Monthly Archives: April 2019

Best kitchen paint colors | Chappaqua Real Estate

If you want to paint your kitchen hot pink or mint green, that’s totally up to you (and, by the way, that would make for a pretty fab conversation-starting space!) However, if you ask real estate agents, they’ve got definite opinions on colorways for this all too important room in the house. (They also know that painting your kitchen certain colors, like brick or barn red, can actually devalue your home to the tune for more than $2,000, says a recent Zillow study!) Read on for their take on the best color palette for your kitchen:

Go for neutral and modern colors

“I work with a stager who uses Gray Mist and Edgecomb Gray, both Benjamin Moore paints, and people always asks what colors these are,” says Maria Daou of Warburg Realty in New York City. “They’re both soft colors that really look great in all types of light.”

When in doubt, stay uniform

“Unless you have nine-foot-plus ceiling heights, I would suggest you keep the kitchen walls and ceilings the same color,” says Robin Kencel of Compass Real Estate in Greenwich, Connecticut. She recommends keeping your kitchen white, and, if you’re on a budget, opting for Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, described as ‘reminiscent of the first snowfall.’

“This will end up creating an enveloping feeling and a sense of harmony in the space,” Kencel says.

But consider the power of contrasting color

“I love the look of white cabinets with a touch of gray,” says Peggy Dahan, of Siderow Residential Group in New York City. “I always suggest keeping it simple and easy to match when it comes to color. Another great way to contrast those white cabinets? Wood floors or tile floors that resemble wood. I’ve noticed that those are a big hit these days.”

If you want something a little more funky, consider contrasting top and bottom cabinets. Zillow’s 2018 Paint Color analysis found that these “tuxedo” kitchens (top and bottom cabinets painted with dark and light colors), were found to sell at a $1,500 premium.

Show off your stainless appliances

“For those with stainless appliances, a white kitchen looks great and there’s a huge demand for that palette,” says Lewis Friedman, of the Friedman Team at Compass Real Estate in New York City. “We often have clients paint cabinets and walls white, and Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore is a favorite.”

Brighten a dark kitchen

You might have gotten the gist that homebuyers often like white kitchens as they make things seem bigger. But you don’t have to paint your kitchen white for a spacious feel.

“While white cabinets and subway tiles have become practically de rigueur for everything, it’s become boring,” says Marie Bromberg of Compass Real Estate in New York City. Her antidote? Thinking light, like light wood and natural finishes and customizations.

“I painted my own walls Gentleman’s Grey by Benjamin Moore,” she says. “It keeps all of my kitchen’s secrets and doesn’t require that much maintenance.”

Thinking of doing a couple of other updates to your kitchen? Here, the best kitchen updates to increase your home’s value, for every budget.

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https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/realtor-recommended-kitchen-colors-to-boost-home-value-268464?utm_source=at_daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=04082019

Monthly Employment Growth Improved in March | Waccabuc Real Estate

Total payroll employment increased by 196,000 in March, while the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.8%. Residential construction employment increased by 12,200 in March, after the decline of 8,100 jobs in February. The total construction industry (both residential and nonresidential) gained 16,000 jobs in March.

According to the Employment Situation Summary for March, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 196,000. It was a big jump from the gain of 33,000 jobs in February, which was revised up from its original estimate of a 20,000 increase. Monthly employment growth has averaged 180,000 per month for the first three months of 2019, compared with the average monthly growth of 223,000 over all of 2018. Over the past twelve months, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2.5 million, with the average monthly growth of 211,000.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.8% in March. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate, the proportion of the population either looking for a job or already with a job, declined by 0.2 percentage point in March, to 63.0%. The decrease in the number of total labor force reflected both a 201,000 decrease in the number of persons employed and a 24,000 decline in the number of persons unemployed over the month.

Additionally, monthly employment data released by the BLS Establishment Survey indicates that employment in the overall construction sector increased by 16,000 in March. The number of residential construction jobs rose by 12,200 in March, following an 8,100 decline in February.

Residential construction employment now stands at 2.9 million in March, broken down as 838,000 builders and 2.1 million residential specialty trade contractors. The 6-month moving average of job gains for residential construction is 8,000 a month. Over the last 12 months, home builders and remodelers added 103,700 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 918,000 positions.

In March, the unemployment rate for construction workers decreased to 3.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis, from the 4.5% in February. The unemployment rate for construction workers dropped to the lowest rate since 2001, as shown in the figure above.

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Bauhaus turns 100 | North Salem Real Estate

Here are the 13 best exhibitions to check out

There are Bauhaus shows around the world all year long


The Bauhaus Building Dessau, Walter Gropius (1925–26), Southside. A new Bauhaus Museum is opening in Dessau in September 2019.

April marks the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, the immensely influential art and design school founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar, Germany, in 1919. Though the school was only in existence for a total of 14 years, it engaged some of the biggest names in 20th-century art and design—Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, Gunta Stölzl, Josef and Anni Albers, to name a few—and set in motion visions of modernism that have echoed across disciplines and decades.

Indeed, the Bauhaus’s history is rich and its legacy even more so. So it’s no wonder that cultural institutions around the world have been mounting exhibitions aimed at exploring various facets of the powerful school. To help design nerds keep up with all that’s happening this year, we’ve rounded up major shows on the Bauhaus and will update the list as we learn of more.

For those who can’t wait to dive into all things Bauhaus, do check out our celebration of trailblazing Bauhaus women, a closer look at the new Bauhaus Museum opening in Weimar this month, a perennially fascinating recollection of the school’s legendary costume parties, these streamable Bauhaus documentaries, and a 32,000-item Bauhaus collection from Harvard Art Museums available to browse online. And, of course, watch this space for more Bauhaus centennial coverage this month.


Through April 20, 2019: ”The Whole World A Bauhaus” at Elmhurst Art Museum (Elmhurst, Illinois)

The Whole World a Bauhaus is divided into eight different chapters, each focusing on an aspect of work and life at the Bauhaus during its operation: Art, Crafts, and Technology; Floating; Community; Encounters; The Total Work of Art; New Man; Radical Pedagogy; and Experiment. These sections highlight the [projects] students did in their revolutionary workshops with industrial materials and processes, the school’s major impact on the international avant-garde, and how the students and instructors sought to rethink their world.

The internationally traveling exhibit curated by Boris Friedewald will move onto ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, on show there from October 26 to February 16, 2020.

Through May 19, 2019: “Anton Lorenz: From Avant-Garde to Industry” at Vitra Schaudepot, Vitra Design Museum (Weil am Rhein, Germany)

As a key figure in the rise of modern tubular steel furniture, Lorenz’s importance stems not only from his furniture designs, but also from his patented inventions and successful entrepreneurial ventures…Like virtually no other material, tubular steel embodied avant-garde ideals of the Bauhaus such as the quest for a “machine aesthetic” and radically new structural solutions, which culminated in the famous cantilever chair.

Black and white photo of steel tube furniture
Smoking area in the day room of Anton Lorenz’s Berlin apartment, 1932.

Through May 26, 2019: “Netherlands ⇄ Bauhaus—Pioneers of a New World” at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam, Netherlands)

For the first time, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam spotlights the Dutch Bauhaus network in a wide-ranging retrospective, revealing over sixty artists, designers, architects, and other intermediaries from the Netherlands who were personally and artistically involved with the Bauhaus, and vice versa, between 1919 and 1933.

Through June 10, 2019: “Bauhaus Imaginista: Still Undead” at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin, Germany)

The edition “Still Undead” explores the immaterial, the ephemeral, and the performative and departs from Kurt Schwerdtfeger’s reflecting light plays, which were produced for a Bauhaus party in 1922 and later on became important for the evolution of film subculture including expanded cinema.

The final edition of a major research project focusing on a transnational perspective of the Bauhaus, “Still Undead” exhibitions will also be shown at Zentrum Paul Klee (September 20, 2019 to January 12, 2020) in Bern, Switzerland, and Nottingham Contemporary (September 21, 2019 to January 5, 2019).

Through July 28, 2019: “Bauhaus and Harvard” at Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA)

The exhibition features works by major artists and presents rarely seen student exercises, iconic design objects, photographs, textiles, typography, paintings, and archival materials.

Bertus Mulder, colour study made in the class of Helene Nonné-Schmidt at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm, 1956. HfG-Archiv, Ulm—part of “netherlands ⇄ bauhaus – pioneers of a new world” at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.

Through September 1, 2019: “Kandinsky, Arp, Picasso…Klee & Friends” at Zentrum Paul Klee (Bern, Switzerland)

The selection on view in this exhibition stands in for the multitude of relationships with other artists that Paul Klee cultivated throughout his life. It demonstrates how central Klee’s engagement with their art, which spans the movements of Expressionism and Surrealism, Cubism and Concrete art, was for his artistic development.

Through February 15, 2020: “Henry van de Velde: Pioneer of the Bauhaus on the Cross-roads of Modernism” at Haus Schulenburg Gera (Gera, Germany)

The exhibition documents—on the basis of little-known testimonies—van de Velde’s artistic sources, his ideas of reform, and the foundation of two art schools. It opens the view to his companions, as well as his complete oeuvre as an architect and universal designer.

April 6, 2019—Opening of the new Bauhaus Museum Weimar (Weimar, Germany)

The collection is centered around the oldest museum collection worldwide of Bauhaus workshop oeuvres. The collection was started by Walter Gropius as early as the 1920s. Selected paths in the development of art, architecture and design will present the lasting impact this unique school of design has had around the world.

April 28, 2019 to July 28, 2019: “Oskar Schlemmer—The Bauhaus and the path to modernity” at Herzogliches Museum (Gotha, Germany)

[The exhibition] will endeavor to make the sheer expressive variety of Schlemmer’s work visible. Its chief focus will be on his work from the 1920s and 1930s. This includes Schlemmer’s time at the Bauhaus school in Weimar and subsequently in Dessau, his work as a muralist, and his stage and dance projects.

May 22, 2019 to July 27, 2019: “László Moholy-Nagy” at Hauser & Wirth (London, England)

The show will provide a deeper understanding of this restless innovator, artist, educator, and writer, considered one of the most influential figures of the avant-garde. The works in the exhibition span a period from the early 1920s to the 1940s revealing a diverse practice that defies categorization, moving fluidly between disciplines that encompassed photography, painting, sculpture, film, and design.

Following this exhibit, Hauser & Wirth is also putting on “Max Bill. Bauhaus Constellations,”on view from June 9, 2019 to September 14, 2019, focusing on the “dynamic dialogues” between the Swiss designer and various Bauhaus figures.

June 11, 2019 to October 13, 2019: “Bauhaus Beginnings” at Getty Research Institute, Getty Center, (Los Angeles, CA)

“Bauhaus Beginnings”considers the school’s early dedication to spiritual expression and its development of a curriculum based on the elements deemed fundamental to all forms of artistic practice. The exhibition presents more than 250 objects including woodcut prints, drawings, collages, photography, textile samples, artists’ books, student notebooks, masters’ teaching aids and notes, letters, and ephemera from the school’s founding and early years.

The show is accompanied by an online exhibition “Bauhaus: Building the New Artist,” which launches on June 19 and will feature “interactive activities modeled after the exercises developed by Bauhaus instructors.”

Paul Häberer (German, 1902 – 1978), Postcard for the Bauhaus Exhibition of 1923, Lithograph Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (850513) ©Ute Menke. 

September 6, 2019 to January 27, 2020: “Original Bauhaus” at Berlinische Galerie (Berlin, Germany)

How did the woman sitting on the tubular-steel chair become the most famous anonymous figure from the Bauhaus? Does the Haus am Horn in Weimar have a secret twin? Why have the tea infusers, which were created as prototypes for industrial production, always remained one-of-a-kind pieces? “Original Bauhaus” sheds light on how unique work and series, remake, and original are inseparably linked in the history of the Bauhaus.

September 8, 2019: Opening of the new Bauhaus Museum Dessau (Dessau, Germany)

The Dessau collection is distinctive: Its exhibits and objects tell the story of teaching and learning, free design and the development of industrial prototypes, artistic experiment, and engagement with the marketplace at the to-date unparalleled school of design.

read more…

https://www.curbed.com/2019/4/3/18281508/bauhaus-exhibitions-centennial-furniture-art-design

Mortgage rates average 4.08% | Armonk Real Estate

Mortgage Rates Remain Stable
 Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that mortgage rates held steady after seeing major drops last week. Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “Purchase mortgage application demand saw the second highest weekly increase over the last year and thanks to a spike in refinancing activity, overall mortgage demand rose to the highest level since the fall of 2016.”Khater continued, “While the housing market has faced many head winds the last few months, it sailed through the turbulence to calmer seas with demand buttressed by a strong labor market and low mortgage rates. The benefits of the decline in mortgage rates that we’ve seen this year will continue to unfold over the next few months due to the lag from changes in mortgage rates to market sentiment and ultimately home sales.”

News Facts30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.08 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending April 4, 2019, up from last week when it averaged 4.06 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.40 percent. 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.56 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.57 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.87 percent. 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.66 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.75 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.62 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.Freddie Mac makes home possible for millions of families and individuals by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Since our creation by Congress in 1970, we’ve made housing more accessible and affordable for homebuyers and renters in communities nationwide. We are building a better housing finance system for homebuyers, renters, lenders, investors and taxpayers.

Millennials increase buying in February | Mt Kisco Real Estate

As the housing market shifts further in favor of homebuyers, Ellie Mae’slatest Millennial Tracker Survey reveals that purchase requests from Millennials increased to 87% of all purchase requests made in February, a 2% increase from January.

The survey also revealed that although conventional loans continue to be the most popular loan product among the generation, they fell slightly to 68% of all loans.

Interest in refinances fell two percentage points from the previous month, coming in at 11% of all loans for Millennial borrowers.

“The percentage of purchase loans is on the rise with Millennials continuing to enter the homebuying market for their first or maybe even second purchase,” Executive Vice President of Strategy and Technology Joe Tyrrell said. “The increase in days-to-close we saw in February is relative to the percentage increase in purchases versus refinances, as purchases typically take longer to close.

According to the survey, it typically took Millennials 46 days to close on conventional loans, which is the longest average time to close since January 2017. Among conventional loans closed by Millennials in February, it typically took the generation 44 and 53 days to close on a purchase and refinance loans, respectively.

Notably, ​​​the Millennial Tracker also discovered that the average time to close on all loans decreased to 42 days in February. During the same period, the average closing time on FHA loans fell to 42 days, while the average time to close on VA loans increased to 59 days month-to-month.

Lastly, the survey highlighted that the average FICO score for Millennial borrowers edged up to 723 in January, rising from 722 in January, according to Ellie Mae.

read more…

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/48714-ellie-mae-millennials-are-taking-advantage-of-cooling-housing-market?id=48714-ellie-mae-millennials-are-taking-advantage-of-cooling-housing-market&utm_campaign=Newsletter%20-%20HousingWire%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=71438785&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_Gafi0qhppC7OwUuK27kQ-cuE-5XaaX3WMuEgJRTy5xo_V9NyrxD4fGTwuNxZLA0OukTYBNiW-Ny31KAk_u79D4j4PFA&_hsmi=71438785

How tariffs increase building costs | Mt Kisco Real Estate

In July 2018, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced its intention to levy tariffs on a series of imports from China. USTR rolled out proposed tariffs in three waves, with the third list (List 3) covering approximately $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. The List 3 goods comprises 5745 items, approximately 450 of which are commonly used in the residential construction industry.

The NAHB economics department examined the imports identified on List 3 and published a special study that estimated the economic effects that the proposed 10-percent tariff would have on the residential construction industry. The value of the 450 building materials included on List 3 is roughly $10 billion. A 10-percent tariff on these goods, therefore, represented a $1 billion tax increase on the housing industry.

One of the questions going into the fourth quarter of 2018 was to what extent the tariffs—even the announcement of intent to levy tariffs in the future—would affect the amount of imports of building materials and construction supplies. As the recently released January 2019 trade data show, the effects of both tariffs levied, as well as announcement of future tariffs, have been substantial.

To analyze these effects, the average monthly change in import value of the 450 items between 2011 and 2017 was compared to monthly changes from January 2018 through January 2019. The “floating” nature of major Chinese holidays affecting capital flows necessitated comparison to the historical average in order to smooth out holiday induced seasonal effects that may occur in different months in different years.

As illustrated in the figure below, the largest disparities between trade flows in 2018 and the 2011-2017 period occurred in April and December 2018.

Although the 2018 study on building materials imports focused on List 3, some goods used in residential construction were affected by the section 232 tariffs (i.e. tariffs levied based on national security concerns) imposed on certain steel and aluminum imports (25 percent and 10 percent, respectively). These tariffs went into effect in March 2018 and clearly had an effect on April 2018 imports from China.

When the USTR announced tariffs to be levied on List 3 beginning September 24th, 2018, the office also announced that the tariff rate would be time sensitive. Although the tariff would initially be set at 10 percent, that rate had a planned increase to 25 percent on January 1st, 2019 in the event that China and the United States could not resolve their differences by the end of the year.

Expectations of a substantial tariff rate increasingly took hold as it was reported that the two countries were not making meaningful progress in negotiations. The data indicate that these expectations brought the timing of imports forward (to December) in order to avoid the increase.

On December 17th, 2018, however, President Trump announced that the rate hike would be delayed to March. Consequently, the data show that imports of building materials declined more than 20 percent in January 2019—in stark contrast to the historical 15-percent increase seen in January.

The President delayed the tariff rate increase indefinitely on February 24, 2019, citing “substantial progress” in trade talks between American and Chinese officials. NAHB will continue to monitor import data releases to examine the possible effects of that announcement.

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New York’s new mansion tax | Waccabuc Real Estate

VIEW PHOTO IN GALLERY

220 Central Park South. Image via Vornado Realty Trust and Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

New York’s 2020 budget was revealed this weekend; among many other items, the proposed “pied-à-terre tax” went away, but a progressive “mansion tax,”–a one-time tax on properties valued from $1 million to $25 million or more–and an attendant transfer tax when those properties sell–will reportedly raise $365 million, according to The Real Deal. The money will head straight to the MTA. The new tax will top out at 4.15 percent.

According to Bloomberg, a series of graduated tax levies, paid by the buyer, starting at 1 percent, will be added to all New York City apartments selling for $1 million or more. That rate goes up at $2 million and reaches that 4.15 percent high on $25 million properties. The projected $365 million in revenue would mean $5 billion in bonds headed for mass transit. The last iteration of the mansion tax levied a flat 1 percent on apartments starting at $1 million.

Governor Cuomo said in a statement announcing the new budget “This has five or six major, difficult long-term issues that had to be dealt with, and it deals with them in a fiscally responsible way. This is the leading state in terms of being progressive. We’ve established that. I believe with this plan we also lead the nation in terms of innovation, and building, and reform.”

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Housing starts fall | South Salem Real Estate

Total housing starts fell 8.7% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 million units from an upwardly revised reading in January, according to a report from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development and Commerce Department that was delayed due to the partial government shutdown.

The February reading of 1.16 million is the number of housing units builders would begin if they kept this pace for the next 12 months. Within this overall number, single-family starts fell 17% to 805,000 units following an unusually high reading of 970,000 units in January. Meanwhile, the multifamily sector, which includes apartment buildings and condos, increased 17.8% to 357,000.

“The overall lower starts numbers are somewhat deceiving given the revised single-family starts figure in January was at a post-recession high,” said Danushka Nanayakkara-Skillington, AVP for forecasting and analysis at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “Absent the surge last month, the drop in single-family production in February is not as huge as it appears. Still, builders continue to remain cautious due to affordability concerns, as illustrated by the flat permits data.”

“The February starts figures are somewhat in line with flat builder expectations and serve as a cautionary note that affordability factors continue to affect the marketplace,” said Greg Ugalde, chairman of NAHB and a home builder and developer from Torrington, Conn. “Excessive regulations, a scarcity of buildable lots, persistent labor shortages and tariffs on lumber and other key building materials are having a negative effect on housing affordability.”

Regionally, combined single-family and multifamily starts in February fell 29.5% in the Northeast, 18.9% in the West and 6.8% in the South. Starts posted a 26.8% increase in the Midwest.

Overall permits, which are often a harbinger of future housing production, edged 1.6% lower in February to 1.30 million units. Single-family permits held steady at 821,000, while multifamily permits fell 4.2% to 475,000.

Looking at regional permit data, permits rose 1.5% in the Northeast, 4% in the South and 1.1% in the Midwest. Permits fell 15% in the West.

read more…

https://lbmjournal.com/february-housing-starts-down-january-surge/