Author Archives: Robert Paul

About Robert Paul

Robert is a realtor in Bedford NY. He has been successfully working with buyers and sellers for years. His local area of expertise includes Bedford, Pound Ridge, Armonk, Lewisboro, Chappaqua and Katonah. When you have a local real estate question please call 914-325-5758.

NYS median home sales price rises 7.4% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Albany, NY – A strong economy sent buyers in search of their dream home in 2019, yet many were constrained by low inventory levels all year, according to the housing report released today by the New York State Association of REALTORS®.

Low inventory in 2019 continued to push median sales prices up for the year. Inventory of homes for sale fell 8.4 percent to 56,214 units in 2019 compared to 2018. Median sales prices, in turn, climbed 7.4 percent to $290,000 compared to last year. December marks the 47th consecutive month that the median sales price was up in month-over-month comparisons.

In 2019, closed sales were down slightly – 1.1 percent to 131,656 units. New listings did inch up 0.6-percent in 2019 to 206,192 units compared to 2018. Pending sales were also up 3.0 percent to 136,497 homes year-to-date.

Mortgage rates in 2019 were up slightly on a 30-year fixed mortgage to 3.94 percent, according to Freddie Mac, yet they are still over a half a percent lower than they were in 2018, helping to balance affordability concerns caused by continued price appreciation.

New listings did inch up 0.6-percent in 2019 to 206,192 units compared to 2018. Pending sales were also up 3.0 percent to 136,497 homes year-to-date.

In 2019, due to the low inventory, buyers did receive 97.4 percent of list price, up 0.1-percent from 2018.

Data and analysis compiled for the New York State Association of REALTORS® by Showing Time Inc.

December 2019

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Minority homeownership rate increases | Bedford Real Estate

The minority homeownership rate increased to 48.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, up 0.8 percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2018, according to a new data release from the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancies and Homeownership survey (CPS/HVS) (Figure 1). This is the highest it has been since the third quarter of 2011 (48.9 percent). This year-over-year gain is higher than the gain in the overall U.S. homeownership rate, which rose 0.3 percentage points to 65.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 (a six-year high). A separate Eyeonhousing.org post covers the U.S. homeownership rate in more detail.

Breaking down the minority homeownership rate shows that the Hispanic homeownership rate gained the most in the fourth quarter, with a 1.2 percentage point increase to 48.1 percent (from 46.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018).

The black homeownership rate posted the second largest gain of 1.0 percentage points to reach 44.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019 (from 43.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018). This is the largest quarter gain in the black homeownership rate since the first quarter of 2017.

Meanwhile, Other households (Asian, Pacific-Islander, Native American, and other race households) experienced a decline in their homeownership rate, dropping 1.0 percentage points to 57.1 percent (from 58.1 percent in the third quarter of 2019). The Other homeownership rate has now declined for four consecutive quarters (year-over-year declines), which is in contrast to strong gains seen for this group between the second quarter of 2017 and the third quarter of 2018.

The white homeownership grew by only 0.1 percentage points to 73.7 percent in the fourth quarter (from 73.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018). The white homeownership rate has not declined year-over-year since the first quarter of 2017 (Figure 2).

Mortgage rates are still relatively low, and a healthy job market has helped to make homeownership more affordable. In fact, housing affordability was at a three-year high in the third quarter of 2019, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ Housing Opportunity Index (HOI). These factors are most likely contributing to the recent upticks in the overall and minority homeownership rates.

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Single family rent prices increase 3% | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Price of low-end rentals still outpacing higher-end homes

Single-family rent prices increased 3% in November 2019 over the same time period in the previous year, according to CoreLogic’s Single-Family Rent Index,

In October, low-end rent prices went up 3.6%, while high-end price gains rose 2.9%.

(Image courtesy of CoreLogic. Click to enlarge.)

Overall, year-over-year rent price increases have slowed down since February 2016. During this time, they peaked at 4.2%, and stabilized at around 3% since early last year.

November 2019 was the 67th month in a row that low-end rentals propped up national rent growth, the report said.

Low-end rental prices increased 3.6% year over year in November 2019, down slightly from November 2018’s rent gain of 3.8%.

High-end rentals increased 2.7% in November 2019, and the report says this remains unchanged from the previous year.

For the 12th month in a row, Phoenix has the highest year over year increase in single-family rent prices in November, at 6.9%. Neighboring town Tucson had the second-highest rent price growth, with gains of 5.7%.

Miami had the lowest rent increase in November, at 0.7%. Miami had the lowest amount of rent increase in October as well, at 1%, the same amount of increase it saw in September.

For October, Phoenix was the market that saw the highest uptick in rent, with the highest year over year increase in single-family rents at 6.8%, according to CoreLogic.

“Strong rent growth in the Southwest reflects strong population growth in this part of the U.S.,” said Molly Boesel, principal economist at CoreLogic. “Arizona ranked third for population growth in 2019 by both number and percentage increase, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In contrast, Illinois and Hawaii both had a decrease in population in 2019, which could account for the slower rent growth in these regions.”

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Remodeling market rising | Bedford Corners Real Estate

The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI) posted a reading of 58 in the fourth quarter of 2019, up three points from the previous quarter (Figure 1). The RMI has been consistently above 50—indicating that more remodelers report market activity is higher compared to the prior quarter than report it is lower—since the second quarter of 2013. The overall RMI averages current remodeling activity and future indicators.

Current market conditions increased two points to 56 in the fourth quarter of 2019 (Figure 2). Among its three major components, major additions and alterations gained four points to 56, minor additions and alterations increased by one point to 54 and the home maintenance and repair component rose one point to 58.

The future market indicators gained three points to 60 in the fourth quarter (Figure 3). Calls for bids increased by three to 58, amount of work committed for the next three months gained three points to 57, the backlog of remodeling jobs jumped five points 64 and appointments for proposals increased by two points to 62.

The fourth quarter RMI reading reflects solid demand for remodeling, supported by a strong overall economy and low interest rates. Remodelers still face challenges in the market, including skilled labor shortages, making it harder to work off a backlog quickly.

For the full RMI tables, please visit www.nahb.org/rmi. For more information about remodeling, visit www.nahb.org/remodel.

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Home prices up 4.9% for year | Chappaqua Homes

Home prices increased in November, rising only 0.2% from the previous month’s revised pace, but up 4.9% from 2018, according to the latest monthly House Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The FHFA monthly HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Because of this, the selection excludes high-end homes bought with jumbo loans or cash sales.

The report explains that across the nine census divisions, the East North Central division saw the strongest appreciation growth, increasing by 0.8% November, whereas the Mountain division experienced no growth, as appreciation declined 0.1%.

However, the FHFA highlights that the 12-month changes were all positive, with the New England and the West South Central divisions posting the smallest gain of 3.8%, and the Mountain division leading the way with a 6.3% increase.

These are the states located in each division mentioned:

East North-Central: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio

Mountain: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico

New England: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut

West South Central: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana

The chart below compares 12-month price changes to the prior year:

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Mortgage rates fall to 3.45% | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate was the lowest in three years.

“As rates fell for the third consecutive week, markets staged a rebound with increases in manufacturing and service sector activity,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “The combination of very low mortgage rates, a strong economy and more positive financial market sentiment all point to home purchase demand continuing to rise over the next few months.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.45 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending February 6, 2020, down from last week when it averaged 3.51 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.41 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.97 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.00 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.84 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.32 percent with an average 0.2 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.24 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.91 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. Learn more at FreddieMac.com, Twitter @FreddieMac and Freddie Mac’s blog FreddieMac.com/blog.

Existing home sales surge | Armonk Real Estate

After a slight decline last month, existing home sales, released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), surged to near two-year high in December.

Total existing home sales, including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.54 million in December, the highest level since February 2018. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 10.8% higher than a year ago.

The first-time buyer share slightly decreased to 31% in December from 32% last month and a year ago. The December inventory decreased to 1.40 million units from 1.64 million units in November and 1.53 million units a year ago. At the current sales rate, the December unsold inventory represents a 3.0-month supply, down from a 3.7-month supply last month and a year ago. Unsold inventory has dropped for seven consecutive months.

Homes stayed on the market for an average of 41 days in December, up from 38 days last month but down from 46 days a year ago. In December, 43% of homes sold were on the market for less than a month.

The December all-cash sales shared 20% of transactions, unchanged from last month and down slightly from 22% a year ago.

The December median sales price of all existing homes was $274,500, up 7.8% from a year ago, representing the 94th consecutive month of year-over-year increases. The median existing condominium/co-op price of $255,400 in December was up 6.0% from a year ago.

Regionally, all regions saw an increase in existing home sales in December except for the Midwest, compared to previous month. Sales in the Midwest declined 1.5% from last month. On a year-over-year basis, sales rose in all four major regions, ranging from 8.8% in the Northeast to 12.4% in the South.

Though the housing market has been lifted this year by lower mortgage rates and continuing job expansion, the growth has also been curbed by low housing inventory and elevated home prices. As economic conditions are expected to remain favorable for homebuyers, more inventory is needed for further home building gains in 2020.

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California median price jumps 10% | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The median price for a single-family home in California jumped 10% in December, the biggest year-over-year gain in more than four years, as low mortgage rates and a shortage of homes for sale boosted competition for properties.

The state’s median home price was $615,090, more than double the U.S. median, according to the California Association of Realtors. Home sales rose 7.4% compared with December 2018.

“California experienced an unusual jump in its median price at the end of the year when the market is supposed to cool down,” said CAR Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “The surge in price is a byproduct of the imbalance between supply and demand as market competition continues to heat up.”

The supply of homes for sale, measured as the amount of time it would take to sell off existing stock, shrank to 2.5 months from 3.5 months a year earlier.

The Los Angeles metro area saw the biggest jump in home prices, up 10% from a year earlier to a median of $550,000. Sales surged 16%, CAR said.

The next-biggest jump was in the cheapest area of the state. The Central Valley, an inland swath that runs about 450 miles from Bakersfield to Redding, had a median price of $342,000 in December, a jump of 7.7% from a year earlier, according to CAR data. Sales rose 12% in the same period.

The Inland Empire, east of Los Angeles, had a median price of $385,000, up 7.2% from a year ago, and sales were up 13%, the CAR report said.

The San Francisco Bay area, the most expensive region, had a median price of $908,750, up 6.9% from a year ago. Sales jumped 16% in the same period.

The Central Coast, stretching from Los Angeles to San Francisco, had a 2.2% drop in median price to $700,000. Sales surged up 42% as buyers rushed to snap up the lower prices, CAR said.

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Low mortgage rates are clearly helping the market | North Salem Real Estate

The cheapest financing in more than three years is making it easier for first-time buyers to afford a home. A tiny bit easier.

Instead of having just enough income needed to buy a median-priced starter home at current mortgage rates, they now have a small buffer, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.

In 2019’s second quarter, first-timers had 100% of the median household income to buy a home, as measured by NAR’s First-Time Homebuyer Affordability Index that crunches income, financing rates and home prices. By the third quarter, the index showed they had 105% of the income they needed.

“The low mortgage rates are clearly helping the market conditions,” Yun said in an interview with HousingWire. “Home prices consistently rising at a faster pace than people’s income growth has hurt, but because of the historically low rates, it’s providing marginal opportunities for first-time buyers.”

Lower mortgage rates compensate for higher home prices and lagging income growth because the cheaper financing lowers a buyer’s monthly payments.

The average U.S. rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.94% in 2019, according to Freddie Mac. That’s the lowest annual average since 2016 when it was 3.65%. The average for 2020 and 2021 probably will be 3.8%, the mortgage financier said in a forecast last month.

Home prices grew 3.2% in 2019, according to the forecast. That’s a slower pace than in 2018 when the growth rate was 5.1%.

However, income growth has been lethargic. The median household income was $66,043 in November, a gain of 1.9% higher than a year ago, adjusted for inflation, according to Sentier Research.

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Mortgage rates average 3.51% | Waccabuc Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped by 9 basis points.

“This week’s mortgage rates were the second lowest in three years, supporting homebuyer demand and leading to higher refinancing activity,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Borrowers who take advantage of these low rates can improve their cash flow by lowering their monthly mortgage payments, giving them more money to spend or save.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.51 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending January 30, 2020, down from last week when it averaged 3.60 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.46 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.00 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.04 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.89 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.24 percent with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.28 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.96 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.