Category Archives: Chappaqua

Mortgage rates increase to 3.91% | Chappaqua Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQBFMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate posting its biggest week-over-week increase since July 2017.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.91 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending October 12, 2017, up from last week when it averaged 3.85 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.47 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.21 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.15 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.76 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.16 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.18 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.82 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.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.
“The 30-year mortgage rate increased for a second consecutive week, jumping 6 basis points to 3.91 percent. The 10-year Treasury yield also rose, climbing 4 basis points this week.”

Tax reform ideas | Chappaqua Real Estate

Details leaking out about the Republican tax reform plan hint that while two popular deductions would remain intact, they’d become useless to the majority of taxpayers who now take advantage of them.

GOP lawmakers have signaled they’ll retain the tax breaks for mortgage interest and charitable contributions even as they pursue eliminating others.

Yet given that President Donald Trump today said the plan is to nearly double the standard deduction, “many current itemizers would choose that instead, so a lot less people would use those deductions,” said Joseph Rosenberg, a senior research associate at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.

Currently, taxpayers choose between the standard deduction or itemized deductions and use whichever amount is greater to reduce their tax bill. For 2017, the standard deduction is $6,350 for individual taxpayers, $9,350 for heads of households and $12,700 for joint filers.

Construction on a new home.

Peter Cade | Getty Images
Construction on a new home.

In other words, if those amounts nearly double as discussed by both Trump and congressional Republicans, a married couple would need deductions to exceed $24,000 to make itemizing worthwhile.

The Tax Policy Center estimates that of the 45 million tax filers who itemize, 38 million, or 84 percent, would opt for the $24,000 standard deduction because it would exceed the combined value of other deductions available to them.

Trump is expected to deliver a speech Wednesday in Indianapolis that will offer more specifics about what plan will emerge in Congress, although it’s unclear how detailed the reveal will be.

Who uses the mortgage interest deduction, by income

Income range*
# of filings
Total amount
0 to $50,000 2.32 million $1.11 billion
$50,000 to $100,000 9.77 million $9.19 billion
$100,000 to $200,000 14.6 million $24.85 billion
$200,000 & up 7.18 million $29.78 billion
Totals: 33.87 million $64.93 billion
Source: 2016 data from Joint Committee on Taxation report. *Income ranges include AGI plus variety of untaxed items (i.e., employer contributions to health care plan, nontaxable social security benefits, etc.)

The deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions have been a political third rail in the past, due largely to the idea that they spur home ownership and charitable giving. Yet of all taxpayers, only about 20 percent take advantage of each deduction for mortgage interest and charitable contributions, according to the tax policy center.

Of the roughly one-third of taxpayers who do itemize, roughly three-quarters use each of the deductions. The biggest benefits tend to go to higher-income taxpayers.

For instance, the 7.18 million filers with incomes of $200,000 or more will reduce their taxable income by $29.78 billion this year from using the mortgage interest deduction, according to tax expenditure estimates from the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.

Charitable giving deduction use by income

Income range
# of filings
Total amount
0 to $50,000 2.38 million $526 million
$50,000 to $100,000 10 million $4.37 billion
$100,000 to $200,000 15.2 million $11.93 billion
$200,000 $ up 8.2 million $40.73 billion
Totals: 35.8 million $57.55 billion
Source: 2016 data from Joint Committee on Taxation report. *Income ranges include AGI plus variety of untaxed items (i.e., employer contributions to health care plan, nontaxable social security benefits, etc.)

In comparison, the 14.6 million filers with incomes of $100,000 to $200,000 will save less: $24.85 billion. Filers with incomes below that have even smaller tax savings.

Likewise, the 8.2 million filers with incomes above $200,000 will save a collective $40.7 billion this year by using the charitable deduction. The 15.2 million filers with incomes of $100,000 to $200,000 will reduce their tax bill by $11.9 billion.

Nonprofit groups and the home building industry are concerned about what reduced utilization of those deductions would mean for home ownership and charitable giving.

“It marginalizes the mortgage interest deduction,” said J.P. Delmore, assistant vice president of government affairs for the National Association of Home Builders. “We’d see the effect where a small number of homeowners would benefit, and that’s not the direction anyone is looking to go with tax reform.”

Cost of select tax deductions

Deduction
Cost 2016-2020
Mortgage interest $357 billion
State and local taxes $368.8 billion
Charitable contributions* $230.5 billion
Property taxes $180 billion
Medical & long-term care expenses $56.6 billion
Student loan interest $11.9 billion
Teacher classroom expenses $1.2 billion
Source: Joint Committee on Taxation Jan, 30, 2017 report *Excludes education- and health-related donations

The National Association of Realtors also has expressed concern that home prices would suffer if the mortgage interest deduction were to become useless to most homeowners.

The group released a study in May showing that if elements similar to GOP’s 2016 plan went into effect, home values would fall by more than 10.2 percent on average in the near term.

The study also found that homeowners with income of $50,000 to $200,000 would face an average tax increase of $815 while non-homeowners in that range would get an average tax cut of $516.

“This is an emerging issue [lawmakers] don’t intend to create,” Delmore said. “But we hope there’s an opportunity to find a solution so that homeowners have a meaningful tax incentive that doesn’t involve being marginalized and benefiting only the wealthy.”

read more…

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/26/gop-tax-plan-could-trash-the-value-of-two-popular-tax-breaks.html

Millennials are buying homes | Chappaqua Real Estate

Low housing inventory continues to increase competition among homebuyers, but that isn’t deterring Millennials, according to the latest Ellie Mae Millennial Tracker report.

Even in some of the most expensive markets, purchase loans among Millennials continued to increase in April. Purchase loans increased to 89% of the market share in April, up from 88% the month before.

And as purchase loans increased, refinances continued to drop. Closed refinance loans fell to 10% of all loans, down from 11% the previous month.

Millennials even accounted for the majority of closed loans in several metropolitan statistical areas including Bardstown, Kentucky, where Millennials made up 73% of closed loans, Hobbs, New Mexico, with 71%, Dalton, Georgia, with 65%, Victoria, Texas, with 63% and Appleton, Wisconsin, with 63%.

Millennials tend to gravitate toward affordable housing markets in the Midwest and Southeast, however, they are also showing a strong presence in some expensive big cities. Over the past three years, the number of Millennials who closed loans increased in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“This new generation of homebuyers is making its presence felt across the country,” said Joe Tyrrell, Ellie Mae executive vice president of corporate strategy. “Since the beginning of 2016, the percentage of Millennials purchasing homes in the Bay Area has actually increased from 16% to 20%.”

The New York area saw an increase from 19% in 2015 to 24% in 2017. The growth is even higher in areas such as Chicago and Dallas, which increased from 22% to 31% and 21% to 31% for the same time period respectively.

“In this purchase centric market, we anticipate a continued rise in more creative lending products to help increase Millennials’ access to credit and continue to counter concerns that rising interest rates will stifle volume,” Tyrrell said.

 

read more…

 

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/40374-millennials-undaunted-by-competitive-housing-market?eid=311691494&bid=1780366

Teatown donation | Chappaqua Real Estate

OSI Donates 40 Acres to Teatown

On April 27, the Open Space Institute donated 40 acres, known as the “Overlook Parcel” to Teatown. Under a conservation easement held by Westchester Land Trust, it is now permanently protected.

We made it official this past Thursday with a ribbon-cutting, attended by Teatown board members, Merrilee Ingui of Open Space Institute, and Lori Ensigner of Westchester Land Trust.

You may already be familiar with this parcel, which is home to one of our popular trails: the Overlook Trail. Teatown has been managing this land for twenty years, making it an instrumental piece of our preserve.

Camp

 

Teatown Natural Science Day Camp
Our camp’s mission is to provide a safe, non-competitive summer haven where kids can be kids, learn by exploring, discover new things about themselves, each other and the earth, and develop friendships and respect for all living things. Click here to learn more.
Experience Wildflower Island

 

June 3
11am-1pm, FREE (ages 10+, no dogs)

Stroll the winding paths and enjoy the beauty of Teatown from a different perspective! Guides will be stationed in the Gatehouse to answer questions.

Teatown Dog Park

 

Teatown is evaluating the possibility of creating a members-only dog park. We’re interested in your feedback!
In the Gallery
May & June

 

Photography literally means “writing with light”. In May and June, H. David Stein presents his photographs in “Flowers in a Different Light” at Teatown’s Nature Center. Through innovative use of different types of light directed from different directions, his flowers appear to glow from within.
Teatown Request for Proposals for Master Planning Project
Opened on May 19. Bids due on June 12.
 
Upcoming Programs
Online registration is here!
Please register by visiting teatown.eventbrite.com or by calling (914) 762-2912, ext.110.
Advanced registration is required for all programs. $7 per person or free for members, unless otherwise noted.
PESTICIDES ALL AROUND US: SOLUTIONS TO THIS POLLUTION
June 2, Friday, 8:30am-10:30am FREE
Join Conservation Café—a consortium of seven Westchester County-based partners—for a discussion on pesticides. Learn about the current status of pesticide use regionally and statewide, the impact of pesticides, and community-based efforts to reduce the use of pesticides. For adults. Taking place at Pace University, Kessel Student Center, Gottesman Room.
HIKE TO TEATOWN HILL
June 4, Sunday, 10am-12pm
Teatown’s new Hilltop Trail climbs the highest point at Teatown for a great view of the Hudson Highlands. We’ll be on the lookout for hawks, and warblers, snakes and butterflies. For everyone.
POLLINATION STATION
June 10, Saturday, 11am-12pm

Flowers are pollination stations! Just how does pollen get to where it has to go? What role do animals play in pollination? By dissecting a flower we’ll see what the buzz is about, and learn why protecting our native pollinators is vital. For families.

BREEDING BIRDS AT FAHNESTOCK STATE PARK
June 12, Monday, 7am FREE

Fahnestock’s higher elevation and forested paths offer many opportunities to spot a variety of warblers, vireos, hawks and other birds. For Adults. Meet at the Pelton Pond Parking area on Rte. 301.

INVASIVE FOREST PEST WORKSHOP
June 14, Wednesday, 10am-3pm
Learn how to identify new forest pests invading our region, long-term mitigation and management strategies for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid or Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), and how to become involved in efforts to monitor pests, block pathways of introduction or locate EAB-resistant ash. For adults.
Unless otherwise noted, all programs meet in the Nature Center. Some programs fill up, so please register early.
Your support matters
Your donation can make an immediate impact and help support our environmental education programs and the stewardship of our 1,000 acre
preserve.

FHFA: Home prices continue climbing in first quarter | Chappaqua Real Estate

Home prices rose during each month of the first quarter, continuing a climb that began in the early part of this decade, a new report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed.

The FHFA’s House Price Index for March, which is the most recent data available, showed that seasonally adjusted monthly index for March was up 0.6% from February.

Overall, house prices rose 1.4% during the first quarter of 2017, the FHFA report showed. On a year-over-year basis, house prices rose 6% from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017.

“The steep, multi-year rise in U.S. home prices continued in the first quarter,” FHFA Deputy Chief Economist Andrew Leventis said.

“Mortgage rates during the quarter remained slightly elevated relative to most of last year, but demand for homes remained very strong,” Leventis added. “With housing inventories still languishing at extremely low levels, the strong demand led to another exceptionally large quarterly price increase.”

Low inventory is also a concern of the National Association of Realtors, as its latest existing home sales report showed that home sales fell in April and homes flew off the market at a rate not seen since 2011.

The FHFA report also showed that home prices rose in 48 states and the District of Columbia between the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.

FHFA monthly home price index March 2017

(Click the image to enlarge. Image courtesy of the FHFA.)

According to the FHFA report, the top five areas in annual appreciation were: District of Columbia at 13.9% Colorado at 10.7%; Idaho at 10.3%; Washington at 10.2%; and New Hampshire at 9.5%.

The FHFA report also showed that among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., the annual price increase in Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Michigan was the highest in the nation, at 13.7%.

Prices were weakest in San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, California, where prices fell by 2.5%.

Of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division showed the strongest increase in the first quarter, with a 2% quarterly increase and a 7.7% increase since the first quarter of 2016, the FHFA report showed.

read more…

 

http://www.housingwire.com/articles/40199-fhfa-home-prices-continue-climbing-in-first-quarter?eid=311691494&bid=1765052

NAR: Existing home sales will see best year since 2006 | Chappaqua Real Estate

Single-family existing home sales are set to see their best year since 2006, driven by robust job gains and improving household confidence, according to the forecast from the National Association of Realtors.

While existing home sales are increasing, low levels of supply and rising affordability concerns are creating headwinds for sales and threatening the low homeownership rate.

The first quarter came in with the best sales pace for existing homes in a decade; NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects that pace to continue, finishing off 2017 with 5.62 million sales, the best pace since 2006. This would represent an increase of 3.5% from 2016.

And home sales aren’t the only thing predicted to rise. NAR also forecasts an increase of 5% in existing home prices in 2017.

However, starter home shortage continue to plague the housing market and discourage would-be first time homebuyers.

“We have been under the 50-year average of single-family housing starts for 10 years now,” Yun said. “Limited lots, labor shortages, tight construction lending and higher lumber costs are impeding the building industry’s ability to produce more single-family homes.”

“There’s little doubt first-time buyer participation would improve and the homeownership rate would rise if there was simply more inventory,” he said.

Yun predicted new home starts will rise 8.4% to 1.27 million in 2017. While an increase from the current pace, this is still 1.5 million homes below the amount needed to make up for insufficient building in recent years. New home sales are also expected to rise 8.4% from last year to 620,000 sales.

Jonathan Spader, Joint Center for Housing Studies senior research associate at Harvard University, joined Yun at the 2017 Realtors Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo to discuss the 2017 forecast. He explained the homeownership rate will hover between 61% and 65.1% as it faces headwinds such as an aging population, changes in family type and increasing diversity by race and ethnicity.

“Stagnant household incomes, rising rental costs, student loan debt and limited supply have all contributed to slower purchasing activity,” Spader said. “When the homeownership rate stabilizes, there will be an increase in homeowner households. Young and minority households’ ability to reach the market will play a big role in how much the actual rate can rise in coming years.”

But while home sales continue to rise to decade highs, economic growth is at its slowest since World War II. Mark Calabria, chief economist and assistant to Vice President Mike Pence, explained at the conference the housing market cannot be strong without a solid economic foundation.

“A strong labor market will drive a strong housing market, but you can’t have a strong housing market without a strong economic foundation,” Calabria said. “The recovery has been uneven with roughly 70 counties making up roughly half of all job growth.”

And while the first quarter gross domestic product did come in at a disappointing 0.7% growth, the second quarter will see an increase to about 2.2%, Yun said.

Yun predicts two more rate hikes this year to bring mortgage rates to an average 4.3% by the end of 2017, and climbing towards 5% in 2018.

“There was a lot of uncertainty at the start of the year, but a very strong first quarter sets the stage for a modest sales increase compared to last year,” Yun said. “However, prices are still rising too fast in many areas and are outpacing incomes.”

read more…

 

http://www.housingwire.com/articles/40160-nar-existing-home-sales-will-see-best-year-since-2006?eid=311691494&bid=1759920

Top empty nester cities | Chappaqua Real Estate

Zillow, an online marketplace, conducted a study to show the top 10 housing markets for empty nesters in the U.S.

As it turns out, the pricey markets and places with weak labor markets have the highest concentrations of empty nests, the report, which is based on the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data from 2015, shows.

And the lowest densities of empty nesters are found in booming cities with strong job markets, retirement communities and new family-oriented areas.

In other words, this study by Ellie Mae which shows where Millennials flock will be the last places you might find empty nesters. And you can count metros in Florida and California off the list as well.

Empty nests are homes where the heads of the household are 55 years or older, own the home and have lived in it 10 or more years; there are no children of any age living in the home. These homes are gaining ground as the Baby Boomers age, rising to 15.5% of all households in 2015.

Here are the top 10 metros with the highest percentage of empty nesters:

10. Baltimore, Maryland – 17%

Baltimore city

9. Louisville, Kentucky – 17.2%

8. Virginia Beach, Virginia – 17.4%

7. Detroit, Michigan – 17.9%

skyline

6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 18.2%

5. Birmingham, Alabama – 18.3%

Alabama

4. Richmond, Virginia – 18.6%

3. Cleveland, Ohio – 19.4%

Ohio

2. Buffalo, New York – 20.1%

1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – 20.2%

skyline

read more…

 

http://www.housingwire.com/articles/40071-here-are-the-top-10-metros-for-empty-nesters?eid=311691494&bid=1748890

Mortgage rates average 4.23% | Chappaqua Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average mortgage rates dropping after two consecutive weeks of increases.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.23 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending March 23, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 4.30 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.71 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.44 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.50 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.96 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.24 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.28 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.89 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.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“The 10-year Treasury yield fell about 10 basis points this week. The 30-year mortgage rate moved with Treasury yields and dropped 7 basis points to 4.23 percent. This marks the greatest week-over-week decline for the 30-year mortgage rate in over two months, a stark contrast from last week’s jump following the FOMC announcement.”

Age of Housing Stock by State | Chappaqua Real Estate

According to the latest data from the 2015 American Community Survey (ACS), the median age of owner-occupied homes is 37 years. The age of housing stock is not evenly distributed across the United States. Among the states, New York has the oldest homes with a median age of 57 years old, followed by Massachusetts at 53 years. The median age of homes in the District of Columbia, which is entirely urban, is 75 years. The newest homes are in the West. The median age of homes in Nevada is only 20 years, followed by Arizona where half of all owner-occupied homes were built in the last 24 years ago.

The geographic distribution of the age of the owner-occupied housing stock is strongly correlated with population changes from 2000 to 2015. The population changes, including both natural growth and net migration, signal the rising demand for housing. States with faster population growth tend to have newer housing stock.

The age of the housing stock is an important remodeling market indicator. Older houses are less energy-efficient than new construction and ultimately will require remodeling and renovation in the future.

 

 

read more…

 

http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/01/age-of-housing-stock-by-state/

Facebook CEO smart house | Chappaqua Real Estate

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave users a unique look into his home, as part of an explanation of his custom-made artificially intelligent assistant.

Building on Facebook’s internal technology for Messenger app building, Zuckerberg made an iPhone app, Jarvis, to connect the smart devices and phones around his home, similar to Amazon’s Echo. In explaining his progress in the app, Zuckerberg somewhat jokingly revealed some of the quirks of his lifestyle with his wife, Priscilla Chan.

For instance, Jarvis wakes Zuckerberg’s daughter, Max, up to a Mandarin lesson, thanks to Facebook’s visual face detection which determines when the infant is awake. This same technology helps Zuckerberg recognize who’s ringing his doorbell, he said.

We also know Zuckerberg has a pretty extensive set of Spotify playlists and someone in the family may be an Adele fan.

Zuckerberg also showed an interface to request a clean gray T-shirt — his signature look — from what he called a rigged-up ” T-shirt cannon.” He has also ginned up a special 1950’s-era toaster “that will let you push the bread down while it’s powered off so you can automatically start toasting when the power goes on.”

Creating the assistant was one of Zuckerberg’s yearly resolutions, which have also included running a mile a day, reading a new book every other week and learning Chinese.

This year’s challenge was aimed to help him learn how powerful AI can be with 100 hours of work, he wrote. For instance, Zuckerberg said that he realized texting Jarvis — especially if he was away from his home or in the middle of a task — was often more valuable than voice commands alone. That, Zuckerberg said, falls in line with trends he’s seen on Messenger and WhatsApp, where texting is growing more quickly than voice calls.

However, Zuckerberg said, with the voice bot, he learned to consider it a presence that responded more quickly and empathetically.

“It can interact with Max and I want those interactions to be entertaining for her, but part of it is that it now feels like it’s present with us,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I’ve taught it fun little games like Priscilla or I can ask it who we should tickle and it will randomly tell our family to all go tickle one of us, Max or Beast. I’ve also had fun adding classic lines like ‘I’m sorry, Priscilla. I’m afraid I can’t do that.'”

Zuckerberg said he found little bugs that showed how far AI systems are from being generalized for a wide variety of requests.

read more…

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/19/how-the-other-half-lives-mark-zuckerbergs-life-inside-his-bespoke-smart-house.html?__source=newsletter%7Ceveningbrief