Monthly Archives: September 2015

Rent the ‘Hobbit treehouse’ | #Waccabuc Real Estate

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Setting aside the fact that no self-respecting hobbit would ever choose to live in a tree instead of burrowing into the side of a hill, this “Hobbit treehouse” in the Black Hills of South Dakota is very, very good, with the entire interior (save for one leather couch, which still basically works) decked in very Hobbit-esque decor. The door, too, is a real highlight. If you’re passing through South Dakota and have big, fuzzy feet, thetreehouse is available for $639/night for a minimum of three nights. It doesn’t say whether there’s a surcharge if a bunch of dwarves unexpectedly show up for a dinner party.

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read more…

http://curbed.com/archives/2015/09/30/hobbit-treehouse-south-dakota.php?utm_campaign=issue-40308&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Curbed

· Lord of the Rings-Inspired Hotel Invites Guests to Live in a “Hobbit Treehouse” [My Modern Met]
· Chateau De Soleil (Look:) Prodigious Hobbit Tree House!) [VRBO]

Freddie Mac September 2015 Insight & Outlook | South Salem Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) released today its monthly Insight & Outlook for September looking at the challenges faced by three types of student loan borrowers, and how loan down payment mortgage loans could help, or not help, make homeownership possible. A video preview, along with the complete monthly Insight & Outlook commentary is available here.

Insight Highlights

  • Is the student debt overhang holding back home ownership among Millennials?
  • While the home ownership rate has been declining for all age groups, the rate among Millennials is particularly low.
  • Student debt tripled over the past 10 years, reaching $1.2 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2014. Aggregate student debt expanded for all age groups, however the balances are concentrated among those under 30 years old and those between 30 and 39 years old.
  • Before the crisis, homeownership rates of 27-to-30-year-olds with student loans (evidence of at least some college education) were 2 to 3 percent higher than homeownership rates of those with no student loans. That gap began to close during the recession and reversed in 2011. By 2014 the homeownership rate of borrowers was about one percentage point lower than the rate of non-borrowers.
  • Recent findings suggest that it may be useful to think of student loan borrowers as being divided into three groups: Successful investors, Disappointed earners, and At-risk borrowers.
  • The At-risk Borrowers group is a particular focus for Freddie Mac’s efforts to support prudent, affordable lending to low-and-moderate income borrowers. The impact on credit scores of poor repayment performance may make it particularly difficult to assist some members of this group.
  • For the Disappointed Earners — and even some of the Successful Investors — Freddie Mac’s Home Possible Advantage(SM) program, with its option to pay as little as 3 percent down, may provide help in purchasing that first home.

Outlook Highlights

  • At the current pace, home sales this year are expected to be the highest since 2007. Existing home sales in August fell a little short of expectations, but the inventory of existing homes for sale remained below the 6-month mark.
  • The faster-than-expected decline in the unemployment rate is boosting demand for homes. However, a more significant contributor is likely the continued low level of mortgage rates, which has kept affordability high despite impressive gains in house prices. The interest rate on 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.90 percent in August, and the rate on 15-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.12 percent.
  • Based on upward revisions of the 2014 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data on mortgage origination, and stronger-than-expected housing activity in the first half of 2015, Freddie Mac has increased its estimate of 2015 mortgage originations to $1.53 trillion and 2016 originations to $1.40 trillion.

Quote: Attributed to Sean Becketti, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac.

“The low homeownership rate among Millennials is still something of a puzzle — it cannot be explained solely by the increase in student loan debt. However student debt plays a role — higher balances are associated with a lower probability of homeownership at every level of college and graduate education. And recent data has confirmed that not all student debt is created equal. Students who attended schools with less-certain educational benefits have not fared well. Borrowers who did not complete their studies have fared worst of all. These groups are likely to continue to affect the pattern of homeownership among Millennials. Moreover, a change just this month in Federal Housing Administration policy will make it more difficult for some student loan borrowers to qualify for a mortgage.”

“Our Outlook this month shows the economy has not kicked into gear yet, and the Fed’s recent decision to defer increasing short-term interest rates suggests they share this view. At the same time, the housing market is on its way to having the best year since the recovery began. Keep in mind. Though. that the housing sector is coming back from rock bottom and housing activity remains weak compared to historical norms. At the same time, Fed watchers must feel they are watching a revival of Waiting for Godot. Approaching every meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, the market braces itself for a Fed tightening, only to watch the Committee delay any action for at least one more meeting.”

Used homes sales fall | #Katonah Real Estate

Contract signings to purchase previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in August for just the second time this year, signaling residential real estate might have difficulty building on recent momentum.

An index of pending home sales decreased 1.4 percent after a 0.5 percent advance in July, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for the gauge to climb 0.4 percent.

A scant supply of homes for sale that’s keeping prices elevated is hampering demand. At the same time, historically low mortgage rates and steady employment gains should help underpin the market as the broader U.S. economy battles headwinds from dollar appreciation and slower overseas growth.

“Pending sales have leveled off since mid-summer, with buyers being bounded by rising prices and few available and affordable properties within their budget,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement.

Estimates in the Bloomberg survey of 37 economists ranged from a decrease of 4.2 percent to an advance of 1.5 percent.

Purchase contracts increased 6.7 percent in the 12 months ended in August after a 7.2 percent annual gain in July on an unadjusted basis, the NAR report showed.

The pending sales index was 109.4 on a seasonally adjusted basis. A reading of 100 corresponds to the average level of contract activity in 2001, or “historically healthy” home-buying traffic, according to the NAR.

 

read more…

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-28/pending-sales-of-previously-owned-u-s-homes-unexpectedly-fall

U.S. housing market continuing to slowly stabilize | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released its updated Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®) showing the U.S. housing market continuing to slowly stabilize with one additional state, Rhode Island, and four additional metro areas entering their outer range of stable housing activity: Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; and Albany, New York.

The national MiMi value stands at 81, indicating a housing market that is on its outer range of stable housing activity, while showing an improvement of +0.93% from June to July and a three-month improvement of +2.99%. On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved +6.17%. Since its all-time low in October 2010, the national MiMi has rebounded 37%, but remains significantly off from its high of 121.7.

News Facts:

  • Twenty-nine of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with the District of Columbia (103), North Dakota (97), Montana (93.7), Hawaii (93.5), and California and Utah tied at (90) and ranking in the top five.
  • Forty-six of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with Fresno (98.9), Austin (96.4), Honolulu (94.1), and Salt Lake City and Los Angeles tied at (92.9) and ranking in the top five.
  • The most improving states month-over-month were Florida (+2.00%), Colorado (+1.99%), New Jersey (+1.83%), Connecticut (+1.80%) and Nevada (+1.48%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Florida (+14.35%), Oregon (+13.45%), Nevada (12.18%), Colorado (+11.65%), and Washington (+10.18%).
  • The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Orlando, FL (+2.60%), Greenville, SC (+2.55%), Cape Coral, FL (+2.51%), Tampa, FL (+2.19%) and Jacksonville, FL (+2.12%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Orlando, FL (+18.27%), Cape Coral, FL (+17.75%), Tampa, FL (+15.99%), Palm Bay, FL (+14.98%) and North Port, FL (+14.77%).
  • In July, 49 of the 50 states and all of the top 100 metros were showing an improving three month trend. The same time last year, 20 of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and 59 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.

Quote attributable to Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer:

“Nationally, all MiMi indicators are heading in the right direction for the second consecutive month and improving more than 6 percent from the same time last year. Florida has some of the most improving housing markets in the country, largely a reflection of more borrowers becoming current on their mortgage payments as the local employment picture improves and house prices rebound. The one area of the country that has been slow to respond has been the Northeast. However, we’ve started to see these housing markets turn around, especially in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. While many of the locals markets in the Northeast are still weak, they’re steadily trending in the right direction and their pace of improvement is accelerating. Overall, the West remains especially strong, with many markets posting double-digit growth in their MiMi purchase applications indicator compared to a year ago and helping to keep the country on pace for the best year of home sales since 2007.”

Yom Kippur in Bedford | Bedford Real Estate

Dear Bedford Residents,

Members of the Jewish community throughout the Town of Bedford in our three hamlets will gather to observe Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement and culmination of the High Holy Days.

This important holy day is an opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed and plan for the year ahead.

During this time of reflection, it is my hope that  we all can recommit to creating a better, more peaceful, and secure future for all.

To all those observing I extend my warmest wishes for a meaningful day of prayer and contemplation.

Gmar Chatima Tova.

 
Chris Burdick

Supervisor

 

FHFA House Price Index Up 0.6 Percent in July | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Washington, D.C. – U.S. house prices rose in July, up 0.6 percent on a seasonally
adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency
(FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI). The previously reported 0.2 percent change in June
remains unchanged.
The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to, or
guaranteed by, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From July 2014 to July 2015, house prices were up
5.8 percent. The U.S. index is 1.1 percent below its March 2007 peak and is roughly the
same as the November 2006 index level.
For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from June 2015 to
July 2015 ranged from -1.2 percent in the New England division to +1.6 percent in the
Mountain division. The 12-month changes were all positive, ranging from +2.1 percent in the
New England division to +9.4 percent in the Mountain division.

 

source: FHFA report

Existing Home Sales fall 4.8% | Bedford Corners Real Estate

Existing Home Sales in the United States fell 4.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5310 Thousand in August from a downwardly revised 5580 Thousand in July of 2015. It is the lowest figure since April, below market expectations. The median sale price went up 4.7% yoy and the months’ worth of supply rose 0.3 to 5.2. Existing Home Sales in the United States averaged 3842.52 Thousand from 1968 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 7250 Thousand in September of 2005 and a record low of 1370 Thousand in March of 1970. Existing Home Sales in the United States is reported by the National Association of Realtors.

United States Existing Home Sales

 

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
5310.00 5480.00 7250.00 1370.00 1968 – 2015 Thousand Monthly
SA
Existing Home Sales occurs when the mortgage is closed. Mortgage closing usually takes place 30-60 days after the sales contract is closed. . This page provides the latest reported value for – United States Existing Home Sales – plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. Content for – United States Existing Home Sales – was last refreshed on Monday, September 21, 2015.

 

Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast (i)
2015-07-22 03:00 PM Jun 5.49M 5.32M(R) 5.4M 5.2M
2015-08-20 03:00 PM Jul 5.59M 5.48M 5.44M 5.4M
2015-09-21 03:00 PM Aug 5.31M 5.58M 5.53M 5.4M
2015-10-22 03:00 PM Sep 5.6M
2015-11-23 03:00 PM Oct 5.6M
2015-12-22 03:00 PM Nov 5.5M

read more…

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/existing-home-sales

 

Housing starts fall 3% in August | Chappaqua Real Estate

Housing starts in the United States fell 3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,126,000 in August of 2015, following a downwardly revised 1,161,000 in July and missing market forecasts. Housing Starts in the United States averaged 1445.58 Thousand from 1959 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 2494 Thousand in January of 1972 and a record low of 478 Thousand in April of 2009. Housing Starts in the United States is reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.

United States Housing Starts

 

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
1126.00 1204.00 2494.00 478.00 1959 – 2015 Thousand Monthly
Volume, SA
Housing Starts refer to the number of new residential construction projects that have begun during any particular month. Estimates of housing starts include units in structures being totally rebuilt on an existing foundation. This page provides the latest reported value for – United States Housing Starts – plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. Content for – United States Housing Starts – was last refreshed on Thursday, September 17, 2015.
read more…
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/housing-starts

30 Year Mortgage Rates average 3.91% | Armonk Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s vote on an interest-rate increase for the first time in more than nine years.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.91 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending September 17, 2015, up from last week when it averaged 3.90 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.23 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.11 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.10 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.37 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.92 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.91 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.06 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.56 percent this week with an average 0.2 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.63 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.43 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 theRegional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“The Treasury market was relatively quiet this week, and as a result the 30-year mortgage rate barely budged. Inflation fell shy of expectations in August, up 0.2 percent over the past year, but core consumer prices increased 1.8 percent year-over-year. Low mortgage rates help to support housing markets, which continue to bring good news. The National Association of Home Builders’ HMI came in above expectations at 62, which is a ten year high.”

US Homebuilding slows in August | North Salem Real Estate

Builders broke ground on fewer houses and apartment complexes in August, a possible sign that the housing market may be levelling off after accelerating for much of the year.

Housing starts last month fell 3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.13 million homes, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Construction activity slowed sharply in the Northeast and Midwest last month, edged downward in the West and climbed in the South.

Still, homebuilding appears much stronger than a year ago, despite figures that can be highly volatile on a monthly basis.

“This is a mere blip on the radar,” said Tom Wind, executive vice president of home lending at EverBank. “The housing market’s underlying fundamentals remain on pace for continued recovery.”

Housing starts have climbed a solid 11.3 percent this year to date. Steady job gains of 2.9 million in the past 12 months are contributing to increased demand from buyers and renters. And as the recovery from the Great Recession has entered its seventh year, residential construction has stated to both reflect and fuel broader economic growth.

Developers see favorable demographics helping to sustain demand, as approved permits rose 3.5 percent in August to an annual rate of 1.17 million.

Confidence among builders is also improving.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Wednesday rose this month to 62, up from 61 in August. The last time the reading was higher was October 2005 at 68.

New construction has yet to fully satisfy demand, a sign that further building will likely remain profitable.

Only 5.2 months’ supply of new homes is listed for sale, well below the standard level of six months usually seen in a healthy market. This shortage has led to rising prices for new and existing homes.

read more…

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HOME_CONSTRUCTION?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-09-17-08-40-14