The OP asks for an opinion of the release method and a suggestion for a better way. Abner Mole has explained a serious constraint on what that might be. Over the last couple of weeks, I have read the complaints and the objections to every proposed improvement. Both seem to me to be entirely valid.
Yet, there are serious problems with the “new” release routine. Constrained as it must be to US business hours, it places an insurmountable burden on residents of Europe, Asia, Africa or Australia, and a lesser (but significant) burden on all who work or travel. Then it releases individual homes or very small clusters over several hours. That means hopeful residents must glue themselves to their screens, prepared to jump into action in an instant over that same time span. This also places an extreme burden on invalids and those with less than ideal computers or networks.
I gave up on Mainland 11 years ago, and had no other reason to maintain my premium status. Since then I have built and lived happily in private estates. Then, last month, with the announced increase in groups added to the priority treatment in crowded regions, I signed on again for my shopaholic avatar. The potential for a house in Bellisseria was a plus. [Love the look and the community appeal! Thank you, SL and the moles!]
With the aid of automatic refresh, I started fishing for abandoned houses about three weeks ago, several hours each day, testing the waters with ever-shortening refresh intervals. Including yesterday's release, I have now seen literally dozens of houses and about an equal number of houseboats come and go in an instant.
I have a fast computer and a 200+ mbps network. I rarely have my eyes off the page. I click on “Next” even before ARP signals the “find”. I still missed every house (don't want a houseboat).
I'm not complaining. It's not a bit worse (and a lot more comfortable) than waiting in a tree-stand for a passing white-tail in my old RL home in Vermont.
But there MUST be a better way.
Until the overwhelming demand is satisfied, I think the only thing that makes sense is a lottery. Sign up for a house, for a houseboat or both (two lists). Everyone on each list gets a number. When the staff is ready to release a region (or, for that matter, when an abandonment takes place) they choose a random number for each available unit and notify the person with that number that they've won. Give them 48 hours to take possession or reject. Rejected units are re-cycled. Winners who reject their won unit can sign up again.
All done during US business hours with no disadvantage for non-US residents. No click-fest. AND easily understood! Moreover, there would be no second-guessing the Moles, nor would they have the burden of finishing a region every two days, pronto, punctilio, holidays and weekends excepted, just because the residents expect them to adhere to that strict schedule.