Monthly Archives: March 2018

So California prices keep rising | Bedford Corners Real Estate

Southern California home prices jumped 10.2% in February compared with a year earlier, while sales remained nearly flat as the region and the state grapple with a shortage of homes for sale.

The median price across the six-county region clocked in at $506,750 last month, real estate data firm CoreLogic said Wednesday. That’s up from a revised $495,500 in January but below an all-time high of $509,500 in December.

It’s not unusual for the median — the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less — to fluctuate month to month, and prices are up solidly from last year. In Los Angeles County, the median hit a new all-time high of $580,000 in February, up 10.5% from a year earlier.

Elsewhere in Southern California, median prices increased as well.

  • Orange County: The price tied a record of $710,000 and was 10.1% higher than a year earlier.
  • Riverside County: The price rose 8.7% to $375,000.
  • San Bernardino County: The price leaped 16% to $336,500.
  • San Diego County: The price rose 8.7% to $535,000.
  • Ventura County: The price rose 6.7% to $555,000.

A growing economy and a shortage of homes listed for sale are helping drive the increases. That’s spurring a political debate about whether state government should restrict local authorities’ ability to limit housing construction.

California, largely because of its housing costs, has the nation’s highest poverty rate after accounting for cost of living. Many cities, including Los Angeles, have proved too expensive for some low-income residents, causing them to move away or end up in tents that line streets.

According to online real estate brokerage Redfin, there was less than a four-month supply of homes for sale in every Southern California county last month. That means there would be no properties left at the end of that time frame if no new listings popped up and sales continued at their current pace.

Real estate agents generally consider a six-month supply of homes to be a balanced market, in which neither sellers nor buyers have an advantage. Lower supply gives an edge to the sellers. In Los Angeles and Orange counties, inventory stood at 3.1 months.

Across the region, sales rose 0.6% in February compared with a year earlier.

Exacerbating the supply shortage, rock-bottom mortgage rates have supercharged the market in recent years, enabling borrowers to afford more than they otherwise could as long as they can scrape together a down payment.

Rates remain low historically, although they have shot up this year because investors fear inflation will pick up.

That uptick essentially makes homes more expensive. But some real estate agents say that it hasn’t hurt demand yet — instead, they say, it’s is spurring families to buy, for fear that rates will just keep rising.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.44% last week, up from 3.95% at the beginning of the year, according to Freddie Mac.

read more…

 

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-home-prices-20180321-story.html

NYC housing survey | Chappaqua Real Estate

Ask New Yorkers and they’ll tell you that our city is expensive. Housing costs are high. And sometimes it feels like everything is going up but your paycheck.

With that in mind, StreetEasy.com surveyed 1,000 New Yorkers across all five boroughs to get an idea of what people were thinking in terms of their real estate priorities, plans, and preferences.

StreetEasy senior economist Grant Long says half of New Yorkers find the city to be unaffordable, but only 1 in 6 say their own home is unaffordable.

Budget is the No. 1 real estate concern for New Yorkers, followed by space. But they couldn’t care less about modern amenities. The survey found that, at the end of the day, doormen and in-building gyms had no impact on people’s home-buying decisions, Grant says. They’re not concerned about those perks at all.

According to the survey, New York City millennials might finally be ready to settle down: 1 in 3 millennials is considering buying a home in the next 12 months.

Grant says they’re either settling down or starting a family for the first time. A lot of them are building up the savings required to afford a home so it makes sense, he says, that they’re now looking to capitalize on the home-buying trend.

But with home prices so high in the city, renting might not be such a bad idea. Grant says the average home price in Manhattan right now is about $1 million.

With rent growth slowing down and a lot of new rental construction, you can find a lot of deals right now. So that remains a really attractive option for New Yorkers.

 

read more…

 

http://www.fox5ny.com/news/nyc-housing-priorities-survey

Pending home sales drop | Cross River Real Estate

Contracts to buy previously owned homes in the United States shrank 4.1 percent year-on-year in February of 2018, following an upwardly revised 4 percent drop in January. It is the biggest decline since June of 2014 as contracts fell in all main regions: Northeast (-5.1 percent), Midwest (-9.5 percent), South (-1.5 percent) and the West (-2.2 percent). Compared to the previous month, pending home sales increased 3.1 percent, rebounding from an upwardly revised 5 percent fall in January and beating forecasts of a 2.1 percent gain. Pending Home Sales in the United States averaged 1.03 percent from 2002 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 30.90 percent in October of 2009 and a record low of -24.30 percent in April of 2011.

 

Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-01-31 03:00 PM Pending Home Sales YoY 0.5% 0.8% -0.2% -0.3%
2018-02-28 03:00 PM Pending Home Sales YoY -3.8% 0.4% 0.4%
2018-03-28 02:00 PM Pending Home Sales YoY -4.1% -4% -0.2% 0.5%
2018-04-30 02:00 PM Pending Home Sales YoY -4.1% -2.11%
2018-05-31 02:00 PM Pending Home Sales YoY -1.60%
2018-06-27 02:00 PM Pending Home Sales YoY -1.35%

 

read more…

 

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/pending-home-sales#alerts

NYC’s oldest bathhouse | Armonk Real Estate

Google Maps

After over 40 years of abandonment, the city’s first public bathhouse may be reactivated for public use. At the Lower East Side’s Community Board 3 subcommittee for parks meeting on March 15, the Parks Department, who controls the bathhouse site, discussed issuing a Request for Expressions of Interest for the site, the Lo-Down reports. The RFEI is intended to get the ball rolling on redeveloping the property, which has been closed to the public since 1975.

The Parks Department hasn’t advanced any ideas about how it would like the site to be reactivated, but the Lower East Side community has made its wishes clear that it wants to see the former bathhouse become a community center. But after sitting unused for so many years, the building may be beyond repair. A 2001 inspection of the site at 326 Delancey Street by the New York City Housing Authority, who controls the Baruch Houses surrounding the property, determined that the building suffers from serious structural insufficiencies as well as mold and flooding in the basement.

The most likely course of action, a parks representative told the subcommittee last week, would be to demolish the building at a cost of $2 million. “Based on the 2001 inspection, we believe that’s probably what needs to be done,” Deputy Parks Commissioner Alyssa Konon said of demolishing the building. “However, if somebody wants to respond with some ideas around either restoring the building, or building on the historical elements there, of course, we’re open to that.”

Baruch Houses resident and founder of Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) Damaris Reyes suggested creating a stakeholder committee that could be designated by the community board that would help guide the property’s redevelopment with meaningful input from the community. “You could go a long way towards soothing some of the fears and making sure that the community is happy with the (outcome),” Reyes said.

Once applications are received through the RFEI, which is expected to go out in three weeks, the department will return to CB3 to vet the options. If the proposals are warranting, a Request For Proposals will be issued.

read more…

 

https://ny.curbed.com/2018/3/19/17139066/new-york-baruch-houses-bathhouse-lower-east-side

 

3D printed homes for the poor | North Salem Real Estate

Imagine building a stronger, cheaper home in as little as 12 hours. That goal now appears feasible with the help of a 3-D printer. A 3-D-printed home was unveiled in Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology conference and music festival this week.

“So I’m standing in front of the first permanent 3-D-printed home in America,” said Jason Ballard, co-founder of Austin-based ICON, a construction company that uses robotics, software and advanced materials to build houses.

The two-bedroom prototype contains space that can be used as a living/dining area, as well as three rooms that can be converted into bedrooms, a study or a bathroom, depending on where the home is located and the resources available. The homes will be anywhere from 56 square meters to 74 square meters in size.

At 35 square meters, the prototype home was successfully printed in a neighborhood near downtown Austin during a rainstorm, as strong winds kicked up dust in the area, according to Ballard.

3-D-printed homes for the poor

The goal is to print homes in developing countries during extreme weather conditions and amid the unpredictability of having electricity and water.

“We work with really the poorest families in the world that don’t have shelters,” said Brett Hagler, founder and chief executive officer with the nonprofit organization New Story. It aims to bring 3-D-printed homes first to Latin America and then expand to other developing countries. Hagler notes that using innovation and new technology will change how homes are manufactured to meet the need for housing around the world.

“The magnitude of the problem that we face is so big, it’s about a billion people that don’t have one of life’s most basic human needs, and that’s safe shelter,” he said.

“What we really need for the size of the issue is exponential growth,” he added, “and that has to come through significantly decreasing cost, increasing speed while doing that without sacrificing quality.”

ICON says the 3-D printer is 4.5-meters tall, 9 meters wide and made of lightweight aluminum. ICON created the device, software and unique mortar material it describes as “proprietary small-aggregate cementitious material” used to print the house. The 3-D printer is transportable because homes are printed on site. Ballard said he can imagine having many 3-D printers scattered around the world making homes.

“It’s actually a lot more simple to build a printer than it is to build a house,” Ballard said.

This rendering shows how a 3-D printer can print homes and create communities. A construction company based in Austin, Texas, and New Story, a nonprofit that aims to end homelessness globally, have teamed up to provide safe, permanent shelters.
This rendering shows how a 3-D printer can print homes and create communities. A construction company based in Austin, Texas, and New Story, a nonprofit that aims to end homelessness globally, have teamed up to provide safe, permanent shelters.

Faster and cheaper

“We ran this printer at about a quarter speed to print this house, and we were able to complete the house in less than 48 hours of print time,” Ballard said.

At full speed it could be as little as 12 hours to print a house. Building a traditional New Story home would take 15 days.

“Instead of it taking about a year to build a community, we could do it in just a few months,” Hagler said.

A 3-D-printed home is also less expensive.

“Traditional style on a New Story home is about $6,500 per home. We believe over time, we can get the new home below $4,000,” Hagler said.

Ballard said the material used to print the home is another highlight to this innovative way of building the property.

“We believe the comfort and the energy dynamics of this building are actually going to be once again better than conventional buildings. These houses should be more comfortable and they should require less energy to stay comfortable.”

Ballard said that a 3-D-printed house, “is a complete paradigm shift that has unbelievable advantages in speed, affordability, resiliency, sustainability, waste reduction, you name it. This isn’t just a slight improvement. This is a revolutionary improvement that I think is going to be quite disruptive in the industry.”

This new building technology will be brought to the world’s poorest and underserved first. New Story is working with local nonprofits, governments and families to help fund these homes. The nonprofit plans to start printing homes in El Salvador this year.

The goal is to create permanent 3-D-printed homes and communities in developing countries and beyond that will last for generations.

 

read more…

 

https://www.voanews.com/a/three-d-printed-house-quick-cheap-solution-poor-worldwide/4301324.html?trk1&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=2018-03-16&utm_source=archives

 

 

 

New home sales fall again | Waccabuc Real Estate

Sales of new single-family houses in the United States shrank 0.6 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618 thousand in February of 2018 from an upwardly revised 622 thousand in January. It is the lowest reading in four months and compares with market forecasts of a 4.4 percent rise to 623 thousand. Sales fell in the West and the Midwest. New Home Sales in the United States averaged 650.65 Thousand from 1963 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 1389 Thousand in July of 2005 and a record low of 270 Thousand in February of 2011.

 

US New Home Sales Fall for 3rd Month

Sales of new single-family houses in the United States shrank 0.6 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618 thousand in February of 2018 from an upwardly revised 622 thousand in January. It is the lowest reading in four months and compares with market forecasts of a 4.4 percent rise to 623 thousand. Sales fell in the West and the Midwest.

Sales fell in the West (-17.6 percent to 164 thousand) and the Midwest (-3.7 percent to 79 thousand) but rose in the South (9 percent to 338 thousand) and the Northeast (19.4 percent to 37 thousand).
The median sales price of new houses sold was $326,800, above $298,000 a year earlier. The average sales price was $376,700, also higher than $370,500 in February of 2017.
The stock of new houses for sale went up 2 percent from the previous month to 305 thousand, the highest level since March of 2009. This represents a supply of 5.9 months at the current sales rate.
Year-on-year, new home sales edged up 0.5 percent.
read more…
https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/new-home-sales

U. S. homebuilding falls | Mt Kisco Real Estate

U.S. homebuilding fell more than expected in February as a plunge in the construction of multi-family housing units offset a second straight monthly increase in single-family projects.

Housing starts declined 7.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.236 million units, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Data for January was revised up slightly to show groundbreaking increasing to a 1.329 million-unit pace instead of the previously reported 1.326 million units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts falling to a pace of 1.290 million units last month. Permits for future home building decreased 5.7 percent to a rate of 1.298 million units in February.

U.S. financial markets were little moved by the data.

While the volatile multi-family housing segment accounted for the decline in home building last month, the broader housing market appears to be slowing.

Sales of both new and previously owned homes have slumped in recent months as a dearth of properties on the market pushed up prices, sidelining some first-time home buyers. House price gains topped 6.0 percent in December.

Mortgage rates have also risen, with the 30-year fixed-rate currently averaging 4.44 percent, not too far from a four-year high of 4.46 percent, according to mortgage finance agency Freddie Mac. But the housing market remains underpinned by a robust labor market.

There is growing optimism that tightening job market conditions will translate into faster wage growth in the second half of this year. Annual wage growth has been stuck below 3.0 percent even as the unemployment rate has dropped to a 17-year low of 4.1 percent.

Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, increased 2.9 percent to a rate of 902,000 units in February. Single-family home construction rose in the Northeast, South and West, but tumbled in the Midwest.

Permits to build single-family homes slipped 0.6 percent in February to a 872,000 unit-pace. With permits lagging starts, single-family home construction could slow in the months ahead.

A survey on Thursday showed confidence among homebuilders dipping in March, but remaining in strong territory. Builders were less upbeat about sales and buyer traffic over the next six months.

Starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment tumbled 26.1 percent to a rate of 334,000 units in February, the lowest level since September 2017. Permits for the construction of multi-family homes dropped 14.8 percent to a 426,000 unit-pace.

Housing completions increased 7.8 percent to a rate of 1.319 million units in February. That was the highest level since January 2008. The number of single-family houses completed last month was the highest since March 2008.

There were 501,000 single-family housing units under construction in February, the most since June 2008. This should help to alleviate some of the property shortage and probably slow the house price inflation.

 

read more…

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/16/housing-starts-february.html

Current mortgage rates | South Salem Real Estate

30-year fixed mortgages

The average rate you’ll pay for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 4.33 percent, an increase of 2 basis points over the last week. A month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was lower, at 4.31 percent.

At the current average rate, you’ll pay a combined $496.63 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow. That’s $1.17 higher compared with last week.

You can use Bankrate’s mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payments and find out how much you’ll save by adding extra payments. It will also help you calculate how much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.

15-year fixed mortgages

The average 15-year fixed-mortgage rate is 3.76 percent, up 3 basis points over the last seven days.

Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $728 per $100,000 borrowed. The bigger payment may be a little harder to find room for in your monthly budget than a 30-year mortgage payment would, but it comes with some big advantages: You’ll save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan in total interest paid and build equity much more rapidly.

5/1 ARMs

The average rate on a 5/1 ARM is 4.11 percent, sliding 10 basis points over the last 7 days.

These types of loans are best for those who expect to sell or refinance before the first or second adjustment. Rates could be substantially higher when the loan first adjusts, and thereafter.

Monthly payments on a 5/1 ARM at 4.11 percent would cost about $484 for each $100,000 borrowed over the initial five years, but could increase by hundreds of dollars afterward, depending on the loan’s terms.

Where rates are headed

To see where Bankrate’s panel of experts expect rates to go from here, check out our Rate Trend Index.

Want to see where rates are right now? See local mortgage rates.

Average mortgage rates
Product Rate Change Last week
30-year fixed 4.33% +0.02 4.31%
15-year fixed 3.76% -0.03 3.73%
30-year fixed jumbo 4.59% -0.01 4.60%
30-year fixed refinance 4.31% +0.03 4.28%

Last updated: March 21, 2018.

Methodology: The rates you see above are Bankrate.com Site Averages. These calculations are run after the close of the previous business day and include rates and/or yields we have collected that day for a specific banking product. Bankrate.com site averages tend to be volatile — they help consumers see the movement of rates day to day. The institutions included in the “Bankrate.com Site Average” tables will be different from one day to the next, depending on which institutions’ rates we gather on a particular day for presentation on the site.

 

read more…

https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/rates/mortgage-rates-for-wednesday-march-21/

Fed raises rates | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Federal Reserve officials, meeting for the first time under Chairman Jerome Powell, raised the benchmark lending rate a quarter-point and forecast a steeper path of hikes in 2019 and 2020, citing an improving economic outlook. Policy makers continued to project a total of three increases this year.

“The economic outlook has strengthened in recent months,” the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement Wednesday in Washington. Officials repeated previous language that they anticipate “further gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy.”

The upward revision in their rate path suggests Fed officials are looking through soft first-quarter economic reports and expect a lift this year and next from tax cuts passed by Republicans in December. Financial conditions have tightened since late January as investors look for signs that the central bank might raise rates at a faster pace, while forecasters predict stronger U.S. growth and tight labor markets.

The vote to lift the federal funds rate target range to 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent was a unanimous 8-0.

The latest set of quarterly forecasts forecasts showed that policy makers were divided over the outlook for the benchmark interest rate in 2018. Seven officials projected at least four quarter-point hikes would be appropriate this year, while eight expected three or fewer increases to be warranted.

In the forecasts, U.S. central bankers projected a median federal funds rate of 2.9 percent by the end of 2019, implying three rate increases next year, compared with two 2019 moves seen in the last round of forecasts in December. They saw rates at 3.4 percent in 2020, up from 3.1 percent in December, according to the median estimate.

Inflation Pickup

In another change to the statement, the Fed said inflation on an annual basis is “expected to move up in coming months,” after saying “move up this year” in the January statement. Price gains are still expected to stabilize around the Fed’s 2 percent target over the medium term, the FOMC said.

The central bank’s preferred price gauge rose 1.7 percent in the 12 months through January and officials projected it to rise to 2 percent in 2019 and hit 2.1 percent the following year, the latest estimates showed. The estimates for inflation excluding food and energy, which officials see as a better way to gauge underlying price trends, rose to 2.1 percent in 2019 and 2020 from 2 percent seen in December.

“Job gains have been strong in recent months, and the unemployment rate has stayed low,” the FOMC said. The statement said that household spending and business investment “have moderated” from strong fourth-quarter readings.

The statement also repeated previous language that “near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced.”

Powell will hold his first post-FOMC press conference at 2:30 p.m. local time.

Supply, Demand

The Fed’s goal is to keep supply and demand in balance in the economy amid a tight labor market, without lifting borrowing costs so quickly that the economy stalls.

Officials have had to factor in the impact of fiscal stimulus signed by President Donald Trump since their previous projections.

The median estimate for economic growth this year rose to 2.7 percent from 2.5 percent in December, signaling confidence in U.S. consumers despite recent weak readings on retail sales that have pushed down tracking estimates of first-quarter activity. The 2019 estimate rose to 2.4 percent from 2.1 percent.

The committee’s forecast for the long-run sustainable growth rate of the economy was unchanged at 1.8 percent, suggesting policy makers are still skeptical of the effect of tax cuts on the economy’s capacity for growth. The 2020 gross domestic product growth median projection was also unchanged at 2 percent.

While U.S. unemployment of 4.1 percent is the lowest since 2000, wage growth has remained moderate and inflation has been below the Fed’s target for most of the last five years.

The median projection for the long-run fed funds rate ticked up to 2.9 percent from 2.8 percent in December. The Fed had been gradually reducing its estimate of the long-run neutral fed funds rate since it began publishing its calculations in January 2012.

 

read more…

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-20/

Consumer sentiment at 14 year high | South Salem Real Estate

The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment for the US jumped to 102 in March from 99.7 in February, beating expectations of 99.3. It is the strongest reading since January 2004 as the assessment of current economic conditions reached a record high. Consumer Confidence in the United States averaged 86.27 Index Points from 1952 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 111.40 Index Points in January of 2000 and a record low of 51.70 Index Points in May of 1980.

read more…

 

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/consumer-confidence