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Home values increase in all 50 states | Cross River Real Estate

Home prices showed yet another surge in April as year over year values increased for all  50 states, according to the latest Home Price Index report from CoreLogica global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider.

Home prices increased 6.9% nationally from April 2017 to April 2018, and increased 1.2% from the prior month, according to the report.

The chart below shows home prices have been steadily increasing at the same rate for the past several years.

CoreLogic- April Home Prices

(Source: CoreLogic)

“The best antidote for rising home prices is additional supply,” CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said. “New construction has failed to keep up with and meet new housing growth or replace existing inventory. More construction of for-sale and rental housing will alleviate housing cost pressures.”

An analysis of home values in the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas based on housing stock, indicates 40% of metropolitan areas had an overvalued housing market as of April 2018, CoreLogic reported.

Another 28% of the top 100 metropolitan areas were undervalued while 32% were at value. When looking at only the top 50 markets, 52% were overvalued, 14% were undervalued and 34% were at-value.

The national home-price index is projected to increase by 5.3% from April 2018 to April 2019, according to the CoreLogic HPI Forecast.

The forecast is an econometric model that projects calculations from analyzing state level forecast, which are measured by the number of owner-occupied households for each state.

As of April, Florida’s recovery is promising, but experts say another natural disaster could hinder its growth.

“Florida continues to show price resiliency after Hurricane Irma in 2017. Despite the impact of the hurricane, prices were up 5.8% across the state compared to a year ago,” CoreLogic President and CEO Frank Martell said. “CoreLogic data projects continued gains to home prices in Florida for the remainder of 2018. However, gains could be erased if a significant storm makes landfall again.”

 

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https://www.housingwire.com/articles/43595-corelogic-home-values-increase-in-all-50-states?eid=311691494&bid=2128678

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

Pending home sales drop | Cross River Real Estate

Contracts to buy previously owned homes in the United States shrank 4.1 percent year-on-year in February of 2018, following an upwardly revised 4 percent drop in January. It is the biggest decline since June of 2014 as contracts fell in all main regions: Northeast (-5.1 percent), Midwest (-9.5 percent), South (-1.5 percent) and the West (-2.2 percent). Compared to the previous month, pending home sales increased 3.1 percent, rebounding from an upwardly revised 5 percent fall in January and beating forecasts of a 2.1 percent gain. Pending Home Sales in the United States averaged 1.03 percent from 2002 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 30.90 percent in October of 2009 and a record low of -24.30 percent in April of 2011.

 

Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-01-31 03:00 PM Pending Home Sales YoY 0.5% 0.8% -0.2% -0.3%
2018-02-28 03:00 PM Pending Home Sales YoY -3.8% 0.4% 0.4%
2018-03-28 02:00 PM Pending Home Sales YoY -4.1% -4% -0.2% 0.5%
2018-04-30 02:00 PM Pending Home Sales YoY -4.1% -2.11%
2018-05-31 02:00 PM Pending Home Sales YoY -1.60%
2018-06-27 02:00 PM Pending Home Sales YoY -1.35%

 

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https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/pending-home-sales#alerts

New home sales fall again | Waccabuc Real Estate

Sales of new single-family houses in the United States shrank 0.6 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618 thousand in February of 2018 from an upwardly revised 622 thousand in January. It is the lowest reading in four months and compares with market forecasts of a 4.4 percent rise to 623 thousand. Sales fell in the West and the Midwest. New Home Sales in the United States averaged 650.65 Thousand from 1963 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 1389 Thousand in July of 2005 and a record low of 270 Thousand in February of 2011.

 

US New Home Sales Fall for 3rd Month

Sales of new single-family houses in the United States shrank 0.6 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618 thousand in February of 2018 from an upwardly revised 622 thousand in January. It is the lowest reading in four months and compares with market forecasts of a 4.4 percent rise to 623 thousand. Sales fell in the West and the Midwest.

Sales fell in the West (-17.6 percent to 164 thousand) and the Midwest (-3.7 percent to 79 thousand) but rose in the South (9 percent to 338 thousand) and the Northeast (19.4 percent to 37 thousand).
The median sales price of new houses sold was $326,800, above $298,000 a year earlier. The average sales price was $376,700, also higher than $370,500 in February of 2017.
The stock of new houses for sale went up 2 percent from the previous month to 305 thousand, the highest level since March of 2009. This represents a supply of 5.9 months at the current sales rate.
Year-on-year, new home sales edged up 0.5 percent.
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https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/new-home-sales

Canada home prices fall | Cross River Real Estate

Canadian home prices dipped in February after two consecutive months of gains, weighed by declines in Toronto and a number of other cities, data showed on Wednesday.

The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed prices were down 0.1 percent last month compared to January.

Price growth also continued to decelerate on an annual basis. Home prices were up 7.5 percent compared to last year, the smallest annual increase since March 2016.

On a monthly basis, prices were down in seven out of the 11 cities surveyed, including a 0.1 percent decline in Toronto. Home sales in Canada’s largest city have been dampened by tighter mortgages rules and moves taken by the Ontario government last year to try to cool the market.

The retreat in Toronto prices, which had climbed in January, may have been due to buyers rushing into the market ahead of the new mortgage rules that came into effect at the start of the year, the report said.

In Vancouver, one of the most expensive markets in the country, prices rose 0.4 percent to hit a record. However, the unadjusted figures, which are not smoothed to remove volatility, showed prices were down 1.3 percent, in line with cooler home sales last month.

Economists are watching to see how Canada’s housing market adjusts to the tighter lending rules and local government regulations that have come as the central bank is also raising interest rates.

 

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https://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idCAKCN1GQ1NW-OCABS

Home projects for the New Year | Cross River Real Estate

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

Easy tasks that will make you happier, healthier and even wealthier!

Prevent Bathroom Mold

Prevent Bathroom Mold

No matter where you live, the high moisture level in your bathroom can cause mold and mildew. Eliminating bathroom dampness is the key to keeping mold from growing. To do that, follow these steps:

First, after a bath or a shower, squeegee water off the shower walls. That eliminates at least three-fourths of the moisture that supports mold and mildew growth.

Second, run your bath fans during your bath or shower and for a half-hour after to flush out moisture. Or add a timer switch to make this step automatic.

Third, if you have tile, seal the grout lines annually with a standard grout sealer to waterproof them.

To get rid of the current mold, scrub with detergent and water, then let the surface dry completely. Or use a solution of 10 percent bleach and 90 percent water (a stronger bleach solution will not give better results). Spray or brush on the solution, let it sit 10 minutes, then rinse it off and let dry.

If the fans aren’t clearing out most of the moisture in your bathrooms after five to 10 minutes, your fans may not be moving enough air. Fans are certified by the volume (cfm, or cubic feet per minute) of air ‘exhausted’ out of the room. To find the recommended fan capacity for your bathroom, simply multiply the bathroom square footage by 1.1 (assuming an 8-ft. ceiling; for a 9-ft. ceiling, multiply by 1.5).

Restore Free Flow to Your Showerhead

Restore Free Flow to Your Showerhead

If the flow from your showerhead is growing weaker, the cause is probably mineral buildup. Many manufacturers recommend that you remove the showerhead and soak it in a half-and-half mixture of warm water and vinegar (any type). But there’s really no need to remove the head. Just pour the mix into a heavy-duty plastic bag and attach it to the shower arm with a rubber band. The acid in the vinegar dissolves minerals, but prolonged contact can harm some plastics and metal finishes, so remove the bag every 15 minutes and check the shower flow.

Clean Out Dryer Lint

Clean Out Dryer Lint

If you notice that it takes longer than normal for loads to dry in your clothes dryer, it may be time to clean out the vent. First detach the duct from behind the unit and then push a plumbing snake through your dryer vent from outside. Tie a rag securely to the snake end. Pull the cloth and snake through a couple of times and your clean vent will not only save energy but possibly prevent a fire as well.

If you discover that your dryer vent cover needs repair, this is how to fix it and this video shows you how to replace the vent it it’s in bad shape.

Sparkling Dishwasher

Sparkling Dishwasher

Add a cup of vinegar to your empty dishwasher and let it run a full cycle once a month or so. Your kitchen may smell a bit like a pickle jar for a few hours, but hard-water lime buildup will be rinsed away, making your spray arm and other dishwasher parts work flawlessly.

Check Your Gutters

Check Your Gutters

A 1,000-sq.-ft. roof will shed about 620 gallons of water during a 1-in. rainfall, or about 103 gallons per downspout if you have six downspouts. That’s a lot of water dumped right next to your basement. Although it may seem obvious, clean and properly functioning gutters with downspouts that empty away from the foundation are key to avoiding major and expensive home repairs.

So before you leave for a vacation, take a walk around the house and check your gutters. Check to see if leaves, sticks or other debris are blocking the inlet of the downspout and preventing water from flowing down the spout. Also make sure your downspout extensions are discharging the water far enough from the foundation and that you always reattach them after you mow your lawn.

Avoid a Scalding by Setting Your Water Heater to 120 Degrees

Avoid a Scalding by Setting Your Water Heater to 120 Degrees

Plain old tapwater can be dangerous. Water heaters set too high send thousands (mostly children) to hospitals each year with burns. Most safety experts recommend a setting of 120 degrees F. But finding that setting on the dial isn’t easy—most dials aren’t labeled with numbers.

If the stickers on the water heater don’t tell you how to set the temperature and you can’t find the owner’s manual, use this method: Run hot water at the tap closest to the water heater for at least three minutes. Then fill a glass and check the temperature. If the water is above 120 degrees, adjust the dial, wait about three hours and check again. Repeat until you get 120-degree water. For a final test, check the temperature the following morning, before anyone uses hot water.

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https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/

Home prices rising rapidly | Cross River Real Estate

For the 15th consecutive month, US home values have increased by at least 6%, according to Zillow’s October housing market report.

That’s double the annual rate of appreciation of a “normal” market, says Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist.

Compared to October 2016, the median home in the US gained $12,500 in value as housing inventory remains low and demand surges. What’s more, in over half of the country’s largest metros, homes are worth more than they were before the recession.

“We are in the midst of an inventory crisis that shows no signs of waning, impacting potential buyers all across the country,” Gudell said.

“Home values are growing at a historically fast pace, and those potential buyers want to get in the market while they still can,” she continued. “But with homes gaining so much value in just one year, buyers – especially first-time buyers – have to set aside more and more money for a down payment just to keep up with them.”

Some West Coast markets have seen huge gains. The median home value in San Jose rose 12.3%, or $118,200, since last October, according to Zillow. San Jose’s median home value is up to $1.08 million.

In Seattle, the metro with the second-biggest gains, home values rose 11.7% year-over-year to$457,700.

Ultimately though, lower-valued homes nationwide are experiencing the largest increase in value, according to Zillow, gaining 8.4% over the last year. The median for homes valued in the bottom third of all homes nationwide is now $118,200. Meanwhile, the typical home value in the top-third rose only 3.8%, to $358,900.

 

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https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/home-prices-america-increasing-double-130000739.html

Pending home sales drop 3.6% | Cross River Real Estate

Contracts to buy previously owned homes were flat in September and activity declined on an annual basis for the fifth time in the last six months as demand for properties continued to exceed supply.

The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, was unchanged with a reading of 106.0. August’s index was revised lower.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast pending home sales edging up 0.2 percent last month.

Pending home contracts are viewed as a forward-looking indicator for the state of the housing market because they become sales one or two months later.

Although the U.S. economy continues to strengthen, the housing sector has faltered this year. Home sales have weakened amid tight inventories while builders have cited shortages of land and labor as a curb on construction.

Compared to one year ago, pending sales fell 3.5 percent overall and there were annual declines across all four of the nation’s regions.

Compared with the prior month, pending sales for September rose 1.2 percent in the Northeast, 1.4 percent in the Midwest and 1.9 percent in the West.

“Activity is falling further behind last year’s pace because new listings aren’t keeping up with what’s being sold,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement.

He added the situation will likely be further exacerbated as inventory starts to decline heading into the winter months.

The South saw declines of 2.3 percent in September, which the NAR largely attributed to the effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

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http://www.newsmax.com/Economy/pending-home-sales-housing/2017/10/26/id/822258/

A tale of two housing economies | Cross River Real Estate

Torsten Slok, Ph.D., is chief international economist and a managing director at Deutsche Bank Securities. The question Slok asked yesterday morning was this.

Is household formation dropping because of affordability?

Here’s his chart.

Household formation takes a dive. Why?
Household formation takes a dive. Why?

It shows household formations falling off the table in 2017. Dr. Slok looks at the data and sees a big red flag.

In the initial years after the crisis household formation was around 600k to 700k, see chart below. Then household formation jumped to +1mn as young people completed their education and started moving out of their parents’ basement. But recently we have seen a significant drop in the number of new households, and we are worried that the slowdown in housing demand is driven by very high home prices and housing simply becoming unaffordable for new families.

The dots Slok inferrentially connects bridge this observation about national economics’ basic building block–the household–and the performance of the broader economy itself.

To be sure, the housing market remains a small share of the overall economy, but it is important because it is one of the most cyclical components of GDP.

For a clue into this unsettling flash point, one might look deep into the insights brought to light last week in an analysis from New York University’s Furman Center. On the surface, the headline take-away is encouraging, noting as it does that the percentage of United States households who are rent-burdened–spending 30% or more of their wages on monthly housing costs–fell by a percentage point between 2012 and 2015.

The report explores a relatively new phenomenon–more wealthy and higher-educated people are choosing to rent–that partly accounts for this statistical shift to fewer rent-burdened households.

The income of the typical renter household increased along with overall incomes in the economic recovery period, but more of the renter households were highly educated, had higher incomes, and were employed. Therefore, not all of the measured increase in renter income was due to renters making more income per se; rather, part of it was due to a shift in who was choosing to rent.

It’s here that we might discover insight into how the two trends–a slower household formation growth due to less affordability in many places, and the slight improvement in the share of rent-burdened households.

It’s evidence vested and invested players in residential real estate development and construction are working in not one, but two, related but disconnected housing businesses.

In one part of the housing business, players are growing around their competence at asking people with means how it is they want to live in their homes and communities, and profitably developing, designing, engineering, building, and marketing neighborhoods that answer to those preferences profitably.

 

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http://www.builderonline.com/money/affordability/a-tale-of-two-housing-economies_o?utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=Article&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BP_101217%20(1)&he=bd1fdc24fd8e2adb3989dffba484790dcdb46483

Wiring Outlets and Switches | Cross River Real Estate

Play it smart and stay safe when wiring outlets and switches

Buying a Dimmer Switch

Buying a Dimmer Switch

Dimmer switches are available in many styles and configurations, including slides, knobs and touch-sensitive dimming mechanisms. However, check these key things:

  • Capacity (how many lights it can control). The capacity will be measured in watts. Add up the wattage of the bulbs in all the fixtures the switch controls to make sure it falls within the switch rating listed on the package or instructions.
  • Single-pole or three-way. Buy a ‘single-pole’ switch if one switch controls the lights or a ‘three-way’ if you have two switches controlling the same lights.
  • Light type. Standard and halogen bulbs require standard incandescent dimmers. A few fluorescent lights can be dimmed with special dimmer switches, but most can’t. Low-voltage lights may also require special dimmers.

Don't Reverse Hot and Neutral Wires

Don’t Reverse Hot and Neutral Wires

Connecting the black hot wire to the neutral terminal of an outlet creates the potential for a lethal shock. The trouble is that you may not realize the mistake until someone gets shocked, because lights and most other plug-in devices will still work; they just won’t work safely.

Always connect the white wire to the neutral terminal of outlets and light fixtures. The neutral terminal is always marked. It’s usually identified by a silver or light-colored screw. Connect the hot wire to the other terminal. If there’s a green or bare copper wire, that’s the ground. Connect the ground to the green grounding screw or to a ground wire or grounded box.

Cutting Wires Too Short

Cutting Wires Too Short

Wires that are cut too short make wire connections difficult and—since you’re more likely to make poor connections—dangerous. Leave the wires long enough to protrude at least 3 in. from the box.

If you run into short wires, there’s an easy fix. Simply add 6-in. extensions onto the existing wires. The photo shows a type of wire connector that’s easier to install in tight spots. You’ll find these in hardware stores and home centers.

Be Positive the Power's Off

Be Positive the Power’s Off

When you’re doing electrical work, don’t assume that because you flicked a switch or flipped a circuit breaker the power is off—always double-check. Buy a noncontact voltage tester and check all the wires in the box before you do any work—or plan on some melted dental work!

Circuit-Finding Radio

Circuit-Finding Radio

Instead of running upstairs, let the Rolling Stones help you find the right breaker. Find circuit breakers by plugging a loud radio into the outlet you’re working on. You’ll know you have the right circuit breaker when the music dies. But don’t assume the electricity is off in all the other outlets or lights in the room. Before doing any wiring, plug the radio into other outlets you plan to work on. Some duplex outlets can have different circuits running to adjacent outlets. To be safe, test both the top and bottom with the radio. For lights, turn the light switch on and off to be sure.

Don't Install a Three-Slot Receptacle Without a Ground

Don’t Install a Three-Slot Receptacle Without a Ground

If you have two-slot outlets, it’s tempting to replace them with three-slot outlets so you can plug in three-prong plugs. But don’t do this unless you’re sure there’s a ground available. Use a tester to see if your outlet is grounded. A series of lights indicates whether the outlet is wired correctly or what fault exists. These inexpensive testers are readily available at home centers and hardware stores.

If you discover a three-slot outlet in an ungrounded box, the easiest fix is to simply replace it with a two-slot outlet as shown.

Don't Wire a GFCI Backward

Don’t Wire a GFCI Backward

GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets protect you from a lethal shock by shutting off the power when they sense slight differences in current. They have two pairs of terminals. One pair, labeled ‘line,’ is for incoming power for the GFCI outlet itself. The other set is labeled ‘load’ and provides protection for downstream outlets. You’ll lose the shock protection if you mix up the line and load connections.

Oversize Plates Hide Mistakes

Oversize Plates Hide Mistakes

When you’re installing drywall or paneling, small mistakes can leave big gaps around electrical boxes. Luckily, there’s a product made just for this situation. ‘Oversize’ cover plates (about $1) for switches and outlets are available in standard colors at home centers and hardware stores. They’re 1/2 in. to 3/4 in. longer and wider than standard plates, so they can be a bit conspicuous. Electrical codes don’t allow gaps wider than 1/8 in. around boxes, so fill gaps with joint compound or caulk before you screw on the cover plate.

Poor Support for Outlets and Switches

Poor Support for Outlets and Switches

Loose switches or outlets can look bad, but worse yet, they’re dangerous. Loosely connected outlets can move around, causing the wires to loosen from the terminals. Loose wires can arc and overheat, creating a potential fire hazard.

Fix loose outlets by shimming under the screws to create a tight connection to the box. You can buy special spacers at home centers and hardware stores. Other options include small washers or a coil of wire wrapped around the screw.

Recessing Boxes Behind the Wall Surface

Recessing Boxes Behind the Wall Surface

Electrical boxes must be flush to the wall surface if the wall surface is a combustible material. Boxes recessed behind combustible materials like wood present a fire hazard because the wood is left exposed to potential heat and sparks.

The fix is simply to install a metal or plastic box extension. If you use a metal box extension on a plastic box, connect the metal extension to the ground wire in the box using a grounding clip and a short piece of wire.

Squint-Free Wire Stripper

Squint-Free Wire Stripper

Ninety percent of the time, you use your wire stripper to strip the same gauge wire. Now, the days of searching your wire stripper for the right size hole are over. Use a Testor’s Enamel Paint Marker (about $3 at a home center) to mark a line across the hole. After a couple of minutes of drying time, you’ll be able to stick the wire in the marked hole with zero eyestrain and work a heck of a lot faster on your latest wiring project. If you’re stripping more than one wire gauge size, mark the holes in different colors.

Wrap Wires Clockwise Around Terminal Screws

Wrap Wires Clockwise Around Terminal Screws

Wrapping the wire clockwise ensures that the loop on the end of the wire will tend to close when the screw is tightened. If you put the loop over the screw in the counterclockwise direction, tightening the screw will force the loop open and could create a loose connection.

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https://www.familyhandyman.com/electrical/wiring/wiring-switches-and-outlets/view-all/