Monthly Archives: December 2017

The high rents in San Francisco | Katonah Real Estate

private jet“Rent is so high they can’t even afford a car,” a partner at Patterson and Sheridan told The New York Times.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

  • San Francisco’s median rent is $4,450, nearly three times that in Houston.
  • Instead of hiring expensive talent in the Bay Area, one Houston-based law firm flies its lawyers in on a private jet once a month to meet with clients.
  • The firm uses the jet — which costs $2,500 an hour to operate — as a tool for recruiting top talent.

Rent and home prices in the Bay Area are so high that one Houston-based law firm is using an alternative to hiring expensive local talent: a private jet.

Patterson and Sheridan, an intellectual-property law firm headquartered in Houston, bought a nine-seat plane to shuttle its patent lawyers to clients in the Bay Area once a month.

Though the jet cost $3 million, the Houston Chronicle’s L.M. Sixel reports, it’s cheaper than hiring local lawyers, and even less expensive than relocating the Texas lawyers with business in Silicon Valley to the area.

“The young people that we want to hire out there have high expectations that are hard to meet,” Bruce Patterson, a partner at the firm, told The New York Times. “Rent is so high they can’t even afford a car.”

According to Zillow, the median rent in San Francisco is $4,450, while the median home price is just under $1.2 million. Rent in San Jose, a nearby city popular among Silicon Valley workers, while lower, is still more than double the median rent in Houston.

Each flight for the firm costs about $1,900 a passenger — adding up to $2,500 an hour in operating costs — but since the lawyers are working in-flight, the three-to-four-hour ride is billable, the Chronicle described Todd Patterson, a managing partner, as saying. Plus, private flights protect any confidential work and save the firm’s lawyers about 36 collective hours they would spend arriving early, waiting in security, and checking bags on a commercial flight.

The firm says it’s “still able to offer companies and inventors lower costs because most of the patent work is done in Houston, where commercial real estate is 43% cheaper, salaries 52% lower, and competition for technical talent far less fierce,” according to Sixel, who rode on the jet last summer while reporting the story.

“We fly it full,” Patterson said. “It’s not a luxury item.”

It’s also “a selling point to recruit young lawyers” who want to work with top tech companies but can’t afford Silicon Valley’s cost of living, Sixel reported. The firm’s frequent visits to California have also brought in new clients including Intuit, Western Digital, and Cavendish Kinetics.

Perhaps some companies looking for talent in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley’s neighbor to the south, could benefit from this strategy.

A report from the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Business Council published earlier this year found that exorbitant housing costs in Los Angeles were inhibiting employers from attracting “high performers” or top talent to their companies.

About 60% of the employers surveyed said Los Angeles’ high cost of living affects employee retention, with 75% naming housing costs as a specific concern. And nearly all said they viewed high housing costs as a barrier to hiring new mid- and upper-level employees.

How Westchester Will Shift Under the Senate Tax Bill | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Pushed through by a single vote in the early hours of Saturday morning, the Senate Republican proposed tax bill was and continues to be divisive. Westchester, like New York City and much of the Northeast and California, is in a unique position to be hit disproportionately hard by the proposed changes. Here’s what you, as a resident of Westchester County, need to know:

Property Taxes

One of the bill’s key features is to place a cap on property tax deductions: $10,000. Fortune estimated the average property tax bill in 2015 to be about $5,500, but in Westchester the average was more than double that. As a result, the average Westchester homeowner under these new provisions would be almost guaranteed to lose thousands of dollars in tax deductions, essentially being federally taxed on income already paid to local taxes.

As a result, the tax revisions as proposed would make it increasingly less affordable to live and own property in Westchester County, dealing a significant blow to the housing and commercial real estate industry. While a chief argument of the tax plan was to foster economic growth by cutting corporate tax rates, it seems unlikely these businesses would choose to spend their newfound funding in municipalities with higher tax rates for both its properties and employees.

Standard and Itemized Deductions

One of the greatest touted benefits of the Republican-drafted tax plan is that it doubles the standard deduction to $12,000. For the approximately two-thirds of U.S. households that take the standard deduction this would be helpful, however high-tax regions (like Westchester) see a greater percentage of taxpayers choosing to itemize their deductions for a larger return. With additional cuts to what can be considered tax deductible, a good chunk of residents may end up losing money on this deal. Speaking of lost deductions…

SALT Deductions

State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions are what allow residents to deduct on their federal taxes the amount they pay in certain local taxes — such as property or estimated sales tax for their purchases made throughout the year — thus reducing their overall taxable incomes and potentially even dropping them down into a lower tax bracket. Taxes paid for local school systems and emergency services are also currently considered tax-deductible, and reduce federally taxable income.

The proposed tax plan would completely eliminate SALT deductions, effectively collecting federal taxes without regard to how much is paid in state and other local (i.e. city) taxes. As the New York Times reports, of the dozen counties with the highest reliance on SALT deductions in the U.S., half are in the NYC Metro area. Westchester specifically is the fifth highest on the list, with 47% of taxpayers taking an average deduction of just over $34,000 — far greater than the $12,000 standard deduction allowable under the proposed plan.

Manhattan, for reference, takes a $64,000 deduction on average, but only 45% of taxpayers utilize the method. Yes, Westchesterites would be harder hit than Manhattanites.

I.O.U.

All this results in a large number of Westchester residents paying significantly more in taxes right away. The remainder will likely see a small decrease in taxes for the next decade or so, before provisions in the plan begin shifting the tax burden more heavily onto middle-class incomes, increasing the national deficit by well over $1 trillion. (Yes, “trillion” with a T.)

As a result of a law in place since 2010, that increase in deficit would trigger automatic cuts to spending in Medicare and other social programs, services which many Westchester residents depend on, especially the elderly and those in lower-income households.

Added together, a bulk of Westchester residents would see their federal deductions significantly decreased under the proposed legislation, while simultaneously seeing a corresponding decrease both in the value of their homes and in the availability of public services.

Local politicians on both sides of the aisle have come out in opposition to the Senate tax plan, including Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), County Executive Rob Astorino (R), and County Executive-Elect George Latimer (D), as well as officials from New York City, New Jersey, and the Metro area.

Optimistically, the tax plan is not final. Rather than coming from the House of Representatives and moving to the Senate, the Senate chose to follow House Republicans’ tax bill with one of their own. Even following their narrow victory, this bill will have to be reconciled with the House’s before a revised plan can be sent to the president for ratification. Many House Republicans were displeased with various compromises in the Senate plan, so any final bill may end up bearing little resemblance to what is now being deciphered.

 

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http://www.westchestermagazine.com/How-the-Senate-Tax-Plan-Will-Affect-Westchester/

13 Things You Can Expect to Pay for Before Buying a House | Bedford Real Estate

You might be focused on that big number — the mortgage payment — while you’re looking for a house but don’t forget about all the other costs associated with buying a house. They can pile up and overwhelm you if you aren’t aware of them. Here are some things to know about fees you might face as you buy a house.

Appraisal Fee

Appraisal Fee

An appraisal fee will run around $300 to $500 and will show up on loan estimate or good faith estimate. Most of the time the appraisal fee is paid out-of-pocket but it can sometimes be rolled into closing.Check out these tips to purchase a home.

Photo: Roman Samborskyl/Shutterstock

Survey Fee

Survey Fee

The survey fee takes care of verifying the property lines and making sure fences are in the right spot. A survey fee isn’t required in every state.Find out home buying secrets so you’re prepared for your next home purchase.

Photo: Courtesy of jessicakirsh/Shutterstock

Flood Determination Assessment

Flood Determination Assessment

A flood determination assessment is something that comes up and is usually around $10 to $20 but it’s used by lenders to find out if a property is in a flood zone. Lenders have to get a flood determination assessment to determine if the home has the proper amount of insurance.Know what to keep an eye on with a first-time buyers guide to home maintenance.

Photo: Courtesy of Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Escrow Fee

Escrow Fee

The closing fee is paid to the title company, escrow company or attorney conducting the closing. Some states require a real estate attorney be present at every closing. This is a fee that is separate from the escrow deposit, which requires up to two months of property tax and mortgage insurance payments.Know 10 important things to consider before buying a house.

Photo: Courtesy of ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Application Fee

Application Fee

A mortgage application is used by some lenders to try to get home buyers committed to them through a $400 to $500 fee. Investopedia calls it an excessive fee and should be avoided.Photo: Courtesy of Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock

Credit Report Fee

Credit Report Fee

Mortgage lenders have to run a credit report on you if you’re buying a home and sometimes they’ll try to charge you between $30 to $50 per report.Find out why hiring a home inspector is worth it.

Photo: Courtesy of Alexander Raths/Shutterstock

Origination Fee

Origination Fee

An origination fee is usually collected after a loan is approved and as part of the closing costs. It is between .5 and 1 percent of the sale price. The origination fee typically covers the cost of paperwork, verifications and calculations to figure out the mortgage.Find out what to know about down payments.

Photo: Courtesy of CertainTeed Corp.

Attorney Fee

Attorney Fee

Each attorney’s rate varies but it’s usually around $400 to have an attorney involved in the loan transaction.Find out if it’s the right time to move for you.

Photo: Courtesy of goodluz/Shutterstock

Mortgage Broker Fee

Mortgage Broker Fee

If you choose to work with a mortgage broker it’s going to cost you. A mortgage broker helps you find a loan but they’ll charge you 1 to 2 percent of the home’s purchase price.Learn about property taxes before you start paying them on your new house.

Prepaid Interest

Prepaid Interest

Between the time you close and make your first mortgage payment, lenders will likely expect you to pay any interest that accrues during that time. Sometimes you’ll have to pay up front at closing.Buying a home for the first time, learn some handy tips for home ownership.

Photo: Courtesy of WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock

State Recording Fee

State Recording Fee

The sale of the property needs to be recorded with your local government and you can be sure there are fees associated with that. Check with your county and city government to learn those fees.Find the perfect house warming gift for new homeowners.

Photo: Courtesy of create jobs 51/Shutterstock

Lender’s Title Insurance

Lender’s Title Insurance

Also known as a loan policy, lenders will require it to protect themselves if there is an error in the title search or if there’s a claim of ownership on the property after it’s sold.Find out what every homeowner should know about a home.

Photo: Courtesy of maxuser/Shutterstock

Owner’s Title Insurance

Owner’s Title Insurance

There is also owner’s title insurance that a home seller can purchase to protect them in case there are title problems or if there are claims of ownership made on the property.
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https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/13-things-you-can-expect-to-pay-for-before-buying-a-house/view-all/

Single Family Construction Spending Up | Pound Ridge Real Estate

NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending grew 0.4% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $517.7 billion. It was a modest gain after a 0.2% dip in September. The total private residential construction spending was 7.4% higher than a year ago.

The monthly gains are largely attributed to the steady growth of spending on single-family and home improvements. Single-family construction spending edged up 0.3%, and remodeling spending rebounded by 1.4% in October. However, multifamily construction spending slipped 1.6% after the September dip, and was 2% lower since a year ago.

The NAHB construction spending index, which is shown in the graph below (the base is January 2000), illustrates the strong growth in new multifamily construction since 2010 and a steady growth in single-family construction and home improvement spending.

Private nonresidential construction spending increased 2.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $432 billion. However, it was 1.3% lower than a year ago. The largest contribution to this month-over-month nonresidential spending increase was made by the class of office ($2.5 billion), followed by transportation ($1.1 billion), and lodging ($0.6 billion).

 

 

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/12/single-family-construction-spending-up-in-october/

Heating in the 1800’s | Bedford Corners Real Estate

A Rumford fireplace. 
Photo by Alcinoe.

Welcome back to Period Dramas, a weekly column that alternates between rounding up historic homes on the market and answering questions we’ve always had about older structures.

Thanks to modern heating systems, we can enjoy the cozy picturesqueness of a fireplace without depending on it to keep our homes warm. But that wasn’t the case in 18th- and early 19th-century America.

“Up through about 1800, the wood-burning fireplace—very popular with English settlers—was the primary means of heating a home,” explains Sean Adams, professor of history at the University of Florida and author of Home Fires: How Americans Kept Warm in the Nineteenth Century. “The problem was that winters in America can be much harsher than in England. The weather quickly exposed how inefficient fireplaces are at heating a room.”

The majority of the heat in a fireplace goes up and out of the flue. What little heat does make its way into the room gets concentrated directly in front of the firebox, leaving the rest of the room quite cold.

A fireplace with a Franklin Stove insert. 
Photo by Robert Khederian

In 1741, Benjamin Franklin sought to improve the efficiency of the fireplace. He introduced a cast-iron insert for the firebox—called the “Franklin Stove”—in The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, volume 2. While it didn’t fundamentally change the design of a fireplace, it addressed his theory about heat.

“Franklin believed heat to be like liquid—he was trying to keep the heat in the room as long as possible, or else it would rush out of the room,” explains Adams.

The Franklin Stove had a series of baffles, or channels, within the stove to direct the flow of air, to keep as much of the heat circulating in the firebox and flowing out into the room as possible. However, the design had problems.

“The stove had to be very tight,” explains Adams. “If there were any leaks, smoke leaked out into the room. Wind would also blow the smoke back into the room. It wasn’t considered a real success.”

Toward the end of the 19th century, the inventor Count Rumford devised a fireplace designed along a set of proportions so it could be built on a variety of scales.

“In the fireplaces I recommend,” Count Rumford writes in a 1796 essay, “the back [of the fireplace] is only about one third of the width of the opening of the fireplace in front, and consequently that the two sides or covings of the fireplaces…are inclined to [the front opening] at an angle of about 135 degrees.”

The Rumford fireplace efficiently burned wood while its characteristically shallow firebox reflected as much heat as possible out into the room as possible. The handy design of the Rumford gained a strong following.

Thomas Jefferson installed eight of them at his country house Monticello. Rumford fireplaces became so mainstream that Henry David Thoreau wrote about them in Walden as a basic quality of the home, alongside copper pipes, plaster walls, and Venetian blinds.

By the 1820s and 1830s, Adams explains, coal was quickly becoming a dominating fuel type. Stoves that could burn either wood or coal—the type being pushed was Anthracite, or “hard” coal—became popular.

Iron stoves were not new technology. While English settlers brought fireplaces, German settlers had iron stoves that did a good job of heating a space.

An example of an elaborate iron stove. 
Courtesy of Library of Congress.

But what was new was the type of fuel: coal. Adams explains that since coal was so different from the familiar fuel type of wood, it took a little while to gain popularity.

“Coal was first marketed in a similar way to how some new technology is marketed today,” says Adams. “You needed early investors willing to take the risk. It was billed at ‘the fuel of the fashionable,’ which would revolutionize home heating.”

To match, coal stoves became highly decorative, featuring intricate ironwork and decorative finials to make them just as desirable as they were utilitarian.

Coal became mainstream in post-Civil War America. Wealthier families might have burned coal in basement furnaces—with specific rooms dedicated for coal storage—while poorer families might have used little stoves in individual rooms in their home.

The architecture of the home also changed as heating technologies shifted. While Colonial houses of the 18th century needed big chimneys to support multiple fireplaces, houses built in the later half of the 19th century only needed ventilation space for stove pipes. That translated into skinnier chimneys.

Inside, mantlepieces sometimes remained as a backdrop for the stoves. Even though they were technically no longer needed, they continued to act as a focal point in a room.

A mantle that was never designed to surround a fireplace but rather be a backdrop for a coal stove.

Also coming into play in the 19th century was steam heating, which first appeared in the 1850s but gained popularity in the 1880s. Adams explains that this is just another form of coal heating, as coal would be used to heat the water that turns into steam.

Steam heating was first used in institutional buildings like hospitals but then moved to residences. One of the most elaborate examples of a steam-heating network in the 19th century was at Biltmore Estate, the Vanderbilt-owned mansion in Asheville, North Carolina.

Richard Morris Hunt, the architect of Biltmore, needed to heat roughly 2,300,000 cubic feet of space for the 175,000-square-foot house,” says Denise Kiernan, author of The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home.

Kiernan explains that the subbasement of Biltmore, which was completed in 1895, had three boilers capable of holding 20,000 gallons of water each. Those boilers created steam that circulated to radiators in a network of shafts around the house, a system that seems simple in theory but quickly intensifies when one realizes that the network had to heat 250 rooms.

“Of course—this heating system had help from 65 fireplaces, some more utilitarian, others wildly elaborate,” Kiernan adds.

Heating the largest private home in America was no small feat: In The Last Castle, Kiernan reports that 25 tons of coal were burned in two weeks during the winter of 1900. To prepare for the winter of 1904, the Vanderbilts placed a coal order for 500 tons to be shipped and ready.

Biltmore estate in Asheville, North Carolina. 
Courtesy of The Biltmore Company.

Regardless of how elaborate or rudimentary the heating system of choice was in the 19th century, something that seemed to connect all methods, whether it be wood or coal, was a reliance on oneself to light the fire and supply the heat. Something that changes in the 20th century, when national grids of electricity and gas fundamentally changed how we heat our homes—but that’s a different story.

“The hearth becomes industrialized throughout the 1800s, but people still wanted to make the fire themselves,” theorizes Adams. “Now, we’re very comfortable with the idea that we can flip a switch to turn the heat on, but that wasn’t the case a century ago. They were close enough to that era of open, roaring fireplaces that people wanted to control their own heat!”

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https://www.curbed.com/2017/11/30/16716472/old-house-fireplace-coal-stove-history-heating?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Curbed%20Dotcom%20-%2011302017&utm_content=Curbed%20Dotcom%20-%2011302017+CID_4a98b848bcfd9e9faf562cd15955dbe2&utm_source=cm_email&utm_term=Beyond%20fireplaces%20How%20old%20houses%20were%20heated

Mortgage rates average 3.94% | Bedford Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQBFMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average mortgage rates inching up as we approach the end of 2017.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.94 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending December 21, 2017, up from last week when it averaged 3.93 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.30 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.38 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.36 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.52 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.39 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.36 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.32 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.
“30-year fixed mortgage rates have been bouncing around in a narrow 10 basis points range since October. The U.S. average 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased 1 basis point to 3.94 percent in this week’s survey. The majority of our survey was completed prior to the surge in long-term interest rates that followed the passage of the tax bill. If those rate increases stick, we’ll likely see higher mortgage rates in next week’s survey. But even with yesterday’s increase, the 10-year Treasury yield is down from a year ago, and 30-year fixed mortgage rates are 36 basis points below the level we saw in our survey last year at this time. Mortgage rates are low.”

Holiday home repairs before your holiday | Chappaqua Real Estate

This is no time for major updates, so stick with simple tasks to make for a festive celebration.

Hosting a holiday gathering can be a lot of fun, but perhaps a bit intimidating, too. You want your house to look its best, but now isn’t the time to undertake any major updates.

Chances are, you’re busy enough just preparing for the event. So, focus on just the areas of your house where your guests will spend time.

Whether you’re a first-time party host with a few jitters, or an old pro looking for some new ideas, these tips will help you ensure that your home is ready for any gathering.

Light the way

The sun sets early this time of year, so it’s important to make sure the entrance to your home is clean and well-lit.

Courtesy of Bill Fry.
Courtesy of Bill Fry.

If you have a large front yard, try to focus on just the front entryway and the path leading up to it. Install porch lights, or replace the bulbs on existing lighting. Cut back any shrubbery that is obstructing the walkway.

On the day of your party, open the blinds on the front windows so your guests can see into your warm, festive-looking home as they approach. It’s a great way to create a sense of welcoming anticipation.

Pro tip: The easiest possible way to create instant lighting for walkways and paths is with the solar lights that you just stick into the ground. The sun does the rest of the work!

Take care of the bottom line

Our mothers used to say this, and it’s true: If your floors are spotless, they make your whole house look cleaner.

Even if you’re unable to do an in-depth house cleaning before your gathering, you will certainly want to make sure that all floors have been cleaned before that first guest steps over the threshold.

Pro tip: If you have carpeting, clean the carpets a minimum of three days ahead of your affair to make sure they have dried fully.

Brighten up your bathroom

If you’re bothered by grimy-looking grout in your bathroom, try this easy, inexpensive, and non-toxic method to get rid of it nearly instantly: Just spray on some full-strength hydrogen peroxide, let it sit for 10 minutes, and then wipe clean. That’s it!

Next, add some flowers, holiday decorations, or pictures on the wall to further spiff up your powder room, and it will be ready for your guests.

Courtesy of Zillow Digs.
Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Pro tip: Instantly de-clog a slow-moving sink drain with a Zip-It. This inexpensive tool looks like a giant zip-tie. You just work it down into the drain to pull up hair clogs — all the other gunky stuff will come up with it.

Tune up kitchen appliances

Your kitchen appliances will be the workhorses of your holiday party, whether you’re hosting a full family dinner or a cocktail party. You want them to be fully functioning and ready for action.

Make sure all stove burners are working. Now’s the time to clean the oven if you haven’t done that for a while.

Clean out the refrigerator, and make sure that both the fridge and freezer are running at their optimal temperatures.

Make sure your dishwasher is in good working order. You can clean it easily with a dishwasher cleaner that you run through a cycle.

Pro tip: Sharp knives will make easy work of preparing the big meal. Make sure all your kitchen knives are newly sharpened, and also check the batteries in your electric carving knife, if you have one.

Make your space kid-friendly

If you make your home welcoming for children, you will ensure that their parents have a great time as well.

If you happen to have kids that are the same ages as your young guests, you’re in luck. But if not, consider adding some considerate touches that will make parents more comfortable, and alleviate kid boredom.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Turn a spare room or an upstairs bedroom into a private nursing/changing area for a new mom.
  • Toddlers and younger children will want to be near their parents, so a good idea for them is to set up a corner of your living or dining room with toys, books, a tablet for watching cartoons, and some comfy pillows or throws.
  • One of our favorite strategies for older kids is to turn the dessert course into an activity. For instance, you could bake a huge batch of sugar cookies in holiday shapes, and then put out different colors of icing to let kids (and adults) go to town with decorating their own cookies.

Pro tip: If you don’t already have children, or if yours are older, don’t forget to kid-proof your space. Put away anything expensive, breakable, or unstable. Do some baby-proofing, if necessary. This way you and the parents can relax and not have to worry about safety hazards.

Hopefully these ideas will take some of the worry out of holiday entertaining, and ensure that you and your guests can relax and enjoy each other’s company this season.

 

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https://www.zillow.com/blog/home-repairs-before-holiday-party-207284/

House prices rise at fastest pace since June 2014 | Armonk Real Estate

The S&P/Case-Shiller national index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7% during the three-month period ending in September, and was up 6.2% compared to the same period a year ago. The 20-city index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5% for the month and 6.2% for the year.

What happened: Economists had forecast a 0.4% monthly increase, and a 6.2% yearly increase, for the 20-city tracker.

Case-Shiller’s national index regained its previous, bubble-era peak last year — and is 5.9% higher as of September. But the 20-city index, which is skewed toward the metro areas that experienced the biggest booms, is still 1.5% shy of its 2006 high.

Big picture: Home prices have surged in recent years as housing demand stirred to life amid ultra-lean supply. But Case-Shiller’s index, developed as a tool for tracking prices for real estate investors, may not capture the full story of what’s going on in the housing market.

An analysis by Trulia for MarketWatch shows that only 38% of U.S. homes have recovered their pre-recession peak. (That analysis is an update of a Trulia report from last spring, more on which can be found here.)

The two sets of data differ, in part because Case-Shiller’s is an index derived from observing price changes over time for a small subset of homes — and then extrapolating those across the broad market. The index also gives more weight to higher-priced homes, which are of greater interest to investors. In contrast, Trulia has individual price estimates of most of the homes in the U.S.

As Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s chief economist, told MarketWatch last spring, price trackers like Case-Shiller are a bit like stock indexes, like the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.09%  , while data like Trulia’s is akin to the prices of individual equities.

Each method has its purpose, and each relies on assumptions. But using Case-Shiller to tell the story of how individual homeowners or neighborhoods may be faring “distorts the impression of how recovered the U.S. housing market is,” McLaughlin said.

Perhaps more striking is that McLaughlin thinks it will take years before all homes have regained pre-recession peaks. In fact, assuming a linear pace of recovery, that might not come until 2025, he thinks.

In September, Case-Shiller data showed that 16 cities saw annual prices accelerate from last month. Of three cities with monthly price declines, one was Seattle, continuing the trend of tepid monthly performances for one of the frothiest markets of the country.

Strong price gains were also seen in the FHFA’s house price index, released Tuesday. Nationally, prices were up 6.5% from the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017.

Metro Monthly change 12-month change
Atlanta 0.2% 5.4%
Boston 0.4% 7.2%
Charlotte 0.3% 6.2%
Chicago 0.0% 3.9%
Cleveland 0.7% 5.4%
Dallas 0.4% 7.1%
Denver 0.2% 7.2%
Detroit -0.1% 6.9%
Las Vegas 1.0% 9.0%
Los Angeles 0.4% 6.2%
Miami 0.6% 5.0%
Minneapolis 0.0% 5.4%
New York 0.9% 5.2%
Phoenix 0.6% 6.1%
Portland 0.2% 7.3%
San Diego 0.5% 8.2%
San Francisco 0.5% 7.0%
Seattle -0.3% 12.9%
Tampa 0.9% 7.2%
Washington -0.2% 3.1%

Home Price Appreciation Continues | South Salem Real Estate

National home price appreciation continued in September, while local home prices grew at different rates. All of the 20 metro areas had positive annual growth rates.

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 9.0% in September, faster than an 8.2% increase in August. It was the highest seasonally adjusted annual growth rate since October 2013. Tight inventory of existing homes is contributing to strong house price appreciation.

Meanwhile, the Home Price Index, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.2% in September, following the 9.7% increase in August.

Figure 2 shows the annual growth rate of home prices for 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas. In September, local home price varied greatly and its annual growth rates ranged from 2.2% to 16.4%. However, all 20 metro areas tracked recorded year-over-year appreciation.

Among the 20 metro areas, Atlanta, San Francisco and Tampa had the highest home price appreciation. Atlanta led the way with 16.4%, followed by San Francisco with 14.6% and Tampa with a 12.7% increase. Half of the 20 metro areas exceeded the national average of 9.0%. The ten metro areas that had lower home price appreciation than the national level were: Los Angeles (8.1%), Denver (7.9%), Charlotte (7.4%), Seattle (6.8%), Miami (6.6%), Chicago (6.4%), Portland (6.2%), Detroit (3.9%), Washington, DC (3.7%) and Minneapolis (2.2%).

 

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/11/home-price-appreciation-continues-in-september/

Mortgage rates average 3.93% | Waccabuc Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQBFMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average mortgage rates holding relatively flat across the board.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.93 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending December 14, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.94 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.16 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.36 percent with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.37 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.36 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.35 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.19 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.
“As widely expected, the Fed increased the federal funds target rate this week for the third time in 2017. The market had already priced in the rate hike so long term interest rates, including mortgage rates hardly moved. Mortgage rates held relatively flat across the board, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate inching down 1 basis point to 3.93 percent in this week’s survey. Mortgage rates have been in a holding pattern for the fourth quarter, remaining within a 10 basis point range since October.”