Monthly Archives: November 2018

Pre-fabs for all budgets | Chappaqua Real Estate

Once regarded as uninspiring look-alikes with no personality or pizazz, modular homes can now be found in just about any configuration you can imagine, and at just about any price point. Not only that, modular homes have become incredibly of the moment, incorporating modern design and sustainable practices for maximum efficiency.

The problem is, many potential buyers don’t know much about modular homes. That’s why we’re here to clear up any confusion—after all, modular homes make great dwellings for today’s modern families looking for energy-efficient and affordable options. 

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Exterior, Flat RoofLine, Wood Siding Material, House Building Type, and Prefab Building Type Based in New York City, Cocoon9 takes a unique approach to prefab homes, offering a line of tiny homes with high-quality construction and finishes, smart technology, energy efficiencies, and versatile spaces that are ready for the modern market. Their models start at 160 square feet and go up to 480. Although design and production of each prefab takes about four weeks, on site installation typically takes under one week to complete.
Based in New York City, Cocoon9 takes a unique approach to prefab homes, offering a line of tiny homes with high-quality construction and finishes, smart technology, energy efficiencies, and versatile spaces that are ready for the modern market. Their models start at 160 square feet and go up to 480. Although design and production of each prefab takes about four weeks, on site installation typically takes under one week to complete.

Modular homes are built as several large pieces in climate-controlled indoor factories, then pieced together at the site the homeowner has chosen. During construction, modular homes are subject to extremely rigorous quality control standards. The truth is, modular homes are just as—if not more so—sturdy as stick-built homes that are constructed fully on site. Today’s modular homes are made to withstand wind speeds up to 180 miles per hour.  

Are modular homes less expensive than regular homes, and by how much? You’ll be glad to know that another major benefit of prefab homes is that they are generally less expensive than stick-built homes; choosing a modular design can save as much as 15 to 30 percent over traditional homes. Most of that savings is reflected in the much shorter build time. 

Since they are constructed in indoor factories on assembly lines, modular homes are much less labor intensive than traditional, stick-built homes. Be aware, however, that the price you’re quoted for a prefab home often won’t include additional costs like land, permits, site work, customization, and transportation. 

Here, we’ve rounded up a sample of modular homes at a variety of different price points for every budget. The modular home prices featured here are just for the homes. Additional costs mentioned above will apply. 

Modular Homes Under $200K 

No matter where you live across the United States (and even worldwide), you shouldn’t have any trouble finding modular homes under $200,000. Given that modular homes are often cost-effective choices, the modular homes under $200,000 that we’ve included are spacious with lots of stylish customizations.

FUSE Series by IdeaBox – Oregon

Price: $188,000 

Exterior, Shed RoofLine, Metal Roof Material, Prefab Building Type, and Wood Siding Material Constructed with durable Montana timber, corrugated metal roofing, and energy-efficient windows, the FUSE 2 by Ideabox is a 1,360-square-foot modular home.
Constructed with durable Montana timber, corrugated metal roofing, and energy-efficient windows, the FUSE 2 by Ideabox is a 1,360-square-foot modular home.

IdeaBox expertly makes small spaces seem much larger with seamless views of the outdoors, 8-foot ceilings, tall windows, and light, airy interiors. These features make the FUSE series a popular option for modular homes under $200K.
IdeaBox expertly makes small spaces seem much larger with seamless views of the outdoors, 8-foot ceilings, tall windows, and light, airy interiors. These features make the FUSE series a popular option for modular homes under $200K.

Ma Modular – Texas

Price: varies by location 

At 550 square feet, Ma Modular’s "Grand Ma" model is one of the larger modular homes under $200K on our list. Prices vary—modular home prices in Texas for this model are $225 per square foot, bringing the Grand Ma to about $124,000. Modular home prices in Pennsylvania for the same model are somewhat less, at $118,000. Finally, to own the Grand Ma in Florida, you’ll pay about $107,000.
At 550 square feet, Ma Modular’s “Grand Ma” model is one of the larger modular homes under $200K on our list. Prices vary—modular home prices in Texas for this model are $225 per square foot, bringing the Grand Ma to about $124,000. Modular home prices in Pennsylvania for the same model are somewhat less, at $118,000. Finally, to own the Grand Ma in Florida, you’ll pay about $107,000.

Brightbuilt Barn – Maine

Price: starting at $160,000

Kitchen, Undermount Sink, Cooktops, Refrigerator, Track Lighting, Light Hardwood Floor, Laminate Counter, Wood Cabinet, Dishwasher, and Wood Backsplashe Despite the small size, Brightbuilt Homes’ modular homes under $200K are tastefully designed with modern touches, like light-toned hardwood floors and stainless-steel appliances.
Despite the small size, Brightbuilt Homes’ modular homes under $200K are tastefully designed with modern touches, like light-toned hardwood floors and stainless-steel appliances.

Exterior, Cabin Building Type, Prefab Building Type, Gable RoofLine, and Wood Siding Material Brightbuilt Homes has been constructing beautiful modular homes in Maine since 2005. Modular home prices in Maine reflect the somewhat more expensive Northeast market: this tiny but tasteful, fully customized, net-zero energy barn runs about $280 per square foot.
Brightbuilt Homes has been constructing beautiful modular homes in Maine since 2005. Modular home prices in Maine reflect the somewhat more expensive Northeast market: this tiny but tasteful, fully customized, net-zero energy barn runs about $280 per square foot.

Modular Homes Under $100K 

The modular homes under $100,000 on our list don’t scrimp on high-quality materials and stylish accents. At this price point, choices abound, so be sure to find the model that speaks to your individual taste.

K6 Series by KitHaus – California

Price: starting at $80,000

Exterior, Metal Roof Material, Wood Siding Material, Flat RoofLine, Glass Siding Material, and Prefab Building Type The handsome K6 Series, one of KitHaus’ largest models, offers modular homes under $100K. These can be customized to include an Ipe deck and hardwood siding, as well as corrugated roofing. All KitHaus frames are lightweight but durable, made with M.H.S.** structural anodized aluminum framing. 
The handsome K6 Series, one of KitHaus’ largest models, offers modular homes under $100K. These can be customized to include an Ipe deck and hardwood siding, as well as corrugated roofing. All KitHaus frames are lightweight but durable, made with M.H.S.** structural anodized aluminum framing. 

Exterior, Flat RoofLine, Wood Siding Material, and Prefab Building Type Modular home prices in Pennsylvania tend to be lower than in California or New York. But most pricing variations come down to external factors, such as land, customizations, transportation, and zoning costs. KitHaus serves many markets across the U.S., so final pricing may vary.
Modular home prices in Pennsylvania tend to be lower than in California or New York. But most pricing variations come down to external factors, such as land, customizations, transportation, and zoning costs. KitHaus serves many markets across the U.S., so final pricing may vary.

KitHaus modular homes offer modern touches, like sleek, angular designs and vanities made of timber.
KitHaus modular homes offer modern touches, like sleek, angular designs and vanities made of timber.

M.05 Studio by Honomobo – California

Price: $98,000 

Exterior, Prefab Building Type, Glass Siding Material, and Flat RoofLine One of the most popular models of modular homes under $100K, the M.05 Studio by Honomobo offers small-space living with a unique twist; all of Honomobo’s beautiful homes are made out of shipping containers. The M Studio is a 200-square-foot modular home made of extremely durable Cor-Ten steel, which is made to withstand the harshest weather conditions.
One of the most popular models of modular homes under $100K, the M.05 Studio by Honomobo offers small-space living with a unique twist; all of Honomobo’s beautiful homes are made out of shipping containers. The M Studio is a 200-square-foot modular home made of extremely durable Cor-Ten steel, which is made to withstand the harshest weather conditions.

Offering a truly seamless indoor/outdoor experience with floor-to-ceiling windows, the M Studio, like all Honomobo models, can be customized with a variety of upgrades, like this high-gloss white cabinetry and premium countertop.
Offering a truly seamless indoor/outdoor experience with floor-to-ceiling windows, the M Studio, like all Honomobo models, can be customized with a variety of upgrades, like this high-gloss white cabinetry and premium countertop.

Steel Homes Tulip Model – Florida

Price: $80,000 

Steel Homes, a Florida–based modular home company, faces a unique problem: how to design and build a modular home that can withstand the frequent hurricanes the state sees. That’s why these modular homes under $100K use light-gauge steel. The high strength-to-weight ratio maximizes building design flexibility and provides rigid structural integrity. Modular home prices in Florida are comparatively cheaper than in markets like California, New England, and D.C. At 1,010 square feet, the Tulip is Steel Homes’ smallest model, with a price tag right around $80,000.
Steel Homes, a Florida–based modular home company, faces a unique problem: how to design and build a modular home that can withstand the frequent hurricanes the state sees. That’s why these modular homes under $100K use light-gauge steel. The high strength-to-weight ratio maximizes building design flexibility and provides rigid structural integrity. Modular home prices in Florida are comparatively cheaper than in markets like California, New England, and D.C. At 1,010 square feet, the Tulip is Steel Homes’ smallest model, with a price tag right around $80,000.

Modular Homes Under $75K 

Go big on style and small on size with our selection of modular homes under $75,000. Though these modular homes may have less square footage, they make innovative use of the space. 

Wings Laneway LW596 by Jenesys Buildings – Canada

Price: $42,000 (shell package only) 

Based out of Canada, Jenesys Buildings offers three different designs of "Laneway" houses. The Wings model is an attractive, contemporary design, with an angled roof, modern finishes, and cladding. It’s a great option to consider if you’re looking for modular homes under $75K.
Based out of Canada, Jenesys Buildings offers three different designs of “Laneway” houses. The Wings model is an attractive, contemporary design, with an angled roof, modern finishes, and cladding. It’s a great option to consider if you’re looking for modular homes under $75K.

Minim Homes – Pennsylvania

Price: $70,000 

Exterior, Wood Siding Material, Flat RoofLine, Metal Roof Material, and Prefab Building Type Minim Homes are wrapped in beautiful, shiplapped cyprus that will gently age to grey. And a 960-watt solar array on the roof can be battery powered, allowing the home to be completely off-grid if desired.
Minim Homes are wrapped in beautiful, shiplapped cyprus that will gently age to grey. And a 960-watt solar array on the roof can be battery powered, allowing the home to be completely off-grid if desired.

Living Room, Medium Hardwood Floor, Bookcase, Coffee Tables, Sofa, and Console Tables On the inside, genius design meets modern styling. Minim offers one of the most innovative modular homes under $75K. The company has won numerous American Institute of Architects awards for their incredibly space-conscious designs.
On the inside, genius design meets modern styling. Minim offers one of the most innovative modular homes under $75K. The company has won numerous American Institute of Architects awards for their incredibly space-conscious designs.

Modular Homes Under $50K 

If you’re looking for modular homes under $50,000, be sure to find a local prefab company to get the most bang for your buck. Steep transportation fees can make even the most affordable modular home prices rise quickly.

Nano by Unity Homes – New Hampshire

Price: $50,000 

Unity Homes, a well-known modular home company in New England, now offers a small home at an affordable price. It’s called the Nano, and at 477 square feet, it’s available for just $50,000. That lands this adorable, energy-efficient cottage on the lower side of modular home prices in Massachusetts and other states surrounding its factory in New Hampshire, where prices are typically much higher.
Unity Homes, a well-known modular home company in New England, now offers a small home at an affordable price. It’s called the Nano, and at 477 square feet, it’s available for just $50,000. That lands this adorable, energy-efficient cottage on the lower side of modular home prices in Massachusetts and other states surrounding its factory in New Hampshire, where prices are typically much higher.

Modular Homes Under $40K 

While it’s definitely possible to find modular homes under $40,000, you’ll find smaller spaces with few customizations. Still, we’ve included some can’t-miss models on our list of modular homes under $40,000.

Bonsai by Bamboo Living – Hawaii

Price: Starting at $17,980 

The Bonsai tiny home is one of Bamboo Living's many homes that use timber-grade structural bamboo as a building material. These innovative modular homes under $40K use bamboo-framed exterior wall panels, which are now available as single-wall (for warm climates) or double-wall (for a wider range of temperatures). On the exterior, the Bonsai uses natural split bamboo siding. Based in Pahoa, Hawaii, the company seeks to protect and restore the planet by pioneering the use of timber-grade structural bamboo as a tree-free building material.
The Bonsai tiny home is one of Bamboo Living’s many homes that use timber-grade structural bamboo as a building material. These innovative modular homes under $40K use bamboo-framed exterior wall panels, which are now available as single-wall (for warm climates) or double-wall (for a wider range of temperatures). On the exterior, the Bonsai uses natural split bamboo siding. Based in Pahoa, Hawaii, the company seeks to protect and restore the planet by pioneering the use of timber-grade structural bamboo as a tree-free building material.

Casa Ti by Green Modern Kits – Virginia

Price: Starting at $30,000 

Designed by architect David Day and manufactured and constructed by Green Modern Kits, Casa Ti is a passive solar, one-story modern modular with a whopping 1,200 square feet and three bedrooms. That makes it one of the largest modular homes under $40K that we’ve seen.
Designed by architect David Day and manufactured and constructed by Green Modern Kits, Casa Ti is a passive solar, one-story modern modular with a whopping 1,200 square feet and three bedrooms. That makes it one of the largest modular homes under $40K that we’ve seen.

The net-zero, off-the-grid prototype is clad in SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels). Green Modern Kit homes come without anything included, and you’ll have to contract your own builder, but the kits are fully customizable.
The net-zero, off-the-grid prototype is clad in SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels). Green Modern Kit homes come without anything included, and you’ll have to contract your own builder, but the kits are fully customizable.

Modular Homes Under $10K 

For the most part, modular homes under $10,000 aren’t stand-alone living spaces, but rather add-on spaces. Consider these tiny spaces if you need an extra bedroom, a pool house, or a dedicated studio space.

K3 Series by Kithaus – California

Price: Starting at $8,000 for an outdoor shower and going up to $60,000 for a larger space with a lofted bed, bathroom, and kitchenette 

If you’re willing to sacrifice space for a super-low price tag in your search for modular homes under $10K, the K3 by KitHaus is an option. It’s adaptable as a backyard studio, home office, pool house, or play room, to name a few options. Its exterior is clad in corrugated galvalume or smooth, natural cement board with corrugated roofing, and floors are natural hardwood or finished plywood.
If you’re willing to sacrifice space for a super-low price tag in your search for modular homes under $10K, the K3 by KitHaus is an option. It’s adaptable as a backyard studio, home office, pool house, or play room, to name a few options. Its exterior is clad in corrugated galvalume or smooth, natural cement board with corrugated roofing, and floors are natural hardwood or finished plywood.

Oregon Timberwerks Cabin – Oregon

Price: $6,000 

From Oregon Timberwerks comes one of the lowest modular home prices we could find. These adorable log cabins make great options if you’re considering a (seriously) tiny home. They’re well insulated and fully weatherproof, constructed with solid wood and plywood. The floors are constructed of pressure treated lumber and exterior plywood, and the walls are covered with tapered lap siding over plywood sheathing and a vapor barrier. 
From Oregon Timberwerks comes one of the lowest modular home prices we could find. These adorable log cabins make great options if you’re considering a (seriously) tiny home. They’re well insulated and fully weatherproof, constructed with solid wood and plywood. The floors are constructed of pressure treated lumber and exterior plywood, and the walls are covered with tapered lap siding over plywood sheathing and a vapor barrier. 

read more…

https://www.dwell.com/article/modular-home-prices-4f640bf9?utm_medium=email&utm_source=postup&utm_campaign=Contemporary,%20cool,%20and%20cost-effective.&list=1

Pending home sales down 10 months in a row as rates rise | North Salem Real Estate

Pending home sales declined slightly in October in all regions but the Northeast, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* www.nar.realtor/pending-home-sales, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 2.6 percent to 102.1 in October, down from 104.8 in September. However, year-over-year contract signings dropped 6.7 percent, making this the tenth straight month of annual decreases.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said that ten straight months of decline certainly isn’t favorable news for the housing sector. “The recent rise in mortgage rates have reduced the pool of eligible homebuyers,” he said.

Yun notes that a similar period of decline occurred during the 2013 Taper Tantrum when interest rates jumped from 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent. After 11 months – November 2013 to September 2014 – sales finally rebounded when rates decreased. “But this time, interests rates are not going down, in fact, they are probably going to increase even further,” Yun noted.

While the short-term outlook is uncertain, Yun stressed that he is very optimistic about the long-term outlook. The current home sales level matches sales in 2000. “However, mortgage rates are much lower today compared to earlier this century, when mortgage rates averaged 8 percent. Additionally, there are more jobs today than there were two decades ago,” said Yun. “So, while the long-term prospects look solid, we just have to get through this short-term period of uncertainty.”

All four major regions saw a decline when compared to a year ago, with the West seeing the most pronounced drop. Yun said that decline is not at all surprising. “The West region experienced the fastest run-up in home prices in a short time and therefore, has essentially priced out many consumers,” Yun said.

Yun suggests that the Federal Reserve should be less aggressive in raising rates. He cites the collapse in oil prices and the decrease in gasoline prices. “The inflationary pressure is all but disappearing. Given that condition, there is less of a need to aggressively raise interest rates. Looking at the broader economy and keeping in mind that the housing sector is a great contributor to the economy, it would be wise for the Federal Reserve to slow the raising of rates to see how inflation develops.”

Yun pointed to year-over-year increases in active listings from data at realtor.com® to illustrate a potential rise in inventory. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., Columbus, Ohio, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. and San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif. saw the largest increase in active listings in October compared to a year ago.

Yun expects existing-home sales this year to decrease 3.1 percent to 5.34 million, and the national median existing-home price to increase 4.7 percent. Looking ahead to next year, existing sales are forecast to decline 0.4 percent and home prices to drop roughly 2.5 percent.

October Pending Home Sales Regional Breakdown

The PHSI in the Northeast rose 0.7 percent to 92.9 in October, and is now 2.9 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest, the index fell 1.8 percent to 100.4 in October and is 4.9 percent lower than October 2017.

Pending home sales in the South fell 1.1 percent to an index of 118.9 in October, which is 4.6 percent lower than a year ago. The index in the West decreased 8.9 percent in October to 84.8 and fell 15.3 percent below a year ago.

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined. By coincidence, the volume of existing-home sales in 2001 fell within the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million, which is considered normal for the current U.S. population.

NOTE: NAR’s November Housing Minute video will be released on November 30, Existing-Home Sales for November will be reported December 19, and the next Pending Home Sales Index will be December 28; all release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.

read more…

https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/pending-home-sales-slip-2-6-percent-in-october

Towns that pay you to move there | Armonk Real Estate

  1. Detroit, Michigan                           Several employers in Detroit, Michigan, including Blue Cross Blue Shield and Quicken Loans, will pay their employees to live downtown, close to where they work. New renters can receive $3,500 over two years toward the cost of their apartment, and those who renew leases can receive $1,000. And if you buy a new home in an eligible neighborhood, you could be looking at $20,000 in forgivable loans toward the purchase of a primary residence.
  2. Baltimore, Maryland                        It pays to buy a home in Baltimore—literally! Qualifying buyers can receive $5,000 toward the purchase of a primary residence through the Buying Into Baltimore or City Living Starts Here programs. Those willing to buy a home that has been vacant can apply to the Vacants to Value Booster Program, which awards $10,000 to eligible home buyers to put toward closing costs.
  3. Niagara Falls, New York                    Niagara Falls wants to attract more than just tourists—and they’re looking for young people, in particular. In an effort to combat its population decline and recruit new residents, the city of Niagara Falls promises to pay off up to $7,000 in student loan debt over two years for any recent graduates who live near Main Street.
  4. New Haven, Connecticut                     New Haven, Connecticut, is really rolling out the red carpet for new residents. First-time home buyers can receive up to $10,000 in forgivable loans to put toward down payments and closing costs. And for anyone buying a historic (and out-of-date) home, New Haven may provide up to $30,000 in forgivable loans to perform energy-saving upgrades. Plus, parents of school-age kids may not have to sock away money for college, thanks to the city’s commitment to provide free in-state college tuition to any child who graduates from New Haven public schools.
  5. Anywhere, Alaska                                    Do you dream of living in Alaska? If you do, you could earn $1,000 a year just for living there. The state of Alaska maintains a Permanent Reserve Fund that pays dividends to residents who have lived in the state for at least one calendar year and plan to remain there indefinitely. So, pack your thermals and head out for a new life of adventure.
  6. Harmony, Minnesota                              With a population that hovers around 1,000, Harmony, Minnesota, wants to grow. If you build a brand-new home there, the Harmony Economic Development Authority will give you up to $12,000 in the form of a cash rebate. Nestled in the midst of some of the Midwest’s biggest farms, “The Biggest Little Town in Southern Minnesota” may be the perfect destination for anyone who loves country life but still wants modern amenities like shops, restaurants, and quality schools.
  7. Marquette, Kansas                                  Marquette, Kansas, will give you land to build a home—for free. This small town in the heart of America wants to attract new families to the Westridge area, where residents can enjoy spectacular views of the sunset and rolling hills, typical of the big-sky prairie. With only 650 residents, it’s a place where neighbors know each other and parents feel comfortable letting their kids play outside and walk to school.
  8. Lincoln, Kansas                                         Lincoln, Kansas, has built a completely new subdivision filled with zero-dollar lots for eligible newcomers to build a home. The small-town neighborhood boasts proximity to the city park, baseball field, and the junior-senior high school as well as the Lincoln Carnegie library, the golf course, and the rolling hills overlooking the Saline River.
  9. Curtis, Nebraska                                         Free home sites are available to build new homes in the Roll’n Hills subdivision of Curtis, Nebraska. Described as Nebraska’s Easter City—a nod to their annual Palm Sunday pageant—Curtis has a 9-hole golf course and is home to the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.

read more…

https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/9-towns-that-ll-pay-you-to-move-there-50850#new-haven-connecticut-housing-incentive

Record number of million dollar homes | South Salem Real Estate

The million-dollar home is no longer such a rare species.

The number of U.S. homes valued at $1 million or more increased by 400,702 this year, the largest annual rise since the housing price recovery began in 2012, according to a new study by real estate research firm Trulia. Slightly more than 3 million homes nationally, or 3.6% of the total, are worth at least $1 million, up from 3.1 percent last year and 1.5 percent in 2012.

Not surprisingly, many of the freshly minted million-dollar units are in California, which already boasts the most in the country. The San Jose and San Francisco metro areas have the largest shares of $1 million homes and also notched the biggest increases over the past year.

Meanwhile, 29 cities and towns joined those with a median home value of $1 million or more this year, bringing the total to 201. Nineteen municipalities joined the million-dollar club last year.

They include San Jose, California, whose median value rose from $930,900 to $1.09 million; Fremont, California ($966,000 to $1.13 million); Burbank, California ($845,700 to $1.01 million); Newton, Massachusetts ($977,200 to $1.07 million); and Shelter Island, N.Y. ($903,500 to $1.15 million)

Trulia Senior Economist Cheryl Young attributed the big jump to widespread home price increases in recent years, with the median national home price climbing 7.6 percent the past year to $220,100. The median, or midpoint, of all home prices is up 45.3 percent since 2012. Housing demand has been strong while supplies are low, driving values higher.

“Home values have been escalating… And at about $1 million, there’s even greater appreciation,” she says.

Of the roughly 15,100 larger neighborhoods around the country analyzed by Trulia, 838 have median home values of $1 million or more and about two thirds of those are in California. Nearly 30 percent of California’s neighborhoods have a median home price of at least $1 million, the most by far of any state. New York, Florida and Washington followed.

The 10 metro areas that posted the largest increases in share of $1 million homes the past year:

San Jose, California

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 55.7 percent

Share, October 2018: 70 percent

San Francisco

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 67.3 percent

Share, October 2018: 81 percent

Oakland, California

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 24.9 percent

Share, October 2018: 30.7 percent

Honolulu

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 16.2 percent

Share, October 2018: 19.8 percent

Orange County, California

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 17.2 percent

Share, October 2018: 20.2 percent

Los Angeles

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 17.5 percent

Share, October 2018: 19.6 percent

San Diego

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 11.8 percent

Share, October 2018: 13.8 percent

Seattle

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 11.4 percent

Share, October 2018: 13.3 percent

Ventura County, California

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 8.9 percent

Share, October 2018: 10.5 percent

Long Island, N.Y.

Share of million-dollar homes, October 2017: 8.8 percent

Share, October 2018: 10.1 percent

read more…

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/real-estate/2018/11/09/million-dollar-homes-number-increased-400-000-year/1936628002/

Mortgage rates fall | North Salem Real Estate

So far this year, the 30-year-fixed has averaged 4.53%, compared to 3.99% in 2017

Rates for home loans tumbled as turmoil rocked global financial markets, but any reprieve in rates may come too late for would-be home buyers or refinancers.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.81% in the November 21 week, down 13 basis points, mortgage liquidity provider Freddie Mac said Wednesday. That’s the biggest weekly decline since January 2015 and the lowest level for the popular product since early October. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.24%, down 12 basis points during the week. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 4.09%, down from 4.15%.

Those rates don’t include fees associated with obtaining mortgage loans.

Fixed-rate mortgages follow the U.S. 10-year Treasury noteTMUBMUSD10Y, +0.00%  , although with a slight delay. As a global stock sell-off has raged over the past week, bonds have been the best house in a bad neighborhood. The yield on the benchmark 10-year bond touched a six-week low Monday. Bond yields decline as prices rise, and vice versa.

Meanwhile, this week has brought a raft of fresh information on the housing market, little of it cheery.

Sales of already-owned homes perked up in October, but are still lower than the year-ago selling pace by more than 5%. Home builders broke ground on more — but not enough — homes. And one fresh data point bears watching: mortgage applications for newly-constructed houses are plunging, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. As the chart above shows, they’re now lower than year-ago levels by double digits.

It’s possible more new-home buyers are making their purchases with cash as interest rates rise. But it’s just as likely that the tumble in applications is an early warning sign on new-home sales in the coming months. If so, that would mean trouble for the housing market — and the economy.

Only about 1.86 million Americans now have an “interest rate incentive” to refinance, data provider Black Knight said earlier in November. And refis made up the smallest share of all mortgage applications since December 2000 this past week, the Mortgage Bankers said. Housing market conditions may be easing enough for motivated buyers to catch a break, and there may be brief windows in which some homeowners can grab a refinance. But if Americans aren’t watching, or aren’t ready to pounce, those opportunities may slip by.

read more…

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/mortgage-rates-slide-the-fastest-in-four-years-but-it-may-be-too-late-for-the-housing-market-2018-11-21

Construction wages up 3.9% | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Construction workers building a Toll Brothers Inc. home in Boca Raton, Florida.

Construction companies have been ratcheting pay higher to find workers.

Average hourly earnings for construction workers were $30.21 in October, the Labor Department reported Friday. That represented a 3.9% increase in wages compared to a year ago, the strongest yearly gain since mid-2009.

As the housing crisis unfolded, a million and a half residential construction workers were laid off. Industry groups have complained for years that labor is too hard to find, and say that’s holding back a more robust pace of home building.

Higher pay would go a long way to solving that problem, many economists have argued, and to some extent, industry actions over the past year or so have confirmed that idea.

The $30.21 average hourly wage for construction workers is higher than the $27.11 earned by employees in manufacturing.

Annual wage increases for construction workers have increased an average of 3.3% during 2018, double the wage increases enjoyed by factory employees.

In turn, that’s helped employers lure lots more workers: the construction industry added 330,000 jobs over the past 12 months.

read more…

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/construction-wage-gains-hit-9-year-high-as-builders-woo-workers-with-30-per-hour-pay-2018-11-02

U.S homebuilding rose in October | Waccabuc Real Estate

U.S. homebuilding rose in October amid a rebound in multi-family housing projects, but construction of single-family homes fell for a second straight month, suggesting the housing market remained mired in weakness as mortgage rates march higher.

Other details of the report published by the Commerce Department on Tuesday were also soft. Building permits declined last month and homebuilding completions were the fewest in a year. Housing starts increased 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.228 million units last month.

Data for September was revised to show starts dropping to a rate of 1.210 million units instead of the previously reported pace of 1.201 million units.

Building permits slipped 0.6 percent to a rate of 1.263 million units in October. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts rising to a pace of 1.225 million units last month.

The housing market is being hobbled by rising borrowing costs as well as land and labor shortages, which have led to tight inventories and higher house prices. This is making home buying unaffordable for many workers as wage growth has lagged.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is hovering at a seven-year high of 4.94 percent, according to data from mortgage finance agency Freddie Mac. Wages rose 3.1 percent in October from a year ago, trailing house price inflation of about 5.5 percent.

Residential investment contracted in the first nine months of the year and housing is likely to remain a drag on economic growth in the fourth quarter. Economists expect housing activity to remain weak through the first half of 2019.

U.S. financial markets were little moved by Tuesday’s housing starts data.

SINGLE-FAMILY HOME BUILDING FALLS

Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, dropped 1.8 percent to a rate of 865,000 units in October after declining in September.

Single-family homebuilding has lost momentum since hitting a pace of 948,000 units last November, which was the strongest in more than 10 years.

A survey on Monday showed confidence among single-family homebuilders dropped to a more than two-year low in November, with builders reporting that “customers are taking a pause due to concerns over rising interest rates and home prices.”

Single-family starts in the South, which accounts for the bulk of homebuilding, fell 4.0 percent last month. Single-family homebuilding jumped 14.8 percent in the Northeast and fell 2.0 percent in the West. Groundbreaking activity on single-family homes dropped 1.6 percent in the Midwest.

Permits to build single-family homes fell 0.6 percent in October to a pace of 849,000 units. These permits remain below the level of single-family starts, suggesting limited scope for a strong pickup in homebuilding.

Starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment surged 10.3 percent to a rate of 363,000 units in October. Permits for the construction of multi-family homes fell 0.5 percent to a pace of 414,000 units.

Tuesday’s data also suggested that housing supply is likely to remain tight in the near term. Homebuilding completions in October fell 3.3 percent to a rate of 1.111 million units, the lowest level since September 2017.

Apple gives stocks the holiday blues

Realtors estimate that housing starts and completion rates need to be in a range of 1.5 million to 1.6 million units per month to plug the inventory gap.

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U.S. Housing Starts Rise as Apartment Groundbreaking Gains | Newsmax.com

A starter house story | Cross River Real Estate

Johanna Lasser had lived in a dozen apartments before she bought her first house two years ago, a rundown Victorian in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. Ms. Lasser and her husband, Jimm, figured they would fix it up, stay a few years and then move on to a house in the suburbs, or one in a better school district, as many people do.

It didn’t take long for that plan to stop making sense.

“Once you’ve got all that work done, where would we go in the city except to another place that somebody had just fixed up?” said Ms. Lasser, 40, a stay-at-home mother who’s pregnant with her second child. “We’d just be switching apples for apples.”

Ms. and Mr. Lasser, 43, a filmmaker, are not the only homeowners with doubts about moving these days. Americans have been moving less over the years, with only 11 percent changing households in 2017, down from 13 percent in 2007, according to United States census data. Historically, we stayed in our homes for around six years; now we’re now staying for 10, according the National Association of Realtors.

The mood is affecting how we live in our homes and where we spend our money. More than three quarters of the respondents to an October Zillow survey, for example, reported that, given the option, they’d rather spend a lump sum of money renovating their current home than on a down payment for a new one.

What happens, though, when the home you think is your starter house becomes your forever house?

As first-time home buyers, we often cobble together what we have for a down payment with the expectation that in five years (because, face it, we like to believe that life operates on an endless loop of five-year plans) we’ll upgrade to something larger, or in better condition, or in a better neighborhood. Realizing that we may not actually be able to move runs counter to an American ideal that there’s always a better version of our lives a few pay raises away.

“We are restless people, we like to feel like we could move at any time. If you think of your house as your starter home, you know you can just leave,” said Melody Warnick, the author of “This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are.” “That’s a belief that we cherish because it gives us a sense of freedom.”

But increasingly, the math doesn’t work and we find that we’re not so free to go.

A brew of short- and long-term trends has led us to this moment. Millennials, saddled with student debt, are buying their first homes later in life, and so are less likely to move again. Inventory is tight (largely because homeowners aren’t moving), home prices are high, and interest rates are rising.

Added to that, the 2017 federal tax overhaul capped the mortgage interest deduction at $750,000 and limited sales and local tax deductions to $10,000 a year, making it less desirable for owners in high-tax states like New York to buy a home with a jumbo mortgage or a giant property-tax bill.

In short, if you were lucky enough to lock in a historically low interest rate, whatever you buy today will cost you more than it did just a few months ago. The Lassers, for example, pay roughly $12,000 a year in property taxes for the six-bedroom house that they bought for $1.475 million in 2016. But if they decided to move to the suburbs, their property taxes would likely be higher, and if they bought a house priced at or more than what they paid for their current home, their monthly mortgage payments would be substantially higher at current interest rates.

“With our next purchase, we will have less buying power,” Ms. Lasser said. After the couple finishes bringing the house back to its original glory — a $350,000 project that will involve restoring the original exterior and interior details, gut renovating four of the six bathrooms and renovating the kitchen — she doubts they’ll actually want to leave.

“If you’ve gone through one remodel, I don’t think you ever want to do it again,” she said. “And where would we go?”

Now, rather than scrolling Zillow listings, the couple is paying closer attention to their neighborhood schools, a detail they had overlooked when they bought the place because they figured they’d be gone by the time their daughter, now 4, was old enough for elementary school. “We were not at all prepared for her being in elementary or middle school in the city,” she said.

There are upsides to abandoning the idea of the next house. People who have lived in one place for a long time report feeling better, healthier and more content, according to Ms. Warnick. “Imagine if you channeled some of that restless energy into building strong relationships with people in your neighborhood or planning the block party?” she said.

But if you bought your home during one life stage, it may not necessarily fit so well with the next one.

Mary Botel, 38, bought a 750-square foot bungalow in Portland, Ore., in 2011 for $100,000, when she was single. At the time, she thought it was a good deal and a great place to live for a few years. Seven years later, she is married and now shares the tiny space with her husband, Blaine Botel, 35, and his teenage son. The quarters are tight, requiring the family to pare down on their possessions and stay organized. “Everything now has to have a place,” she said.

Initially the neighborhood was rough — her car was stolen once and so were her boots, snatched off the front porch in the middle of winter. But as the economy improved, so too did the neighborhood. Now apartments in the rental building next door rent for about $1,400 a month, substantially more than Mrs. Botel’s mortgage payments. “If we were to move today, even if we sold, our money wouldn’t go very far,” said Mrs. Botel, who works for Multnomah County, Ore.

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“Housing sector a disaster” | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The U.S. housing sector is falling apart, and the Federal Reserve is all but ignoring the damage as it prepares for what many expect to be three rate hikes in 2019, CNBC’s Jim Cramer warned Friday.

“The housing sector’s a disaster,” Cramer said on “Closing Bell.” “We’re building about half the houses we did when the country had half the people, and we still can’t sell them. KB Home does a huge amount of housing in California. They can’t sell them. ”

U.S. homebuilding fell more drastically than expected in September, according to the Commerce Department. Housing starts dropped 5.3 percent after rising slightly in August. Existing home sales also dropped the most in over two years as rising material costs crimped supply and rising mortgage rates deterred prospective buyers.

The Fed’s interest rate hikes have contributed to the surge in mortgage rates, which in October jumped above 5 percent. The central bank has said it plans to hike rates in December of this year — a move Cramer supports — and three more times in 2019.

“I favor a rate hike, and then I’d like to wait. In what world is that irrational?” Cramer said Friday. “Affordability’s gotten out of control. [The Fed members] know that. We have affordability data. But they don’t want to focus on the things they should.”

That lack of rigor is leading the Fed to make decisions that are “not safe” and “irresponsible” when it comes to the U.S. economy, the “Mad Money” host said, echoing his earlier point that the Fed needs to do more homework.

“We shouldn’t look upon them as if they have great information. They had such bad information in 2007,” Cramer said. “They have this judgment that the economy’s great. It’s an irresponsible, non-empirical judgment. It’s anecdotal. It has not a lot of homework. And I favor rigor. I think rigor is what matters, sophistication and rigor. And they’re unsophisticated, and they’re non-rigorous, and I would rip up their homework and tell them to go home.”

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https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/16/cramer-housing-sector-is-a-disaster-fed-is-ignoring-the-data.html

Millennials drive homeownership rate increase | North Salem Real Estate

The homeownership rate increased slightly in the third quarter, driven primarily by a jump in first-time homebuyers.

The homeownership rate increased to 64.4% in the third quarter of 2018, according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau. This is up slightly from 64.3% in the second quarter and from 63.9% in the third quarter of 2017.

Click to Enlarge

Homeownership Rate Q3

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau)

This increase was driven primarily by first-time homebuyers as more Millennials opted out of renting and entered into the homeownership market.

“Led by another surge in owner household formation, homeownership rates are up again, but those gains are not driven by those who experienced the housing crash and lived to tell about it,” said Skylar Olsen, Zillow director of economic research and outreach. “First-time home buyers drove the market this year.”

“The homeownership rate of the 45 to 55 age bracket dropped quarter-over-quarter, while the under 35 age bracket continues to rally,” Olsen said. “Their homeownership rate is up a whopping 1.2% since Q3 2017 to 36.8%.”

Homeownership among those under age 35 increased from 35.6% in the third quarter 2017 and 36.5% in the second quarter this year to 36.8% in the third quarter 2018, the report showed.

Meanwhile, those ages 35 to 44 years dropped from 60% in the second quarter to 59.5% in the third quarter. This is still up slightly from 59.3% in the third quarter 2017. Those ages 45 to 54 years also saw a decrease, falling from 70.6% in the second quarter to 69.7% in the third. This is also still up from 69.1% in the third quarter of 2017.

Older generations also saw an increase in their homeownership rate. The rate for those ages 55 to 64 increased from 75.1% the previous quarter and 75% the previous year to 75.6% in the third quarter. Those ages 65 years and older saw an increase from 78% in the second quarter to 78.6% in the third quarter this year, however this is down slightly from 78.9% in the third quarter of 2017.

“Today’s report shows that more people are choosing homeownership over renting, and a large part of that story is the historically large number of first-time homebuyers,” said Tian Liu, Genworth Mortgage Insurance chief economist. “In the past two years, first-time homebuyers have purchased at least 1.9 million homes each year. That is more than the pace of household formation over the same period, meaning that the transition from renting to own is the more powerful driver of housing demand.”

“That has also been an important and often overlooked reason for the rapid rise in home prices, as more buyers came into the market,” Liu said. “Paradoxically, the rise of first-time homebuyers, which has pushed home prices up, also is slowing home sales today. These events caused the homeownership rate and home sales to diverge this quarter.”

The Hispanic homeownership rate saw a quarterly drop as it fell from 46.6% in the second quarter to 46.3% in the third quarter. This was still up slightly from 46.1% in the third quarter of 2017.

Among whites, the homeownership rate increased from 72.5% in the third quarter of 2017 and 72.9% in the second quarter this year to 73.1% in the third quarter of 2018. Blacks also saw an increase from last quarter, rising from 41.6% to 41.7%, however the rate dropped from last year’s 42%.

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https://www.housingwire.com/articles/47259-millennials-drive-homeownership-rate-increase-in-q3?utm_campaign=Newsletter%20-%20HousingWire%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=67103596&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_pUkX9OvEYkaBpJ1jmUzH1E6CDF1CW5tJ2zdACxjVFaOimvN7qzgg3CY5GZ8vTRjO9elaur9WodJE-ofZoDFiWSfnEPA&_hsmi=67103596