TRANSCRIPT : EPISODE 44

Bargain hunting in NYC with John Walkup from UrbanDigs

Emily Myers (00:01): This is the Brick Underground podcast. I'm Emily Myers bringing you everything you need to know about New York city real estate. Whether you have a question about co-ops or condos, renting or buying, selling, or moving, or even renovating, we aim to have you covered. And if you head to our website, brickunderground.com, we have lots of advice, explainers and analysis on the New York city real estate landscape. It's a fairly well received notion that buyers in New York city have the upper hand right now. And in this episode, we consider where the deals are and how to find them in the current market. I'm joined today by John Walkup co-founder and chief operating officer at UrbanDigs, an analytics company that provides market data and tools for the industry. Hi.

John Walkup (00:45): Hi, Emily. How are you?

Emily Myers (00:46): I'm great. Thanks so much for joining us. I also have to point out that you have podcasts yourself Talking Manhattan, which we at Brick are big fans of.

John Walkup (00:55): Awesome. Thank you very much. I'm glad to hear the Brick Underground podcast is back after the pandemic hiatus. It's a good one as well.

Emily Myers (01:02): Yes. And actually exciting news is that we won a silver award in the latest NAREE journalism awards, so that...

John Walkup (01:08): That's awesome. Congratulations.

Emily Myers (01:10): That's a big excitement for us. So New York city real estate watchers will know that we are seeing some price cuts and listing discounts on apartments, both sales and rentals. Perhaps you can give a brief overview of what's happening in the market right now.

John Walkup (01:25): I mean, sure. I, it's hard to give a brief overview without having to rewind quite a bit, and there are some salient points we got to get across. So I'm going to go back to 2015, because that was really the peak of the market. The market peaked in 2015 and since 2015, 16, 17, 18, 19, even, it was just sort of drifting down—the market was just kind of slowly deflating, prices were not really going up anymore. They were kind of coming down, especially the higher end price you got the more difficult end of a market it seemed to be. That all seemed to sort of slowly shift around early 2020. So January, 2020 through say early March, you know what? The numbers started looking pretty good for Manhattan real estate in New York city in general. I mean, it seemed like that downtrend that we'd started to see in 2015 might finally be reversing and starting to head up. And we're seeing, we're starting to see that in prices, we're starting to see that in contract signs or the demand activity. And then I don't need to mention it, but I have to, COVID hit. I mean, what was that mid-March? And then we were closed for three months and everything. We went to zero and then we reopened in July and activity kind of slowly came back. First, it happened in Brooklyn and Brooklyn just took off like a lit match—just on fire. And Manhattan finally started coming around. What was that? I would say mid to late September through October, and it's starting to build momentum now, but,you know, we're sort of at this point where we had the pandemic since it stopped everything, you had a number of units that were due to come on the market right at that pandemic time because that was peak spring season. And so they did it. And when we reopened, we had this deluge of supply, which was, you know, all those units that had been planned to be listed in the spring plus the ones that have been planned to be listed in the summer, plus the ones that people sort of, you know, leaving the city or, you know, whatever they're doing and so for several weeks, you know, once the market reopened, it looked like there was an enormous imbalance of supply versus demand. And then there were big fears that, "Oh my gosh, this is it for New York real estate. I mean, the numbers of people who are selling is just completely overwhelming those who are buying." And slowly but surely we saw demand just start eating into those numbers to the point where in these last few weeks we've seen more apartments, leave the market, whether through being signed into contract or being withdrawn from the sellers than have come onto the market. So it seems like we're starting to shift a little bit. We're starting almost to getting back to that uptrend that we started in,early 2020.

Emily Myers (03:48): It's interesting. When you talk about a good market, of course, what you're saying there is that prices were on the rise.

John Walkup (03:57): Well it's yeah. I like to break it up a little bit because when we talk about a "good market", we're more talking about market activity and that sort of supply and demand and that the balance between the two. Prices have been remaining somewhat stable. And that's simply just because that's just sort of a function of sort of other, other drivers whether they're low interest rates, whether it's views on the city, whether it's fears, hopes, all these kinds of things are sort of pushing prices a bit more. But when we talk about sort of a resumption in the market and a "good market", we're really looking at—are people actually buying and selling right now? And just are these numbers increasing? And the reason why I think that's important is because demand, really the bids, so to speak of the market, are really the prime driver of all activity. If there's no bids, there's no activity and sellers are just gonna, they're just gonna have to, eally, really, really cut their prices in order to get some deals done. And that's, we did see that during the pandemic. So when you talk about where are the deals? Well, the deals are, are in your time machine. You've got to hop in your time machine. You've got to go back to April and, you know, you got to buy when the blood's on the street. And that's what it was. I mean, that's when fear was up, uncertainty was up and there were no buyers whatsoever. So sellers who needed to sell were having to go down 25, 30% in some cases to actually get that deal. And we're just not seeing that anymore, simply because even though uncertainty is still somewhat sky high, fear is lessened. So it's a bit of a mixed bag. Emily Myers (05:19): So are you saying that buyers have, in a sense missed the bottom of the market?

John Walkup (05:26): Ah. The bottom of the market's tricky. So what have they missed? They've missed the peak fear trades. Certainly those were April/May—they've missed those, but there were only a handful of those. I mean, they're really, it's not like there was a bucket of, of apartments sitting there just waiting to be picked off at 30% minus valuations. It was really just dependent upon a handful of individual sellers who needed to sell at that specific time and a handful of buyers who stepped up to, to buy them. What they've missed is they've missed the days of peak supply. I think we've passed peak supply. I think supply is slowly starting to decrease, especially as we sort of end the 2020 here. We may see an increase once the spring season sort of gets the ball rolling in late January, early February, but for right now, it seems like those days of record amounts of supply are behind us at the same time they've also missed the nadir of demand. So, you know, really, if you're thinking about, if you put yourself in the shoes of a buyer, what does a buyer want? Well, they want a one-on-one negotiation with the seller. That's, that's exactly what they want. In most cases, they still have that. They don't have it across the board, like they did back in Manhattan, especially from say April all the way up through August, but they do have it now in, in certain neighborhoods. So I wouldn't say you've necessarily missed the bottom of the market. I think you've missed the fear trade, but you know, it's still, I still, you do have an upper hand as a buyer still.

Emily Myers (06:46): So, okay. So for buyers then where are the deals and how do you find them?

John Walkup (06:51): Well, you can't really compare one unit to another. I mean, yes you can, especially from there in the same line, have some certain traits they are, but when you start moving outside of buildings, I mean the comparisons start getting a little, a little fuzzy. So when you start, start thinking about deals, you know, really it's a very, very granular thing. And there are certain traits that deals will have, that units without deals will not have—if I'm making sense here. So let me talk about where the deals are not. The deals are really not necessarily happening in Brooklyn right now, simply because there's a huge amount of demand for Brooklyn, especially when you get to like the townhouse level or sort of the, the larger apartments, the two, three bedrooms. I mean, those in those units in Brooklyn, especially in sort of the trending neighborhoods like Prospect Heights, Williamsburg, Cobble Hill, there's no deals to be had there unless you're, unless you're really a cash buyer and you're willing to swoop in immediately and buy something that needs a lot of work. Go back to the city and you look at where the deals are not. Look at areas like Downtown. I mean, people just generally want to live Downtown. So yes, there might be a lot of units for sale in the Greenwich Village, but there's a lot of people who want to live in the Greenwich Village. So you're not necessarily going to find that sort of disconnect between supply and demand. Shift to say Midtown, alright, Midtown condos have been really hurt. And, and it's no surprise. I think as offices have emptied out for the pandemic, there's really not that desire to sort of live in this sort of, you know, empty sort of 'hood some of them. So getting back to your question where the deals are, where the deals aren't, the deals are in sort of neighborhoods that I would say are not necessarily being typically seen as sort of neighborhood-y if you know what I mean, as whereas when you look at the more neighborhood-y areas such as Downtown, or even the Upper West Side, to some extent the Upper East Side, even though it's, it's larger and you have areas like Yorkville that just have a bit more supply, you have more deals out there. So that's sort of one thing—you have to take the geographic component into, into consideration. The second thing you have to take into consideration, is sort of the motivation of the seller. And you know, how do we look at that? Well, we kind of look at well, where did they list initially? How long has it been on the market? Have they had any price cuts? And,uif you see something that's been on the market for quite a while, and it's had a number of price cuts, you might get the sense that, well, maybe I finally found a seller who's willing to listen to reason and you can kind of, you know, make your deal there. Hopefully get a one-on-one negotiation as I mentioned earlier and,work your magic to get a good price. Uif you've seen something in this market that's just been listed and it looks good and it seems like a great price, chances are other people in your situation have seen that as well and it'll move. And you know, one of the crazy things about the market, even with all the pandemic scares is when you look at listing discounts—so you find the ones that were on the market for, you know, 30 days or less had listing discounts of 0%, maybe 1% to 2%—which tells me if something's priced, right, it's going to move. It doesn't necessarily matter the market. If it's at the market price, the buyers are going to be there. So if you're looking for that deal, you're going to try to have to find the ones that are not at market price and work that negotiation in. And I'm not saying there's not diamonds in the rough out there that are just mispriced units here and there. They certainly are. They're scattered here and there, but it's not something that I can say like Yorkville, two bed, co-ops, that's your deal. Certainly there are probably some deals there, but there's no, there's no a blanket coverage here.

Emily Myers (10:11): But it's interesting you mentioning sellers. So the motivation of the seller is obviously important, but does that filter through, into sort of particular properties? For example, a pied-a-terre owner is probably unlikely to be under a crunch to sell, but are there going to be particular apartments then that you think might offer more deals than perhaps, perhaps a larger apartment might have had a deal with where a family deciding to leave the city?

John Walkup (10:41): That's a great point. So I think that, you know, if you're looking for deals, I mean, we talked about Midtown Center. I think there's there's deals there. And you talk about, let's just put ourselves in the position of sellers. So who are the sellers that are most likely to deal? Chances are, most of those sellers have already sold. So if you're, if you're thinking about sort of the larger apartments of families who are want to get out of the city for school or for work, and they get the, you know, they're scared of the virus or whatever, chances are, they put their apartment up in the summer and they either sold it or they've already left the city. And, you know, in which case it's still remaining and you'll see that in the listing, you'll see that in sort of the price cuts and the days on market. But in terms of seller motivations, I mean, it's, you know, it's so tricky because there's no, there's no checkbox in the listing, like, you know, the seller needs to sell by this date. And so you can't really get that, that sense of desperation unless you actually go, you visit these places. And that's, if I was going to give one advice to people listening and that's, look—see as many places as you possibly can. And even with all the new rules regarding open houses and appointments, do your absolute best to get a sense of what's the traffic like? You know, if I'm in an open house on a Sunday, and even though I'm waiting outside on the curb to get let in and I've signed that, taken my temperature, and I've got the gloves on, I'm doing all that stuff, sneak a peek at the sign-in sheet, are you one of five or are you one of 20? That's a great sense of like, well, what's the sort on the buy-side what's the reaction to this unit? Is it well-priced? Is it something that people are interested in? Also take a look at the condition of the apartment. If it's something that's staged, that's a seller that's ready to move. If it's got stuff all around, it looks like they're just kind of, you know, living there. I'd say it's harder to kind of judge the motivation of the seller. So real estate is so individual that you really have to take each sale on its own merits.

Emily Myers (12:24): Yeah, it's interesting. Those are really good tips. You also mentioned Midtown and the slightly more business districts you know, in Manhattan and commercial real estate, office buildings, retail, and the like, aren't in Brick Underground's wheelhouse, but the shifts in workplace culture to remote or partially remote is having an impact on where New Yorkers choose to live. How profound do you think that will be?

John Walkup (12:49): I think the jury is still out. And it's a fantastic question, but I still think it's, it's a, it's an unanswered question. I've been working remote now for quite a while and look, it gets the job done, but it's, it's not as exciting. And, and I do miss that interpersonal relationships and interactions in an office setting. And I, I do look forward to getting back to that as soon as possible. And I think a lot of people feel the same way. I've, you know, in, in, in this business, we speak to a lot of, you know, real estate professionals, especially people who are, you know, you look at mortgage bankers who are, who are dealing with people's sort of inner most deepest, darkest financial secrets, and they're doing it on Zoom and you got all kinds of stuff happening in the background that that might not be the most ideal place for that kind of conversation. So I think there's a, there is a big push to get back, but at the same time, I do think a lot of people are sort of realizing that, you know, maybe I don't need to be in the office every day. So I do think that this has been, you know, and I think Jonathan Miller said this too, this has been a really quick win for the suburbs. You know, people moved out, you know, put a lot of bids on places. The prices went crazy in some of the, the more Metro areas Westchester, Long Island, Connecticut whether that remains, is going to remain or is that demand going to be sustained? I'm not quite sure. I do think that there is a general desire for humans to be near each other. And the urbanization trend is, is something that's not five, 10 years old. It's something that's centuries old. So I do think that cities are, are not going anywhere. But it's just the question of, you know, when will they come back? And when they do come back, what will they look like? And frankly, you know, you mentioned commercial buildings and I think retail is going through the same sort of pains currently. And I do think this is a time of enormous opportunity for people in the commercial real estate industry on offices, retail to sort of rethink what the cities are gonna look like and those who get it right, are going to be richly rewarded.

Emily Myers (14:46): Actually, there was an article recently in The New York Times about Midtown office buildings becoming apartment complexes. Is that far-fetched, I mean, there is a history here, isn't there?

John Walkup (14:57): It's going to take some, it's going to take some, some heavy lifting, I suppose it could be done. But you know, when you look at the number of new developments out there that are still sitting empty, I'm not sure if that's something that I would want to compete against, unless I could really do it on a cost effective basis. So I think, you know, again, you've got to take each building as its own case, but I am looking forward to seeing New York city in 10, 15 years.

Emily Myers (15:21): Actually, you mentioned that sort of sense of neighborhood being perhaps a priority to buyers. And that's a sort of walkability? You've got access to perhaps green space convenience shopping, you know, whether that's usually, probably groceries at this point in the pandemic. So that sense of neighborhood, and of course, you know, that pull of the suburbs having a bit more space. And you mentioned how popular Brooklyn was at the beginning of the pandemic in terms of interest from buyers. So, you know, perhaps it's a bit more of a question for Manhattan. Do you think Manhattan will, will change in some way?

John Walkup (15:56): I would like to see Manhattan change in some ways I think some of the, some of the things that we've seen out of this pandemic, I mean, this is my own personal opinion, of course have been great. Like I bike everywhere. I'd like to see more bike lanes in the city. Some of the pandemic changes that we've seen, like the outdoor dining. I think it's great, it's it really makes the city feel a lot more—it makes the city feel smaller and little more sort of on a, on a human individual level. But I think the things that have made Brooklyn soar in the last, and this is not a pandemic thing Brooklyn's been doing great for the last several years. And I think the trend there is, is that when you look at what defines, and I may be dating myself here, but I mean, what defines success? I mean, it used to be like, all right, well, I, haven't got a co-op in Sutton Place, you know, and I've got season tickets for the Met Opera and the Philharmonic, and I'm a member at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Frick Collection, you know, that might've worked say 30, 40 years ago, but you know, now Manhattan's not the center of the university more, you could easily go to BAM or you can go to you can go to concerts out in Williamsburg or, or wherever you are in Brooklyn, you can basically live an entire life in the borough of Brooklyn without needing to really go to Manhattan anymore for the things that would sort of, you know, mark you as sort of, you know, "successful". So, you know, Brooklyn's got its own thing going. It's not as reliant on tourism as Manhattan. And you know, so when I think about things I'd like to see from Manhattan, I, you know, right now, I think it's a golden age for townhouses in both Brooklyn, especially, but also in Manhattan. I think there's going to be a general push for people in Manhattan to have larger, and more private units. And whether that's townhouses or condos where you have the full floor. It, it's going to be interesting, to say the least, how this is going to sort of shake out because there's a, there's a lot of people competing for a little space.

Emily Myers (17:43): You mentioned sales prices, and actually I'm hearing the figure 10% being bandied about as a discount on January's prices. Is that backed up by your data?

John Walkup (17:52): Only speaking, yeah. Across the board, 10%, roughly in line. As I mentioned earlier, we were seeing discounts of up to 20% plus during the pandemic, but about 10% right now is what you're going to find on, on a median level for everything. Of course, the higher you go on price points, the steeper that discount becomes. So if you're looking at say the under a million level, you might be finding discounts more in the 5% to 8% range, even lower in some cases, if it's a well priced unit you know, you start looking above 4 million. Yeah. You're going to be getting into the 10, 15% even regions simply because, you know, there's just a smaller buyer pool for units of that price.

Emily Myers (18:29): Okay. I just want to point out that we have articles on much of what we're talking about at brickunderground.com, including actually neighborhood guides that may need some updating tips on negotiating, answers about mortgages and refinancing options, as well as everything you need to know about affordable housing in the city. And we also love answering your questions. We may even have a podcast dedicated just to that. So please do get in touch either via the website or at brick underground on Twitter. I'm talking to John Walkup co-founder of real estate analytics from UrbanDigs. John we've been talking obviously primarily about sales, but perhaps we could talk a little bit about rental deals. Renters absolutely have the upper hand right now. How as a renters should you be flexing that power?

John Walkup (19:17): Well, you know, it's interesting, so you're, you're correct in that, that renters right now have the upper hand. I mean, there's, let's just talk about why that is. And that's because there's a, there's a real disconnect in, in terms of timelines: Landlords have to sort of make enough money every month to sort of keep the whole operation of float. And right now there's just not a lot of people renting apartments. And the number has certainly increased in the last couple of months—in the summer, it was completely dead—so they have to get some traction on the short term to kind of keep everything running and to do that, they really have to cut prices like crazy to get people in because they've just seen this depth of demand, you know, creep in. At the same time, if you're looking forward to the future, if you're looking forward to say late spring, early summer, and you're thinking, well, gosh, we're going to have a vaccine, people are going to be coming back to the city, maybe tourism is here, like there are these things that are going to make the city feel alive again. Gosh, I'd like to have a number of these units in reserve so I can sort of, you know, put them on at more attractive prices. So now going back to your question, if you're a, if you're a renter right now, how do you take advantage? Well, these are mainly short-term deals. So the first thing to do is sort of identify your situation. Is it even time to buy? You might want to run those numbers, but just look, how long do I want to stay here? Can I renew? Uif so, how long can I renew for? What's the landlord going to charge me? What are the other units I can find,uin and around where I am, are there any sort of concessions there? And that's really the key here is trying to find those concessions. And, and I'm not sure if you know what concessions are, but they might be something like, you know, two months free or the, the gym in the building is free or the, you know, the amenities set is free or there they're paying for your air conditioning in the summer. You know, these little things that they're going to throw in, but in order to keep that rent number high. So it's a sweetheart deal sort of scenario. So you can find some really attractive leases right now. But the problem is most of these are very, very short term because landlords are only giving these away because they got to kind of keep, keep the boat afloat and as soon as they sort of see, you know, more light at the end of the tunnel, those are going to be yanked away. And you could find yourself in a position where, yeah, you've got a sweet deal for a couple of years or maybe one year, most likely, after that, you might find yourself in a worse position than you are now. So it's, it's a bit of a balancing act. And you just gotta run the numbers every angle.

Emily Myers (21:24): From what I understand the inventory, certainly the rental inventory, you talked a little bit about the sales inventory, but the rental inventory obviously is very high and there is a talk of this sort of shadow inventory that you know, this is apartments that landlords aren't even putting on listing sites because there's no real point. What does the data about inventory tell you?

John Walkup (21:44): Landlords are really not in a position to raise rents anytime soon. So even though the vacancy rate may have come down in the last month or so I do think that that rents are sort of on a, on a stable trajectory. If not a downward one, it's just a question of, you know, if, if you, if you renew now on a short-term lease, you may get a nice dip in your rent. But it come right back up to where it was, or maybe even a little bit above today's rent and it, you know, but this is just sort of forward-looking speculation. I there's so much, there's so many variables out there and that's, you know, has to do with just the nature of New York city and the economy and the virus, all the stuff that made 2020 so interesting is still on the table.

Emily Myers (22:25): And one thing that, that is an issue at the moment also, obviously, is this, there are fewer comps and that does mean that pricing gets more complicated, doesn't it?

John Walkup (22:35): It does. And it's really tricky right now because normally where you'd have a set of say, 50 to a hundred comps from, you might have say, 20 of those 20 maybe to work. So you only really need one or two good comps, especially if it's a same line sale or the same unit sale, those are fantastic for pricing. But generally, yeah, the pool has really shrunk and it makes pricing exceptionally difficult during these days.

Emily Myers (22:57): So is there a better way of perhaps including condo leasing data and other data points? Is there a better way to look at pricing that takes into account you know, perhaps some different data that could be more helpful to sellers?

John Walkup (23:15): And it's sort of a one of these age old sort of debates. And then in the commercial real estate industry, especially for say multifamily, one of the things they love to use is called a cap rate. And that's basically when you take the net operating income and you divide it by the purchase price and the whole idea there is you get your cash on cash return number. So what's great about that is if you can say, all right, well, this building is going to yield me 8% a year—if we're talking about New York city, it's more like 3%, if you're lucky and I can get, say 5% in the stock market. Well, I can kind of compare these two investments on a very neutral playing field. And especially if you know, the cap rate of the neighborhood, you know, then you can kind of really establish what whether or not that the price is right. I know, Jason and Jared and Elegran have been doing a lot of great research into, you know, using the cap rate analysis of value, residential properties. And it's, it's a very interesting way of doing it. It can really yield some interesting results, but the issue that we see is that the leasing rate, the leasing component, which is essential in getting an accurate NOI, that net operating income is really fuzzy. And especially fuzzy when you start looking at say sales units compared to rental units, simply because they're, they're just different quality. And like we mentioned earlier, you don't, no one really knows what the actual lease rate is. So you could have an inflated numbers or not, but it would be great if we could finally get some, some headway there. But I certainly think that these days, if you're looking to price an apartment, you should be looking at what's happening in the immediate neighborhood. So like, let's take an example. Let's take, let's go back to good old Yorkville—represent—two bedroom, two bathroom co-op in Yorkville what's the market look like? How many are on the market right now? What are they asking? How long have they been on the market? How many are in contract? Where there any price cuts, what did that look like? What's their last asking price? What were the ones that are recently sold in the last, say three months, at least they give you an idea? Hopefully these were contracts that were signed after the, after the pandemic. What are the ones that are off market? Where are they? They're usually trading at a much higher level that will kind of give you an idea of the ceiling of what what's generally considered to be, you know, too much, too expensive. So that's, those are some of the general components you look for just in the neighborhood, then you want to get into the building and see what happens in this specific building for the two bedrooms. And then ideally you have some sort of like same line sales, like, well, if I'm looking at 11Aand let's see what 12A or 13A or 10A trade like it would be really fantastic if we could then layer on sort of the leasing component to that and say, all right, well, based on the comparable rents for two bed, two bath co-ops or two bed, two bath, I suppose, units in Yorkville, here's what the suggested price is. But you know, again, now you're talking, co-ops, co-op generally don't rent, so there's a premium for condo. So you have a little bit of an issue there, but I, I do think that, you know, in these days you really have to just use every arrow in your quiver to come up with a good pricing strategy.

Emily Myers (26:02): Actually, and including leasing data at the moment, doesn't really help a seller because rents are down.

John Walkup (26:08): It's true. And, you know, rent's the thing, the thing was fun about rents is they just move so much faster than sales. I mean, they can change on a dime sales, take a little bit longer to move. So yeah, yesterday's a $1 million sale based on, you know, rental income derivations could be 900 or 800 tomorrow, or maybe 1200 the next day.

Emily Myers (26:27): Okay. Yeah. Well so John, this is our last podcast before the holidays, and Brick Underground readers can look out for the forecast on our site about what 2021 will have in store for renters, buyers and sellers. Can I ask you John, what you're expecting to see from the data in the next 12 months? I mean, I know we've touched on it, but....

John Walkup (26:46): So it's been a very interesting fall. I still think Brooklyn has continued to do very well. Manhattan seems like, you know, normally we see a big slow down in the winter and picks up again, you know, mid February end of February. And it starts really gaining steam March, April, May. I do think though that this fall we've started to build momentum and I think that momentum is going to continue through the winter. So I think if you're a buyer right now sitting on the sidelines thinking, "Oh, maybe I'm just going to let the unit stack up." You might be surprised to see how many units are actually kind of moving and, and leaving the market. That being said, there's still these, you know, there's a lot, there's a lot of uncertainty out there and these predictions of mine could be invalid by Tuesday. But you know, take it as it comes. But I do think 2021 is going to be a better year than 2019 and a better year than 2020 for New York city real estate.

Emily Myers (27:37): Okay. And obviously, certainly the, the traditional sales calendar is out of the window. So it's going to be, it is going to be a very different year. John Walkup (27:45): Yeah. It's going to be much more erratic. You probably are not gonna be able to rely on past trends for timing advice anymore, but you know, it's—you are just going to have to take it as it comes and just, you know, really I've said it before, but real estate is really so unique, so individual just, it's, it's really a unit by unit outlook. So, you know, you focus on the units you want, at the price you want, and you should be okay. Emily Myers (28:08): And when you talk about, just to clarify, when you say a better year, you mean just more deals.

John Walkup (28:13): I think more deals. I think we're going to see, I think we are going to see more activity on the buy side, I think similarly on the sell side, I think we're going to see sellers come out at more rational prices instead of, you know, aspirational prices. I think they might be closer to the market. As these market shifts happen, what happens is sellers are usually the last to adjust. So buyers come in low, their bids come in low and the sellers take a while to adjust down. So I think that 2021 is going to see more realistic sellers, which means buyers are just able to transact faster and in greater numbers. And I think that's a plus for the,ufor the market. Emily Myers (28:47): OK. Thanks so much. It was a great conversation.

John Walkup (28:49): Thank you very much, Emily. I'm proud to be a part of the Brick Underground podcast.

Emily Myers (28:52): Well, thank you. Happy holidays and stay safe over the holiday period.

John Walkup (28:57): Thank you. Stay safe everybody. And happy holidays.

Emily Myers (28:59): Okay. That's John Walkup, co-founder of the real estate analytics firm, UrbanDigs. I'm Emily Myers. The Brick Underground podcast is produced by myself and Jenny Falcon. Terry Rogers is our executive producer. Thank you for listening.