Category Archives: Mount Kisco

Cladding used in many U.K. high-rises ‘combustible’ | Mt Kisco Real Estate

LONDON — Tests on the exterior cladding of tower blocks across Britain that use similar material found outside the building in west London where at least 79 people died in a fire have shown that some of them are “combustible,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday.

May said the tests were being carried out so that “all possible steps to ensure buildings are safe” were taken. Investigators believe that the type of exterior cladding used on the Grenfell Tower after a refurbishment last year may have caused the fire to spread more rapidly than if a different material was used. It had a plastic core.

The fire’s cause has not been established, although investigators suspect it may have started when a refrigerator exploded on one of the block’s lower floors.

There are thought to be approximately 4,000 tower blocks in Britain similar to the 24-storey residential complex in Kensington that went up in flames last week.

May said in an address to Parliament that authorities have been checking about 100 buildings a day and that the results come back within hours. Her office estimated that there are about 600 buildings in Britain that have the same type or similar cladding to that used in Grenfell Tower. However, May said it was still too early to draw conclusions about what caused the fire or why it appeared to spread so quickly.

“I urge any landlord who owns a building of this kind to send samples for testing as soon as possible. Any results will be communicated immediately to local authorities and local fire services. Landlords have a legal obligation to provide safe buildings and where they cannot do that we expect alternative accommodation to be provided. We cannot and will not ask people to live in unsafe homes,” she said.

May’s address came as the chief administrator of the neighborhood where the fire took place resigned Thursday, effectively marking the disaster’s first formal departure of a high-level official in the wake of Britain’s worst blaze in decades.

Nicholas Holgate, chief executive of the Kensington and Chelsea council, said he was asked to leave by May’s government. The initial days after the June 14 inferno were marked by chaos as authorities struggled to deal with the scope of the aftermath.

Residents who survived the tower blaze lost everything, only to get little help or information on how to secure shelter or vital supplies. Of the 600 people who lived in the tower block, many were low-income workers, recent immigrants and refugees.

Researchers at the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium believe the Grenfell Tower disaster is now the deadliest fire in mainland Britain since they started keeping close records at the start of the 20th century. A fire at Bradford City Stadium in northern England on May 11, 1985, killed 56 people.

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https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/06/22/london-fire-grenfell-tower/103097418/

Used home sales rise 1.1% | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Sales of previously owned houses in the United States went up 1.1 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.62 million in May of 2017, following a downwardly revised 5.56 million in the previous month and beating market expectations of a 0.5 percent drop. Sales of single family houses went up 1 percent to 4.98 million after falling by 2.8 percent in the previous month and those of condos increased 1.6 percent to 0.64 million, following a flat reading in April. The median house price increased to an all-time high of $252,800 and the months’ worth of supply went up to 4.2 percent from 4.1 percent. In addition, the number of houses available in the market increased to 1.96 million from 1.92 million in April. Existing Home Sales in the United States averaged 3902.01 Thousand from 1968 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 7250 Thousand in September of 2005 and a record low of 1370 Thousand in March of 1970.

United States Existing Home Sales
Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus Forecast (i)
2017-05-24 02:00 PM Apr 5.57M 5.70M 5.65M 5.7M
2017-06-21 02:00 PM May 1.1% -2.5% -0.5% 0.6%
2017-06-21 02:00 PM May 5.62M 5.56M 5.55M 5.6M
2017-07-24 02:00 PM Jun 5.62M 5641.63%
2017-07-24 02:00 PM Jun 1.1% 5641.63%
2017-08-24 02:00 PM Jul 5620.38%

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www.tradingeconomics.com

Manhattan Renters Seeking Deals Send Leasing to a Record | Mt Kisco Real Estate

In Manhattan, the number of newly signed leases climbed 17 percent in May from a year earlier to 5,969, the biggest total for the month in nine years of record-keeping, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. In Brooklyn, new apartment contracts surged 23 percent to 1,460, also the biggest total for the month in data going back to 2008.

Renters are taking advantage of a market that’s crowded with listings, weighing offers of free rent and other perks from landlords who are working to keep their units filled. Twenty-five percent of all new leases signed last month in Manhattan came with some kind of concession from the owner, about double the share in May 2016, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said. In Brooklyn, sweeteners were offered on 15 percent of new agreements, up from 8.8 percent a year earlier.

“They realize, ‘I do have quite a bit of options so let me take a look,’” Hal Gavzie, Douglas Elliman’s executive director of leasing, said of renters’ thinking. “‘Let’s just test the water and see what’s out there.’”

Vacancies Drop

In Manhattan, the surge of renter interest was enough to push down the vacancy rate to the lowest in two years, 1.72 percent, the firms said. It was the first time since 2015 that the figure dipped below 2 percent.

While all that dealmaking helped attract tenants, it kept a lid on rent growth. In Manhattan, net effective rents — calculated after incentives are factored in — were up 0.6 percent in May from a year earlier, to a median of $3,377, the firms said. In Brooklyn, the median rent after concessions dropped 2.1 percent to $2,782.

Some landlords are luring tenants by actually lowering their asking prices — a way to stand out from the crowd where free months of rent and payment of broker’s fees have become commonplace, Gavzie said.

 

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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-08/manhattan-renters-seeking-deals-send-leasing-to-a-record-for-may

Mortgage rates average 3.94% | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the 30-year fixed mortgage rate inching lower for the third consecutive week and setting a new low for the year.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.94 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending June 1, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.95 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.66 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.19 percent with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.92 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.11 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.07 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.88 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.

“In a short week following Memorial Day, the 10-year Treasury yield fell 4 basis points. The 30-year mortgage rate remained relatively flat, falling 1 basis point to 3.94 percent and once again hitting a new 2017 low.”

Developers are chasing the lower end of the condo market | Mt Kisco Real Estate

New condominiums coming to market are getting cheaper, as developers work to capture buyers in the popular sub-$5 million market.

In Manhattan, the average unit price on condos approved for market by the New York Attorney General’s office has been steadily trending down over the past two years. Back in 2015, developers were shooting for an average unit price of just under $5 million, according to The Real Deal’s analysis of accepted offering plans for the borough. In 2016, that average had dropped 24 percent to just below $3.8 million. And it looks like the trend is here to stay. In the first four months of 2017, the analysis showed, the average accepted unit price in the borough was $3.1 million, down 18 percent from 2016’s average accepted price.

It’s more evidence developers are shifting gears to provide product for the lower end of the market.

“We’re trying to make sure apartments aren’t too big or too expensive, given where the market is,” said Steven Rutter, the director of new development at Stribling Associates. “It’s a larger strategy to design stuff that is more affordable. We know the under $5 million market is stronger.” Stribling is handling sales at Gluck + and Cogswell Lee Development’s 150 Rivington Street, a project that was approved for sale last year with apartments starting at $995,000. Rutter said many developers are now planning buildings with a different mix of unit sizes than two or three years ago. “Buyers are looking for value right now. There’s a lot for them to choose from.”

At Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, president Kelly Kennedy Mack said in some cases they are telling their developer clients to adjust their unit mixes to remain below certain prices — although it’s not a blanket approach.

“There’s been an intelligent and necessary response to supply and demand dynamics,” she said. Corcoran tracks when buildings open for sale, which the firm define’s as when a sales office opens, rather than when the AG approves the offering plan. Mack said five of the seven Manhattan developments that have become publicly available this year are targeting a mid-market price of between $1,800 and $2,400 per square foot. It’s now been a year since a development with an average asking price of $4,000 per square foot and above has opened, with Related Companies’ 70 Vestry the most recent last big-ticket item, according to Mack.

The shift towards cheaper new development product has also broadened the buyer pool, developers said. “We’ve introduced the new development market to people who haven’t been able to afford it it before,” said Dan Hollander, managing principal of DHA Capital. Its project at 75 Kenmare Street in Nolita, approved earlier this year, has an average unit price of $3.7 million, according to the AG’s office. The company opted for lower prices following the success of its previous project at 50 Clinton Street, according Hollander, which launched in 2015 offering one-bedrooms for under $1 million and two-bedrooms for under $2 million. All but four of the 37 units are in contract at 50 Clinton, according to StreetEasy data. Hollander said targeting the lower price points and building more efficient-sized apartments was “experimental” at the time, but paid off because there’s so much demand in the sub $5-million market. “A lot of people want to get into a new condo… It’s a very appealing prospect, but there’s been little out there in their price range,” he said.

For other developers, the lower part of the Manhattan market has always been a safe bet. “We’ve been working like this for years,” said Gaia Real Estate’s Danny Fishman. “We always said we don’t care about the top 5 or 10 percent.” The company is joining with Acro Group to develop the Vantage, at 97-unit condo conversion at 308 East 38th Street where 30 percent of the units are priced under $1 million. Fishman said their business plan is to keep the unit cost down, and to design buildings with fewer amenities so there are lower common charges. The Vantage, approved earlier this year, has a gym but no swimming pool. The firm took a similar approach at its Hell’s Kitchen condo conversion at 416 West 52nd Street, where Gaia launched sales last year with the sub-$3 million buyers as the target.  “I’m giving up the market of the billionaire, but how many are there?” said Fishman.

CORE’s Emily Beare agreed that more new development product is becoming available for buyers who would normally only be able to buy resales. “For a few years the new development was geared towards the ultra-luxury, $10 million and above, and much larger units…. I think developers have switched direction a little for people who were priced out,” she said. The strategy shift may benefit buyers seeking new apartments with multiple bedrooms at a lower price point, she added.

 

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https://therealdeal.com/2017/05/25/de-luxed-developers-are-chasing-the-lower-end-of-the-condo-market/?utm_source=The+Real+Deal+E-Lerts&utm_campaign=eb04985cb1-New_York_Weekend_Update_10.18.2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6e806bb87a-eb04985cb1-385733629

Mortgage rates average 4.02% | Mt. Kisco Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the 30-year fixed mortgage rate remaining around four percent for the fifth consecutive week.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.02 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending May 18, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 4.05 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.58 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.27 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.29 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.81 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.13 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.14 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.80 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 fell 3 basis points this week to 4.02 percent. However, this week’s survey closed prior to Wednesday’s flight to quality. The delayed impact of the associated decline in Treasury yields may push mortgage rates lower in next week’s survey.”

Price it right and they will come | Mt Kisco Real Estate

No, that’s not a typo: Douglas Elliman’s profits dipped to just $100,000 during the first quarter of 2017, down from $7.1 million during the same period last year, parent company Vector Group reported Friday. The paltry sum was attributed to fewer closings at new development projects, Vector executives said.

Elliman closed sales worth $5.6 billion during the first quarter, compared to last year’s $5.7 billion, the company said. That resulted in $155.5 million in first-quarter revenue, down slightly from $157.6 million last year.

“There were less new development closings. That’s a higher-margin business so that hurt us,” said Douglas Elliman CEO Howard Lorber, during an earnings call Friday.

While the firm’s net income for the quarter was $100,000, its adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) was $1.8 million, compared to $9.1 million in 2016’s first quarter.

Overall, Vector’s first-quarter revenue was $415.2 million, up from $380.8 million in 2016’s first quarter. Vector reported a net loss of $4.2 million compared with net income of $19.3 million during the first quarter of last year.

Lorber told investors that New Valley, the real estate investment vehicle of Vector, would continue to take an “opportunistic” approach. “If there’s something that makes sense, that’s an opportunistic type of investment or a troubled project where we think we can add value, we’re interested,” he said.

In general, he said, the New York market has picked up — a sentiment shared by others in recent weeks.

Real estate conglomerate Realogy Holdings Corp., which reported its first-quarter results on Thursday, generated $1.2 billion in revenue for the quarter, a 6 percent improvement from the prior year, the company said. New Jersey-based Realogy had an adjusted net loss of $23 million compared to an adjusted loss of $17 million in 2016’s first quarter — both attributed to low seasonal transaction volume.

During an earnings call Thursday, Realogy CEO Richard Smith said there are “early signs of stabilization” in the luxury market, with sales in the $2.5 million-and-up segment up 10 percent from this time last year. “New product in New York City continues to be particularly strong,” he said.

NRT — the division that owns the Corcoran Group, Sotheby’s International Realty and Citi Habitats — saw revenue jump seven percent year-over-year to $897 million for the first quarter.

But Smith cautioned that there isn’t enough inventory on the low end of the market, and he described a recent bidding war for a $1 million New York City apartment as an example. Some 200 people showed up at the open house, 25 of them made bids and the apartment sold for 20 percent above the asking price, he said. “Listen, we don’t see that play out in every market,” he said. “The good news is, when something is priced right… it’s selling.”

 

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https://therealdeal.com/2017/05/05/elliman-only-made-100k-in-profits-in-q1/?utm_source=The+Real+Deal+E-Lerts&utm_campaign=5e50cfa7fe-New_York_Weekend_Update_10.18.2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6e806bb87a-5e50cfa7fe-385733629

Rental Apartment Absorption Flat While Condominium Absorption Jumps | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The US Census Bureau, in collaboration with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, releases data on completions and absorption rates for multifamily buildings with at least 5 apartments. The most recent release shows that completions of nonsubsidized, unfurnished, rental apartments amounted to 73,800 in the third quarter of 2016. This is 11,700 more than the second quarter of 2016, but 9,800 fewer than the third quarter of 2015 (Figure 1).

The absorption rate (apartments rented within 3 months of completion) for rental apartments completed in the third quarter of 2016 stood at 61 percent. This is 4 percentage points higher than the second quarter of 2016 (57 percent), but essentially unchanged compared to the rate from the third quarter of 2015 (60 percent) (Figure 1).

The release also revealed that the median asking rent of apartments completed in the third quarter of 2016 was $1,507. This is a significant increase compared to the median asking rent from the third quarter of 2015: $1,346.

In the third quarter of 2016, condominium completions rose considerably to 6,100, which is 2,800 units more than in the second quarter of 2016 and 1,800 higher than completions in the third quarter of 2015. The condominium absorption rate also posted an increase to 74 percent, which is 10 percentage points higher than the second quarter of 2016 and 23 percentage points higher compared to the third quarter of 2015 (Figure 2).

Figure 3 displays subsidized and tax credit unit completions as a share of total apartment completions. In the third quarter of 2016, subsidized or tax credit units represented approximately 6 percent (5,200 units) of total apartment completions. This is about the same share seen in the second quarter of 2016 (7 percent). It important to note that starting in 2010, the share of these units completed surged, but started to decrease significantly starting in 2014.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/03/rental-apartment-absorption-flat-while-condominium-absorption-jumps/

Home Price Gains Continue | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The Case-Shiller (CS) National Home Price Index, released by S&P Dow Jones Indices, continued to rise in October. The CS Home Price Index rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 10.7%, up from 10.1% last month. Due to tight inventory and high demand, house prices have accelerated since May and reached the pre-recession peak of 2006.

Along with the increases in national home prices, local home prices also increased in varying degrees in October. Figure 2 shows the annual growth rate of home prices for 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas.

All of the 20 metro areas had positive home price appreciation, ranging from 3.5% to 18.3%. Atlanta had the highest home price appreciation at 18.3%, while Chicago had the lowest but still positive growth at 3.5%. Home price appreciation in seven of the 20 metro areas was higher than the national level of 10.7%. Those markets are Atlanta (18.3%), Cleveland (16.7%), Tampa (15.1%), Dallas (12.6%), San Francisco (12.4%), Washington DC (11.4%) and Boston (11.1%).

 

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Are Starter Homes Going the Way of the Station Wagon? | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The millennial generation’s slow start in adulthood is still causing aftershocks in the housing economy.  Unemployment, underemployment and student debt have delayed their household formation beyond the timeframe of earlier generations.  Low interest rates and low down payment programs were enough to get millions of potential buyers into affordable homes before prices soared. Now it looks like an icon of the homeownership experience—the starter home—may be on the chopping block, soon to follow past icons of young family hood like station wagons and cloth diapers into obsolescence. Young buyers—Gen Xers as well as Millennials— are bypassing the traditional first rung of the housing ladder, the starter home and buying up. With inventories of affordable housing chronically slim and overpriced, especially the metros where they want to live, young prospective buyers are renting a year or two longer until they can afford a larger home that will meet their needs for many years to come.  That may be one reason buyers today are saying intending to stay at least 15 years in their new homes (see Americans Move Less and Impact the Economy. Some 14 million single family rentals, a number that swelled during the foreclosure crisis and continues to grow with the popularity of real estate investing, make the transition from rental to ownership easier for young families by providing a rental option that’s almost like ownership.

2016-11-14_15-27-12Source: Bank of America

The first alarms that starter homes may be on their way out were sounded last March when Bank of America released its first Homebuyer Insights Report, which found that:

  • Seventy-five percent of first-time buyers would prefer to bypass the starter home and purchase a place that will meet their future needs, even if that means waiting to save more. Thirty-five percent want to retire there.

 

  • More Gen Xers than Millennials have put off purchasing their first home because of debt.

 

  • Young buyers’ goals are not urban hot spots by family-friendly suburbs. More than half (54 percent) of buyers are looking for a home in the suburbs, including 52 percent of first-time buyers.

Now the new Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends, which was released on Halloween, confirms the Bank of America findings. “When Millennials do become homeowners, they leapfrog the traditional “starter home” and jump into the higher end of the market by choosing larger properties with higher prices, similar to homes bought by older buyers. They pay a median price of $217,000 for a home—more than Baby Boomers, and just 11 percent less than Generation X. The Millennial median home size is 1,800 square feet, similar in size to what older generations buy,” Zillow found. At $217,99p per property that has a 1,800-foot floor plan, the youngest generation is paying almost the median price for a median-sized home today, far from the definition of a starter home.

 

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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2016/11/are-starter-homes-going-the-way-of-the-station-wagon/