Category Archives: blog

Mortgage applications fall | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Mortgage Rates steady

U.S. consumers filed fewer loan applications to buy and refinance homes, while home borrowing costs were mixed with 30-year mortgage rates unchanged on the week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

The Washington-based industry group said its seasonally adjusted index on mortgage requests fell 2.5 percent to 329.5 in the week ended Oct. 26. It hit 322.1 two weeks earlier, which was the weakest reading since Dec. 26, 2014.

Interest rates on 30-year conforming mortgages, whose balances are $453,100 or less, on average were unchanged at 5.11 percent, the highest since February 2011.

Other borrowing costs that MBA tracks were both higher and lower from the previous week.

MBA’s seasonally adjusted measure on loan applications for home purchases, a proxy on future home sales, fell 1.5 percent to 224.9 last week. It was close to 224.0, which was the lowest since February 2017, set two weeks earlier.

The purchase application index was lower year-over-year, according to Joel Kan, MBA’s assistant vice president of economic and industry forecasts.

“Purchase applications may have been adversely impacted by the recent uptick in rates and the significant stock market volatility we have seen the past couple of weeks,” Kan said in a statement.

Mortgage rates jumped this month in step with U.S. bond yields US10YT=RR on worries about rising inflation and growing federal borrowing to finance a widening budget deficit.

Rising borrowing costs, disappointing company results and trade tensions between China and the United States stoked a stock market rout as the S&P 500 .SPX fell last Friday to its lowest since early May.

China, Japan factory output weakens in face of trade threat

Wall Street share prices have recovered some of last week’s losses.

The group’s seasonally adjusted gauge on refinancing applications decreased 3.8 percent to 884.2 last week, holding above 838.1 two weeks ago, which was the lowest reading since December 2000.

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-mortgages/u-s-mortgage-applications-slip-rates-mixed-mba-idUSKCN1N51SP

New home sales are up | Katonah Real Estate

Year-to-date sales are 6.9% higher than the same period last year

Framers construct walls on a new home under construction in Lancaster, Ohio.

The numbers: New-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual 629,000 rate in August, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

What happened: Sales of newly-constructed homes rose 3.5% compared to July, and edged past the MarketWatch consensus of a 625,000 pace. And the pace of sales in August was 12.7% higher than a year ago. But hefty revisions to prior months were all downward, a reminder that the housing recovery remains grudgingly slow.

The median selling price in August was $320,200, 1.9% higher than year-ago price.

Big picture: The government’s home-construction reports are based on small samples and are often revised heavily, making it hard to rely on any one month’s data. For the year to date, sales were 6.9% higher than the same period last year. That year-to-date comparison has declined steadily over the course of the year, a possible sign of flagging momentum.

Another sign may be rising inventories: at the current pace of sales, it would take 6.1 months to exhaust available supply, one of the highest ratios in recent years. In a note out after the release, Amherst Pierpont Securities Chief Economist Stephen Stanley noted that there were 318,000 homes available for sale in August, the highest number since 2011.

What they’re saying: Economists at Freddie Mac analyzed the pace of new housing construction and found that years of underbuilding has left the U.S. with a cumulative shortfall — that is, supply compared to historical averages — of 4.6 million housing units in the years since 2000. That number is especially stark considering that builders constructed a surplus of homes in the bubble years of the last decade.

Investors have turned bearish on publicly-traded builders, even as the fundamentals remain tilted in their favor. On a Tuesday call with analysts, KB Home KBH, -2.95%   CEO Jeffrey Mezger addressed that issue, and reiterated the company’s commitment to lower-priced homes, where most housing-watchers think the greatest need — and the greatest opportunity — sits.

“I keep getting back to the current inventory levels which are low. While the national numbers are four months, many of the markets we’re in today at still two months, month-and-a-half, and then when you get into the price points we play at, it’s even less. So there’s not a lot of inventory out there at the affordable price band and much of the headlines, I think, are tied to higher price points that are seeing some slowdown and we’re trying to stay ahead of that,” Mezger said. “We think market conditions are very good and continue to see a great opportunity as we head into 2019.”


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https://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-home-sales-tick-up-as-housing-shortfall-tops-4-million-2018-09-26

Strong house price rises continue in Europe and parts of Asia | Mt Kisco Real Estate

During the year to Q2 2018:

  • House prices rose in 25 out of the 39 world’s housing markets which have so far published housing statistics, using inflation-adjusted figures.
  • The more upbeat nominal figures, more familiar to the public, showed house price rises in 32 countries. House prices fell in only 6 countries and remained stable in 1 country.

Most of Europe continues to experience strong price rises, especially Ireland and the Netherlands.  In Asia Hong Kong and Macau have risen strongly over the past year. There have also been notable turnarounds in Thailand, Egypt, and Puerto Rico. But China, Ukraine, and most of the Middle East are experiencing either house price falls – or a sharp deceleration of house price rises

The strongest housing markets in our global house price survey during the year to Q2 2018 included: Hong Kong (+13.15%), Ireland (+11.57%), Netherlands (+7.24%), Macau (+6.31%), and Mexico (+5.12%) using inflation-adjusted figures.

The biggest y-o-y house-price declines were in Qatar (-16.91%), Kiev, Ukraine (-7.81%), Dubai, UAE (-7.63%), Turkey (-4.21%), and Shanghai, China (-3.51%), again using inflation-adjusted figures.

 

Momentum. Only 16 of the world’s housing markets for which figures are available showed stronger upward momentum during the year to Q2 2018, while 23 housing markets showed weaker momentum, according to Global Property Guide’s research. Momentum is a measure of the “change in the change”; simply put, momentum has increased if a property market has risen faster this year than last (or fallen less).

Inflation-adjusted figures are used throughout this survey. In the case of Kiev, Ukraine, the Global Property Guide adjusts using the official U.S. inflation rate since Ukrainian secondary market dwelling sales are denominated in U.S. dollars.

The strongest performing markets:

Hong Kong is now the strongest housing market in our global survey, up from fourth place in the previous quarter. Residential property prices surged 13.15% during the year to Q2 2018, after y-o-y rises of 12.28% in Q1 2018, 12.78% in Q4 2017, 13.41% in Q3 2017 and 19.27% in Q2 2017. Quarter-on-quarter, house prices increased 5.05% in Q2 2018.

The boom continues despite stamp duties being raised for all non-first time homebuyers (November 2016) and allowable loans on residential and commercial properties being cut in May 2017. In addition, Chief Executive Carrie Lam revealed in June 2018 another series of cooling measures, including a tax against vacant flats.

Ireland‘s economy grew by 7.8% last year. It is not surprising that the housing market is growing at breakneck speed. Residential property prices were up by 11.57% during the year to Q2 2018, after y-o-y rises of 12.4% in Q1 2018, 11.7% in Q4 2017, 11.75% in Q3 2017, and 11.8% in Q2 2017. During the latest quarter, Irish house prices increased 2.22%. Ireland’s surging house prices are being driven by strong demand and supply shortages..

The Netherlands‘ housing market continues to perform very well, mainly due to robust demand, coupled with inadequate housing supply. The average purchase price of all dwellings rose by 7.24% during the year to Q2 2018, slightly up from the previous year’s 6.39% growth. On a quarterly basis, house prices were up 0.85% during the latest quarter.

During 2017, home sales surged 13% from a year ago. However in the first seven months of 2018, home sales dropped more than 7% from a year earlier due to supply shortages.

Macau’s housing market remains strong. The average transaction price of residential units rose by 6.31% during the year to Q2 2018, following y-o-y rises of 4.22% in Q1 2018, 4.93% in Q4 2017, 9.59% in Q3 2017 and 11.79% in Q2 2017. House prices increased by 5.21% q-o-q during the latest quarter. Macau’s housing market is buoyed by massive infrastructure investments, which will transform Macau’s connections to China and Hong Kong.

Mexico‘s housing market is strengthening, amidst improving economic conditions. The nationwide house price index rising by 5.12% during the year to Q2 2018, up from a y-o-y growth of just 0.73% in Q2 2017. On a quarterly basis, house prices increased 4.89% during the latest quarter.

 

THE REGIONS:

Most Europe remains vibrant

European house price rises continue unabated. House prices have risen over the past year in no less than 13 of the 20 European housing markets for which figures were available.

Ireland remains the best performer in Europe, buoyed by its very strong economy. Residential property prices were up by 11.57% during the year to Q2 2018, after y-o-y rises of 12.4% in Q1 2018, 11.7% in Q4 2017, 11.75% in Q3 2017, and 11.8% in Q2 2017. During the latest quarter, Irish house prices increased 2.22%. Ireland’s surging house prices are mainly driven by strong demand as well as supply shortages. The Irish economy grew by around 7.8% last year and is projected to expand by another 5.6% this year, according to the European Commission.

The Netherlands‘ housing market remains strong, mainly due to robust demand, coupled with lack of adequate housing supply in the market. The average purchase price of all dwellings rose by 7.24% during the year to Q2 2018, slightly up from the previous year’s 6.39% growth. On a quarterly basis, house prices were up 0.85% during the latest quarter. During 2017, home sales surged 13% from a year ago, fuelled by low interest rates and robust economic growth. In the first seven months of 2018, home sales dropped more than 7% from a year earlier to 124,615 units, according to Statistics Netherlands. The Dutch economy grew by 3.1% in 2017, the highest growth since 2007. GDP is expected to grow by another 3.2% this year and by 2.4% in 2019, according to the IMF.

Portugal’s housing prices continue to rise strongly, fuelled by surging demand as well as improved economic conditions. Nationwide property prices rose by 4.53% during the year to Q2 2018, from y-o-y rises of 4.7% in Q1 2018, 3.03% in Q4 2017, 4.04% in Q3 2017 and 3.47% in Q2 2017. During the latest quarter, house prices were almost stable.

After more than three years of depression, house prices in Portugal started to recover in 2014. The Portuguese economy is expected to expand by 2.4% this year, after GDP growth of 2.7% in 2017, 1.6% in 2016, 1.8% in 2015, and 0.9% in 2014.

Other strong European housing markets included Iceland, with house prices rising by 4.18% during the year to Q2 2018, Spain (4.01%), and Riga, Latvia (2.68%). All, expect Latvia, recorded positive quarterly growth during the latest quarter. In terms of momentum, only Spain had stronger performance in Q2 2018 compared to a year earlier.

Minimal annual house price rises during the year to Q2 2018 were registered in Jersey (1.93%), Germany (1.74%), Slovak Republic (1.68%), Romania (1.66%), Athens, Greece (0.66%), Lithuania (0.48%) and Finland (0.43%). Only Germany, Slovak Republic, Finland and Lithuania saw quarterly growth during the latest quarter. On the other hand, only Jersey, Greece and Finland performed better in Q2 2018 compared to the previous year.

Other strong European housing markets included Jersey, with house prices rising by 8.91% during the year to Q1 2018, Macedonia (6.1%), Riga, Latvia (5.72%), Romania (4.71%), Portugal (4.7%), Germany (4.19%), and Estonia (3.72%). All recorded positive quarterly growth during the latest quarter. In terms of momentum, only Macedonia, Latvia, Portugal and Jersey had stronger performances in Q1 2018 compared to a year earlier.

Modest to very minimal annual house price rises during the year to Q1 2018 were registered in Sweden (2.97%), Slovak Republic (2.41%), Spain (2.37%), Vienna, Austria (1.68%), Finland (0.29%), and Lithuania (0.1%). Only Slovak Republic, Spain, and Austria saw quarterly growth during the latest quarter. On the other hand, only Spain, Austria and Finland performed better in Q1 2018 compared to the previous year.

The U.K.’s house prices were unchanged during the year to Q1 2018. London was the worst-performing region, with house prices falling by 3.4% y-o-y in Q1 2018. Some high-end London districts have experienced significant price-falls.

 

Europe’s weakest housing markets

Ukraine‘s housing market remains depressed, despite improved economic conditions. Secondary market apartment prices in Kiev fell by 7.81% (inflation-adjusted) during the year to Q2 2018, to an average price of US$ 1,071 per square metre (sq. m.) – worse than the previous year’s 5.13% decline. House prices fell 1.94% quarter-on-quarter in Q2 2018.

House prices in Ukraine have been falling over the past five years, particularly in 2014 (with prices plunging 37.38%) because of hryvnia devaluation due to the Russian war. Ukraine’s economy is expected to expand by 3.2% this year, after expansions of 2.5% in 2017 and 2.4% in 2016, and contractions of 9.8% in 2015, 6.6% in 2014 and 0.03% in 2013.

Turkey’s housing market continues to weaken, amidst its plummeting currency (the lira), record-high inflation, and the country’s political conflict with the US. Nationwide residential property prices fell by 4.21% during the year to Q2 2018, in contrast with a 1.62 y-o-y rise in a year earlier – the fourth consecutive quarter of y-o-y price declines. On a quarterly basis, house prices dropped 1.99% during the latest quarter.

In June 2018, inflation rose to 15.39%, the highest level since 2004. The Turkish lira plunged to record lows, having shed more than 40% of its value against the US dollar in the past year. The government recently cut its 2018 GDP growth forecast to 3% – 4% from its earlier estimate of 5%.

Switzerland’s house prices fell 3.49% y-o-y in Q2 2018, the fourth consecutive quarter of annual price declines and the biggest fall in almost two decades. During the latest quarter, prices fell by 1.28% q-o-q.

After about 15 years of uninterrupted house price rises, the Swiss government’s efforts to cool the country’s overheated property market have finally succeeded. The Swiss economy is expected to expand by 2.3% this year and by another 2% in 2019, following annual growth of 1.1% in 2017, 1.4% in 2016, 1.2% in 2015 and 2.5% in 2014, according to the IMF.

Other weak European housing markets included Sweden, with house prices falling by 1.86% during the year to Q2 2018, Russia(-0.81%), Norway (-0.73%), and the UK (-0.09%). Only Norway and the UK saw quarterly growth during the latest quarter. All, except Russia, performed better in Q2 2018 compared to the previous year.

 

The Asia-Pacific region remains strong, but China slowing rapidly

Two of the five strongest housing markets in our global survey are in Asia-Pacific, with house prices rising in 6 of the 9 housing markets for which figures were available during the year to Q2 2018.

Hong Kong‘s housing market continues to boom, with residential property prices surging 13.15% during the year to Q2 2018, from y-o-y rises of 12.28% in Q1 2018, 12.78% in Q4 2017, 13.41% in Q3 2017, and 19.27% in Q2 2017. Quarter-on-quarter, house prices increased 5.05% in Q2 2018.

The latest house price rises come despite the government raising stamp duties for all non-first time homebuyers starting November 2016 and cutting allowable loans on residential and commercial properties in May 2017. In June 2018, Chief Executive Carrie Lam revealed another series of cooling measures, including a tax against vacant flats. In the first half of 2018, the total number of property transactions in Hong Kong increased 5.6% from a year earlier while sales values rose by 8.4%, according to the Ratings and Valuation Department (RVD). The economy expanded by 3.8% last year, the highest growth since 2011. The IMF recently raised its 2018 growth forecast for Hong Kong to 3.6%, up from its earlier estimate of 2.6%.

Macau’s housing market remains vibrant, amidst massive infrastructure investments, which will transform Macau’s connections to China and Hong Kong. The average transaction price of residential units rose by 6.31% during the year to Q2 2018, following y-o-y rises of 4.22% in Q1 2018, 4.93% in Q4 2017, 9.59% in Q3 2017 and 11.79% in Q2 2017. House prices increased strongly by 5.21% q-o-q during the latest quarter.

Macau’s economy grew by a spectacular 9.3% in 2017, a sharp turnaround from y-o-y declines of 0.9% in 2016, 21.6% in 2015, and 1.2% in 2014. Macau’s economy is expected to grow by 7% this year and by another 6.1% in 2019, according to the IMF.

Thailand’s housing market is rising strongly again, with nationwide house prices rising by 5.01% during the year to Q2 2018, in contrast to a y-o-y decline of 3.02% in the previous year. House prices fell slightly by 0.58% q-o-q in Q2 2018. During the first five months of 2018, nationwide land and building transactions rose by 3.2% y-o-y to THB 425.74 billion (US$ 13.1 billion). The Bank of Thailand recently raised its 2018 economic growth forecast for the fifth time to 4.4% from its earlier projection of 4.1% due to rising exports and strong private consumption.

Other Asia-Pacific housing markets with modest house price rises include New Zealand, with house prices rising by 4.3% during the year to Q2 2018, Tokyo, Japan (3.89%), and Indonesia (0.01%). All, except Japan, recorded positive quarterly growth during the latest quarter. In addition, all showed stronger upward momentum in Q2 2018 as compared to the previous year.

Sharp housing slowdown China

China’s housing market is now slowing, with new regulatory and monetary policies impacting developers and speculative buyers. In Shanghai, the price index of second-hand houses fell by 3.51% during the year to Q2 2018, in sharp contrast with a y-o-y rise of 6.76 in Q2 2017. During the latest quarter, house prices in Shanghai fell by 0.81%.

Despite this, the Chinese economy grew by 6.7% y-o-y in Q2 2018, only slightly lower than the 6.8% growth recorded the previous quarter. The economy is projected to expand by 6.6% this year, after expanding 6.9% in 2017 and 6.7% in 2016. China has achieved 27 straight years of above 6% growth.

Taiwan‘s housing market is still weak. Nationwide house prices fell by 0.27% during the year to Q2 2018, compared to a decline of 0.07% y-o-y in Q2 2017. Quarter-on-quarter, house prices fell by 0.15% in during the latest quarter.

South Korea‘s housing market is also fragile, with the nationwide housing purchase price index falling by 0.08% during the year to Q2 2018, from a y-o-y decline of 0.73% a year earlier. House prices dropped 0.04% q-o-q during the latest quarter.

 

Middle Eastern housing markets continue to struggle, but Egypt is an exception

The Middle East is now in the doldrums, with two of the three weakest housing markets in our global house price survey: Qatar and UAE. This is not surprising given the region’s ailing economy due to low oil prices and the ongoing political and diplomatic crisis. The Middle East’s economy grew by just 1.1% in 2017, the lowest level in eight years.

Qatar remains the weakest housing market in our global survey, amidst a sharp economic slowdown and the adverse impact of the blockade it is suffering from other Golf countries.

Qatar’s real estate price index dropped 16.91% during the year to Q2 2018, after y-o-y declines of 9.65% in Q1 2018, 10.42% in Q4 2017, 3.47% in Q3 2017, and 4.52% in Q2 2017. Property prices fell by 6.62% q-o-q during the latest quarter. The Qatari economy is expected to grow by a modest 2.6% this year, after annual average growth of 2.1% in 2016-17, 4.2% during 2012-15, and 15.7% in 2008-11.

Other Middle Eastern housing markets are also depressed.

In Dubai, residential property prices fell 7.63% during the year to Q2 2018, worse than the prior year’s 2.51% decline, amidst weak economic growth, low investor sentiment, and an oversupply of housing. During the latest quarter, house prices in Dubai dropped 1.33% q-o-q.

Likewise, Israel‘s decade-long house price boom is now over, with government cooling measures intensifying. The nationwide average price of owner-occupied dwellings fell by 1.21% during the year to Q2 2018, in sharp contrast with the previous year’s 4.06% growth. Israeli house prices fell  1.14% q-o-q in Q2 2018.

Egypt is an exception

Egypt’s housing market has risen over the past year, with the nationwide real estate index rising by 4.51% during the year to Q2 2018, in contrast with the y-o-y decline of 5.32% during the previous year. However house prices fell 9.91% quarter-on-quarter during the latest quarter.

Rapid house price rises should be expected in Egypt due to the dramatic inflation unleashed by more-than-halving of the currency’s value in November 2016.  That house prices have not risen more is surprising.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi recently removed the last restrictions on foreign ownership of land and property in Egypt. He also allowed the government, the biggest landowner in Egypt, to use its land for public-private partnership schemes. The economy is expected to grow strongly by 5.2% this year, the fastest pace in a decade, according to the IMF.

 

The Americas are mixed

The U.S. remains strong but Canada is slowing sharply.

In Latin America, Mexico is strengthening while Chile has rebounded strongly. House prices are still falling in Brazil, despite some improvement.

After five years of strong house price growth, the U.S. housing market remains surprisingly vibrant. The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s seasonally-adjusted purchase-only U.S. house price index increased 3.67% y-o-y in Q2 2018 (inflation-adjusted), after annual rises of 4.93% in Q1 2018, 4.64% in Q4 2017, 4.68% in Q3 2017 and 4.77% in Q2 2017. The FHFA index rose by 0.07% q-o-q during the latest quarter.

U.S. housing demand and construction activity are mixed. In July 2018, sales of new single-family houses rose by 12.8% y-o-y while existing home sales were down by 1.5%. Building permits authorized for new housing units rose by 4.2% in July 2018 from a year earlier. On the other hand, new housing starts fell by 1.4% y-o-y in July 2018, while completions were slightly down by 0.8%.

The world’s biggest economy grew by 4.1% y-o-y in Q2 2018, nearly double the 2.2% growth the previous quarter and the fastest pace since Q3 2014. Growth was mainly driven by consumers spending their tax cuts and exporters rushing to get their goods delivered ahead of retaliatory tariffs. Recently, the IMF raised its 2018 US growth forecast from 2.3% to 2.7% and finally to 2.9%, an acceleration from the expansions of 2.3% in 2017 and 1.5% in 2016.

In December 2017, President Donald Trump signed a landmark tax law (known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act or TCJA) considered to be the largest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in over 30 years.

Canada‘s housing market is slowing sharply, amidst the introduction of more market-cooling measures and rising mortgage interest rates. House prices in the country’s eleven major cities rose by a meagre 0.41% during the year to Q2 2018, a sharp deceleration from last year’s 13.02% growth. Quarter-on-quarter, house prices increased 1.68% q-o-q in Q2 2018.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) expects home sales to fall by 11% this year, mainly due to higher home prices and interest rates, supply shortages, and heightened uncertainty. Demand is weak. In July 2018, actual sales activity dropped 1.3% from a year earlier.  The Canadian economy grew by a healthy 3% in 2017, the highest growth since 2011. The economy is expected to expand by 2.1% this year and by another 2% in 2019.

 

The Latin Americas are improving

Mexico‘s nationwide house price index rose by 5.12% during the year to Q2 2018, up from just 0.73% y-o-y house price rises in Q2 2017. House prices increased 4.89% q-o-q during the latest quarter.

Chile‘s housing market continues to grow stronger, despite the introduction of a property sales tax in 2016. The average price of new apartments in Greater Santiago rose by 3.39% during the year to Q2 2018, up from the previous year’s 2.11% y-o-y growth. House prices fell by 1.07% q-o-q in Q2 2018.

Brazil’s house prices are still falling, but the outlook is now positive, amidst increasing construction and home sales, as well as a positive economic outlook. In Sao Paulo, house prices fell by 2.38% during the year to Q2 2018, after a y-o-y decline of 2.15% a year earlier. Quarter-on-quarter, house prices in Sao Paulo fell by 1.22% in Q2 2018.

 

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http://www.globalpropertyguide.com

Marilyn Monroe got married in Westchester | Waccabuc Real Estate

Marilyn Monroe got married in Waccabuc, Westchester.

The actress married playwright Arthur Miller in a short civil ceremony in the White Plains Courthouse in 1956.

It was her third marriage and Miller’s second. Few knew of the impending ceremony.

But their relationship had caused headlines. Miller had divorced his wife to marry Monroe, who had divorced Joe DiMaggio in 1954.

When the news got out of their impending nuptials, the couple held a press conference at Miller’s house in Connecticut on June 29. The local paper had the headline: “Local Resident Will Marry Miss Monroe of Hollywood’, adding, ‘Roxbury Only Spot in World to Greet News Calmly.”

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller held a wedding reception at this Waccabuc home. Karen Croke, kcroke1@lohud.com

Afterwards, they slipped into Westchester and were married in a quick ceremony at the courthouse, after which, as reported the following day in The New York Times, the Millers  “got into their sports car and disappeared into traffic.”

They weren’t heading far.

On July 1, the couple held a Jewish ceremony and wedding reception for 25 guests in the Westchester County home of Miller’s literary agent, Kay Brown.

The home is for sale, listed for $1,675,000 with Susan Stillman of Houlihan Lawrence.

From the outside, it’s not hard to imagine the party that once took place here.

The French Country-style residence built in 1948 seems untouched from those halcyon days when many stars, including Tallulah Bankhead and Benny Goodman lived nearby and fabulous parties were the norm.

The gated property is set on a quiet road with a wonderful view of the surrounding area, and is just across from the 16th hole of the Waccabuc Country Club.

There are many original details, including parquet and tile floors, French doors, leaded windows, and European-style fireplaces. One of the highlights is the living room with walls of glass and terrace exit, a private master suite, and a first-floor guest suite with its own side entrance.

There are four bedrooms and five bathrooms in the home, which is in the Katonah School district.

Outside, the just over 4 acre property is still private and serene. A crescent-shaped lawn terrace steps down to pool and pool house with summer kitchen and cabana, and all surrounded by light woodlands, specimen landscaping and gardens creating sought-after privacy.

Sadly, the Millers were married for only five years before divorcing in 1961. Monroe tragically died the following the year.

 

read more…

 

https://www.lohud.com/story/money/real-estate/homes/2018/08/08/marilyn-monroes-westchester-wedding-house-sale-1-69-m/922263002/

Here’s Why Epoxy is Considered the Ideal for Garage Floor Coating

Those in the know in the real estate scene can attest that epoxy coating provides one of the
toughest and durable finishes on garage floors. Incredibly, they not only protect the sanctity of
garage floors, but they also help transform the outlook from ugly and boring cement to a
professionally looking and picturesque floor.

Given the fact that the garage has quickly become a place where individuals simply park the car
and leave, the benefits of having garage floor epoxy have steadily risen. All through American
homes, more people are now spending quality time in their garages doing a bunch of things.
Whether it’s band practice, science experiments, lounging or meeting sessions for Silicon
Valley-themed startups, the garage has grown in value and utility through the years.

Epoxy is considered fantastic because it can comfortably be used in both residential and
commercial applications to give a garage or shop floor a luxurious showroom shine that is
bound to leave many speechless. Even better is the fact that epoxy comes in a variety of solid
colors and hues in order to match various styles and preferences.

The Root

Naturally, when most people hear of Best Garage Floor Epoxy coating, their minds tend to drift
to the association of the term with paint. In truth, nothing could be further from the truth.

Paints in garage floors use latex acrylic products. At times, some paints ship with tiny fractions of epoxy added to the mix in order to make the entire concoction more durable when compared to standard paint versions. However, even with the incorporation of epoxy, these products are still regarded as paints and referred to as 1-part epoxy paints or simply just epoxy paints.

Epoxy is, in fact, a real thermosetting resin that is applied as a coating. To form epoxy, one
needs to combine one-part epoxide resin with one-part polyamide hardener which acts as the
catalyst to give epoxy its characteristic strength. Once applied, epoxy does not dry like normal
paint does, instead, it cures in order to come up with the superior strength and durability
qualities that enthusiasts have come to highly regard the product for.

The moisture resistant quality of epoxy makes it ideal for those in snowy climates. This is
because it is much easier to clean icy brines and road salts that collect on the floor during winter time. All one needs in order to perform a clean wipe is some mild soap and water. Once this is done, dust and other debris can easily be picked with a soft broom and/or dust mops once the floor becomes sufficiently dry.

Epoxy tends to harden floor to great degrees that even the dropping of wrenches and metallic
objects leave the floor spotless. Thicker coatings are perfect to cover minor imperfections like
tiny spider cracks and concrete flaws. The sealer quality of epoxy also makes it perfect for antidusting around the garage. To push the limits of epoxy, slip-resistant elements can be
introduced in order to create non-skid surfaces.

 

Best Garage Floor Epoxy Review

U. S. housing starts rise again | South Salem Real Estate

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have now published their findings for May new residential housing starts. The latest reading of 1.350M was above the Investing.com forecast of 1.310M and an increase from the previous month’s revised 1.286M. March figures were also revised.

Here is the opening of this morning’s monthly report:

Housing Starts

Privately-owned housing starts in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,350,000. This is 5.0 percent (±10.2 percent)* above the revised April estimate of 1,286,000 and is 20.3 percent (±14.4 percent) above the May 2017 rate of 1,122,000. Single-family housing starts in May were at a rate of 936,000; this is 3.9 percent (±10.6 percent)* above the revised April figure of 901,000. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 404,000. [link to report]

Here is the historical series for total privately owned housing starts, which dates from 1959. Because of the extreme volatility of the monthly data points, a 6-month moving average has been included.

The Population-Adjusted Reality

Here is the data with a simple population adjustment. The Census Bureau’s mid-month population estimates show substantial growth in the US population since 1959. Here is a chart of housing starts as a percent of the population. We’ve added a linear regression through the monthly data to highlight the trend.

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https://seekingalpha.com/article/4182741-new-residential-housing-starts-may

Americans haven’t been this optimistic about house prices since just before the crash | Chappaqua Real Estate

House prices are soaring and, despite warnings from some analysts, most Americans believe they will continue to soar.

A majority of U.S. adults (64%) continue to believe home prices in their local area will increase over the next year, a survey released Monday by polling firm Gallup concluded. That’s up nine percentage points over the past two years and is the highest percentage since before the housing market crash and Great Recession in the mid-2000s.

The level of optimism is edging closer to the 70% of adults in 2005 who said prices would continue rising. That, of course, was less than one year before the peak of the housing market bubble in early 2006, which was largely fueled by a wave of subprime lending. (Roughly one-quarter of respondents in both 2005 and 2018 said they believed house prices would remain the same.)

In 2009, during the depths of the Great Recession, only 22% of Americans believed house prices would rise. But optimism about the housing market has made a slow recovery—along with the market itself—in the intervening years. Today, only 10% in the Gallup survey believe prices will fall. That compares to 5% who felt similarly pessimistic in 2005, just two years before the crash.

 

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https://www.marketwatch.com/story/americans-havent-been-this-optimistic-about-buying-property-since-just-before-the-housing-crash-2018-05-07

Existing home sales increase 1.1% | Cross River Real Estate

Existing-home sales increased 1.1% in March, but remain down 1.2% from a year ago. The first-time buyer share of 30% is also down from 32% a year ago. The National Association of Realtors reported that 50% of homes sold last month were on the market less than a month. The March inventory increased 5.7%, but remains 7.2% below the level a year ago, and has decreased for 34 consecutive months on a year-over-year basis. At the current sales rate, the March unsold inventory represents a 3.6-month supply, down from a 3.8-month supply a year ago. March existing sales reached a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.60 million units, compared to 5.54 million in February. Total existing home sales include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.

Existing sales increased 6.3% in the Northeast and 5.7% in the Midwest, reversing weather-impacted declines last month. Existing sales declined slightly by 0.4% in the South and 3.1% in the West. Year-over-year sales increased 0.8% in the West and 0.4% in the South, while declining by 1.5% in the Midwest and 9.3% in the Northeast.

Homes stayed on the market for 30 days in March, down from 37 days In February.

The March all-cash sales share was 20%, down from 24% last month and 23% a year ago. Individual investors purchased a 15% share in March, unchanged from February, and down from 18% a year ago.

The March median sales price of $250,400 was up 5.8% from a year ago, representing the 73rd consecutive month of year-over-year increases. The March median condominium/co-op price of $236,100 was up 4.8% from a year ago.

The seasonal spring increase in demand is facing the combination of increasing mortgage rates and a tight inventory. However, the economy continues to add jobs, and new residential construction offers buyers a wider choice in homes. These prospective buyers contribute to builder confidence remaining in solid territory.

 

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eyeonhousing.org

NYC housing survey | Chappaqua Real Estate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Home prices will take a hit | North Salem Real Estate

Congressional Republicans reached a deal on a reconciled version of the House and Senate tax bills, and while experts are still sifting through the fine print to determine its potential impact, one thing seems clear: Home prices will take a hit.

This could be good news or bad news depending on whether you already own a house or are a prospective buyer, but a Moody’s Analytics report released Monday estimates that by the summer of 2019 home prices will be down nationally by 4 percent compared to where they’d be if no tax bill was passed.

To be clear: This doesn’t mean home prices will fall by 4 percent from where they are right now, but Moody’s estimates they’ll be 4 percent less in the future than they would be if current conditions held.

The drops are projected to hit hardest in markets where home prices are already high. East Coast cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. show heavy drops, as do West Coast cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles. South Florida and a few cities in the Midwest also stand to see substantial drops.

The home-price drops are mostly the result of three key provision changes in the tax bill, which could be signed by President Trump as early as this week: the lowered cap on mortgage-interest deductions (MID), from $1 million to $750,000; the cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions of $10,000; and the doubling of the standard deduction.

Currently, homeowners can deduct interest they pay on their homes and second homes on loans up to $1 million in value. While lowering the cap to $750,000 is a fairly modest measure—the House bill lowered it to $500,000, and the deduction’s many critics would like it repealed outright—it means wealthy homeowners in hot real estate markets are exposed to higher tax bills.

The same goes for SALT deductions. Currently, taxpayers can deduct what they pay in state and local property and income taxes from their federal returns. Under the new law, taxpayers can only claim a maximum of $10,000, although it can be any combination of income or property taxes. This hits high tax states like New York and New Jersey particularly hard.

Because the MID and SALT deductions are baked into the price of homes, eliminating or capping the deductions will inherently lower the value of homes that are particularly exposed to the MID cap or are in high tax areas.

The new standard deduction complicates things further. When taxpayers file federal returns, they have a choice between itemizing their deductions or taking the standard deduction. The new law will double the standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and from $12,700 to $24,000 couples.

It doesn’t make sense for taxpayers to itemize unless their deductions are greater than the standard deduction, and with the standard deduction doubling, fewer taxpayers will itemize. This will lead to fewer people taking the MID and SALT deductions, further weakening their value and thus home prices.

A recent Zillow report showed that under current law, roughly 44 percent of homes were worth enough to justify itemizing and taking the MID. Under the new law, only 14.4 percent are worth it.

 

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https://www.curbed.com/2017/12/18/16791532/tax-bill-home-prices-drop