2020 with up arrow

The real estate industry is an important driver of economic activity in America. Each year I am given the opportunity to meet with analysts and money managers that subscribe to the Zelman Institutional Investor Research. Zelman newsletters have been very valuable to WAV Group and their clients. Zelman’s world is all about research and forecasting the performance of public companies in our space – think Realogy, Redfin, RE/MAX, Zillow, etc.

I enjoyed seeing many friends in the room at the Zelman Roundtable. Our small group of a dozen or so executives answered questions about the resale residential market. There were two key takeaways for me.

2020 has started out strong

2020 sales volume has started off with enthusiasm – with all brokers reporting year over year performance that exceeded 2018 and 2019. The 2019 Zelman roundtable meeting did not have the air of growth. One of the interesting notes I took about Manhattan real estate is the growing shadow inventory of new condo projects. Brokers all agreed that 2020 should end up outproducing 2019, which is to be expected in an election year.

Impact of SALT Tax

If you missed it, you will begin to hear more people discuss the SALT deduction as tax season arrives – that is the state and local tax deduction that allows taxpayers of high tax states to deduct local tax payments on their federal tax returns. Starting in 2018 tax year, the maximum SALT deduction available is $10,000. Before this tax, there was no limit – so residents in high tax states like California, New York, and New Jersey saw excellent deductions slip away. California has not seen as much of an impact to the market, but New York and New Jersey brokers mentioned that the SALT tax is on the mind of consumers.


There has been a lot of consolidation in brokerage – firms like Compass, BHHS, and Howard Hanna have been pretty active in rolling up brokerages. The same is also happening in the technology space that drives the real estate industry. Consensus is that technology is getting into a realm of data as an asset, so larger companies with lots of data have the opportunity to develop a competitive advantage.

All Inclusive Co-Living

We heard some interesting information about co-living – the development of curated apartment living. As consumers delay the first home purchase more and more, the lifestyle they access as renters is an enormous opportunity for growth. If you have not looked into all inclusive co-living – check out Ollie – https://ollie.co. They develop communities where people live in a resort setting. Great Stuff.


Off to Inman CEO connect. Will try to take notes.