Monthly Archives: May 2014

Pending home sales plunge 9.2% in April | Chappaqua NY Real Estate


Pending home sales for the month of April plummeted 9.2% compared to April 2013, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday.

Contracts signed to buy existing homes increased 0.4% in April compared to March 2014, but that’s coming off three months of flat sales blamed on cold weather.

The expectation had been for at least a 2% gain month-over-month.

Optimistic economists expected that there was a swathe of pent-up demand that would flood the market at the start of the spring buying season. That didn’t happen.

“Higher inventory levels are giving buyers more choices, and a slight decline in mortgage interest rates this spring is raising prospective homebuyers’ confidence,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR. “An uptrend in closed sales is expected, although some months will encounter a modest setback.”

Sales have arrested despite mortgage rates now being at a near nine-month low after five straight weeks of steady declines. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage this week was 4.12%. Even refinancings have dropped to 37% of all mortgage activity, meaning borrowers are staying away despite historic lows.

Which means it could get worse, as Yun projects the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to trend up and average 5.5% next year.

“The extent to which higher mortgage interest rates will impact housing affordability and sales depends on income growth, ongoing improvement in the labor market and any change to mortgage underwriting conditions,” he said.

This comes as the economy is looking at more bad news.

The nation’s domestic economic output for the first quarter was revised downward Thursday, posting a contraction of -1.0% from a meager positive 0.1% initially reported.


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Armonk NY Farmers Markets | Armonk NY Real Estate



A Toast to Local Spirits; Tuthilltown Spirits Farm Distillery Comes to Piermont
SIX Day Vendors in Larchmont on Saturday + MORE

May 29th – June 4th, 2014
What’s New, In Season, and On Sale This Week

10% OFF Full Cases!

Tuthilltown Spirits Farm Distillery

Asparagus & Crab Ravioli
With asparagus from Newgate Farms
Trotta Foods

Beef Sirloin Tips: $2 OFF per pound
(Reg $17.25/lb; now $15.25/lb)

Kiernan Farm


Migliorelli Farm

Broccoli Rabe
Gajeski Produce

Cinnamon Buns
Elodies Bakery


Just gathered from the farm’s hens, turkeys, and geese
Stone & Thistle Farm

Fresh Whole Chickens &
Chicken Parts

Stone & Thistle Farm

Frozen Kofta, Rajma, Saag,
Samosa and Roti Roll

Bombay Emerald Chutney Company

Gluten Free Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Bearsville Bakers

Indian Chutneys – SALE
Buy 4 jars & get $2 OFF purchase

Bombay Emerald Chutney Company

Pate de champagne
Stone & Thistle Farm

Pork Sausages: Buy any 5 packages,
get $10 OFF total purchase!
Choose from Andouille, Breakfast,
Chorizo, Hot Italian, and Sweet Italian

Kiernan Farm

Migliorelli Farm

Breakfast, Chorizo, Sweet Italian
and “The Ronald Reagan”
Stone & Thistle Farm

Spicy Rhubarb Compote
Great for pork belly
Stone & Thistle Farm

American Pride Seafood

Tuscan Kale
Migliorelli Farm

American Pride Seafood

Click on a Market to see all vendor and event details…




8:30 am-1:00 pm


8:30 am-1:00 pm


9:30 am-3:00 pm


9:00 am-2:00 pm


8:30 am-2:00 pm

Spring Valley

Coming in July

Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow

8:30 am-1:00 pm

New Rochelle

8:30 am-2:30 pm

Headed to the city soon?

Visit a Down to Earth
Farmers Market in NYC!


Now that the spring is here, the Ossining farmers market opens at 8:30 am!

PoMo ’90s Time Capsule Wants $5.5M in South Florida | North Salem Real Estate


32 images

Location: Tequesta, Fla.
Price: $5,499,900
The Skinny: The early 90s are very much alive and well in this South Florida waterfront estate: from the all-white PoMo exterior to the smoothest of smooth jazz that provides the soundtrack to the listing site’s photo slideshow, this mansion is the architectural equivalent of high-waisted acid wash jeans with an electric blue skypager clipped to the belt. Enter through the custom woodwork double front doors and you’ll experience (per the brokerbabble) “warm, Florida modern allure draped in sophistication and delights, while conveying an unmistakable sense of strength, volume, and boldness”, which sounds more like the copy for a shampoo ad than a listing description, but does manage to communicate the fact that the place is huge. The expansive open plan ground floor is a case in point, with features that include three crystal chandeliers (natch), a sky-bridge, marble floors, and walls of floor-to-ceiling windows with pretty spectacular views of the Intracoastal Waterway. Sadly, the home’s special brand of conspicuous gigantism is not to everyone’s taste, as it’s been on and off the market since 2009, and has recently suffered a PriceChop of $400K. It’s now asking $5.499M, which you’ll be happy to know includes a “pool deck adroned [sic] with a massive custom bronze sailfish”.



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10 beautiful homes in the middle of nowhere | Mt Kisco Real Estate


A home is a retreat — a place to escape the outside world, to be alone, to recharge, to relax with friends. For some, one apartment among many in a building wedged into a sea of other buildings provides all the sanctuary they need. But for others, true escape means getting as far away as possible from the rest of the world, to a beautiful and remote residence in a stunning location — with nobody around for miles. Such retreats try very hard not to be found, but we’ve hunted down a few of them for your voyeuristic pleasure, searching high, low, and far to find a collection of lovely, unusual, and isolated homes that truly stand alone. (Just don’t go knocking on their doors.)



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Helocs Jumped 8% in the First Quarter | Cross River Homes


A rebound in house prices and near-record-low interest rates are prompting homeowners to borrow against their properties, marking the return of a practice that was all the rage before the financial crisis.

Home-equity lines of credit, or Helocs, and home-equity loans jumped 8% in the first quarter from a year earlier, industry newsletter Inside Mortgage Finance said Thursday. The $13 billion extended was the most for the start of a year since 2009. Inside Mortgage Finance noted the bulk of the home-equity originations were Helocs.

While that is still far below the peak of $113 billion during the third quarter of 2006, this year’s gains are the latest evidence that the tight credit conditions that have defined mortgage lending in recent years are starting to loosen. Some lenders are even reviving old loan products that haven’t been seen in years in an attempt to gain market share.

In 2013, lenders extended $59 billion of Helocs and home-equity loans. The last pre-boom year near that level was 2000, when lenders extended $53 billion, according to Inside Mortgage Finance.

“We’re seeing much more aggressive marketing campaigns [for Helocs] by banks in locations where home prices have risen,” said Amy Crews Cutts, chief economist at Equifax Inc., a firm that tracks consumer-lending trends. She said Heloc originations picked up in recent months as consumers began home-improvement projects. “We expect to see quite an uptick in Heloc activity” in the spring, she said.

Unlike home-equity loans, in which the borrower receives a lump sum, borrowers can draw on Helocs as needed. They can sometimes take a tax deduction on the interest from the credit line.

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China Price Declines Spreading as Buyers in Less-Developed Cities Hold Back | Waccabuc Real Estate


China’s housing prices fell in May for the first time in nearly two years, as fresh data indicate more cities with price declines and weaker sales.

Average new-home prices fell 0.3% in May from April, a turnaround from the 0.1% monthly gain recorded for April and the first decline since June 2012, data provider China Real Estate Index System said.

Year to year, average new-home prices rose 7.8% in May, decelerating for the fifth straight month, after April’s 9.1% increase and March’s 10% rise, CREIS said, citing data from its survey of 100 Chinese cities.

Prospects for China’s property market, an important engine of growth for the country’s economy, are souring. More Chinese cities recorded a month-to-month fall in housing prices in May. Out of the 100 Chinese cities surveyed, 62 showed a decline in home prices, compared with 45 in April.

Many home buyers outside more-developed cities, such as Shanghai and Beijing, have shied away from the market in anticipation of further price cuts and difficulties in getting mortgages.

“We almost became home-mortgage slaves last week,” said Ou Yibao, a 29-year-old software engineer in Shenzhen, using a term for those paying off mortgages on expensive homes.

Mr. Ou, who told The Wall Street Journal two years ago that he was opposed to buying a home, said he was succumbing to family pressure to make the leap. But after realizing housing prices may fall, he said this week that he pulled back on the purchase of a 90-square-meter (969 square feet) apartment. “We tore up the contract,” he said.

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Home Prices Start Easing, to the Relief of Experts | South Salem NY Homes


A steep gain in home prices in many markets that helped lift millions of Americans out of the red on their mortgages is now markedly slowing, with new data from the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller national home price index on Tuesday showing that the annual growth in prices had eased in March to 10.3 percent, from the previous year’s increase of 11.4 percent.

But analysts said that the softening of price gains, rather than a worrisome trend, may actually be welcome news. Double-digit increases cannot go on forever, and many economists are using words like “sustainable” and “stable” to describe the slowdown, saying the market is becoming healthier.

Foreclosures make up a smaller percentage of sales, and the higher prices have caused investors to back off, leaving the bigger question of whether housing is affordable and mortgages are accessible to average families that want to buy. First-time home buyers still make up less than 30 percent of the market, according to the National Association of Realtors, while the number of all-cash buyers — not just investors, but older people who are downsizing after the sale of a larger home — has remained elevated.

Continue reading the main story

OPEN Interactive Graphic

Interactive Graphic: Home Prices in 20 Cities

Those factors will help curb any potential new bubbles, said Mark H. Goldman, a real estate expert at San Diego State University. “Here in San Diego, we have a real shortage of inventory, yet prices are softening,” he said, adding that houses in the area may have been priced too aggressively. “A big factor on home price appreciation is affordability.” Prices in San Diego rose 18.9 percent between March 2014 and March 2013, according to Case-Shiller. More moderate increases may give buyers’ incomes a chance to catch up.

Of the 20 cities that Case-Shiller tracks individually, all had double-digit price increases in that time period except Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Denver, New York and Washington, which had single-digit increases. In some cases, the cities hit hardest in the housing bust had the biggest gains. Las Vegas, where home prices rose 21 percent, led the list. Cities where demand has accelerated and housing supply is sharply limited by geography and other factors, like San Francisco, also posted large gains. Prices soared there by 21 percent, according to the measure.

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Gracious Old-School Southampton Equestrian Estate for $9.5M | Katonah Real Estate


437 North Sea Mecox Road Southampton
9 images

The price for this property, which includes the lovely c. 1913 house and about ten acres of land, has been all over the place, depending on whether an extra 12 acres of land was added. Originally it was listed at $11.45M back in 2011, then it was $19.5M in May 2012, when the additional land was included. By April 2013, the price was $16.75M with the extra land and $9.75M without it, then the price was increased to $9.95M by autumn. Now the ask is $9.5M.

So what do you get for your nine and half large? The main house, which is 5500sf and six bedrooms, needs some work. But there’s stabling and a tack house, a pretty pool and pool house, two ponds where the owners’ children used to skate in the winter, and 65 acres of conservation land to the west. What do you think the property will finally trade for?


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Fixed Mortgage Rates Lower for Fifth Straight Week | Bedford Hills Real Estate


Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates falling for the fifth consecutive week and hitting new 2014 lows. The average for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is at its lowest point since the week of October 31, 2013.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.12 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending May 29, 2014, down from last week when it averaged 4.14 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.81 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.21 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.25 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.98 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.96 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.66 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.41 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.43 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.54 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 links for the Regional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Attributed to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Fixed mortgage rates eased a bit for the fifth consecutive week as reports that existing home sales are up 1.3 percent but not as much as expected. However, new home sales rose 6.4 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000, which followed an upward revision of 11,000 units for the prior two months.”

“Also, as the spring home buying season continues, we see stronger consumer confidence as house prices remain on the rise. The Conference Board reported that confidence among consumers rose in May after dipping in April. Meanwhile, the S&P/Case-Shiller® 20-city composite index rose 0.9 percent in March, above the consensus forecast.”



Here are the top 10 markets for luxury homes | Bedford NY Real Estate


Despite reports of tight inventory across the nation, not all markets are struggling to survive. In fact, one market segment is reporting record growth, according the latest Redfin report.

Luxury home sales are skyrocketing and are on pace to beat last year’s numbers.

Sales of the priciest 1% of homes are up 21.1% so far this year. This follows a gain of 35.7% in 2013.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the bridge, home sales in the remaining 99% of the market have fallen 7.6% in 2014.

Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors’ chief economist, noted in the most recent existing-home sales report from NAR, “Some growth was inevitable after sub-par housing activity in the first quarter, but improved inventory is expanding choices and sales should generally trend upward from this point. Annual home sales, however, due to a sluggish first quarter, will likely be lower than last year.”

But the one exception, luxury home sales, paints a very different picture as 10 markets have already seen sales growth above 50% so far in 2014.

Click the next page to see the top 10 most expensive luxury markets.



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