Real estate’s new premium gap: Urban centers versus suburbs | Bedford Real Estate

The downtowns of most major American cities were a great investment, even for those who bought in the real estate crisis a decade ago — and the premium gap between city centers and their suburbs continues to widen, a new survey of urban real estate finds. The only question is: Who can afford it?

In Philadelphia, Boston and Manhattan, home-hunters need to pay a premium of well over $300,000 to live in the heart of the city, according to Property Shark, a unit of Yardi, the global property management and services company. Its study, which examined the median sale prices of homes in 34 major U.S. cities between 2008 to 2018, found the price appreciation coincided with a many cities’ population booms and growing household incomes.

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IRINA IVANOVA/CBS MONEYWATCH

But it’s not only wealthy coastal cities enjoying the surge in urban home prices. In troubled Detroit, where the overall population is shrinking, the disparity is even greater. Real estate in the city’s downtown area has a median price tag of $229,250, compared with $37,000 for non-downtown property within the city’s 142 square miles.

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The West Coast is the only region where downtowns haven’t kept pace with outlying areas, thanks to a huge runup in home prices across the board. 

“California simply has a higher number of large cities compared to other states,” added report author Eliza Theiss, “and each city has its own specific reasons why a downtown will be a hotspot, or an area that will not be able to compete.”

For example, despite being a tech center, San Jose’s downtown doesn’t have the potential to compete for home-hunters with nearby Mountain View, Palo Alto or Cupertino. Likewise San Diego, despite its oceanside location, loses out to neighboring La Jolla and Torrey Pines, she said.

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In recent years, some downtowns have benefited from tax breaks and redevelopment that has lured young professionals back to the cities, creating the “cultural shift” that has made them so expensive, Theiss said. Among the new amenities are sports stadiums, convention centers, “green” recreational belts, food festivals and parades. New public and private transportation options make it unnecessary to own and garage a car, eliminating a major expense for city residents. 

Workers are also flocking to the cities for jobs. “Sacramento is a great example of how a downtown can be revived and turned into an economic engine and an attractive place to live and work,” she said of the California state capital, which is an exception to the report’s West Coast rule. 

The dark side of the rising prices, of course, is gentrification. “There’s no going around it,” said Theiss. “With downtowns becoming trendy, the white flight of decades past has reversed, with higher income residents displacing long-term working-class and low-income residents, in some cases displacing existing communities.” 

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IRINA IVANOVA/CBS MONEYWATCH

But as downtowns price themselves out of reach, young professionals may migrate into other areas, spreading gentrification to other city neighborhoods, although that’s not always a sure thing. “The process of gentrification doesn’t always spread from one neighborhood to one that borders it,” she said. “If there are already well-established neighborhoods where home prices are quite high. it’s not an option. If the downtown is bordered by a more neglected area that’s mostly commercial space, then there is a lot of potential.”

Another issue is employment trends, with some tech companies opening satellite offices outside of pricy downtown centers. Amazon’s decision to open a new headquarters in Long Island City, New York, could bump up prices there, for example.

Even so, city lawmakers and planners may push back. “Many downtowns don’t have the necessary space or willingness to accommodate them,” said Theiss, “and not everyone is excited about seeing their downtowns change so much.” 

One thing is clear. While there are exceptions, buying a downtown home of any kind is generally a moneymaker. Chicago may have its issues, but it was the city with the the largest difference between the downtown and the rest of the city, closing 2018 with a $675,000 premium. 

read more…

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/real-estate-prices-premiums-for-urban-centers-outpacing-suburbs/

The Upside of a Global Downturn? | Pound Ridge Real Estate

To lure house hunters, sellers of high-end homes are slashing prices by as much as 30 percent. Many metro areas are succumbing to downward pressure from the U.S.-China trade war, uncertainty in Europe, rising interest rates, or a combination of all three. Of course, all real estate is local, so some discounts are better than others. Here’s where policymakers, central bankers, and developers are creating an environment for juicy deals today—or even better bargains tomorrow.

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One Hyde Park.PHOTOGRAPHER: IAIN MASTERTON/ALAMY

LONDON

By the numbers: Home values in the city’s prime neighborhoods are 19 percent below their 2014 peak, according to broker Savills Plc.
 
What happened? Few sellers anywhere have faced such a poisonous economic cocktail as those in the Chelsea, Kensington, and Westminster districts, where tax changes on luxury properties have hit hard. Add in Brexit and an anti-money-laundering crackdown on cash from countries such as Russia and China, and demand for high-end homes has dried up. The discounts were enough to lure hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin to spend £95 million ($122 million) on a mansion near Buckingham Palace in January, a cut of almost 35 percent from the original price.
 
Act now! A five-bedroom home in the city’s most expensive apartment block, One Hyde Park, has been languishing on the market for two years. The asking price is £50 million, down from £55 million.

relates to The Upside of a Global Downturn? Juicy Real Estate Deals
Private jetty in Avalon Beach.SOURCE: FINE & COUNTRY

SYDNEY

By the numbers: Australian home prices have fallen more than 6 percent since their October 2017 peak. The decline in Sydney has been sharper—about 12 percent—making this the worst slump in four decades. Economists have predicted that Australia’s most populous city could see an additional 8 percent drop this year.
 
What happened? Easy credit caused prices to go crazy, then policymakers stepped in with a series of cooling measures including a restriction on banks from issuing interest-only loans popular with speculators. Regulations designed to deter foreign buyers, such as higher sales taxes, have only made it worse for investors, with many pulling out of the market. Because interest rates are at record lows and the country’s economy is growing modestly, it’s hard to see the window for bargain shopping closing anytime soon.
 
Act now! This four-bedroom home in Avalon Beach in Sydney’s Northern Beaches district comes with a private jetty, a boathouse, and a koi pond. Listed for A$6.9 million ($5.3 million) in December 2017, it’s now going for A$4.3 million, a 38 percent discount.

relates to The Upside of a Global Downturn? Juicy Real Estate Deals
Palm Jumeriah.SOURCE: SAVILLS

DUBAI

By the numbers: Dubai’s residential prices are down about 25 percent since their 2014 peak, according to broker Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.
 
What happened? If politicians and central bankers are to blame in most other places, overzealous developers in Dubai are responsible for the emirate’s slump. Dubai is planning to erect a record 31,500 homes this year, double the annual demand of the past five years, raising the risk that prices could fall further, according to JLL.
 
Act now! A typical six-bedroom, 7,000-square-foot Signature Villas home on the artificial archipelago of Palm Jumeriah, among the desert city’s most expensive neighborhoods, costs 20.5 million U.A.E. dirham ($5.6 million), according to Savills. That’s down from 22.75 million dirham in 2014, the broker says, an almost 10 percent discount.

relates to The Upside of a Global Downturn? Juicy Real Estate Deals
A Mayfair by the Sea 8 apartment.SOURCE: MAYFAIR BY THE SEA

HONG KONG

By the numbers: Home prices have been clipped almost 10 percent since August, according to Centaline Property Agency Ltd.’s Centa-City Leading Index. Several forecasts expect another 10 percent fall in 2019, depending on the direction of interest rates, with broker JLL warning in November that prices could plummet by 25 percent in 2019 if the U.S.-China trade war worsens.
 
What happened? Because of the Hong Kong currency’s ties to the U.S. dollar (it effectively imports American monetary policy), borrowing costs have gone up as the Federal Reserve has hiked rates. Also weighing on prices: an upcoming vacancy tax designed to stop developers from hoarding empty apartments in the hopes that they fetch better prices later. There are signs that investors are already unloading empty units in anticipation.
 
Act now! At Mayfair by the Sea 8, a development in the Tai Po neighborhood, apartments are selling for an average of HK$16,000 ($2,039) a square foot, more than 10 percent lower than the price of nearby developments last summer.

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One Beacon Court.PHOTOGRAPHER: ANDREW HARRER/BLOOMBERG

NEW YORK

By the numbers: In the last quarter of 2018, the median price of Manhattan condos dropped below $1 million for the first time in three years, down 5.8 percent from a year earlier, according to broker Douglas Elliman Real Estate. For the most expensive homes, the market is worse: Sales of Manhattan properties priced at $5 million or more dropped 22 percent last year from 2017, their steepest decline in a decade, according to Stribling & Associates Ltd.
 
What happened? A postrecession building boom led to a glut of condos. The annual inventory of homes for sale rose 15.4 percent in 2018, according to real estate website StreetEasy. At the same time, federal changes that limit deductions on property and state taxes and mortgages have encouraged people to flee to lower-tax states. More than 8 percent of New York state residents will face higher taxes for 2018, with 29 percent of the highest earners seeing a hike, according to the Tax Policy Center.
 
Act now! In January, hedge fund manager Steven Cohen slashed the price of his penthouse at One Beacon Court to $45 million, a $70 million cut from its asking price of $115 million in 2013.

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The Ailesbury Victorian.SOURCE: SAVILLS

DUBLIN

By the numbers: Prices in Dublin’s most desirable districts, including the D2 and D4 postal codes, fell 2.8 percent last year, according to broker Knight Frank LLP. That ended five years of price growth following a 56 percent collapse citywide starting in 2008.
 
What happened? Given how interconnected Ireland’s economy is with the U.K.’s, Brexit wobbliness is at least partly to blame for the falling prices, according to Knight Frank. The weak pound is deterring wealthy U.K. buyers, and limits introduced in 2015 by the Irish Central Bank on the amounts that can be borrowed have also helped cool the market. First-time buyers, for example, now have to put down at least 10 percent of the price.
 
Act now! A five-bedroom, five-bath Victorian home on Ailesbury Road, one of the most sought-after Dublin avenues, is now listed at €6.5 million ($6.8 million), a 13 percent discount from its 2016 asking price.

relates to The Upside of a Global Downturn? Juicy Real Estate Deals
West Vancouver.PHOTOGRAPHER: RAMUNAS BRUZAS/ALAMY

VANCOUVER

By the numbers: Home prices fell 4.5 percent in January from a year earlier, and they’re now 8 percent below their June 2018 peak, according to the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. High-price districts are faring much worse; properties in West Vancouver, which had been attractive to overseas buyers, are down 14 percent from the previous year.
 
What happened? After prices surged about 63 percent from December 2013 to December 2018—putting owning a home beyond the reach of most locals— Vancouver’s market developed an unhealthy dependency on foreign cash. China’s clampdown on money fleeing the country and local measures in Canada, including a 20 percent foreign-buyers tax, have discouraged the overseas high-rollers. At the same time, the Canadian government’s new tighter mortgage rules have made it even harder for locals to afford homes.
 
Act now! A five-bedroom house in West Vancouver for sale since December 2017 is now listed for C$6.9 million ($5.1 million) after a C$1 million price cut in November.

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The Bosphorus.PHOTOGRAPHER: DIEGO CUPOLO/NURPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

ISTANBUL

By the numbers: Luxury home values in the Turkish city dropped 4.3 percent in the final quarter of 2018 from the previous one, bringing the 12-month decline to 10.4 percent, according to Knight Frank.
 
What happened? An expanding middle class, readily available mortgage financing, and migration seem to be supporting the market for more affordable homes, but the sharp drop in the value of the lira has decimated the top end. Turkey’s currency is down almost 41 percent against the U.S. dollar in the past two years amid political tensions—with the U.S., within the Middle East, and inside Turkey. Additionally, investors have been spooked by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who lashed out against his central bank, raising concerns about its independence.
 
Act now! About 60 sought-after mansions on the banks of the Bosphorus—many of them built during the Ottoman Empire—were for sale as of October, according to a survey of brokers by Agence France-Presse. Although listings can be opaque, one modern six-bedroom home is for sale for 55 million lira, which converts to $10.5 million now compared with $14.5 million a year ago.

How Do You Say “Penthouse” in German?*

One city ripe for a future correction: Munich. It saw a 9 percent increase in home prices last year, and they’ve doubled in the past decade. While all of Germany’s big cities have seen rapid price appreciation from the influx of migrants and record-low interest rates, the Bavarian capital has been particularly affected by the global corporations that call it home, such as Siemens, Allianz, and BMW. Gross domestic product growth in Munich has significantly outpaced that of Germany as a whole, and unemployment is at its lowest level in 20 years.

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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-14/real-estate-deals-are-one-upside-of-a-global-downturn

Con Ed wants 6% electric rate increase in Westchester | Chappaqua Real Estate

Con Edison has requested a rate increase that, if approved, could have Westchester County customers paying about 6 percent more for electricity each month.

The company filed a rate request with the New York State Public Service Commission Jan. 31, seeking approval for rate requests totaling $695 million for the company’s electric and natural gas delivery systems. The increase would go into effect in 2020.

Con Edison
The utility’s Westchester headquarters in Rye. Photo by Ryan Deffenbaugh

Con Edison supplies natural gas to 1.1 million customers and electricity to 3.4 million customers in New York City and Westchester.

With the increase, the bill for a residential costumer in Westchester using 300 kilowatt hours would rise $6.10, to an average of $114.04 per month. The average monthly bill for a New York City customer for the same usage would increase $4.45, to $81.78. For a typical commercial customer in the region, the monthly bill would increase $80.96 to $1,970.67, an increase of 4.3 percent.

The average monthly bill for a residential gas customer, using on average 100 therms per month, would increase $17.28 to $176.34, according to Con Edison, an increase of 10.9 percent.

The utility said the rate increase would fund infrastructure improvements and other investments in clean energy, energy savings and customer service.

“Our proposal will build on the progress we have made in putting tools in the hands of our customers to help them manage their energy usage,” Con Edison President Timothy Cawley said. “We’re making it easier for them to take advantage of energy efficiency, charge electric vehicles and communicate with us. We’re also improving our response to severe weather events and taking steps to protect the environment.”

Through a rate case proceeding, the state Public Service Commission will render a decision on how much the utility can raise rates. The state is required to provide a decision within 11 months.

“Our number one priority is ensuring utility rates are fair and reasonable, and we will not allow a multibillion-dollar utility to line shareholders’ pockets at the expense of ratepayers,” state Department of Public Service spokesman James Denn said. “Today, Con Edison is seeking a rate increase, but to be crystal clear, one has not been approved.”

The state has assembled what it said is a panel of 50 experts to review the rate filing. The process also allows for public comment, which often draws from industry groups, consumer advocates and large-scale electricity and gas users.

The utility last sought a rate increase in 2016. The company asked the state to approve  an electric increase of $482 million and a gas increase of $154 million. After a joint-agreement involving 22-separate parties, the PSC authorized a three-year rate plan in 2017 that allowed for annual electric increases of $199 million, and a gas increase of $35.5 million in year one, $92.3 million in year two and $89.5 million in year three. The decision, according to the PSC, included measures to boost the availability of energy efficiency and smart-grid technologies.

While Con Edison’s proposal is for 2020, the company indicated in its announcement that it intends to discuss multiyear rate plans with the PSC. A multiyear plan, the company said, could result in lower annual increases and provide more cost certainty. It also agreed to a two-year rate plan in its 2014 rate case.

Among the efforts Con Edison said it would fund with the rate increase is its $100 million plan to increase the storm resiliency in Westchester. The four-year plan would strengthen the county’s overhead electric system. The company announced the plan last year amid public pressure from elected officials after a series of snow storms in March caused some of the most significant outages in company history.

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Mortgage rates average 4.37% | Katonah Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey®, showing that fixed-rate mortgages fell to the lowest levels since early 2018.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “The combination of cooling inflation and slower global economic growth led mortgage rates to drift down to the lowest levels in a year. While housing activity has clearly softened over the last nine months and the lingering effects of higher rates from last year are still being felt, lower mortgage rates and a strong job market should rekindle demand for the spring homebuying season.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.37 percent with an average 0.4 point for the week ending February 14, 2019, down from last week when it averaged 4.41 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.38 percent. 
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.81 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.84 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.84 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.88 percent with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.91 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.63 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Millennials Are About to Get Locked Out of the Real Estate Market—Again | Bedford Corners Real Estate

Over the past couple of years, rising pay and low mortgage rates finally converged to make make the dream of home ownership a reality for America’s millennials, many of whom had long been locked out of the housing market. But now, the door is on the verge of slamming on the under-35 crowd, leaving young families outside looking through the picture window—again.

That’s the scenario sketched by Mark Boud, chief economist for Metrostudy, a unit of real estate data and marketing company Hanley Wood. Metrostudy surveys housing trends in hundreds of towns and cities from the ground up, by visiting subdivisions to record how many homes are being built, going to contract, and sold—the latter evidenced by curtains on the windows and tricycles in the driveway.

During the housing-bubble frenzy from 2004 to 2006, as Boud recently recounted to Fortune, easy credit sent sales soaring, inflating prices and leading to a gigantic oversupply of new homes. In 2008 and 2009, the banks and other lenders, overwhelmed with defaults and foreclosures, throttled back so hard on credit that demand collapsed, and housing prices went into a tailspin.

The upshot: From 2009 to 2017, the housing market severely overcorrected, with prices steadily rising once again. “Housing went through a long period of undervalution,” says Boud. It wasn’t millennials, he points out, who benefited from the cheap prices and rescued the market. “The millennials had loads of college debt, and many had bad credit in general, often because their previous loans had been foreclosed on. And they were too young to be stable in their jobs,” he says. The upshot: The youthful cohort couldn’t get mortgages from lenders, who suddenly were rejecting all but class-A credits.

Instead, it was the affluent and investors that profited from low prices and soaked up the excess inventory. “The rich were the buyers without the credit problems,” says Boud. “And institutional investors bought houses cheap and rented them out.” In fact, he says, many of these new owners’ tenants were the very millennials shunned by the banks. In terms of home ownership, millennials became the lost generation.

A lost generation comes home

By 2015, the wealthy and the investors had absorbed the excess. America began generating far more new jobs than new homes, as construction was severely constrained by a shortage of ready-to-go lots. Starting around 2017, the millennials got back in the game, in a big way. The job rolls expanded, and wages jumped. The mortgage market reopened for the more well-to-do 30-somethings. So even though credit overall remained tight, sales to millennials rose, from 22% of new homes sales around 2011 to 50% in 2018—an extraordinary figure, given that millennials account for just one-third of the U.S. population.

Now says Boud, the market is once again turning against what’s now the biggest, and still hungriest, class of buyers. “Prices have risen a lot, and they’re still rising because we’re still way under-building compared to household formation,” he says. “At the same time, rates on home loans are rising, making it much harder for millennials to qualify.” The affordability problem will intensify because of the types of homes the builders are erecting. The only way to make money on expensive land is to build big houses, so “the average home size is 3,000 square feet, which is way too big most first-time buyers,” Boud says. “Ten years ago in Las Vegas, that sized house cost maybe $225,000 [thanks to the housing plunge]. Now it costs $350,000, way out of the reach of young buyers.”(

Hence, Boud sees sales shifting back to the affluent who’ve held high-paying jobs for decades, can qualify for more expensive mortgages, and want the big houses. Eventually, he says, the surge in prices will sow the seeds of a correction. But supply is so tight that the drop should be mild––unless America suffers a recession. “In that case, prices would be lower, but employment and incomes would also drop. So millennials could remain locked out.” Another problem: Millennials who secured a 3.5% fixed rate in 2016 or 2017 will stay in their existing home to keep the low monthly payment rather than trying to move up the housing ladder.

The solution, says Boud, is for builders to lower costs by shifting to factory-built homes they can offer at far lower prices. Homebuilders should also work with the banks to offer interest-only mortgages that would hold down monthly payments in the early years, and allow far more millennials to qualify for credit. He also notes that developers need to take steps to lower home owner association dues that can add $200 to a family’s monthly payments. More 2,000-square-foot houses would also be welcome, but for that to happen, municipalities would need to loosen zoning laws to allow far more lots to be subdivided, far more quickly. Today, towns are trending the wrong way, towards even tighter restrictions.

The outlook for sales is strong, Boud says, because so many Gen-Xers and baby boomers are renting, and more of them want to buy homes. Those folks can both afford to buy, and qualify for mortgages on $450,000-to-$700,000 homes. As for millennials, the generation that housing lost, then briefly found is about to be lost once more.

read more…

http://fortune.com/2019/01/12/real-estate-market-millennials/

Climate change tax on real estate in Massachusetts | Chappaqua Real Estate

The plan marks one of Governor Charlie Baker’s most high-profile bids to address climate resiliency as he begins his second term.
The plan marks one of Governor Charlie Baker’s most high-profile bids to address climate resiliency as he begins his second term.

Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican who once campaigned against raising taxes, unveiled a proposal Friday to hike the tax on Massachusetts real estate transfers by 50 percent, and funnel the more than $1 billion it could generate in the next decade into steeling cities and towns against the effects of climate change.

The plan, which Baker intends to include in his state budget proposal on Wednesday, marks one of his most high-profile bids to address climate resiliency as he begins his second term.

But it’s also expected to face heavy resistance within real estate circles, where trade groups warn a tax hike could exacerbate the region’s already steep housing costs.

Baker’s proposed tax increase would add nearly $1,200 in taxes to the sale of a $500,000 home, with those costs paid by the seller.Get Metro Headlines in your inbox:The 10 top local news stories from metro Boston and around New England delivered daily.Sign Up

Baker said the increase to the so-called deeds excise rate could generate anywhere from $130 million to $150 million annually toward a Global Warming Solutions Trust Fund, which cities and towns could then tap through grants, loans, and other avenues for local projects. That could include modernizing public buildings, fortifying sea walls, or improving drainage and flood control methods, depending on a city or town’s needs.

“This is an excise tax that’s basically about property. And the proposal we’re making here is to protect property,” Baker told reporters after unveiling the contours of the plan to hundreds of local officials at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting.

“We think in the long run, the cost benefit on this one is a good deal for Massachusetts residents,” Baker said.

The tax increase, which would need legislative approval, could mean hundreds, if not thousands, more dollars borne by those unloading their homes.

Under current law, a home seller in most parts of the state pays $4.56 in transfer taxes per $1,000 of a purchase price. That means for a $500,000 home sale, a seller pays a $2,280 tax bill. If Baker’s proposal passes, the transfer tax rate would jump to $6.84 per $1,000, meaning for the same $500,000 sale, the tax bill balloons to $3,420.

On Cape Cod, where the excise tax is lower than the rest of the state, the increase is actually more dramatic under Baker’s proposal. The $3.42 per $1,000 of a purchase price home sellers currently pay would jump by 67 percent to $5.70.

As a candidate in 2014, Baker continually opposed tax and fee increases, later allowing that if the state offered a new service and attached a fee to it, he didn’t think he would be breaking his commitment. En route to winning reelection last fall, he reiterated that he is against broad-based tax increases for the sake of “balancing the budget.”

During four-plus years in office, he has signed a number of new fees and taxes into law, including an assessment to help cover the cost of the state’s Medicaid program and an estimated $800 million payroll tax, split between employers and employees, that goes into effect in July to pay for a new paid family and medical leave program. Baker also signed off on a new $2 surcharge on car rental transactions to raise up to $10 million toward training for local police.

Baker defended his pursuit of the tax hike in the new climate change proposal. “There’s no program in Massachusetts that’s going to put a billion dollars on the table to put the kind of resiliency programming in place that we’re going to need to deal with the intensity and the frequency of storms,” he said.

His administration, however, also noted that it has already invested $600 million in programs targeting the effects of climate change.

The proposal is the second major climate-change-focused initiative Baker has touted since winning reelection. Last month, Massachusetts and eight other states announced a landmark agreement to create a system to impose regionwide limits on transportation emissions, the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution.

Within hours, the plan was drawing resistance from the real estate industry. Tamara Small, chief executive of NAIOP Massachusetts, the powerful trade group for commercial real estate, questioned tying the fund to property sales.

“When we have a market downturn, which I think is not far down the road . . . that could affect the amount of money that could be raised,” Small said. “When you’re talking about a 50 percent increase, there’s no doubt that for someone who is trying to sell their home, that’s going to increase prices. That’s going to have an impact.”

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors, which opposes the increase, said efforts to support climate resiliency shouldn’t target only those looking to sell property, said Justin Davidson, the group’s general counsel.

“This proposal would quite frankly increase the cost of housing in Massachusetts,” he said. “We’ll be reaching out to legislators to let them know about our position.”

Baker is likely to have powerful support, too. The plan received a “very positive response” from local officials at their annual meeting, according to Geoffrey Beckwith, the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s executive director, who called it a “common sense funding solution.”

“There’s a direct connection between what cities and towns have to do, and the proposal the governor made,” Beckwith said.

Environmental groups, who have been critical of Baker before, offered cautious praise Friday for this proposal, noting they’re still waiting to see all of the details.

“I think it’s a great signal that he intends to take climate change and climate resilience and adaptation seriously,” said Elizabeth Turnbull Henry, president of the Environmental League of Massachusetts. “Massachusetts has 1,500 miles of coastline. The time is now to be thinking about how we’re going to pay for the investments that we need to protect ourselves.”

Bradley Campbell, president of the Conservation Law Foundation, said he was encouraged by Baker’s plan, but called the money it could raise “modest” compared to the projected need.

“Ultimately, I think there will be a need to look at multiple revenue sources to assure that the cost burden of climate risk is allocated in a fair and equitable way,” he said. “This proposal provides a solid start to that dialogue.”

read more…

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2019/01/18/baker-proposes-percent-tax-hike-real-estate-sales-pay-for-local-climate-change-projects/1M59Xd7ij90ILDpWwW2j4O/story.html

California sales plummet | Armonk Real Estate

For the data: Full Excel

SFH Sales & Price  |  SFH UII & MTM  |  SFH SqFt & SL Ratio

CDO Sales & Price  |  CDO UII & MTM  | CDO SqFt & SL Ratio


For presentation:   PPT  |   PDF

For more related new releases:  Newstand

December-18Median Sold Price of Existing Single-Family HomesSales
State/Region/CountyDec-18Nov-18 Dec-17 Price MTM% ChgPrice YTY% ChgSales MTM% ChgSales YTY% Chg
CA SFH (SAAR)$557,600$554,760 $549,550r0.5%1.5%-2.4%-11.6%
CA Condo/Townhomes$460,660$465,770 $446,840 -1.1%3.1%-10.0%-21.4%
Los Angeles Metropolitan Area$500,000$512,000 $495,000r-2.3%1.0%-8.3%-17.8%
Central Coast$717,650$672,500 $657,500 6.7%9.1%-15.2%-24.9%
Central Valley$317,500$320,000 $310,000 -0.8%2.4%-8.0%-15.7%
Inland Empire$359,000$363,620 $342,000r-1.3%5.0%-10.1%-19.8%
S.F. Bay Area$850,000$905,000 $882,000r-6.1%-3.6%-20.2%-17.5%
          
S.F. Bay AreaDec-18Nov-18 Dec-17 Price MTM% ChgPrice YTY% ChgSales MTM% ChgSales YTY% Chg
Alameda$850,000$900,000 $862,000 -5.6%-1.4%-24.2%-19.9%
Contra Costa$612,500$641,000 $600,000 -4.4%2.1%-19.1%-16.7%
Marin$1,270,500$1,172,944 $1,268,900 8.3%0.1%-21.3%-12.6%
Napa$725,000$683,500 $688,000 6.1%5.4%-14.1%-21.8%
San Francisco$1,500,000$1,442,500 $1,475,000 4.0%1.7%-24.5%11.3%
San Mateo$1,483,000$1,500,000 $1,500,000 -1.1%-1.1%-24.0%-20.4%
Santa Clara$1,150,000$1,250,000 $1,300,000 -8.0%-11.5%-22.0%-20.6%
Solano$425,000$450,000 $416,000 -5.6%2.2%-13.0%-18.5%
Sonoma$639,000$612,500 $670,000 4.3%-4.6%-10.0%-16.7%
Southern CaliforniaDec-18Nov-18 Dec-17 Price MTM% ChgPrice YTY% ChgSales MTM% ChgSales YTY% Chg
Los Angeles$588,140$553,940 $577,690r6.2%1.8%-3.0%-16.3%
Orange$785,000$795,000 $785,500 -1.3%-0.1%-15.5%-18.3%
Riverside$398,000$400,000 $385,000 -0.5%3.4%-4.9%-17.7%
San Bernardino$295,000$299,450 $278,000 -1.5%6.1%-17.4%-23.1%
San Diego$618,500$626,000 $605,000 -1.2%2.2%-7.4%-14.7%
Ventura$640,000$643,740 $645,000 -0.6%-0.8%-14.0%-13.8%
Central CoastDec-18Nov-18 Dec-17 Price MTM% ChgPrice YTY% ChgSales MTM% ChgSales YTY% Chg
Monterey$590,000$630,000 $614,000 -6.3%-3.9%-26.1%-31.0%
San Luis Obispo$640,000$624,000 $590,000 2.6%8.5%-16.3%-23.7%
Santa Barbara$806,030$550,000 $730,000 46.6%10.4%-1.1%-14.8%
Santa Cruz$926,000$862,500 $831,000 7.4%11.4%-16.2%-31.7%
Central ValleyDec-18Nov-18 Dec-17 Price MTM% ChgPrice YTY% ChgSales MTM% ChgSales YTY% Chg
Fresno$266,500$265,750 $259,750 0.3%2.6%-4.1%-4.7%
Glenn$246,500$225,000 $230,000 9.6%7.2%77.8%113.3%
Kern$242,380$235,250 $233,000 3.0%4.0%-7.1%-7.8%
Kings$243,000$222,000 $225,000 9.5%8.0%-7.1%-17.0%
Madera$263,000$265,000 $239,000r-0.8%10.0%-18.8%-34.6%
Merced$269,060$261,930 $239,900 2.7%12.2%22.0%11.9%
Placer$492,993$461,000 $451,500 6.9%9.2%-10.2%-18.5%
Sacramento$364,500$365,000 $350,000 -0.1%4.1%-14.8%-22.4%
San Benito$577,000$583,200 $537,000 -1.1%7.4%-15.9%-28.8%
San Joaquin$365,000$365,000 $349,720 0.0%4.4%1.1%-14.1%
Stanislaus$309,000$310,000 $300,000 -0.3%3.0%-6.2%-16.0%
Tulare$236,450$237,400 $219,500 -0.4%7.7%-11.5%-20.1%
Other Counties in CaliforniaDec-18Nov-18 Dec-17 Price MTM% ChgPrice YTY% ChgSales MTM% ChgSales YTY% Chg
AmadorNANA $305,000 NANANANA
Butte$356,558$326,940 $304,000 9.1%17.3%97.5%105.3%
Calaveras$310,000$325,000 $285,000 -4.6%8.8%11.7%-26.5%
Del Norte$243,900$250,000 $251,500 -2.4%-3.0%-40.0%-36.8%
El Dorado$454,500$461,750 $450,000 -1.6%1.0%-15.5%-33.6%
Humboldt$308,000$310,000 $319,500 -0.6%-3.6%-15.3%-28.4%
Lake$269,000$255,000 $269,500 5.5%-0.2%17.7%-6.4%
Lassen$208,000$184,000 $175,000 13.0%18.9%53.3%0.0%
Mariposa$320,000$355,000 $310,000 -9.9%3.2%0.0%40.0%
Mendocino$424,900$414,000 $409,500 2.6%3.8%-17.0%-2.2%
Mono$541,000$725,000 $515,000 -25.4%5.0%-55.6%-42.9%
Nevada$389,950$399,000 $393,500 -2.3%-0.9%1.1%-6.0%
Plumas$262,950$289,500 $256,000 -9.2%2.7%0.0%-13.3%
Shasta$267,500$283,000 $258,250 -5.5%3.6%-1.3%6.8%
Siskiyou$182,500$226,000 $192,500 -19.2%-5.2%-13.5%-33.3%
Sutter$320,000$296,000 $270,000 8.1%18.5%26.6%5.2%
Tehama$255,000$199,000 $190,000 28.1%34.2%184.6%100.0%
Tuolumne$258,950$288,500 $269,900 -10.2%-4.1%21.2%27.0%
Yolo$429,000$429,500 $420,000 -0.1%2.1%-1.0%-19.8%
Yuba$298,000$263,000 $241,000 13.3%23.7%2.5%Read17.4%

read more…

https://www.car.org/marketdata/data/countysalesactivity

Pending home sales drop for 12th straight month | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Pending home sales declined as a whole in December, but for the second straight month the Western region experienced a slight increase, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* www.nar.realtor/pending-home-sales, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 2.2 percent to 99.0 in December, down from 101.2 in November. Additionally, year-over-year contract signings fell 9.8 percent, making this the twelfth straight month of annual decreases.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, cited several reasons for the decline in pending sales. “The stock market correction hurt consumer confidence, record high home prices cut into affordability and mortgage rates were higher in October and November for consumers signing contracts in December,” he said.

See and share this infographic.

All four major regions experienced a decline compared to one year ago, with the South sustaining the largest decrease.

Yun says so far, the partial government shutdown has not caused any obvious damage to home sales. “Seventy-five percent of Realtors® reported that they haven’t yet felt the impact of the government closure. However, if another government shutdown takes place, it will lead to fewer homes sold,” he said.

According to Yun, as the government reopens, more mortgage options will come available for consumers. “Some home transactions were delayed, but we now expect those sales to go forward,” he said.

Still, there is growth in certain pockets. Yun cited year-over-year increases in active listings from data at realtor.com® to illustrate a potential rise in inventory. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif., and Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash. saw the largest increase in active listings in December compared to a year ago.

Yun says despite the low home sales in December, he is confident that the housing market will see improvement in 2019. “The longer-term growth potential is high. The Federal Reserve announced a change in its stance on monetary policy. Rather than four rate hikes, there will likely be only one increase or even no increase at all. This has already spurred a noticeable fall in the 30-year, fixed-rate for mortgages. As a result, the forecast for home transactions has greatly improved, “Yun said.

December Pending Home Sales Regional Breakdown

The PHSI in the Northeast rose 2.0 percent to 93.2 in December, and is now 2.5 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest, the index fell 0.6 percent to 97.5 in December, 7.2 percent lower than December 2017.

Pending home sales in the South fell 5 percent to an index of 109.7 in December, which is 13.5 percent lower than a year ago. The index in the West increased 1.7 percent in December to 88.4 and fell 10.8 percent below a year ago.

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
 

*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined. By coincidence, the volume of existing-home sales in 2001 fell within the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million, which is considered normal for the current U.S. population.

read more…

https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/pending-home-sales-dip-22-percent-in-december

Mortgage rates average 4.41% | South Salem Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to a 10-month low. Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “The U.S. economy remains on solid ground, inflation is contained and the threat of higher short-term rates is fading from view, which has allowed mortgage rates to drift down to their lowest level in 10 months. This is great news for consumers who will be looking for homes during the upcoming spring home buying season. Mortgage rates are essentially similar to a year ago, but today’s buyers have a larger selection of homes and more consumer bargaining power than they did the last few years.”

News Facts     30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.41 percent with an average 0.4 point for the week ending February 7, 2019, down from last week when it averaged 4.46 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.32 percent. 

15-year FRM this week averaged 3.84 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.89 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.77 percent. 

5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.91 percent with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.96 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.57 percent.Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage.

Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.