Category Archives: Lewisboro

NAHB Hombuilder Index Falls | Lewisboro Real Estate

United States Nahb Housing Market Index  Forecast 2016-2020

Nahb Housing Market Index in the United States is expected to be 70.00 by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Nahb Housing Market Index in the United States to stand at 60.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States Nahb Housing Market Index is projected to trend around 53.00 in 2020, according to our econometric models.

 

United States Nahb Housing Market Index

 

Forecast Actual Q2/17 Q3/17 Q4/17 Q1/18 2020 Unit
Nahb Housing Market Index 67 70 62 56 60 53

 

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www.tradingeconomics.com

Housing starts fall again | South Salem Homes

Construction on new houses fell in May for the third month in a row even though builders are optimistic about the economy, perhaps a sign a shortage of skilled workers is holding the industry back.

The pace of so-called housing starts declined by 5.5% to an annual rate of 1.09 million, marking the lowest level in eight months. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast housing starts to total 1.23 million.

Home builders are now working at a slower pace than they were one year ago. They’ve especially pared back on apartment buildings and other large multi-dwelling units, giving more emphasis to single-family homes.

Part of the recent slowdown might reflect a bit of a pause after an unusually warm winter during which builders were much busier than usual. Some economists contend a higher level of construction that occurred earlier in the year would have normally taken place in the spring.

Yet builders increasingly complain they cannot find enough good construction workers to get the job done and that could be constricting them. Consider the recent slide in building permits. They fell 4.9% in May to an annual rate of 1.17 million, the lowest level in 13 months.

Permits are also below year-ago levels,

In May, the biggest drop-off occurred in the South and Midwest. Construction rose slightly in the West and was flat in the Northeast.

For years the housing market has experienced a mini-renaissance of sorts as a steadily growing economy, rising employment and ultra-low interest rates enabled home people to buy homes.

The outlook might not be as favorable now, though. Aside from widespread labor shortages, prices for wood and other raw materials have also risen. And the Federal Reserve has embarked on a series of increases in a key U.S. interest rate that helps determine the cost of borrowing, a potential brake on future sales..

 

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/home-builders-cut-back-for-third-straight-month-2017-06-16?siteid=bnbh

Trump’s Labor Department Pulls Obama-Era Guidance on Independent Subs | Cross River Real Estate

The Department of Labor announced today it has withdrawn informal guidance that was widely regarded as an Obama Administration crackdown on companies’ use of independent contractors and of workers who in effect are employed by two companies jointly.

Of those, the 2015 guidance on independent subcontractors raised the greatest concerns among remodelers because it could have forced companies to treat those subs as employees and thus pay payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, and related costs on those workers.

“Removal of the administrator interpretations does not change the legal responsibilities of employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, as reflected in the department’s long-standing regulations and case law,” the Labor Department’s statement said. “The department will continue to fully and fairly enforce all laws within its jurisdiction, including the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act.”

The July 15, 2015, administrator’s interpretation by the head of the Wage and Hour Division–which no longer is available on the department’s website–basically declared the government will be looking closer at a subcontractor’s economic independence when deciding whether that sub really ought to be regarded as an independent enterprise. That represented a shift from past practices in which government reviews appeared to focus on whether a company controlled a supposedly independent contractor by setting that person’s hours, providing tools, and requiring the contractor wear the company’s uniform.

“[N]o single factor, including control, should be over-emphasized,”  David Weil, administrator of DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, wrote in that now-removed administrator’s interpretation. “Instead, each factor should be considered in light of the ultimate determination of whether the worker is really in business for him or herself (and thus is an independent contractor) or is economically dependent on the employer (and thus is its employee). The factors should be used as guides to answer that ultimate question of economic dependence.”

The interpretation came out three months after the Labor Department announced it had secured consent judgments with 16 defendants in Utah and Arizona who had claimed more than 1,000 of their workers were independent contractors. In that case, which yielded $700,000 in back wages and penalties, the defendants were accused of requiring the workers to become member/owners of limited liability companies. “These construction workers were building houses in Utah and Arizona as employees one day and then the next day were performing the same work on the same job sites for the same companies but without the protection of federal and state wage and safety laws,” DOL’s announcement said. “The companies, in turn, avoided paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll taxes.”

The joint employer rule basically involves whether one company effectively controls all the activities of another company and thus is responsible for what that second company does to its employees. The rule had multiple implications for cases in which contractors used subcontractors and companies related to franchises.

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http://www.remodeling.hw.net/business/operations/trumps-labor-department-pulls-obama-era-guidance-on-independent-subs_o?utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=Article&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=REM_060717%20(1)&he=bd1fdc24fd8e2adb3989dffba484790dcdb46483

South Salem’s Hidden Sandwich Maestro | South Salem Real Estate

Find your way to The Market on Spring for fresh foodie fare in a quaint setting.

PHOTOS COURTESY MARKET ON SPRING

Most Northern Westchesterites who drive Route 35 are on a mission — to get from one town to another in a hurry, to make a train, or to pick up their kids. But, there’s a charming spot just minutes off this busy thoroughfare that’s certainly worth the detour.

The Market on Spring is at the center of the tiny but lovely hamlet of South Salem. Antiques, a riding academy, a tack shop, and cozy tavern are just about all you’ll find here, but that’s what makes it so wonderful. The small market is the perfect fit, renovated last year in a mix of natural wood and rustic metal, and serving carefully sourced, high-quality fare for breakfast and lunch. Though tucked away, the shop is attracting a steady stream of customers, explains manager and Vista native Bryce O’Brien. “People tell us they’ve lived in the area for years and have never made the turn onto Spring Street, never knew ‘anything was here,’ but now they’ve found us.”

Maybe word is getting out about the delicious sandwiches made from New York State grass-fed beef, or cage- and hormone-free turkey (all roasted in-house by Market’s chefs), with condiments such as chipotle remoulade, onion jam, and honey mustard aioli. The organic egg breakfast sandwiches (options include house-cured salmon and homemade chorizo) are also gaining a dedicated following. O’Brien says the shop’s country industrial decor and elevated deli menu are especially appealing to city folk who weekend at homes on nearby Lake Truesdale. Well, we suburbanites know a good thing when we see it, too!

The Market on Spring
112 Spring St, South Salem
914.977.3939;
www.marketonspring.com

 

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http://www.westchestermagazine.com/Blogs/Eat-Drink-Post/June-2017/South-Salem-Market-on-Spring/

Mortgage rates fall again | Waccabuc Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping for the fourth consecutive week and hitting its lowest level in nearly seven months.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.89 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending June 8, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.94 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.60 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.16 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.19 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.87 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.11 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. 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 10-year Treasury yield fell 3 basis points this week. The 30-year mortgage rate moved in tandem with Treasury yields, falling 5 basis points to 3.89 percent. Mixed economic data and increasing uncertainty are continuing to push rates to the lowest levels in nearly seven months.”

America’s Cities Are Running Out of Room | Katonah Real Estate

A shortage of homes for sale has bedeviled U.S. house hunters in recent years, so why don’t builders build more? One problem is that they’re running out of lots to build on—at least in the places that people want to live.

Cities that were sprawling before the Great Recession have begun to sprawl again. Space-constrained cities, meanwhile, have run out of room to build. That reality has spurred developers to focus on center-city neighborhoods where high-density building is allowed—and new units command exceedingly high prices.

At some point, said Issi Romem, chief economist at BuildZoom, vacant lots in desirable urban neighborhoods will run out. “If you have three days of rations left, you’ll be fine on day one, two, three,” said Romem, author of new research demonstrating home construction patterns. “On day 4, you have a problem.”

Historically, cities grew outward, as builders developed tracts on the periphery—then filled in the land between various developments over time. When these so-called expansive cities of the South and Southwest run out of infill land on which to build, developers simply pushed out further.
Some of these cities, like Austin and Nashville, have seen downtown boomlets. But more broadly, the building trends in those metros looks more like Dallas: Inside a 30-mile radius from the center of the city, new home sales decreased from 2000 to 2015. Outside the radius, though, sales are up by more than 50 percent. The same trend has played out to varying degrees in Phoenix, Atlanta, and San Antonio, among other cities.

In America’s most expensive cities, however, that dynamic has been turned inside out (or perhaps outside in). New construction trends in places like New York City have been tightly focused on downtown clusters where zoning rules permit high-density construction. These cities stopped expanding their geographic footprint decades ago, leaving builders to concentrate on finding buildable lots inside existing boundaries. As those lots became harder to find, land prices increase, reducing options for builders hoping to turn a profit. Developers building on pricey lots generally seek to offset land prices by building more densely, Romem said. In many cases, that means focusing on high-end apartments that offer better profit margins. The wealthiest residents are the only ones who can buy, and a vicious cycle is created.

Lately, there has been some give as oversupply of new high-end apartments forces landlords in New York and San Francisco to drop prices on expensive aeries. Still, the broader pattern continues to lean in the direction of higher rents.

What happens next depends on whether voters and their elected officials rewrite zoning rules to allow denser construction, said Romem, particularly in neighborhoods currently limited to single-family homes. Under current rules, he said, it’s unlikely new housing will get built at affordable prices, pushing city-dwellers into a game of musical chairs rigged to favor the rich.

“As long as these cities continue to do well economically, you’re going see poorer folks replaced by richer folks,” he said. “You’re going to read stories about teachers not being able to find place to live.”

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bloomberg.com

Residential Construction Employment Solid | Cross River Real Estate

The count of unfilled jobs in the overall construction sector remained elevated in November, as residential construction employment continues to grow.

According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs (on a seasonally adjusted basis) came in at 184,000 in November. The cycle high was 225,000 set in July.

The open position rate (job openings as a percent of total employment) for November was 2.7%. On a smoothed twelve-month moving average basis, the open position rate for the construction sector increased to 2.8%, setting a cycle high and exceeding the peak twelve-month moving average rate established prior to the recession.

The overall trend for open construction jobs has been increasing since the end of the Great Recession. This is consistent with survey data indicating that access to labor remains a top business challenge for builders.

The construction sector hiring rate, as measured on a twelve-month moving average basis, remained steady at 4.9% in November. The twelve-month moving average for layoffs was also steady (2.6%), remaining in a range set last Fall. Quits rose to 2.4% in November, consistent with a tight labor market.

Monthly employment data for December 2016 (the employment count data from the BLS establishment survey are published one month ahead of the JOLTS data) indicate that home builder and remodeler employment expanded, increasing by 9,800. The December gains continue the improvement in the Fall after a period of hiring weakness early in 2016. The 6-month moving average of jobs gains for residential construction has now increased to a healthier 11,450 per month.

Residential construction employment now stands at 2.653 million, broken down as 739,000 builders and 1.915 million residential specialty trade contractors.

Over the last 12 months home builders and remodelers have added 103,000 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point of industry employment following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 667,000 positions.

In December, the unemployment rate for construction workers stood at 6.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis. The unemployment rate for the construction occupation had been on a general decline since reaching a peak rate of 22% in February 2010, although it has leveled off in the 6% to 7% range since the middle of 2016

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/01/residential-construction-employment-solid-in-december/

Americans Move Less and Impact the Economy Less | Cross River Real Estate

The median tenure homeowners plan to stay in their homes soared with the housing recession in 2008 for good reasons. Millions of owners were underwater and millions more lacked the 20 percent equity need to sell their home.  Many facing the need to move for job or space reasons found it easier to move and keep their old home to rent out.  Thus was born the phenomenon of “accidental landlording”.

The housing economy has changed dramatically.  Values have almost regained their peaks at the top of the housing boom, far above the levels of 2008.  Yet owner tenure has not changed and repeat buyers’ expectations today are twice as long as actual tenure ten years ago.  Are longer tenures now locked in stone?

One of the leading motivations to move—change in employment—is also changing. Workers stick with the same job longer today than they did 10, 20, and 30 years ago.  U.S. workers had an average job tenure of 4.6 years in 2012, the last year for which figures are available—that’s up from 3.7 years in 2002 and 3.5 in 1983, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The trend holds up within almost every age and gender category—so it cannot be explained away by women’s increased presence in the workplace, or people working past traditional retirement age.

First-time buyers now expect to live in their homes 15 years or longer 2016-10-27_9-19-07

Another contributing factor could be the popularity of “aging in place” among the Boomer generation.  More and more elderly are staying in their family homes rather than downsizing, or moving to retirement communities or rentals.  According to AARP, 87 percent of adults age 65 plus want to stay in their current home and community as they age. Among people age 50 to 64, 71 percent of people want to age in place.

The Recession Changed Ownership Patterns

According to a new analysis by economists at the National Association of Realtors, in 1985, the median tenure for sellers remaining in their home was five years, the lowest in since NAR started tracking the data in the 30-year period. From 1987 to 2008, the median tenure for sellers was a steady six years throughout the course of about a 20-year period. The only exception was in 1997 when the median tenure jumped up one year to seven years for sellers.

As the U.S. housing market entered the recession, the median tenure for sellers began to rise—seven years in 2009, eight in 2010, and to nine years in 2011 where it has remained steady through 2015. The only exception is in 2014 when the median tenure for sellers reached an all-time high at 10 years, but came back down to nine last year. Thus market changes in the last decade have caused sellers to remain in their homes longer, increasing the median number of years in the home by 50 percent more than they did 20-30 years prior.

In 2006, first-time buyers reported that their median expected tenure was just six years and nine years for repeat buyers, the lowest since we started collecting the data for both buyer types. For repeat buyers, that bumped up to 10 years in 2007, 12 years in 2009, and then up to 15 years in 2010 where it has remained steady for the past six years. For first-time buyers, the median expected tenure in the home jumped to 10 years in 2008 where it has remained ever since.

It is no surprise that repeat buyers expect to remain in their home longer than first-time buyers. It is interesting, however, to see that first-time buyers in 2006 expected to sell in just six years. Fast forward a decade to 2015 and first-time buyers expect to sell in almost double the amount of time.

Economic Implications of Longer Tenure

Significantly longer ownership tenure means that homes will change hands less frequently, which hasmajor economic implications:

  • Volumes of transactions will fall for real estate brokers and lenders.  The coming of age of the Millennial generation could theoretically offset the effects of longer tenure except that the first symptom of extended tenure could be the chronic shortage of inventories over the last two years that has plagued home sales and limited opportunities for Millennials to buy;
  • Demand for remodeling and renovation will increase as owners choose to fix up their current homes rather than sell them.  Increased home repair will create new business for Home Depot and hardware stores.

 

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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2016/10/americans-move-less-and-impact-the-economy/

Are Trophy Homes Losing their Lustre? | Waccabuc Real Estate

Are Trophy Homes Losing their Lustre?

With pressure on the homebuilding industry to build fewer trophy homes and concentrate on filling the demand for affordable housing, the data does not bode well for builders.

Median prices of new homes have risen steadily during the recession. In September, the median sold price of a new home hit $313,500, 5.5 percent higher than last year’s median of $296,400 and 25.2 percent higher than the median price for existing homes in September.

Even so, over the past two years super expensive homes priced at one million or more are on the decline, according to data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction.  In 2015, a total of 1,762 homes were started for sale with a price of $1 million or more and new homes started for sale with a price of $1 million or more decreased as a share in absolute number in 2015. That number was significantly lower than in 2013 (3,347 homes) and 2014 (3,019).

 

2016-11-16_14-05-42

In percentage terms, these expensive homes represented 1.06 percent of all new homes started for sale in 2015, from a peak of 1.26 percent in 2014 but about the same as in 2013 (0.99 percent). This represents a much higher percent share compared to other years. For instance, from 2008 to 2012 the percent share of $1 million or more homes started for sale was less than 0.50 percent, while it was at most 0.66 percent during the boom period, reported the National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog.

To put things in perspective, Trulia reported in May that since 2012 the share of all million dollar homes in the United States has increased from 1.6 percent to 3 percent, but many metros and neighborhoods have seen a much larger increase.

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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2016/11/are-trophy-homes-losing-their-lustre/

Santa’s home on zestimate | Katonah Real Estate

Santa’s House  The North Pole

3 beds 2 baths 2,500 sqft

OFF MARKET
Zestimate®:$656,957
EST. REFI PAYMENT$3,228/mo
A toy-lover’s paradise nestled on 25 idyllic acres at the North Pole – perfect for spirited reindeer games. The home, constructed in the 1800s of gorgeous old-growth timber logged on site, is steeped in Old World charm but offers modern-day amenities, thanks to a 2013 renovation.

A welcoming entryway leads to the living room with a floor-to-ceiling river rock fireplace for roasting chestnuts. The gourmet kitchen is a baker’s dream, boasting an oven with 12 different cookie settings... More 

FACTS

  • Lot: 25 acres
  • Floor size: 2,500 sqft
  • Home type: Single Family
  • Year built: 1822
  • Last remodel: 2013

FEATURES

  • Santa’s Toy Workshop
  • Reindeer Stables
  • River Rock Fireplace
  • Sleigh Parking Garage

Zestimate Details

Zestimate
$656,957
+$1,144 Last 30 days
$610K

$700K

Zestimate range
Rent Zestimate
$3,300/mo
+$46 Last 30 days
$2.8K

$3.5K

Zestimate range
Zestimate forecast
$671,451
+2%
One year
  • Zestimate

*Endorsement by the United States Department of Defense or NORAD is not intended nor implied.