Monthly Archives: November 2017

Home Features that Use Water | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Almost exactly half of residential water use consists of water used outside the home (e.g., for watering lawns), according to a recent NAHB study.  Indoors, the biggest users of water are toilets, followed by showers, faucets, clothes washers and leaks.

These results of the NAHB are based on data that became available in 2016 in the form of Residential End Uses of Water (REUW), a detailed study and data set of single-family homes produced by the Water Research Foundation.

In total, the single-family homes in the REUW study used an average of 276 gallons of water per day (gpd).   Almost exactly half of this was attributable to water used outside the home.  It is well known that lawns and gardens need more watering in climates that are hot and get little natural rainfall, so this helps explain the climate-related pattern to state water use per housing unit shown in last week’s post.  Indoors, toilets account for the greatest share of water use, but the shares for showers, faucets, clothes washers and leaks are also substantial.

The numbers in the chart above include both hot and cold water. The water heater in and of itself is not counted as an end use; the end use is where the water goes after leaving the heater.  If storing water in a tank to heat it increases indoor water use, this would not be characterized as an identifiable end use and would show up in the “other” category.  The 2016 REUW studies hot water use specifically in a sample of 94 homes and found that hot water accounted for one-third of total indoor water use.

Although it is not feasible to parse specific indoor uses by age of structure in the REUW data, it is possible to do this for total water used per single-family home.  Results show less water used by homes built before 1960, but relatively small differences among homes built after that.  For example, there is less than a 3 percent difference between the 244 gpd used by homes built in the 1960s and the 251 gpd used by homes built after 1999.

One possible explanation for lower water use in homes built before 1960 is the incidence of swimming pools.  Not surprisingly, statistical models in the REUW study indicate that swimming pools have a particularly strong impact on household water use.  Although 12 to 15 percent of homes built after 1959 in the REUW data have swimming pools, swimming pools are present on only 8 percent of homes built in the 1950s and only 3 percent of homes built before 1950.

This result, along with many others, is discussed more thoroughly in the full NAHB study.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/11/home-features-that-use-water/

Mortgage rates average 3.90% | Chappaqua Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQBFMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate inching lower.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.90 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending November 30, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.92 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.08 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.30 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.32 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.34 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.32 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.22 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.15 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.

Quote
Attributed to Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist.
“The 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell two basis points to 3.9 percent in this week’s survey, but we closed our survey prior to a surge in long-term interest rates following an upward revision to third quarter U.S. Real GDP growth and comments by Federal Reserve Chair Yellen touting a broad-based economic expansion.

“The market implied probability of a Fed rate hike in December neared 100 percent, helping to drive short term interest rates higher. The 5/1 Hybrid ARM, which is more sensitive to short-term rates than the 30-year fixed mortgage, increased 10 basis points to 3.32 percent in this week’s survey. The spread between the 30-year fixed mortgage and 5/1 Hybrid ARM is just 58 basis points this week, the lowest spread since November of 2012.”

John Lennon’s English home for sale | Bedford Corners Real Estate

John Lennon and his wife Cynthia lived here between 1964 and 1968. 
Photos via Knight Frank

Beatlemaniacs may be interested to know that a former home of John Lennon’s has come on the market in Surrey, in South East England. Known as Kenwood, the six-bedroom manse was built in 1913 in a mock-Tudor style and is located on St. Georges Hill estate.

The musician bought the home in 1964 for £20,000, enlisting Kenneth Partridge to design the interiors. Lennon lived there with his first wife Cynthia until 1968, when the couple divorced.

The 1.5-acre property has been significantly updated since then, but it’s still an impressive residence that, in addition to the six bedrooms, features six expansive reception rooms, six bathrooms, a huge kitchen, and beautifully landscaped grounds.

Period details like wood paneling, grand fireplaces, window seats, and exposed beams combine with contemporary finishes to create a bright, accommodating home ideal for entertaining.

Set on a “superb plateau position,” Kenwood enjoys uninterrupted views of the Surrey Hills, while mature gardens, fountains, and split-level lawn terraces offer additional outdoor living opportunities. A secondary building includes an indoor swimming pool with a shower, changing facilities, and a sauna,

All you need is £8.9 million, or about $11.7 million, to make it yours. You can’t buy love, but you can certainly get yourself a piece of rock-royalty real estate. Who knows, maybe Lennon’s musical genius will rub off on the lucky owner.

ViaThe Spaces

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https://www.curbed.com/2017/11/15/16656864/john-lennon-kenwood-surrey-home-for-sale?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Curbed%20Dotcom%2011162017&utm_content=Curbed%20Dotcom%2011162017+CID_0b30620c2343ebb9cc30f4e78e6a2595&utm_source=cm_email&utm_term=All%20you%20need%20is%20117M%20to%20buy%20John%20Lennons%20home

New home sales jump to 10 year high | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Sales of new single-family houses in the United States unexpectedly rose 6.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685 thousand in October 2017 from a downwardly revised 645 thousand in September, while markets were expecting a 6.3 percent drop. It was the highest level since October 2007. Sales rose in all four regions with those in the Northeast surging 30.2 percent to their highest level since October 2007, and those in the South increasing 1.3 percent also to a ten-year high. There were also strong gains in sales in the West and Midwest last month. New Home Sales in the United States averaged 650.83 Thousand from 1963 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 1389 Thousand in July of 2005 and a record low of 270 Thousand in February of 2011.

United States New Home Sales

US New Home Sales at Near 10-Year High

Sales of new single-family houses in the United States jumped 18.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667 thousand in September of 2017, beating market expectations of a 0.9 percent decline. It is the highest value since October of 2007 and the largest percentage gain since January of 1992. Sales rose in all four regions with those in the South surging 25.8 percent after a 1 percent fall in August which was partly the result of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Sales rose in the South (25.8 percent to 405 thousand), the West (2.9 percent to 141 thousand), the Midwest (10.6 percent to 73 thousand) and the the Northeast (33.3 percent to 48 thousand).
The median sales price of new houses sold was $319,700, above $314,800 a year earlier. The average sales price was $385,200, also higher than $366,100 in September of 2016.
The stock of new houses for sale was flat at 279 thousand. This represents a supply of 5 months at the current sales rate.
Year-on-year, new home sales increased 17 percent.
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https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/new-home-sales

Builder confidence at a high | Chappaqua Real Estate

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose two points to a level of 70 in November on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This was the highest report since March. Despite the increase, builders continue to face supply-side constraints, such as lot and labor shortages and ongoing building material price increases.

Nonetheless, demand for single-family housing is increasing at a consistent pace, driven by job and economic growth, rising homeownership rates and limited housing inventory. With these economic fundamentals in place, we should see continued upward movement of the single-family housing market as we close out 2017.

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

Two out of the three HMI components registered gains in November. The component gauging current sales conditions rose two points to 77 and the index measuring buyer traffic increased two points to 50.  Meanwhile, the index charting sales expectations in the next six months dropped a single point to 77.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast jumped five points to 54 and the South rose one point to 69. Both the West and Midwest remained unchanged at 77 and 63, respectively.

HMI tables can be found at nahb.org/hmi.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/11/builder-confidence-climbs-to-8-month-high-in-november/

Home prices continue to rise | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The S&P/Case-Shiller and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) released their respective home price indices for August 2017. National home prices rose at a faster annual growth rate, while local home price gains varied. Price growth in metro areas across the West region exceeded the national average.

The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 6.1% in August, faster than a 5.8% increase in July. It was the highest seasonally adjusted annual growth rate since February 2017. Meanwhile, the Home Price Index, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 8.3% in April, following the 4.5% increase in July, confirming the acceleration in home prices this month.

In August, local home prices grew at different rates. Many of the faster growing metro areas are located in the West region of the country.

San Diego, Las Vegas, Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Los Angeles registered annual growth rates that exceeded the national average. Among the 20 metro areas, San Diego, Las Vegas and Charlotte had the highest home price appreciation. San Diego led the way with 12.2%, followed by Las Vegas with 11.0% and Charlotte with a 10.8% increase. Nineteen out of the 20 metro areas had home price appreciation and Atlanta had home price depreciation (-2.4%). Moreover, eight metro areas had higher home price appreciation than the national level of 6.1%.

 

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/10/home-prices-accelerate-in-august/

Mortgage rates average 3.92% | Waccabuc Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQBFMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping slightly after last week’s jump.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.92 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending November 22, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.95 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.03 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.32 percent with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.31 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.25 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.22 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.21 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.12 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.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.
“Rates dipped slightly in a short week leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. The 10-year Treasury yield fell roughly 4 basis points, while the 30-year mortgage rate dropped 3 basis points to 3.92 percent. Mortgage rates continue to remain low.”

Home Prices Rapidly Rise: Is History Repeating Itself? | Armonk Real Estate

‘Rapid Price Increases Will Not Last Forever’

The current growth in home prices is echoing the lead-up to the recession. Is history repeating itself?

The answer is likely not, according to a recently released realtor.com® report. Building is lacking in many markets—one hallmark 10 years ago was over-construction—and credit standards are more stringent, says Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com.

“As we compare today’s market dynamics to those of a decade ago, it’s important to remember rising prices didn’t cause the housing crash,” Hale says. “It was rising prices stoked by subprime and low documentation mortgages, as well as people looking for short-term gains—versus today’s truer market vitality—that created the environment for the crash.”

In 2016, home prices (the national median home sales price) were 2 percent higher than they were in 2006, the report reveals. Pre-recession prices have returned in 31 of the 50 largest metropolitan areas.

In contrast with 2006, however, are today’s credit conditions. Currently, the median FICO score for a mortgage is 734; the median in 2006 was 700.

Builds and flips are also different from 2006—starkly. The credit environment, among other factors, is keeping a lid on unfettered flipping and over-construction. In 2006, one household formation generally equaled 1.4 single-family housing starts; in 2016, that number shrank to 0.7 single-family starts. Flips accounted for 5 percent of sales in 2016; in 2006, they comprised 8.6 percent.

“Lending standards are critical to the health of the market,” says Hale. “Unlike today, the boom’s under-regulated lending environment allowed borrowing beyond repayable amounts and atypical mortgage products, which pushed up home prices without the backing of income and equity.”

Additionally, economic indicators point elsewhere. Employment was healthy then and is now, but inventory is limited more today—at a 20-year low. Presently, the average months supply is 4.2; in 2007, the average months supply was 6.4.

“The healthy economy is creating more jobs and households, but not giving these people enough places to live,” Hale says. “Rapid price increases will not last forever. We expect a gradual tapering as buyers are priced out of the market—not a market correction, but an easing of demand and price growth as renting or adding roommates becomes a more affordable alternative.”

For more information, please visit www.realtor.com.

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http://rismedia.com/2017/11/13/home-prices-rapidly-rise-is-history-repeating-itself/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=eNews

Homeownership is starting to increase | South Salem Real Estate

According to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS), the U.S. homeownership rate is at 63.9% in the third quarter 2017, which is statistically unchanged from its last quarter reading of 63.7%. The rate of homeownership is on an upward trend after dropping to a cycle low of 62.9% in the second quarter 2016. Compared to the peak of 69.2% in 2004, the homeownership rate is below by 5.3% and remains below the 25-year average rate of 66.3%.

Younger homebuyers are gradually entering the housing market after the Recession. Compared to a year ago, the homeownership rates among households ages 35-44 increased from 58.4% to 59.3%. Millennials also registered noticeable gains – from 35.2% to 35.6%. Older households, ages 65 and over, is the only group where homeownership rates showed a slight decline of 0.1%.

The nonseasonally adjusted homeowner vacancy rate remained low at 1.6% in the third quarter 2017, down by 0.2% from previous year and statistically not different from the rate in the second quarter. At the same time, the national rental vacancy rate increased to 7.5%, compared to only 6.9% a year ago.

The HVS also provides a timely measure of household formations – the key driver of housing demand. Although it is not perfectly consistent with other Census Bureau surveys (Current Population Survey’s March ASEC, American Community Survey, and Decennial Census), the HVS remains a useful source of relatively real-time data.

The housing stock-based HVS revealed that the number of households increased to 119.1 million during the third quarter of 2017. This is 0.4 million higher than a year ago and sustains gains recorded in 2016. Growth in household formations will spur rental housing demand first, and ultimately, home sales. Indeed, the number of homeowner households rose by 0.8 million, after experiencing a large gain of 1.3 million in the second quarter.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/10/homeownership-rate-approaches-64/

New Canaan mid-century modern | Waccbuc Real Estate

The DeSilver house was designed in 1961 by John Black Lee and Harrison DeSilver.
 All photos by Michael Biondo

Location: New Canaan, CT

Price: $1,700,000 (guide price)

The affluent enclave of New Canaan, Connecticut, is known as a mecca of modern architecture, where during the 1940s and ’50s, a group of architects collectively known as the Harvard Five settled here and built nearly 100 modern homes, 20 of which have since been torn down.

The DeSilver House on Chichester Road is one of them, and it was designed in 1961 by Harrison DeSilver and John Black Lee, who was often considered the sixth member of the Harvard Five. Lee also lived in New Canaan until his death, in a home he built himself.

Offered through a private sale by owner, the incredible home, which has largely been preserved with a few updates, is now on the market. Characterized by a 6-foot-by-6-foot modular prefab system, the 2,048-square-foot residence sits at a lower grade than the driveway and is accessed by a floating wood bridge.

Once inside, an (original) open-tread staircase leads upstairs to spacious bedrooms (four total, with three baths) and downstairs to the main living area and kitchen (with separate pantry room, Miele appliances, and Heath Ceramics tiles). Further below are a study, children’s playroom, and basement.

Floor-to-ceiling windows take in the gorgeous surroundings of the nearly three-acre site, while an open floorplan allows for flexible family-friendly living. An overhanging flat roof provides passive shelter from the sun on the ground floor and provides coverage over the second-floor balconies as well. A large outdoor patio, directly accessible from the kitchen, encourages indoor-outdoor living.

For a lover of midcentury modern design, the DeSilver House would be a treasure trove of endless inspiration. Located on Chichester Road, where many modernists also built homes, the property is offered with a guide price of $1.7 million. It is also available to rent for $7,000 a month.

Courtesy ofNatalie Louw (h/t The Spaces)

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https://www.curbed.com/2017/10/26/16552556/desilver-house-john-black-lee-new-canaan?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Curbed%20Dotcom%2010262017&utm_content=Curbed%20Dotcom%2010262017+CID_ae39ca5a96efdb7456c584298432f99f&utm_source=cm_email&utm_term=Midcentury%20gem%20outside%20NYC%20asks%2017M