Category Archives: Katonah

Building lot prices hit new high | Cross River Real Estate

According to NAHB’s analysis of the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) data, median single-family lot prices outpaced inflation once again (4.4% vs 2.4%) and reached new record high in 2018, with half of the lots selling at or above $49,500. The most dramatic rise in lot values is observed in the West South Central division where median lot values more than doubled since the housing boom years.

While this constitutes a new nominal national record, lot values adjusted for inflation have not reached the housing boom peak levels. In the midst of the building boom – when twice as many single-family homes were started – half of the lots were going for over $43,000, which is over $53,000 when converted in $2018.

The West South Central division – that includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana – stands out as a division where new historical records were hit not only in nominal terms but also when adjusted for inflation. Compared to the peak years of the housing boom, lot values more than doubled in this division.

Historically, lot values in the West South Central division have been the lowest in the nation. They started rising in 2013 and by 2015 caught up with the national median. As of 2018, half of the lots in the West South Central division sells for more than $62,000, 25% above the national median lot value for single-family spec homes of $49,500. This represents a significant jump in the division lot values since the building boom when more than half of lots were priced under $30,000.

Single-family spec homes started in New England are built on some of the most expensive lots in the nation. Half of all sold single-family homes started in New England in 2018 report lot values in excess of $140,000, a new nominal record for the division. New England is known for strict local zoning regulations that often require very low densities. Therefore, it is not surprising that typical single-family spec homes started in New England are built on some of the largest and most expensive lots in the nation.

The Pacific division has the smallest lots. However, the median lot value reached $87,000 in 2018, the second most expensive value in the nation and a new nominal record for the division. As a result, the Pacific division lots stand out for being most expensive in the nation in terms of per acre costs.

The East North Central is another division that hit a new record high, with half of the lots priced above $52,000, exceeding the national median lot value for single-family spec homes.

The East South Central Division that has the second largest lots in the nation simultaneously reports the lowest median value of $38,000 per lot, thus defining the most economical lots in the nation as well as lowest per acre costs.

Given that nation’s lots are getting smaller and home production is still significantly below the historically normal levels, it might seem surprising that lot values keep going up. However, the rising lot values are consistent with persistent record lot shortages that NAHB reported recently. They are also consistent with significant and rising regulatory costs that ultimately increase development costs and boost lot values. It is also possible that home building shifted towards more urban and dense areas where land values are typically higher, and land development faces more stringent regulation requirements.

For this analysis, the median lot values were chosen over averages since averages tend to be heavily influenced by extreme outliers. In addition, the Census Bureau often masks extreme lot values on the public use SOC dataset making it difficult to calculate averages precisely but medians remain unaffected by these procedures.

This analysis is limited to single-family speculatively-built homes by year started and with reported sales prices. For custom homes built on owner’s land with either the owner or a builder acting as the general contractor, the corresponding land values are not reported in the SOC. Consequently, custom homes are excluded from the analysis.

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Modern Germany | Katonah Real Estate

Villa Neo

Querkopf Architekten

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PROJECT DETAILS

PROJECT NAME Villa Neo

LOCATION Rosengarten Germany

ARCHITECT Querkopf Architekten

PROJECT TYPES Single Family

PROJECT SCOPE New Construction

SIZE403 sq. meters

YEAR COMPLETED 2019

SHARED BY Madeleine D’Angelo

PROJECT STATUS Built

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

FROM THE ARCHITECTS: 

This villa breaks with all traditions and forms an unrestrained contrast to the otherwise natural surroundings. Like an artistic installation on a podium made of natural stone, which at the same time forms the underground car park, lies the two-storey villa and clearly focuses on the forest as the main point of reference. The shape of the building is based on the idea of an L, which borders the hillside of the plot while providing a sheltered outdoor-space for the terrace.

A small gap forms the entrance. From the street, three exposed shapes of concrete blend strikingly and puristically, leaving no room for a glimpse inside. The ground floor is completely closed to the street, dissolves to the forest by large glass elements, which flood the space with light, and produces an intense connection to the environment and nature. The upper floor forms a creative contrast to the ground floor. Above the transparent construction of glass and steel hovers an imposing, twisted concrete body, which ensures a high degree of privacy and protection. a few, floor-to-ceiling window elements in the sleeping areas present targeted views into the forest. Large slats of steel are wrapped around the airspace in the middle of the house and create a connection of the levels. This is our vision of a sculptural, purist and modern villa that abstracts classical rules: for an incomparable sense of living in the midst of nature.

Nature as a starting point
Focused on the essentials and at the same time rich in characteristic features, the innovative villa made of concrete sits on a base made of natural stone and convinces with a unique sense of living as well as an artistic installation. Nature and architecture not only meet each other, aligned with the forest they flow into each other. The generous glass elements provide plenty of light and reveal the view of nature from the exclusive living area.

The nature is omnipresent: The forest has significantly influenced our thoughts on a perfect facade for this place. He has set us the task to develop a surface that can not be impressed by moss, leaves and weather, but just by dignified aging. – Crosshead architects

Break up closed forms In pleasant seclusion and undisturbed, “Villa Neo” is the most attractive retreat someone from Hamburg can imagine. Concrete, glass and steel – these are the three main materials that determine the characteristic appearance of this villa.Surrounded by the nature as well as the restful forest, the inhabitants of this property can concentrate on the desirable contents of life. On the one hand closed by surfaces of concrete to the street, the construction of the object leads to a pleasant level of privacy and security. Opened to the other side to the pool, whirlpool and forest, the natural urge for free space is satisfied. “Villa Neo” scores with originality. The object is not a modular house, but emerged from a unique vision. With a mixture of Bauhaus and brutalism, it emits strength and security to the outside without losing its elegance, generosity and tranquility in the inside. It gives its inhabitants a sublime feeling of freedom. – Querkopfarchitekten Ground floor The paths in the house are efficiently aligned: One junction connects all rooms on the ground floor. The generosity of the ground floor come especially due to the open access to all living spaces to retribution. Coming through the main entrance, the view to the left falls past the luxurious Eggersmann fitted kitchen with high-quality Gaggenau appliances directly onto the living / dining area framed by a large glass front. The Minotti sofa set in the comfortable living area. The TV room of the right wing underlines the use of only the most exclusive furnishing materials. 
UpstairsThe artfully staged and wood-clad stairs lead through the impressive airspace to the upper floor. Custom-made, floor-to-ceiling fitted wardrobes line up impressively in the sophisticated overall concept together with high-quality bathroom fittings. The special living atmosphere is topped by stylish details, such as pebble stone walls or full-surface mirror installations in the bathroom. Targeted views of the garden and the forest are provided by the large windows in the bedroom and the study and invite you to dream.

Basement The rooms in the basement offer in addition to the impressive living space above, a spacious guest room and a hobby room and a bathroom with exclusive rain shower. On the same level are the four garage spaces, which are easily accessible from the living area. Enjoy the silence The impressively choreographed outdoor space of the plot offer the resident plenty of space for relaxation and a sweeping view of more than 960 square meters of lawn. The turquoise blue water of the unique infinity pool impresses even without going into it. The 170 square meters large south-facing terrace area invites you to a cozy get-together. The entire complex seduces to spend one or the other summer day in the fresh air. If it gets colder, a luxurious whirlpool provides the necessary warmth.

Day becomes night The room-high window fronts flood the living area with plenty of daylight, opening up the view into the green landscape. A highlight are the large steel blades which are wrapped around the space in the middle and connect the lower and upper levels in this way. As soon as the day is over, the numerous elegant designer lamps immerse the rooms in an atmospheric light and, together with exquisite designer furniture and a state-of-the-art fireplace, create irresistible coziness and warmth. Whether day or night, light or dark, inside or outside – Villa Neo is an architectural highlight at any time and from any perspective. We are grateful that we had the opportunity to develop this property without compromise. 

Project Credits: 
Project: Villa Neo 
Architects: Querkopf Architekten. Fionn Mögel (lead archtiect), Simon Mögel, Frank Zander, Wasfy Taha (project team)
Engineering: Weber & Poll 
Landscape: Querkopf Architekten
TGA : Querkopf Architekten
Photographs: Frank Löschke I Arnt Haug

Case-Shiller home price index up | Katonah Real Estate

August 2019 saw an annual increase of 3.2% for home prices nationwide, inching forward from the previous month’s pace, according to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index from S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic.

The 10-City and 20-City composites reported a 1.5% and 2% year-over-year increase, respectively. During the month, 11 of 20 cities reported increases before seasonal adjustment, whereas 17 of 20 cities reported increases after seasonal adjustment.  

 “The U.S. National Home Price NSA Index trend remained intact with a year-over-year price change of 3.2%,” said Philip Murphy, Managing Director and Global Head of Index Governance at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “However, a shift in regional leadership may be underway beneath the headline national index.”

According to the index, Phoenix, Charlotte, and Tampa reported the highest year-over-year gains among all of the 20 cities.

In August, Phoenix led with a 6.3% year-over-year price increase, followed by Charlotte with a 4.5% increase and Tampa with a 4.3% increase. Seven of the 20 cities reported larger price increases in the year ending August 2019 versus the year ending July 2019.

“Phoenix saw an increase in its year over year price change to 6.3% and retained its leading position,” Murphy said. “However, Las Vegas dropped from No. 2 to No. 8 among the cities of the 20-City Composite, falling from a 4.7% year-over-year change in July to only 3.3% in August.”

“Meanwhile, the Southeast region included three of the top four cities. Charlotte, Tampa, and Atlanta all recorded solid year-over-year performance with price changes of 4.5%, 4.3%, and 4.0%, respectively,” Murphy said. “In the Northwest, Seattle’s year-over-year change turned positive (0.7%) after three consecutive months of negative year-over-year price changes. The 10-City Composite year-over-year price change declined slightly from July to 1.5%, while the 20-City Composite year-over-year price change remained steady at 2.0%. San Francisco was the only city to record a negative YOY price change (-0.1%).”

 The graph below highlights the average home prices within the 10-City and 20-City Composites:

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New York State housing market showing positive signs | Katonah Real Estate

Buoyed by a strong economy and continued low mortgage rates, the New York State housing market showed an upward climb in sales and listings in September, according to the housing market report released today by the New York State Association of REALTORS®.

Closed sales in New York totaled 11,467 units in the month of September, a 1.6-percent increase from this time last year. New listings and pending sales rose substantially in September – up 7.5-percent to 18,161 homes and 7.6-percent to 11,182 respectively.

For the third quarter, closed sales were down marginally, 0.8-percent to 38,722 homes but both new listings and pending sales trended upward.  There were 56,361 new listings this quarter, a 1.2-percent increase, while pending sales rose 4.9-percent to 37,766 homes.

Interest rates remained low, down 0.1-percent to 3.61 percent on a 30-year fixed mortgage, according to Freddie Mac. This is the fourth consecutive month that interest rates were below 4.0-percent.

Median sales prices once again climbed in September, up 5.7-percent to $280,000. Quarterly prices surged upwards as well, rising 5.5-percent to $290,000. Inventory levels were down for September, 2.9-percent to 71,737 homes for sale.

Sept 2019 Stats Infographic

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https://www.nysar.com/industry-resources/market-data

Remodeler’s confidence remains steady | Katonah Real Estate

The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI) posted a reading of 55 in the third quarter of 2019, unchanged from last quarter (Figure 1). Since the second quarter of 2013, the RMI has been above its breakeven point of 50, which indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher than report it is lower, compared to the prior quarter.

The overall RMI is an average of two sub-indices, one measuring current remodeling activity and another measuring future indicators. The current market conditions index edged down one point to 54 from the previous quarter (Figure 2). Among its three major components, major additions and alterations dropped one point to 52, minor additions and alterations decreased by two points to 53 and the home maintenance and repair component rose one point to 57.

The future market indicators gained two points from the previous quarter to 57 (Figure 3). Calls for bids increased by one to 55, amount of work committed for the next three months gained two points to 54, the backlog of remodeling jobs increased one point to 59 and appointments for proposals jumped by five points to 60.

Demand for remodeling is solid and is supported by a healthy labor market and low interest rates. It is important to note that remodelers still face challenges, such as high costs and a lack of skilled labor.

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

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Average FICO score at record high | Katonah Real Estate

credit cards

The average FICO score stands at 706, a record high, said Ethan Dornhelm, vice president of scores and predictive analytics at FICO. That compares with 686 at the 2009 end of the Great Recession and it eclipses the 690 at the 2006 height of the housing bubble.

The key drivers are U.S. economic expansion that has propelled job growth and an increase in consumer education about protecting and improving scores, Dornhelm said in a blog post. In addition, the passage of time is helping to remove the credit scars from events that happened during the financial crisis, he said.

“Consumers who suffered financial misfortune during the Great Recession have over the past few years had the associated missed payments from that time period purged from their credit file, in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act,” he said.

Measuring different credit events, the biggest improvement between April 2009 and April 2019 was the timeliness of mortgage payments, Dornhelm said. A decade ago, 7.2% of the population had been 90 days or more late on a mortgage payment within the last two years. By April, it had dropped to 2.8%.

Also showing big improvement was the percentage of the population who had been 90 days or more past due on a credit card in the last two years. A decade ago, it was 13%, and in April it was 8.6%.

The jump in FICO scores was due to “score improvement, not score inflation,” Dornhelm said.

“Significant improvement in the overall population’s credit profile has been the key driver of the 20-point increase in national average FICO score over the past decade,” he said. “These improvements are reflective of improving consumer financial health, as would be expected during a period of economic expansion.”

Economic data signaling the chance of a looming recession has increased uncertainty in the credit-scoring realm, he said. 

FICO score chart 2019

“The average FICO score will continue to change, but in what direction?” Dornhelm said. “Trade talks with China, the possibility of a `no-deal Brexit,’ and Fed interest rate decisions loom large as concerns of a recession persist.” 

(Image courtesy of FICO)

Building material prices fall | Katonah Real Estate

Prices paid for goods used in residential construction decreased by 1.1% in June (not seasonally adjusted) according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The decline broke a four-month trend of increases and was only the fifth month over the past two years in which prices fell.

Over the past 12 months, building materials prices have decreased 1.6%, just the fifth June year-over-year decrease since 2000.  The decline is a sharp reversal of June 2017 to June 2018, during which prices increased 8.8%.

The PPI report shows that softwood lumber prices decreased (-1.7%, not seasonally adjusted) in June—the index’s third consecutive monthly decline. Prices remain at their lowest level since February 2017.  While weekly prices have been volatile since mid-May according to Random Lengths, the difference between the average prices of softwood lumber in May and June mirrored the PPI data (-1.8% v. -1.7%).

One of the special indexes published by BLS tracks lumber and plywood in one category.  Similar to softwood lumber, the lumber and plywood index fell 2.3%.  Prices paid for softwood lumber and lumber and plywood have decreased 23.1% and 17.6%, respectively, since June 2018.

The price index for gypsum products continued its downward trend in June, declining 1.9%.  In the last 10 months, gypsum prices have only increased twice.

Prices have declined by 6.2% and 10.8% since January 2019 and August 2018, respectively.

Ready-mix concrete prices increased 1.2% in June and remain relatively volatile.  Prices have risen by more than 1.0% in two of the past three months, something that has only happened in 18 of the previous 231 months.

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Here’s why falling mortgage rates won’t spark recovery in the housing market | Katonah Real Estate

House money chalkboard

The housing market won’t recover much in the second half of 2019, says Capital Economics.

Mortgage interest rates have fallen this year, but that hasn’t spurred much action in the housing market, and things are unlikely to turn around for the remainder of the year as concerns about the economy continue to grow, the economists say.

“The fact interest rates are declining because of concerns that the economy is slowing argues against a strong rise in home purchase demand,” Capital Economics writes in a recent report. “That is reflected in measures of buyer sentiment. The decline in interest rates earlier this year failed to provide much of a boost to the share of households saying now is a good time to buy.”

That said, the report did indicate that rental demand will be solid thanks to strong wage growth and subdued home sales. And, the drop in rates has helped spur refinance activity, with applications jumping in the first half of June and signals indicating the likelihood of an upward trend for refis.

But purchase demand is less sensitive to changes in mortgage rates, the economists say, and home sales have therefore seen less of a lift from the drop in financing costs.

Also, the drop in rates was somewhat offset by tighter lender standards, the report says, including a recent pullback from the Federal Housing Administration that may make it harder for some riskier borrowers to qualify.

But on the bright side, homes are still affordable, the economists say.

“The fall in mortgage interest rates, slower house price gains and the rise in earnings growth have led to a drop in mortgage payments as a share of income,” the report says. “And, based on our forecasts for those variables, the payment burden is set to stay at around 16% over the next couple years, low by past standards.”

But the housing market is plagued by a lack of inventory, and this will prevent any meaningful rise in existing home sales, the report predicts.

“While the number of existing homes for sale has seen some improvement since reaching a record low at the end of 2017, at 1.8 million in May market conditions are still tight,” the report says. “And with interest rates falling back, we doubt existing inventory levels will see much of an improvement over the next couple of years.”

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https://www.housingwire.com/articles/49470-heres-why-falling-mortgage-rates-wont-spark-recovery-in-the-housing-market?utm_campaign=Newsletter%20-%20HousingWire%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=74245296&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8PwgzPKdbS5PPp-LrMGm4xWPyGiG8ute-TnN9-SW_THcFOWQbSCh3y15zWd9rYp_ETLUL_AmK-2AN1Ofc1QEiNkxHhow&_hsmi=74245296

Why Americans should get into the housing market now | Katonah Real Estate

Mortgage rates have steadily declined with the 30-year fixed-rate bottoming out to 3.82 percent, its lowest level since September 2017, according to the latest figures from Freddie Mac.

Digital Risk co-founder Jeff Taylor told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto that now is the time for new home buyers to take advantage of the bigger inventory on the market.

“If you’re looking to get into the housing market, i.e., you don’t have a house right now, this is literally the perfect time,” he during an interview on Monday. “Interest rates are about a one percentage point less than it was this time last year … that’s a 10 percent savings on a 30-year mortgage a month.”B

The Federal Reservemight cut the federal funds rate twice this year, a move that could cause the 30-year fixed rate to fall even lower.

“If you get two rate cuts at 50 and if you get to 75, yeah, I think you can be back down to three and a quarter [percent], Taylor said.C

Taylor adds that the lower interest rates allow consumers to reach a little deeper into their pockets and “afford more of a house.”

“People are feeling better about their jobs right now and they’ve been saving. It’s a great time to finally to get into the housing market and make a purchase,” he said.

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https://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/why-americans-should-get-into-the-housing-market-now

Housing starts fall year over year | Katonah Real Estate

US Housing Starts Rise Above Forecast

Housing starts in the US rose 5.7 percent from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,235 thousand units in April 2019, more than an expected 1,205 thousand and following a revised 1.7 percent advance in March. 

Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, rose 6.2 percent to a rate of 854 thousand units in April and starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment advanced 4.7 percent to a rate of 381 thousand units. Increases in housing starts were recorded in the Northeast (84.6 percent to 144 thousand) and Midwest (42 percent to 186 thousand), while declines were seen in the South (-5.7 percent to 581 thousand) and West (-5.5 percent to 324 thousand). Starts for March were revised to 1,168 thousand from 1,139 thousand.

Building permits were up 0.6 percent to a rate of 1,296 thousand units in April, while markets had expected a 0.5 percent gain. Permits for the volatile multi-family housing segment increased 8.9 percent to 514 thousand, while single-family authorizations fell 4.2 percent to 782 thousand. Across regions, permits were higher in the West (5.3 percent to 339 thousand) and Midwest (2.2 percent to 188 thousand), but dropped in the Northeast (-4 percent to 120 thousand) and South (-1.2 percent to 649 thousand).

Year-on-year, housing starts dropped 2.5 percent and building permits decreased 5 percent.

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https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/housing-starts