Monthly Archives: December 2015

Mortgage rates average 3.96% | Armonk Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged heading into the holiday weekend.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.96 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending December 24, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 3.97 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.83 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.22 percent with an average 0.6 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.10 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.06 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.03 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.01 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.68 percent this week with an average 0.2 point, up from 2.67 percent last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.39 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.

As of January 1, 2016, the PMMS will no longer provide results for the 1-year ARM. Additionally, the regional breakouts will not be provided for the 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages, and the
5/1 Hybrid ARM.

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

“Treasury yields dropped slightly as the holidays approach. Mortgage rates remain largely unchanged, with the 30-year mortgage rate ticking down a basis point to 3.96 percent. As we mentioned last week, long-term interest rates will not spike in response to the Federal funds rate increase. While we expect the 30-year mortgage rate to be above 4 percent in early 2016, we anticipate rates will gradually increase, averaging 4.4 percent for the year.”

New Home Sales Nudge Forward | North Salem Real Estate

The number of new homes sold in November increased by 4.3% from a downwardly revised October level to 490,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. On a year to date level, sales are up 14.5% from the eleven month total in 2014. Inventories of new homes also increased to 232,000, the highest since January 2010 even as builders continue to seek workers and lots.

New Home Sales – Monthly and Annual
The increases in sales and inventories signifies continued builder optimism and customer demand growth. However, the levels remain disappointing given the amount of pent up demand and the low level of turnover in existing home sales. Most new home sales are to existing home sellers so the weak sales of existing homes and low inventories of existing homes produces fewer potential new home buyers. On the positive side, home equity is up, employment continues to increase and mortgage rates remain low by historic standards. On the negative side, few first time home buyers are in the market as credit standards remain restrictive and young individuals remain living with their parents. Existing home owners are reluctant to sell when the inventory of existing homes remains low, a double-edged retardant to a more robust new and existing home market.

Inventories
Regionally, Northeast sales dropped 29% but from a high October and within the smallest region. Midwest sales also fell 8.6%. The South and West increased 4.5% and 20.5% respectively. For the year, the same is true: the Northeast is behind last year’s total to date by 12.3% and the Midwest is virtually unchanged from the same 11 month period in 2014. The South and West are ahead of last year’s 11 month sum by 18.8% and 19.5% respectively.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/12/new-home-sales-nudge-forward/

Luxury Dips While Mid-tier Zips | Cross River Real Estate

Call it poetic justice.  While median home prices continue their upward climb, in the third quarter luxury prices stumbled and fell for the first time in over three years.  Redfin reported prices of luxury homes fell 2.2% on a yearly basis, while prices for the rest of the market rose 3.8 percent in the same period.  (Luxury homes are defined by Redfin as the priciest 5% of all homes.)

The Institute of Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM)  reported a similar dip in July and August in its weekly market report.  But prices picked up in the fall to reach $390 a square foot, only to fall with the advent of Thanksgiving and the holiday season.  Currently ILHM reports the median luxury price to be $1,406,319 and the market definitely favors buyers over sellers. Properties in its survey have been on the market for an average of 156 days, (ILHM’s survey tracks homes listed for at least $500,000 in the top 10 zip codes for 31 major metro markets around the county.)

Though Redfin compared luxury price trends to market medians, Nela Richardson, Redfin’s chief economist, recognized how different the luxury is from the rest of real estate.

“High-end buyers are usually not weighed down by rates, mortgages or competition from other buyers, but they do look for deals,” she said in a news release. “It’s a bellwether of slowing price growth for the rest of the market.”

2015-12-08_15-23-20Redfin reported a dramatic divergence and luxury price trends from the rest of the market in the third quarter.

It’s also the most difficult segment of the market to track due the tendency for as many as a third of all sellers in high cost areas to market through pocket listings that keep their homes off the MLSs and the preponderance of 12 nondisclosure states that limit the disclosure of sales prices.

Redfin said luxury home prices fell at the sharpest rate in Scottsdale, Ariz. and Boca Raton, Fla. Both saw 15% declines on a yearly basis. Fort Lauderdale, Fla., reported a 14% decline. Redfin speculated that the declines in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale were due to a wave of luxury condos hitting the market at the same time. Washington, D.C.; Denver; Delray Beach, Fla.; and Bend, Ore., all saw double-digit increases in luxury home prices in the same third quarter.

2015-12-08_15-37-42ILHM reported prices dipped in the summer but rebounded before Labor Day, and now are down again with the advent of the holidays.

 

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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2015/12/luxury-dips-while-mid-tier-zips/

Northeast, Midwest Markets Warm up as Year Winds Down | South Salem Real Estate

Outside it may be cold and snowy with early storms, but housing prices are warning up in some of the most stunningly negative Midwestern and Northeastern markets, according to Clear Capital’s November market report.

Regionally the West still leads the appreciation parade, with quarterly increases of 1.2 percent and annualized price growth at 7.5 percent.  But the Northeast and Midwest both gained ground compared to earlier in the year.  The Northeast saw an increase in quarterly growth in November, a 0.1% uptick. This is an unexpected shift for a region that, just a few months prior, lagged behind the rest of the country in quarterly growth.

“As the year draws to a close, housing continues to recalibrate and the Midwest maintains its impressive trend. November’s data shows Detroit up 135% from the trough, with other regional MSAs demonstrating strong growth. In January we predicted that the Midwest would be a frontrunner this year for both homeowners and investors, and the region’s small percentage point gains, subsiding losses, and decreased volatility indicate steady improvement that is reflective of the greater recovery,” wrote Alex Villacorta, Ph.D., vice president of research and analytics at Clear Capital.

Other market showing new life in the second half of the year are:

  • Providence, R.I. – a mainstay on the list of lowest performing markets until October – has seen a huge increase in growth, jumping from -0.8% quarterly growth in October to 3.1% in November. Gains of this magnitude are more expected during the early spring season, when markets typically gain momentum leading into the peak summer season.
  • Cleveland and Detroit have also seen a similar upward pattern during this typically slower season. Quarterly growth in Cleveland has bumped up 0.2% to 2.2% quarterly growth, while Detroit’s quarterly growth has upticked 0.1% from October to 2.5% quarterly growth in November.
  • While these increases are notable, bringing Cleveland 52.3% and Detroit a whopping 135.1% above trough, don’t be blindsided by the numbers. Cleveland is still -37.1% below peak while Detroit is -39.3%, demonstrating that both MSAs still have a long road to recovery ahead.

 

read more…

 

http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2015/12/northeast-midwest-markets-warm-up-as-year-winds-down/

Existing home sales down 10.5% in November | Waccabuc Real Estate

Sales of existing homes fell short of expectations in November, hitting the slowest sales pace in 19 months after new mortgage rules hit the market, realtors said.

Existing home sales fell 10.5 percent to 4.76 million homes in November, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected to see existing home sales in November hit 5.35 million units, about the same as the 5.36 million the previous month.

The sales represent a 3.8 percent year-on-year decline for the indicator, a barometer of the American real estate market.

The Midwest led declining sales, seeing a 16.4 percent drop in sales of existing homes, followed by the West at 13.9 percent and the Northeast at 9.2 percent.

The median home prices was $220,300, up 6.3 percent from this time last year. Inventories are currently at 5.1 month supply of homes, tighter that the 6 months considered balanced.

 

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cnbc.com

Appreciating Homes Increased in Third Quarter | Katonah Real Estate

The number of homes nationwide gaining value on a monthly basis increased during the third quarter from 56.80 percent in July to 59.37 percent of all homes in September and the appreciation rate increased for the third straight month. However, the percentage of homes gaining value still trails the rate of 66.31 percent in September 2014, Allan Weiss, CEO of Weiss Analytics, reported

As more homes moved out of price stagnation (with annual value change within plus 1.5% to -1.5% per year) houses both appreciating and decreasing both increased.  The percentage of homes losing value rose during the quarter, from 23.40 percent in July to 26.37 percent in September.

Unlike reports based on listings or sales prices that cover only the 3 to 4 percent of homes that are sold every year, Weiss Analytics tracks actual values for all homes, using repeat sales indexes for nearly 45 million individual properties.  The Weiss index database makes it possible to provide highly accurate value trends for specific addresses and measure trends in change values on a hyper local level.  Weiss home value forecasts are widely used to determine owners’ equity, help home buyers make decisions and provide accurate forecasts of future value for lenders and investors.

“It’s too soon to know if the gain over the past three months will become a significant trend.  We are still seven points below the appreciation rate last year and the gap in depreciating homes has grown to more than 12 points—a cause for concern in many markets.  Moreover, trends in appreciation are reflecting significant regional differences.  Hotter markets in the West and Pacific States reflect rising prices and impact affordability in some markets.  Levels of appreciation found in markets like Trenton, Worcester and Allentown are falling at double digit rates,” said Allan Weiss, CEO of Weiss Analytics and former CEO of Case Shiller Weiss.

 

National Percentages of Appreciating and Depreciating Homes

September

August

July

September 2014

Total Appreciating

59.37%

59.20%

56.80%

66.31%

Total Depreciating

26.37%

27.00%

23.40%

14.24%

Selected Markets

The selected markets below illustrate the regional nature of appreciation trends today. Markets that enjoyed high rates of participation in rising values like San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles and Denver have seen their participation rates drop dramatically.  Among these markers, only Phoenix has a higher rate than it did a year ago.

 

Metro

September 2014

September 2015

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

94.9%

85.6%

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

88.3%

80.5%

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA

97.5%

78.8%

Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ

66.5%

72.5%

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

81.3%

67.7%

Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

91.0%

66.7%

Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA

90.2%

58.3%

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI

58.2%

53.0%

New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA

53.2%

48.3%

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

48.3%

47.5%

Top Performing Markets

In September Flint, MI led the nation in percentage of appreciating homes, reaching 100 percent of the properties in the Weiss Analytics database, a 39.3 percent improvement over a year ago.  Second was Reno, NV with 92.9 percent of homes appreciating. Portland was third with 96.3 percent.  Six of the ten markets are Western.

 

Metro Sep-14 Sep-15 Change
Flint, MI

60.7%

100.0%

39.3%

Reno, NV

98.0%

92.9%

-5.0%

Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

93.8%

86.3%

-7.5%

Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

94.9%

85.6%

-9.4%

Stockton-Lodi, CA

93.9%

84.8%

-9.1%

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

94.0%

84.4%

-9.6%

Port St. Lucie, FL

94.5%

84.0%

-10.5%

Madison, WI

61.3%

81.3%

19.9%

Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

88.3%

80.5%

-7.8%

Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL

91.0%

79.8%

-11.3%

read more…

 

 

Senior Housing Costs Soar | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Households headed by adults age 65 or older devoted a quarter of their 2013 income to housing, which includes spending on mortgage interest, rent, property taxes, maintenance, repairs, homeowners’ and renters’ insurance, and utilities.

Older households are more than three times as likely as younger households to own their homes free and clear (58 versus 17 percent). Yet, the lack of a mortgage doesn’t reduce their housing costs much because they still have to pay property taxes, maintenance, repairs, insurance, and utilities. In fact, those costs combined make up more than half of what older households with mortgages spend on housing.

Housing doesn’t eat up much more of household budgets for older adults than for adults younger than 65, who allocated 21 percent of their 2013 income to housing. What’s surprising, though, is that seniors spend so much on housing even when they aren’t saddled with mortgages.

Older homeowners without mortgages spent 18 percent of their 2013 income on housing, including 8 percent on utilities, 5 percent on property taxes, and 5 percent on maintenance. Older renters spent much more of their income—43 percent—on housing because their incomes, on average, were half as much as homeowners without mortgages. This share is well above the 30 percent cutoff commonly used to identify burdensome housing costs.

2015-12-02_9-20-12

Low-income seniors spend an even larger share of their income on housing. Nearly 7 million adults age 65 or older receive incomes below 125 percent of the federal poverty level, a reliable indicator of inadequate income. They spent a staggering 74 percent of their income on housing in 2013. Those with more income but less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level devoted 41 percent of their income to housing.

 

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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2015/12/even-without-mortgages-senior-housing-costs-soar/

Solid November Housing Report | Bedford Real Estate

Housing starts and permits had double digit positive moves in November as reported by the Census Bureau and HUD. The November starts figures rebounded from a low October level but still managed to exceed half of the monthly levels reported for 2015. Single-family starts were up 7.6% to 768,000, their highest level since January 2008. Every region except the Midwest experienced a rise in single-family starts.
Permits also peaked at their highest level since August 2007 at 1,289,000 which was up 11% from an upwardly revised October. Single-family permits were up modestly but enough to also set an eight year record of 723,000. Single-family permits rose in every region except the South, which was still the second highest of the year.

Single-family Starts (000)
Multifamily starts rose 16.4% offsetting a 25% drop in October to a 405,000 level and very near the average so far this year of 396,000. Multifamily permits jumped to 566,000, a 26.9% rise, well above the year-to-date average of 481,000.

 

read more…

 

http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/12/solid-november-housing-report/

Mortgage rates average 3.97% | Pound Ridge Real Estate

today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed mortgage rates ticking slightly higher for the second week in a row amid the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise short-term interest rates for the first time since 2006.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.97 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending December 17, 2015, up from last week when it averaged 3.95 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.80 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.22 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.19 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.09 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.03 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.95 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.67 percent this week with an average 0.2 point, up from 2.64 percent last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.38 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.

As of January 1, 2016, the PMMS will no longer provide results for the 1-year ARM. Additionally, the regional breakouts will not be provided for the 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages, and the
5/1 Hybrid ARM.

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

“As was almost-universally expected, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve elected this week to raise short-term interest rates for the first time since 2006. We take the Fed at its word that monetary tightening in 2016 will be gradual, and we expect only a modest increase in longer-term rates. Mortgage rates will tick higher but remain at historically low levels in 2016. Home sales will remain strong, but refinance activity should cool somewhat. Novel policy approaches such as quantitative easing injected significant liquidity in the economy over the past seven years. As a result, the Fed is forced to employ some new tools, such as reverse repos, as it tightens monetary policy. We are likely to see some short-term volatility in fixed-income markets as market participants adjust to these new tools.”

 

 

 

 

Consumers Aren’t Quite Ready for a Smart Home | Bedford Corners Real Estate

  • 71% would consider purchasing a smart home product; smart thermostats garnered the most interest
  • Most consumers expect newly built homes in the next five years to include smart home technology
  • Consumer familiarity with smart home technology is still low; price, security and lack of standardization are key barriers

 

The “Internet of Things” is fast becoming a reality as more and more products and things contain sensors and/or microprocessors, and are connected to wireless networks. The near ubiquity of high speed internet access in homes, as well as smartphones, has set the stage for a new class of do-it-yourself smart home technology products, including smart thermostats, home security and monitoring systems, and smart lighting, to name just a few. The number of smart home product offerings has grown rapidly in the past few years, and will continue to do so as a diverse set of companies and industries vie for leadership in this space. But while consumers and business alike see greater technology in the home as inevitable, a new report from The Demand Institute finds that a truly “smart home” is still a ways off for the masses.

 

Smart Home Technology: Not Ready for Prime Time (Yet) is the latest publication fromThe Demand Institute, a non-advocacy, non-profit think tank jointly operated by The Conference Board and Nielsen. The report finds that more than 7 in 10 consumers would consider purchasing a smart home product, and that most consumers expect newly constructed homes in the next five years to include smart home technology. At the same time, consumers are in no rush to purchase smart home technology – just 36% of consumers say they are excited to incorporate smart home technology into their home.

“Smart home products need to demonstrate clear value and solve unmet consumer needs before most will make the investment,” said Louise Keely, president of The Demand Institute. “Some of these products do meet that bar, but many still feel these products are gimmicky, even though 64% concede that they really do not know much about smart home technology.”

The report found that smart thermostats, wireless speakers and home security and monitoring are currently the most popular and well-known smart home products, but that interest in other smart home products, like smart lighting, door locks and other categories is also strong.

“Consumers are starting small when it comes to smart home technology,” according to Jeremy Burbank who is a vice president at The Demand Institute and leads the American Communities Demand Shifts Program. “The typical smart home product user has just one or two products. Many of these products still cost several times what traditional models do, and a lack of industry standardization and interoperability means most consumers will add smart home technology slowly.”