9:00 am – 3:00 pm Rain or Shine North Castle Town Hall 15 Bedford Road Armonk, NY 10504
Welcome to Zero Waste Day! In order to ensure a safe and efficient event for our residents and volunteers, we ask that you please follow these simple rules to responsibly dispose of your unwanted items:
Drive slowly, and wait your turn. Traffic flows one way only.
Stay in your car and let our volunteers unload your items.
Follow all traffic signs and obey our volunteers’ directions.
To avoid bringing items that are not being collected, please carefully check the list below beforehand. Refer to Recyclopedia for alternative disposal options for items not being collected during Zero Waste Day.
Our Zero Waste Day participating organizations will be present behind Town Hall in the order listed below. Please consider this when loading your vehicle, so as to enable quick and efficient unloading.
Our Zero Waste Day collections change with each event. Please note the following:
Furniture Sharehouse is returning. See below for more information.
Stuffed animals and children’s books will NOT be collected.
Used Motor, Antifreeze and Cooking Oil Collection – collected by Enviro Waste Oil Recovery and American Alternative Energy
Used motor oil, used antifreeze, used oil filters and oily debris (rags)
Used vegetable oil (from a deep fat fryer)
For more information about Enviro Waste Oil Recovery, go to www.envirowasteoil.com
Scrap Metal Collection – collected by Suburban Carting
Metal file cabinets, metal bed frames, aluminum siding, outdoor grills, metal fence pieces, hot water tanks and heaters, treadmills, basketball hoops, antennas, metal appliances (washers, dryers, stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners*, toasters, coffee pots, mixers, microwaves, waffle irons, table top grills) and any other unwanted scrap metal items or pieces.
*Freon does not need to be removed prior to drop-off.
E-waste Collection – collected by Suburban Carting for RCR&R
Computers **(including laptops), TVs, CRTs, small scale servers, monitors (non-CRT), keyboards and mice, copiers and scanners, fax machines, printers, VCRs, DVRs, DVD players, electronic and video game consoles, portable digital music players, digital converter boxes, cable or satellite receivers, cell phones and PDAs, universal power supply battery back-ups, typewriters, telephones, telecommunications equipment, circuit boards, cables and wires, ink cartridges, electric motors, AV equipment, radios and speakers, cameras, rechargeable power tool batteries, lead acid and automobile batteries.
** To prevent identity fraud, remember to remove any stored personal information before drop-off. Simply deleting files does not completely erase the information on your computer’s hard drive.
For more information about Regional Computer Recovery and Recycling, go towww.ewaste.com.
Adult and Children’s Bicycles – collected by Recycle-a-Bicycle
Adult and children’s used bicycles in good condition, free of rust and major structural damage.
Bike parts and bike tools.
Paper Shredding – collected by USA Shred
Up to 6 total boxes of papers and/or hardcover books per household for shredding and disposal. Box size must not exceed 10”x12”x15”. Staples and paper clips need not be removed but metal clasps and binder clips are not permitted.
For more information about USA Shred, go to www.usashred.info
Dog and Cat Supplies – collected by Adopt-a-Dog
Wire dog crates, airline kennels from boarding kennels Melbourne, dog and cat beds and toys.
Linens in any condition (sheets, towels, comforters, blankets).
For a complete listing of items acceptable for donation, go to www.adoptadog.org.
Spring and Summer Clothing, Shoes and Linens – collected by Community Center of Northern Westchester
Clean, gently used spring and summer clothing and shoes for men, women and children.
Clean, gently used linens (sheets, towels, blankets, comforters).
For more information, please go to www.communitycenternw.org.
Household Furniture – collected by Furniture Sharehouse
For a complete list of items that are acceptable and not acceptable, please go towww.furnituresharehouse.org.
Please note these items will NOT BE COLLECTED during this Zero Waste Day.
Bulk Items. There will not be a container for bulk items. Arrange curbside pickup with Suburban Carting if you have bulk items.
This event is sponsored by the North Castle Recycling Committee and the Town of North Castle. We are in need of volunteers! Interested in helping as a committee member? Want to volunteer for events only? Please email us at email@example.com.
Homeowners in Italy are seeing many of their bills suspended – including mortgages – as the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic, and now other European nations are considering similar moves.
Is a “mortgage holiday” coming to America?
The short answer is: probably not. Most American mortgages are packaged into bonds with legal terms that dictate what the servicers who handle the billing can and can’t do. There are ways servicers can offer forbearance – an agreement to let borrowers either pay at a lower interest rate or suspend payments temporarily because of a hardship. But it’s on a case-by-case basis.
“Somebody owns those bonds,” said Mark Vitner, a senior economist with Wells Fargo. “Who is going to make those interest payments?”
Any missed or reduced payments typically have to be repaid, with interest. Sometimes, that means the loan will be re-amortized, so whatever you don’t pay now, you’ll be paying off over the remaining years of your loan, with interest.
America’s mortgage market is much bigger than Italy’s $423 billion of outstanding home-loan debt. The U.S. has about $11 trillion of mortgages on one- to four-family homes, according to Federal Reserve data. More than half of that is contained in bonds compiled and backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees those government-controlled mortgage securitizers, issued a directive last week urging servicers to offer help to people who fall behind on mortgage payments because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“To meet the needs of borrowers who may be impacted by the coronavirus, last week Fannie Mae and FreddieMac reminded mortgage servicers that hardship forbearance is an option for borrowers who are unable to make their monthly mortgage payment,” said FHFA Director Mark Calabria. “For borrowers that may be experiencing a hardship, I encourage you to reach out to your servicer.”
In addition, regulators such as the Federal Reserve on Tuesday urged U.S. banks such as Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase to work “constructively” with borrowers affected by the coronavirus outbreak, promising they won’t get dinged by examiners as long as the measures show good judgment.
Italy has been the nation with the biggest outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, outside of China. Italy has more than 15,000 cases, and more than 1,000 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.
While Italy is the only government to introduce a plan to suspend mortgage payments for people affected by the lockdown – and so far it’s only for the worst-hit areas of the nation – other European countries may follow suit, according to an S&P report.
“New monetary and fiscal stimulus measures are currently being launched daily and the Italian government is contemplating broadening the mortgage payment suspension scheme nationwide,” S&P said.
“Some banks and governments in other countries, including France, Spain, and the U.K., have mooted similar measures, although the potential scale of eligibility and level of uptake among borrowers could vary widely and are not yet known,” the report said.
The Rat is the first of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first.
The Rat is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支—dì zhī) Zi (子) and the midnight hours. In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳—yīn yáng), the Rat is yang and represents the beginning of a new day.
In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children.
Rats are clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life.
Recent years of the Rat are: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020.
Paired with the Celestial Stems (天干—Tiān gān), there is a 60-year calendrical cycle. Although zi is associated with water, the years also cycle through the five elements of nature (五行—wǔ xíng).
See the table below for the full details of each year.
Personality and characteristics
Optimistic and energetic, people born in the Rat year are likable by all. They are sensitive to other’s emotions but are stubborn with your opinion. Their personality is kind, but due to weak communication skills, their words may seem impolite and rude.
On the financial side, they like saving and can be stingy. However, their love for hoarding will sometimes cause them to waste money on unnecessary things.
These Rats tend to be reliable and live a stable life. They may hold some power and are able to turn unlucky events into fortune.
These Rats encounter hardships in the early days. They become successful during their middle ages and create a happy family. However, relatives and close friends may weigh them down.
These Rats are multi-talented. They are strong-willed and always finish what they begin.
These Rats have high IQs and EQs. They are average during youth, develop well in the middle ages and have great fortune later in life.
These Rats are good speakers. They’re the mood makers of a group, but can be slightly possessive. They face difficulties in their youth, but are generally able to withstand them.
Men born in the Rat year are clever and adapt quickly to new environments. They are creative great at taking advantage of opportunities. However, they sometimes lack the courage to do so. Although they have great ideas, they might not be suitable for leadership positions.
Women born in the Rat year are the traditional women. They love keeping things organized and place great value on the family. Everything is taken care of by them and there is no need for their husband to worry. Outside of home, they’re also someone with a sense of responsibility and ability.
The Earthly Branches of Rat and Horse clash strongly. No matter what a Rat does, it won’t be enough for the Horse.
Goats are attracted to Rat’s wealth and hope to control it, making it a rocky relationship.
The Rabbit will either purposely or unintentionally go against the Rat’s wishes, while the Rat can only keep silent.
Lucky things for Rats
Colors: blue, gold, green
Numbers: 2, 3
Flowers: lily, African violet, valley lily
Directions of auspiciousness: southeast, northeast
Directions of wealth: southeast, east
Directions of love: west
Colors: yellow, brown
Numbers: 5, 9
Careers fit for Rats
Because of their independence and imagination, they are suitable for creative jobs. These include authors, editors and artists. However, if they join a team, their creative outlet may be blocked.
Rats also pay attention to fine detail. They are fit for technical work, such as engineering and architecture.
They are alert, but have a lack of courage. This makes them unsuitable as police officers, entrepreneurs or other leadership and political positions. Although Rats make good financial decisions, they should be careful not to invest with a close friend. It will not only cause money problems, but also affect the friendship.
Health and lifestyle
Since childhood, Rats have frail health. They have energetic personalities, but tire quickly. They catch colds often, but thankfully do not have serious illnesses.
They are sensitive to change in temperature. Not only is cold weather unbearable for them, they also can’t stand hot weather. But despite seeming weak and not being able to perform hard physical work, they enjoy longevity.
Rats can eat anything, whether they are delicacies or plain food. However, they should pay attention to their diet. Many times, they will get too into work and forget to eat. Going long periods without food and suddenly bingeing cause problems in their digestive system. Enemies of their health also include smoking and drinking habits.
For a healthy life, Rats must remember to eat breakfast, do moderate exercise and remain cheerful.
Rats in the Year of the Rat (2020)
Although a zodiac’s year is traditionally the most unfortunate, laden with bad omens and mishaps, 2020 will perform reasonably well for the Rat. Success will come in the form of career; celebrate the fact that your efforts will be rewarded and seen. On the other hand, your health and relationships will prove to be a struggle. Visit your doctor at the first sign of illness, and work toward creating a loving, open environment for all of your relationships. The year will have its issues, but the positive factors can turn it around.
Even though the year will be a challenge in many areas, the Rat’s career will not be among them. Success will flourish in the workplace, yielding benefits of all kinds. Hard work will be rewarded; your clever skills, quick-thinking, and optimism will drive you forward. Exclusive bonuses will come to those born in the first half of the year. Rats born in the following months will have to push a bit harder for their goals.
Finances will be booming for the entirety of the year! Your income might even double. It would do you well to save and invest your hard-earned money. Try to avoid spending it all on luxurious items and vacations. Instead, splurge on little experiences here and there. Take your family to a theme park or your husband on a dinner date. Your girlfriend might enjoy a trip to the fair.
Lucky Months: March, September, and November.
Unlucky Months: April, July, and October.
The Rat will maintain a decent academic standing in their educational studies. Hard work will be valued and necessary. With the right amount of focus on your studies, you will surely meet your goals. Be wary of your well-being; stress over your course schedule might get you down and even cause illness. Avoid sickness by pairing vitamins with at least seven to eight hours of sleep and proper nutrition. Although you might want to enjoy a full social calendar, it would be better to take some downtime to recuperate.
Vulnerable to sicknesses, like colds and fatigue, the Rat will have to be extra careful in 2020. At the first sign of symptoms, head to your general practitioner immediately. The faster you get medicine and the treatment you need, the quicker you will heal. To stay healthy, do your body a favor and eat more proteins and vegetables; boost your immune system by adding vitamins to your diet as well. As a general rule, proper diet, exercise, and sleep keep one healthy.
Luck is also not in your favor this year for love. Romance will be hard to come by for married couples and singles alike. You will face many struggles throughout the year; however, your innate positivity will help you push through hard times. If you’re single, it is best to avoid longing for a partner this year. The likelihood of finding someone long-term is very low. Instead, have fun and enjoy the freedom of not being tied down romantically. Enjoy light conversation, some partying (but not too much) and meet new people. Take this bad news and look for the bright side!
The same misfortune goes for married couples; be on the lookout for challenges in your relationship. Petty arguments, financial battles, or suspicions might plague your love-life. When these issues surface, don’t let them fester. Deal with everything head on to experience a better year. Focus on the love you have for your partner; this person is your home, your safe zone, and your beloved. Keep yourself grounded in love.
Rats will experience both successes and failures in the Year of the Rat. Success will show itself in the workplace and education, while relationships and health will be the areas that suffer. Overall, the year has a far better outlook than one’s typical zodiac year suggests. Rats should rejoice in their good fortune. Their natural ability to create success is a gift, a gift that will prove itself in financial gain. If you are feeling nervous about the year ahead, protect yourself with a Buddha statue. And have hope for good times to come amidst misfortune.
Housing could fuel economic growth for the first part of 2020, a new economic outlook from Fannie Mae shows.
Fannie Mae upgraded its economic outlook to a gross domestic product growth of 1.9% in 2020, according to its latest commentary from the Economic and Strategic Research Group. This is due to expected easing trade tensions, stimulative fiscal policies and continued consumer spending
This year, the third quarter added to GDP growth for the first time in more than 1.5 years, Fannie Mae’s data shows. And this growth is expected to continue into the second quarter of 2020.
Fannie Mae explained housing should also continue to function as a positive contributor to growth in the near term, as indicated by both new and existing single-family home sales advancing in the third quarter, as well as pending home sales, permits, and starts. However, persistent supply and affordability constraints continue to hold back household formation, inhibiting housing market activity.
“As we forecasted, housing supported the larger economy in the third quarter, and we expect it to continue to play a productive role through the first half of 2020,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae senior vice president and chief economist. “Positive contributions from single-family housing construction, home improvements, and brokers fees pushed residential fixed investment growth to a robust 5.1% annualized pace this past quarter, and we forecast continued but moderating strength as construction activity and home sales growth continue at a slower pace.”
“With mortgage rates normalizing, we expect a decline in refinance activity in 2020, with the refinance share of originations dropping from a projected 37% in 2019 to 31%,” Duncan said. “Of course, the housing market as a whole remains constrained by the persistent supply and affordability issues, which is particularly unfortunate given the current strength of consumer demand for reasonably priced homes.”
Housing is contributing to growth, but consumer spending is expected to remain the primary driver of economic growth for the forecast horizon, and business fixed investment will benefit as additional corporate expenditures work to meet consumer demand.
“Even as global uncertainties mount, we continue to expect the domestic economy to produce solid, if not spectacular, growth,” Duncan said. “A stronger-than-expected third quarter contributed to the downward revision to our fourth-quarter forecast, as some of the previously expected weakness in trade and inventories appears likely to have been pushed back into this quarter. Still, consumer spending is likely to continue driving the expansion forward, and with the passage of the budget act and a reprieve in trade tensions we’ve revised upward our forecast for full-year 2020 growth.”
But risks still remain on the horizon. For example, trade talks between the U.S. and China continue to pose negative risks to economic growth. And because of this uncertainty, Fannie Mae predicts we could see one last rate cut from the Federal Reserve in early 2029 before pausing for the rest of the year.
“We also continue to expect the Fed to cut interest rates only one more time in the foreseeable future, in early 2020, as a hedge against the sizeable downside risks and to counteract muted inflation,” Duncan said.
California is one step away from enacting statewide rent control after the state’s two legislative bodies both approved the measure.
The bill will cap annual rent increases by 5%, including the rate of inflation. In addition to the rent cap, a bill known as AB-1482, the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, will allow “just cause” eviction policies to qualified housing in California.
The bill was approved this week by the California State Senate and the California State Assembly.
The bill now moves to the desk of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is expected to sign the bill into law.
When Newsom signs the bill, the bill would make the state one of the few in the nation with statewide rent control.
California, one of the nation’s priciest housing markets, is following Oregon’s footsteps in enacting rent control. In March, Oregon approved a law placing an annual limit on rent increases of 7% plus inflation.
The bill appears to have Newsom’s support, as the governor tweeted that “The rent is too damn high — so we’re damn sure doing something about it” and “Because there should be a cap on how much you pay for rent…Because your landlord shouldn’t be able to evict you for no reason.”
“In this year’s State of the State address, I asked the Legislature to send me a strong renter protection package. Today, they sent me the strongest package in America,” Newsom said in a statement after the Assembly passed the bill. “These anti-gouging and eviction protections will help families afford to keep a roof over their heads, and they will provide California with important new tools to combat our state’s broader housing and affordability crisis. I would like to thank Assembly Speaker Rendon, Senate President pro Tempore Atkins, Assembly member Chiu and the bill’s co-authors for passing this legislation, as well as the broad coalition of stakeholders whose persistence allowed this bill to move forward.”
The move is a reversal from what happened in the state nearly a year ago. In the November 2018 election, California voters shot down a previous rent control initiative, Proposition 10. The proposal would have to capped annual rent increases to prevent unjust evictions.
Proposition 10 was aimed to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. In 1995, California passed the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, limiting the use of rent control and prohibiting local governments from imposing caps on single-family homes and condos.
According to the California Secretary of State, 61.7% of voters were against repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, while a mere 38.3% voted for it.
As the tax deadline nears, residents of some states are bearing the brunt of it more than others.
Alaska, Delaware, Montana, Wyoming, and Nevada are the best five states in the U.S. when it comes to taxes, according to an analysis by WalletHub, while Illinois, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, and Nebraska are the worst.
A 2018 study by Kiplinger placed Alaska, Wyoming, and Nevada in its top five states for taxpayers, with Illinois and New York in the bottom five.
Best and worst states for a variety of reasons
WalletHub looked at four different types of taxation: Real-Estate Tax, Vehicle Property Tax, Income Tax, and Sales & Excise Tax.
Here’s a breakdown of each, based on WalletHub’s data:
Being a homeowner in New Jersey isn’t cheap at all — in fact, NJ residents see the highest effective real-estate tax (otherwise known as property tax) rate in the country, at 8.13%. Trailing behind are Illinois (7.71%), New Hampshire (7.33%), Connecticut (6.89%), and Wisconsin (6.47%). WalletHub calculated these rates by dividing the effective median real estate tax in that state to the median income.
Gas also taxes play a role. Alaska pays the lowest per gallon, followed by Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Arizona. Pennsylvania pays the highest amount, with coastal states California, Washington, Hawaii, and New York not far behind.
And if property taxes are an issue, note that Hawaii has the lowest rate at 0.90%. Alabama, Louisiana, D.C., and Colorado aren’t far behind, all under 2%.
In terms of taxing residents income states like Alaska, Florida, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming all have a 0% rate. Yet, in Kentucky, residents pay a 5.01% tax on their income. Maryland, Oregon, and Pennsylvania are pricey too, with tax rates above 4% on their residents.
Sales and excise tax (also known as consumption tax) rates vary across the country, as well. Oregon, Montana, New Hampshire, Delaware, and Alaska are all well below 2%. However, Washington and South Dakota’s rates are significantly higher at 8.65%. Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas are also above 6%.
Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “The Federal Reserve’s concern about the prospects for slowing economic growth caused investor jitters to drive down mortgage rates by the largest amount in over ten years. Despite negative outlooks by some, the economy continues to churn out jobs, which is great for housing demand. We have recently seen home sales start to recover and with this week’s rate drop we expect a continued rise in purchase demand.”
30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.06 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending March 28, 2019, down from last week when it averaged 4.28 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.40 percent.
15-year FRM this week averaged 3.57 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.71 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.90 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.
By Na Zhao, Ph.DNAHB Economics and Housing Policy GroupReport available to the public as a courtesy of HousingEconomics.com
This article announces NAHB’s “priced out estimates” for 2019, showing how higher home prices and interest rates affect housing affordability. The 2019 U.S. estimates indicate that a $1,000 increase in the median new home price would price 127,560 U.S. households out of the market. In other words, 127,560 households would qualify for the new home mortgage before the change, but not afterwards. Similarly, 25 basis points added to the current mortgage rate would price out around 1 million households. The article also includes priced out estimates for individual states and more than 300 metropolitan areas.
The Priced Out Methodology and Data
The NAHB Priced Out model uses the ability to qualify a mortgage to measure housing affordability, because most home buyers finance their new home purchase with conventional loans,  and because convenient underwriting standards for these loans exist. The standard NAHB adopts for its priced-out estimates is that the sum of the mortgage payment (including the principal amount, loan interest, property tax, homeowners’ property and private mortgage insurance premiums (PITI), is no more than 28 percent of monthly gross household income.
As a result the number of households that qualify for mortgages for a certain priced home depends on the household income distribution in an area and the mortgage interest rate at that time. The most recent detailed household income distributions for all states and metro areas are from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). NAHB adjusts the income distributions to reflect the income and population changes that may happen from 2017 to 2019. The income distribution is adjusted for inflation using the 2018 median family income published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for all states and metro areas, and then extrapolated it into 2019. The number of households in 2019 is projected by the growth rate of households from 2016 to 2017.
The assumptions of the priced out calculation include a 10% s down payment and a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, at an interest rate of 4.85%. For a loan with this down payment, private mortgage insurance is required by lenders and also included as part of PITI. The typical private mortgage insurance annual premium is 73 basis points, based on the standard assumption of national median credit score of 738 and 10% down payment and 30-year fixed mortgage rate. Effective local property tax rates are calculated using data from the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS) summary files. Homeowner’s insurance rates are constructed from the 2016 ACS Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS). According to Brisbane property valuers, for the U.S. as a whole, the property tax is $12 per $1,000 of property value and the homeowner insurance is $4 per $1,000 property value.
Under these assumptions, 32.7 million of the 122.5 million U.S. households could afford to buy a new median priced home at $355,183 in 2019. A $1,000 home price increase thus would price 127,560 households out of the market for this home. These are the households that can qualify for a mortgage before a $1,000 increase but not afterwards, as shown in Table 1 below.
State and Local Estimates
The number of priced out households varies across both states and metropolitan areas, largely affected by the sizes of local population and the affordability of new homes. The 2019 priced-out estimates for all states and the District of Columbia are shown in Table 2 (available in the Additional Resources box), which presents the projected 2019 median new home price and the amount of income needed to qualify the mortgage, and the number of households could be priced out if price goes up by $1,000. Among all the states, Texas registered the largest number of households priced out of the market by a $1,000 increase in the median-priced home in the state (11,152), followed by California (9,897), and Ohio (7,341).
Table 3, which is available in the Additional Resources box, shows the 2019 priced-out estimates for 382 metropolitan statistical areas. The metropolitan area with the largest priced out effect, in terms of absolute numbers, is Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI, where 4,499 households are squeezed out of the market for a new median-priced home if price increases by $1,000. This is largely because Chicago is a populous metropolitan area with a large number of households; and, compared to the largest metropolitan areas on the East and West costs, the median priced home is more affordable to begin with. Around 27% of households there are capable of buying new median-priced homes. For similar reasons, Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX metro area, where nearly 33% of households can afford median-priced new homes.to begin with, registered the second largest number of priced out households (3,546), where nearly 33% of households can afford median-priced new homes. In New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA, 3,531 households are squeezed out of the housing market for a new median-priced home if price increases by $1,000. Compared to Chicago or Houston, the median-priced new home is affordable to a smaller share of the households in New York, but New York is the largest metro area by population size with over 7 million households.
The NAHB 2019 priced-out estimates also present how interest rates affect the number of households would be priced out of the new home market. If the mortgage interest rate goes up, the monthly mortgage payments will increase as well and therefore higher household income thresholds to qualify a mortgage loan. Table 4 shows the number of households priced out of the market for a new median priced home at $355,183 by each 25 basis-point increase in interest rate from 2.85% to 10.85%. When interest rates goes up from 2.85% to 3.10%, around 1.26 million households could no longer afford buying median-priced new homes. An increase from 4.85% to 5.10% could price approximately one million households out of the market. However, about 423,000 households would be squeezed out of the market if interest rate goes up to 10.85% from 10.6%. This diminishing effects happen because only a few households at the thinner end of household income distribution will be affected. On the contrary, when interest rates are relatively low, 25 basis-point increase would affect a larger number of households at the thicker part of income distribution.
FootnotesAccording to the 2017 American Housing Survey (funded by HUD and conducted by the Census Bureau), 74 percent of the home buyers who moved into their homes in 2016 or 2017 had a regular primary mortgage on the home.Private mortgage insurance premium (PMI) is obtained from the PMI Cost Calculator( https://www.hsh.com/calc-pmionly.html)Median credit score information is shown in the article “Four ways today’s high home prices affect the larger economy” October 2018 Urban Institute https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/four-ways-todays-high-home-prices-affect-larger-economyProducing metro level estimates from the ACS PUMS involves aggregating Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA) level data according to the latest definitions of metropolitan areas. Due to complexity of these procedures and since metro level insurance rates tend to remain stable over time, NAHB revises these estimates only periodically.
Pending home sales declined slightly in November on an annualized basis for the eleventh straight month. The Pending Home Sales Index decreased by 0.7% from 102.1 in October to 101.4 in November, and was 7.7% below the level one year ago. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) is a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
According to NAR, the decline in PHSI may not fully capture the current situation, as it did not reflect the impact of recent favorable conditions mortgage rates. But the housing market has been slowing down this year due to rising mortgage rates.
The PHSI increased 2.7% and 2.8% in the Northeast and West, but decreased 2.3% and 2.7% in the Midwest and South. Year-over-year, the PHSI declined in all regions, ranging from a decline of 3.5% in the Northeast to a decrease of 12.2% in the West. NAR stated that the annual drop in the West may be explained by the growing concerns of affordability due to rapidly increasing home prices in the region.
Existing sales slightly increased in November, but builder confidence fell in December to its lowest value since May 2015 as concerns over housing affordability persist. However, NAR anticipates a solid long-term prospect for home sales, as the current home sales level matches sales in 2000 while more jobs are created now compared to the early 2000’s.