love everyone as God wants us to.  That sounds good.  But, when told directly by the enemy that unless you convert to Islam you will die, loving that person doesn’t seem like a good plan:)

How do you reconcile all of this.

For 1500 years the war has raged.  It does not seem like peace is possible given that one religion is all or nothing.  The final solution appears to be extermination of followers of one religion or the other.

As I ponder this, I would love to hear from others about how they reconcile all of this.  The older I get the less I have figured out….the less I know:)

UPDATE April 4, 2019 – No one has an opinion on this?  I am not looking to argue or change your beliefs.  Just curious what people think.  Islam says all of us must convert to Islam or die.  Therefore, does that not make Muslims the enemy of all non-Muslims?  We all live under the threat of having to convert or be killed if Muslims have the opportunity to do such to us.  No one has an opinion on this?

The Mann

Remember, Spend Forward, Use Forward!


March 6, 2019 – My question is what took so long for a guy to file such a lawsuit?!

Not that I think we need another million kids born each year in America.  But, I have never understood why the abortion decision wasn’t a mandatory both parties have to approve for it to be done.

Afterall, couples are all the time saying ‘we’ are pregnant.  In divorces, women want child support because the kid(s) is the (ex-)husband’s, too.  Biologically, it takes a man to make a baby.

The only argument women have for solely making the abortion decision is ‘it’s my body.’  Only women carry babies.  When men carry babies, then they can have a say.  All of this is just words in comparison to the actual fact that a baby takes a man and woman to create.  A baby belongs to both parties.  An unborn baby to be exact.

Lastly, if a woman doesn’t want to have to deal with getting the biological father’s approval to abort their baby, then don’t do anything that might cause a pregnancy!  No, accidents do not happen.  Like people who don’t want to take any chance of getting a DUI and therefore do not have a single drink….the same actions can be taken to have 0% chance of getting pregnant.

This should be an interesting case to follow….

Remember, Spend Forward, Use Forward!

The Mann


March 4, 2019 – For those that also think the walkability score that has been going around is stupid, I have invented the Carability Score.  This is simply calculated as 101 minus the Walkability Score.

For example, my house has the impressive Walkability Score of 1 !  Therefore, my Carability Score is 101 minus 1 or 100.  A perfect score!

I have not copyrighted this term, so feel free to use it in your reports:)

Also, please continue to send me ways to enlarge my carbon footprint.  I am doing all I can to leave a giant carbon footprint with my name on it for future archaeologists to find:)

Remember, Spend Forward, Use Forward!

The Mann


February 28, 2019 – Some may remember about 3 years ago when Gold was around $1100 and I was buying it that Goldman Sachs was forecasting a significant decline.

In the past week, Gold hit the high end of my current target range closing at $1347 on February 20th.  Goldman Sachs is now bullish on Gold and forecasting it to hit $1425.  Ahhhh, bullish right at the top.  Good to see it.

Now for the decline to below $1250….(by March 1, Gold has already gone below $1300)

The stock market made an extremely rare ‘V-shaped’ bottom on December 24th.  It has nearly recovered all of its losses.  The indication is that 3rd Quarter GDP should recover nicely from a low figure in the 2nd Quarter.  1st Quarter GDP was announced at a still strong 2.6% today.  I would expect to see it revised downward a bit in the future.

Hats off to my United Method Church for voting this week to maintain God’s Word and maintain that homosexuality is a sin.  The heterophobes are of course hating like crazy (afterall, their hatred is so becoming of religious people:) ) and lying that gays have been kicked out of the Church.  The heterophobe movement wants to take over everything.

I still haven’t heard one person overcome what 1 Corinthians 6:9 says….and they can’t!  That passage closes the case on God’s view of the lifestyle.  Of course, those who believe in God’s Word are sexist, biased, racist, probably even white supremacists, and so on.  Too funny how sinners want the world to change instead of them changing to not sin:)  The human species has always been weak.

As I have researched this subject on the web, I came across a great term to describe the attack on Christian Churches – Gay Revisionist Theology.  Darn accurate.


Remember, Spend Forward, Use Forward!

The Mann


February 21, 2019 – Every once in awhile the same question arises from several people in different parts of the country.  I wonder if people attended the same seminar and were told the same (erroneous) information.  Or just plain coincidence.

The topic du jour is bank/credit union clients asking appraisers to ignore existing subject leases and appraise Fee Simple Estate only.  There are two main scenarios to deal with – one where such a request is not acceptable and one where it is.

Scenario #1 – The subject has one or more arm’s-length leases in place that are not all month-to-month or say expire within a month.  I just use one month as technically the appraisal will be done by then and the tenants could be removed in that time period (assuming such is legal).  In this case, Market Value ‘As Is’ MUST be of the Leased Fee Interest.  The subject must be appraised as it legally and physically stands today.  If the bank/credit union would also like to know the Fee Simple Estate value, then this can be provided IN ADDITION TO Market Value ‘As Is’ of the Leased Fee Interest.  I would call this additional value Hypothetical Value of Fee Simple Estate.  A Hypothetical Condition is needed as this value assumes the existing leases are not in place.  Now, if the subject is leased to a single tenant and that tenant is purchasing the property…we go to…

Scenario #2 – The subject is leased to a single tenant who is purchasing the property.  Obviously, when the purchase occurs the lease goes away.  Or at least for us appraisers, it is ignored because now it is no longer arm’s-length.  The bank/credit union’s request for Fee Simple Estate only is now acceptable.  With a bit of a twist though….Market Value ‘As Is’ would still be of Leased Fee Interest.  However, this value is not needed.  Why?  Because the loan is not being made until the property is purchased.  Therefore, the appraiser provides a Prospective Value as of say a month or two in the future (whenever a closing is projected to occur).  An Extraordinary Assumption is needed to say that we assume the purchase will occur and the lease will be extinguished in the stated timeframe.  What about the requisite Market Value ‘As Is’ that FIRREA requires?  Well, on the day the property is purchased and the loan is closed, the appraiser’s Prospective Value is now Market Value ‘As Is.’  And now FIRREA is satisfied and all is good in Appraisal Land:)

((As an aside, Scenario #2 is useful when a zoning change is in process.  Until it occurs, Market Value ‘As Is’ must consider the subject as currently zoned.  I encourage banks not to make the loan until the zoning change occurs.  This way an appraiser can provide a Prospective Value ‘Upon Zoning Change’ with a future date and not have to deal with Market Value ‘As Is.’  But, if the loan is being made today, then two difference scenarios must be valued.  Once again, the value difference might not be that much.))

There are likely some other less common scenarios that arise.  But, the above two seem to take care of the vast majority of transactions.

I will quickly mention one scenario that provides an example of why Market Value and Market Value ‘As Is’ are not always the same.

The subject is leased to a single tenant with say 3 or 6 months left on the lease.  The owner or a buyer is going to occupy the property once the lease expires and the tenant has moved out.

In non-bank/cu appraisals, Market Value could likely just ignore the existing lease.  We could argue that market participants don’t care about the next 3-6 months of the tenant being in place.  They know they will occupy the property very soon.  This is ok for Market Value.

However, for a bank appraisal under FIRREA, this is not acceptable.  The lease is in place and Market Value ‘As Is’ is of Leased Fee Interest and the lease must be part of the value.  Obviously, if the rental rate happens to be at market, then there is no difference in value between the Leased Fee Interest today and the hypothetical Fee Simple Estate today.  If contract rent is above or below market, then there is a difference in these two values.  Admittedly, it is likely to be a small amount.  But, it MUST be included in the Market Value ‘As Is’ conclusion.  In this case, Market Value and Market Value ‘As Is’ differ.  And this is one of several examples where USPAP and FIRREA differ.

As with FF&E, please do not pull the ol’ ‘this is absorbed in rounding and thus is not added or deducted’ routine.  Make the addition or deduction to get to Market Value ‘As Is’ and move on.

Please contact me if you have any questions.  Any other scenarios worth me addressing.  et al.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog:)

Remember, Spend Forward, Use Forward!

The Mann


Re-Posted – Apartment Appliances are FF&E!!!!!!!! Not Real Property!!!!!!

February 2019 – This item was originally posted in 2015.  Four years later I still hear that an appraiser or reviewer wants to say that kitchen and laundry appliances are real property.  NOT!  Geez folks, get over this already.  Appliances are appliances are equipment and not real property.  This is basic knowledge.

I will add one suggestion (from my wife when she was a reviewer) for those dealing with this issue.  My wife would tell the appraiser that all they had to do is provide rent comparables of units with no appliances and rent comparables of units with appliances and if the rents were the same, then the FF&E does not contribute to value.  That simple and it would be market evidence.

In our combined 50+ years of reviewing appraisals we have not seen this analysis done.  I have seen many appraisals where a rent adjustment IS made for comps with only washer/dryer hookups versus ones with washer/dryer units.  That has been an adjustment greater than $0 in 100% of the cases I have seen.  Definitive proof that FF&E has a positive value in apartments.

I have not seen any rent comparables that lacked kitchen appliances, so no evidence there that I know of.  In foreign countries this exists.  In some markets tenants actually move their refrigerator and such from apartment to apartment:)

When I started appraising in 1986 in South Florida, my first apartment complex appraisal I separated out FF&E.  It wasn’t a requirement (that I can recall).  It was just obvious.  Common sense.

I do want to commend those appraisers that I review that always value the FF&E separately.  Some go so far as to provide a value even if there is only one or two apartment units in a property (e.g. retail first floor, 2 apartments on 2nd floor).  Might be only $400 in FF&E, but FIRREA doesn’t care about the amount.  Just that it is excluded from Market Value ‘As Is.’

Also, please do not pull the ol’ ‘this is absorbed in rounding and thus is not added or deducted’ routine.  Make the addition or deduction to get to Market Value ‘As Is’ and move on.

Please contact me if you have any questions.  Any other topics for me to blog about.  et al.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog:)

The original post follows.


It is 2015 and I continue to encounter appraisers (albeit fewer and fewer thankfully!) who do not value the FF&E in apartment properties.   Since 1990, FIRREA has required this.  This issue should have been settled 25+ years ago.

The most common response I get when I ask an appraiser to separately value the FF&E is ‘In our market these items transfer with the real estate.’  To which a whole list of questions and replies come to mind:

Who cares how the FF&E is transferred – it is still FF&E!

FF&E in hotels transfers with the real estate – how does that differ from an apartment complex?  The same goes for many other property types.

Having been frustrated by this issue for 23+ years as a reviewer, a few years ago I took the opportunity to have this item added to the 14th Edition of The Appraisal of Real Estate.  There is a list of property types with FF&E and that list now includes apartments:)

For bank/credit union appraisals, appraisers need to realize that it is Federal Law that requires LTV (Loan-To-Value) ratios be calculated on the Market Value As Is of REAL ESTATE ONLY.  Examiners have been focusing on this very item for the past 5 years.  It is important that fee appraisers help their clients comply with Federal Law.  Provide a value for the FF&E and be done with it.  And do NOT include the amount in the Market Value ‘As Is’ figure as again it is supposed to be Real Estate Only.

I will agree that in some cases this amount is minimal.  But, Federal Law still requires a separate value.  There are many cases where this amount can be in the millions of dollars – e.g. those high end condo projects that did not sell out before the bubble burst and have been rented as apartments ever since.

Lastly, as one instructor told a class I was in – If I can drop it on my foot, it is FF&E:)

Remember, Spend Forward, Use Forward!

The Mann