Category Archives: Mount Kisco

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/

Home builder confidence ends the year at highest point since 2005 | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Home builders saw a significant boost in confidence after President-elect Donald Trump won the election, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

This increase brought builder sentiment up seven points to a level of 70, the index’s highest point since July 2005.

Just before the election, builder confidence held steady, holding the HMI level at 63.

“This notable rise in builder sentiment is largely attributable to a post-election bounce, as builders are hopeful that President-elect Trump will follow through on his pledge to cut burdensome regulations that are harming small businesses and housing affordability,” said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady, a home builder and developer.  “This is particularly important, given that a recent NAHB study shows that regulatory costs for home building have increased 29% in the past five years.”

Perhaps this is just the increase the industry needs to boost new home development for first-time buyers, something that First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming said will be a key player in 2017’s housing market.

“Though this significant increase in builder confidence could be considered an outlier, the fact remains that the economic fundamentals continue to look good for housing,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said.

“The rise in the HMI is consistent with recent gains for the stock market and consumer confidence,” Dietz said. “At the same time, builders remain sensitive to rising mortgage rates and continue to deal with shortages of lots and labor.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as good, fair or poor. The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as high to very high, average or low to very low. Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

 

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http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38764-home-builder-confidence-ends-the-year-at-highest-point-since-2005?eid=311691494&bid=1616756

Holiday Credit Tips from North Shore Advisory | Mt Kisco Real Estate

 
  The Christmas & Holiday season is a time full of joy, laughter, and time spent with loved ones.

But, if you have ever stepped into a department store this time of year, you know that it’s also a hectic and stressful time. It’s easy to get caught up in all the parties and shopping, the last thing on your mind are account due dates and closing dates.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Double-check that credit card bill/payment alerts are activated.
  2. Auto-pay – a great way to make sure bills are paid on time. (Get a confirmation number!)
  3. Avoid paying late, it had the power to drop FICO score’s 100’s of points depending on your scores prior to the delinquency.
  • For instance, if John has a 780 FICO score he is a very low risk borrower. Let’s say he forgets to pay his bill on time this month, his score can drop down to 650, which is far from excellent. If John had delinquencies already appearing with a score of 660 prior to a new late payment he may experience a drop of 30-50 points. Since he is already a higher risk borrower his score does not have to drop much to show his new risk level.

Safeguard your credit score this Holiday season, especially if you are planning to go for a mortgage or loan within the next year or two – with the new trending credit data, lenders are looking at your revolving payment history dating back two year in order to assess the borrowers risk level.

If you have any questions or would like us to review reports, reach out to our Expert Credit Team!

Happy Holidays!

 
 
 
Tracy A. Becker, President

FICO Certified Professional

Expert Credit Witness Certified

Author “Credit Score Power”

 
North Shore Advisory Credit Repair
 
See What Our Clients Are Saying
 
North Shore Advisory In the Media
 
  Credit Resoration & Education
FICO Certified Professional

Author “Credit Score Power”
Expert Credit Witness Certified
North Shore Advisory, Inc.
5 West Main Street. Suite 207
Elmsford, NY 10523
P: 914-524-8300
F: 914-524-5014
info@northshoreadvisory.com
www.northshoreadvisory.com

 

Rates Steady as Increases Expected | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Nationally, the contract interest rate on conventional mortgages for home purchase held steady in October 2016. Over the month, the rate on conventional mortgages for home purchase was unchanged at 3.60%, according to data released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Rates on the purchase of previously occupied homes ticked up 1 basis point to 3.62% while rates on new homes fell 2 basis points to 3.54%.

presentation3

The lack of change in mortgage rates overall reported by the FHFA does contrast with the increase in mortgage rates over the month of October in the Mortgage Bankers’ Association’s Mortgage Applications Survey (MAS). This Survey indicates that the contract rate on conventional mortgages rose 5 basis points to 3.72% over the month*. However, the FHFA release more closely parallels results from Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS). The commitment rate on conventional mortgages ticked up 1 basis point to 3.47% over the month of October*.

Despite some divergence, over the longer term, these 3 series track each other fairly closely. Between 1990 and 2000, the trend in the 3 series matched, although the rates reported by MBA’s MAS and Freddie Mac’s PMMS were more similar while FHFA’s MIRS was often a bit lower. Since 2000, the three series have been in near unison both in its point estimate and the overall trend.

presentation4

The monthly data covers the month of October, but the weekly mortgage rate data for November indicates that rates have clearly begun to rise. As shown by the figure below, between October 28th and November 25th, the contract mortgage rate calculated by the PMMS rose from 3.47% to 4.03%. Over the same period, the MAS increased from 3.75% to 4.23%. Further, mortgage rates are expected to continue climbing in the near term. In its most recent forecast, dated October 28th, NAHB expects the rate on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage to climb in each of 2017 and 2018.

The increase in mortgage rates follows the increase in the 10-year Treasury note. A rising rate on the 10-year partly reflects the desire to make progress on monetary policy normalization, which has been impeded by a series of unrelated surprises over the course of the year. However, momentum has been building and expectations of an impending increase in the federal funds rate has pushed interest rates modestly higher in the second half of the year.

A more seismic impact from a different set of rate expectations has been set in motion by the surprise outcome of the November election. Proposals for fiscal stimulus via tax cuts, government spending and regulatory reform have led to expectations of stronger economic growth, higher inflation and higher interest rates. The yield on 10-year Treasury securities has moved up over 50 basis points since November 8.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/12/rates-steady-in-october-as-increases-expected/

Home buyer sentiment index weakens | Mt Kisco Real Estate

A home-buying sentiment index from Fannie Mae weakened for the third straight month in October, a sign the market’s momentum may be faltering.

Fannie’s home purchase sentiment index fell 1.1 percentage points to 81.7. After climbing as high as 86.5 in July, the index has fallen every month since then. It’s now 1.5 percentage points below its level from a year ago.

“Since July, more consumers, on net, have steadily expected mortgage rates to rise and home price appreciation to moderate,” said Fannie chief economist Doug Duncan in a statement. “Furthermore, consumers’ perception of their income over the past year deteriorated sharply in October to the worst showing since early 2013.”

The index includes six components from a monthly survey the mortgage buyer FNMA, +0.80%   conducts of 1,000 Americans on owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence.

Slightly more respondents said mortgage rates would rise in the next 12 months – 50% versus 49% in September. While most economists expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at its December meeting, it’s not clear how much of an impact that will have on mortgage rates, which remain near all-time lows.

And while the share of respondents expecting home prices to increase fell to 41% in October from 43%, prices seem to be defying gravity.

Respondents in Fannie’s survey expect home purchase prices to appreciate 1.9% over the next 12 months. Data provider CoreLogic forecasts home prices will rise 5.2% over the next 12 years, and many analysts and industry participants believe prices are increasing too quickly for most would-be buyers to keep up.

 

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/housing-market-becoming-more-pessimistic-fannie-mae-survey-finds-2016-11-07?siteid=yhoof2&yptr=yahoo

2017 conforming loan limits rise across the country | Lewisboro Real Estate

For the first time since the housing crisis, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is increasing the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2017.

For much of the country, the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loan limit remained at $417,000 for one-unit properties (or single-family homes) in 2016, just as it had for the previous 10 years.

The FHFA announced Wednesday that for 2017, it is increasing the loan limit from $417,000 to $424,100 for single-family homes.

The conforming loan limits for Fannie and Freddie are determined by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which established the baseline loan limit at $417,000 and mandated that, after a period of price declines, the baseline loan limit cannot rise again until home prices return to pre-decline levels.

The FHFA noted that until this year, the average U.S. home price remained below the level achieved in the third quarter of 2007, which it designates as the pre-decline price level, and therefore the baseline loan limit had not been increased.

But as the FHFA noted earlier Wednesday, its Home Price Index for the third quarter of 2016 makes it “clear” that average home prices are now above the level of the third quarter of 2007, which means that the conforming loan limits can be increased.

According to the FHFA, the expanded-data HPI value for the third quarter of 2016 was approximately 1.7% above the value for the third quarter of 2007, meaning the baseline loan limit will increase by that same percentage.

As noted above, the conforming loan limits for much of the country will increase from $417,000 to $424,100.

Loan limits will also be increasing in what the FHFA calls “high-cost areas,” where 115% of the local median home value exceeds the baseline loan limit.

As the FHFA notes, median home values generally rose in high-cost areas during this year.

According to the FHFA, the new ceiling loan limit, which applies in areas with the most expensive homes, will be $636,150 (which is 150% of $424,100) for one-unit properties in the contiguous U.S.

According to the FHFA, there are special statutory provisions that establish different loan limit calculations for Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In these areas, the baseline loan limit will be $636,150 for one-unit properties, but actual loan limits may be higher in some specific locations.

For a full list of the conforming loan limits by county, click here.

The increase in conforming loan limits is a long time coming, according to William Brown, the president of the National Association of Realtors.

 

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http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38593-fhfa-increases-conforming-loan-limits-for-first-time-since-2006?eid=311691494&bid=1597527

Fifth Avenue has record empty space as rents seen too high | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Landlords on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue are sitting on a record amount of open space as retailers balk at committing to expensive new leases in one of the world’s most prestigious shopping districts.

The availability rate on the famed strip, home to Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany & Co.’s flagship store, jumped to 15.9% in the third quarter, up from about 10% a year earlier, according to Cushman & Wakefield. The rate has climbed steadily this year, surpassing the prior peak of 11.3%, set in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The rise of empty storefronts isn’t limited to Fifth Avenue. It’s part of a Manhattan-wide space glut as retailers—buffeted by e-commerce, tepid demand for luxury goods and a strong dollar that’s eroded tourist spending—push back against rents that have soared to records. Leasing costs have increased in tandem with property values in the past five years, outpacing gains in merchandise sales and making it impossible for retailers to run profitable stores at many locations, according to Richard Hodos, a vice chairman at brokerage CBRE Group.

“Property trades are being based on achieving ever-higher rents, and nobody ever really looks at what retailers can afford to pay,” Hodos said. “In some cases, rents need to come down 30% or more for rents to be at levels where retailers are able to make sense of them again.”

Retailers are being squeezed across the U.S. In 2016, malls and other types of shopping venues have been hit by 280 major-brand store closures, totaling 12.8 million square feet (1.2 million square meters), data from Reis show. Another real estate research firm, Green Street Advisors, estimates that several hundred malls around the country will cease operations over the next decade.

Shoppers continue to shift their spending from stores to computers and smartphones. Online sales in the U.S. are expected to reach $398 billion this year, up 16% from 2015, according to research firm eMarketer.

Highest rents

On the stretch of Fifth Avenue from 49th to 60th streets, which commands the world’s highest rents, landlords are asking an average of $3,213 a square foot, up from $2,075 a square foot in 2011, Cushman data show. In the tourist-heavy Times Square area, rents stand at $2,104 a square foot after tripling over a four-year period.

The brokerage’s retail availability rate takes into account vacancies as well as stores occupied by merchants that plan to leave when their leases expire. Retailers that signed leases at high prices in the past several years and are seeking a tenant to sublease their space are also included, according to Steve Soutendijk, an executive director at Cushman.

“Tenants that signed at the absolute top of the market are looking to mitigate their exposure,” he said.

Michael Kors

At 667 Madison Ave., a 24-story tower two blocks from Central Park, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. is looking to sublease about 5,000 square feet of retail space at the base of the building, according to a person familiar with the plans. The store, with 22-foot (7-meter) ceilings, was the company’s largest when it opened in 2012, the New York Times reported at the time.

Four years later, the London-based fashion house is struggling to pay the rent, said the person, who asked not to be identified because negotiations aren’t public. Michael Kors is seeking a tenant to take over the space on a lease that runs through 2023, the person said.

For a Bloomberg Intelligence primer on the apparel industry, click here.

A spokeswoman for Michael Kors declined to comment. Representatives for the company’s landlord, Hartz Group, didn’t respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Lowering expectations

Property owners with space to fill are starting to lower their expectations, according to Cushman’s Soutendijk. Asking rents in some of Manhattan’s prime shopping districts, including Soho and Times Square, have declined over the course of 2016, Cushman data show.

“I think a lot of landlords are ready to make deals,” Soutendijk said. “Everybody understands there is too much space in the market. We are not in a state of equilibrium.”

Buyers of real estate during the recent boom years may not have much room to maneuver. To justify paying record prices for buildings—and the debt that financed the acquisitions—owners are under pressure to get the highest rents possible, according to Patrick Smith, a vice chairman of the retail brokerage at Jones Lang LaSalle.

“Typically, a building that has been capitalized over the past three years is very rent-sensitive,” he said.

General growth

Landlords who hold out for the right tenant can be left hanging on to empty space for years. A partnership of developer Thor Equities and General Growth Properties, the second-largest owner of U.S. malls, bought 530 Fifth Ave. in 2014. During a conference call with analysts that year, General Growth Chief Executive Officer  Sandeep Mathrani highlighted the property’s large, vacant block as an opportunity to attract new retailers.

No new retail leases have been signed at the property since the acquisition, though three tenants are close to agreements, according to a person with knowledge of the plans. The prospective occupants are in the health-and-beauty and sporting-goods businesses, and will likely pay less in rent than what the building owners had originally aimed for, said the person, who asked not to be identified because negotiations are ongoing.

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http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20161026/REAL_ESTATE/161029898/fifth-avenue-has-record-empty-space-as-rents-seen-too-high#utm_medium=email&utm_source=cnyb-realestate&utm_campaign=cnyb-realestate-20161026

Air Conditioning and Heating Systems in New Homes | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The US Census Bureau publishes information on characteristics of new homes started, including air conditioning and heating systems.

In 2015, approximately 93 percent of new homes started in the US had central AC. Central AC has been a common feature in new homes for some time, but its share did grow some between 2000 and 2015, going from 86 percent to 93 percent.

The share of new homes with central AC differs by Census Division (Figure 1). The New England and Pacific divisions, which have more temperate climates, have lower rates of central AC installed (73 percent and 69 percent in 2015, respectively). In contrast, in regions that are hotter and more humid, all or nearly all of the new homes started have central AC: for example, in the South Atlantic (100 percent), East South Central (100 percent), and the West South Central Divisions (99 percent).

ac

Heating Systems

The majority of new homes started in 2015 have either a forced air system (55 percent) or an air or ground source heat pump system (42 percent). The share of new homes that have a heat pump has grown over time, going from 23 percent in 2000 to 42 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, the share with a forced air system has declined, going from 71 percent in 2000 to 55 percent in 2015.

Heat pumps are more prevalent in Southern regions where air and ground temperatures don’t fall as much (Figure 2): East South Central (75 percent), South Atlantic (74 percent), and West South Central (45 percent). They are less so in the West North Central (29 percent), Pacific (14 percent), Middle Atlantic (13 percent), Mountain (12 percent), East North Central (11) percent, and New England divisions (4 percent).

pumps

The majority of new homes started had their heating systems powered by either electricity (40 percent) or natural gas (55 percent) in 2015. In regions such as the Middle Atlantic and New England, where electricity tends to be more expensive, the share of new homes with systems powered by electricity is low (13 and 5 percent, respectively). On the other hand, systems powered by electricity are more common in the south: for example, the South Atlantic (72 percent), the East South Central (71 percent), and the West South Central (41 percent).

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/10/air-conditioning-and-heating-systems-in-new-homes/

New home sales unexpectedly rise in September | Mt Kisco Real Estate

– New U.S. single-family home sales unexpectedly rose in September, pointing to sustained demand for housing even as data for August was revised sharply down.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday new home sales increased 3.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000 units last month, pulling them close to a nine-year high touched in July.

August’s sales pace was revised down to 575,000 units from the previously reported 609,000 units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast single-family home sales, which account for about 9.8 percent of overall home sales, falling to a rate of 600,000 units last month.

New home sales, which are derived from building permits, are volatile on a month-to-month basis and subject to large revisions.

Sales increased 29.8 percent from a year ago. They rose in the third quarter compared to the April-June period, indicating strong demand for housing.

Residential construction, however, likely remained a drag on gross domestic product in the third quarter.

Despite rising demand for housing, home building has been lagging, with builders complaining about land and labor shortages. Demand is being driven by rising wages as the labor market nears full employment, as well as by very low mortgage rates.

New single-family homes sales surged 33.3 percent in the Northeast and soared 8.6 percent in the Midwest last month.

Sales in the South, which accounts for more than half of new home sales, climbed 3.4 percent.

Sales fell 4.5 percent in the West, which has seen a sharp increase in home prices amid tight inventories.

 

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http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-newhomesales-idUSKCN12Q1VJ?il=0

Case-Shiller up 5.1% | Mt Kisco Real Estate

United States S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index  

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index rose 5.1 percent year-on-year in August of 2016, following a 5 percent increase in July and above market expectations of 5 percent. Portland, Seattle and Denver reported the highest annual gains over each of the last seven months with prices up by 11.7 percent, 11.4 percent and 8.8 percent respectively in August. On a monthly basis, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index increased 0.4 percent, easing from a 0.6 percent rise in July. Case Shiller Home Price Index in the United States averaged 157.24 Index Points from 2000 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 206.52 Index Points in July of 2006 and a record low of 100 Index Points in January of 2000. Case Shiller Home Price Index in the United States is reported by the Standard & Poor’s.

United States S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index
Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast (i)
2016-09-27 01:00 PM Jul 5% 5.1% 5.1% 5.1%
2016-10-25 01:00 PM Aug 5.1% 5% 5% 5%
2016-10-25 01:00 PM Aug 0.4% 0.6% 0.4% 0.5%
2016-11-24 02:00 PM Sep 0.4%
2016-11-24 02:00 PM Sep 5.1%
2016-12-29 02:00 PM Oct

 

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http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/case-shiller-home-price-index