Category Archives: Pound Ridge

Buyers Rush Past Market Challenges | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Existing home sales increased 1.1% in May, and 55% of homes sold last month were on the market less than a month as buyers overcame low inventory and higher prices. Although May inventory increased 2.1%, it remains 8.4% lower than a year ago and fell year-over-year for the 24th consecutive month. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that at the current sales rate, the May unsold inventory represents a 4.2-month supply, down from a 4.7-month supply a year ago. May existing sales were up 2.7% from the same month a year ago, and reached a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.62 million compared to a downwardly revised 5.56 million in April. Total existing home sales include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.

May existing sales increased 6.8% in the Northeast, 3.4% in the West and 22% in the South, but declined 5.9% in the Midwest. Year-over-year, the South was up 4.5%, the West by 3.4% and the Northeast by 2.7%, while only the Midwest was down slightly.

Homes stayed on the market for only 27 days in May, compared to 29 days in April, and 32 days a year ago. The May timeframe was the shortest in the history of that series which began in May 2011. The May first-time home buyer share was 33%, down from 34% in April, but up from 30% in May a year ago.

The May all-cash sales share increased to 22% from 21% in April, and was unchanged from a year ago.  Individual investors purchased a 16% share in May, up from 15% in April, and up from 13% a year ago. Some 64% of investors paid cash in May, up from 57% of investors in April.

The May median sales price jumped 5.8% from last year to $252,800, representing the 63rd consecutive month of year-over-year increases. The May median condominium/co-op price of $238,700 was up 4.8% from the same month a year ago.

April pending sales dipped for the second consecutive month, so the May bump in existing sales was good news. New home sales have grown 11.3% this year, and both jobs and incomes continue to grow, suggesting an improving market for new single-family construction.

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/06/may-buyers-rush-past-market-challenges/

House hunting in Sweden | Pound Ridge Real Estate

AN ATTIC APARTMENT NEAR THE CENTER OF STOCKHOLM

$2.76 MILLION (23.9 million Swedish krona)

Once an attic used for storage, this two-bedroom, two-bathroom, roughly 2,500-square-foot space was converted into an apartment around 1970 and last renovated in 2013. It is on the seventh and eighth floors of a 1915 building with seven units on a quiet street in Ostermalm, a fashionable neighborhood just east of Stockholm’s city center.

The apartment has crisp white walls, oak floors, high ceilings and a terrace overlooking nearby rooftops. The front door opens onto a hallway that leads to a family room with a balcony and a staircase up to the main living area. The large upstairs living room has built-in bookshelves and large sliding doors opening onto a terrace. Up several steps to the left of the living room is a television room; on the right is an office with a skylight. Both the office and the family room downstairs could be used as bedrooms, said Jan Lundqvist, a broker with Residence, the Swedish real estate firm and Christie’s affiliate that has the listing.

Past the living room are the kitchen and dining area. A small hall leads to two bedrooms. One, the master suite, has a generous walk-in closet and an adjoining laundry room. As is typical in Sweden’s older homes, Mr. Lundqvist said, the bedrooms share a bathroom. (A second bathroom is on the same floor near the entrance, by the stair landing.)

The building’s amenities include bike storage, a parking garage and a communal wine cellar in the basement. Restaurants, tennis courts, parks with jogging trails and public transit are all within walking distance. The Stockholm Arlanda Airport is about a half-hour drive.

MARKET OVERVIEW

Home prices in Sweden have increased sharply since the 2008 global financial crisis, driven by the combination of a strong economy, low mortgage rates, a chronic housing shortage and rapid population growth, specifically an influx of refugees and others moving to urban centers for jobs and schools. But even during the recession Sweden’s real estate market didn’t suffer much, thanks to the shortage of housing and the swift countermeasures taken by the government and central bank, said Olof Manner, head of research for Swedbank, a financial services group based in Stockholm.

Prices are now about 50 percent higher than they were in 2008, he said. “I don’t think we have a bubble,” he said of the market. “But it’s very richly priced.”

Recently, however, the price increases have been slowing, Mr. Manner said. In 2015, prices rose 15 percent over the previous year; in 2016, that number fell to 10 percent. Home prices are now 7 percent higher than they were at this time last year, he said.

He attributed this to several factors: Banks have become stricter about mortgage applicants’ debt-to-income ratios; the government recently changed its mortgage amortization rules to require faster repayment schedules on new loans; fixed mortgage rates have risen slightly; and the novelty of the low rates has worn off.

A continuing challenge, he added, is that there aren’t enough new homes being built to meet demand, and the ones that are built don’t suit the refugee population’s need for small, affordable units.

Elisabeth Hallberg, a broker and manager with Per Jansson, a luxury real estate agency in Stockholm, said it’s a seller’s market. “The problem for the real estate agent is not to find buyers; it’s to find sellers,” she said, estimating that about 70 percent of the transactions she worked on in the past year have had multiple offers, and many had received an offer before the first open house.

The most desirable areas in the city, agents said, are Djurgarden, a parklike area with well-appointed villas, and Ostermalm, where this apartment is. Lars Fogelklou, the chief executive and a founder of Residence, said that in Djurgarden, high-end apartments can sell for between 20 million Swedish krona ($2,312,640) and 100 million Swedish krona ($11,563,200). Agents said prices in Ostermalm range from between 3 million Swedish krona ($346,896) and 10 million ($1,156,320) at the lower end, and up to around 70 million Swedish krona ($8,094,240) or 80 million ($9,250,550) at the higher end, with a few properties reaching 100 million Swedish krona ($11,563,200).

WHO BUYS IN STOCKHOLM

Most of Stockholm’s luxury home buyers are Swedish, some of them Swedes returning from abroad, agents said.

Ms. Hallberg estimated that about 20 percent of her clients are from Switzerland, Germany, the United States, Britain and France. Over the past year, Mr. Fogelklou said, a few of his clients (about 5 percent) have been from China, Germany and the United States; a much larger share (about 40 percent) were expats returning to Sweden.

BUYING BASICS

There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Sweden, said Jonas Bergquist, a Stockholm-based partner with Magnusson, a law firm with offices in the Baltic region and Scandinavia.

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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/07/realestate/real-estate-in-sweden.html?_r=0

Home Price Index rises 5.9% | Pound Ridge Real Estate

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas in the US rose 5.9 percent year-on-year in March of 2017, the same as in February and above market expectations of following a 5.7 percent gain. Prices rose the most in Seattle (12.3 percent), Portland (9.2 percent) and Dallas (8.6 percent). Meanwhile, the national index, covering all nine US census divisions rose 5.8 percent, up from 5.7 percent in February and setting a 33-month high. Case Shiller Home Price Index in the United States averaged 158.44 Index Points from 2000 until 2017, 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.

United States S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index
Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast (i)
2017-04-25 01:00 PM Feb 0.4% 0.2% 0.2%
2017-05-30 01:00 PM Mar 5.9% 5.9% 5.7% 5.8%
2017-05-30 01:00 PM Mar 1% 0.4% 0.3%
2017-06-26 01:00 PM Apr 5.9%
2017-06-26 01:00 PM Apr 1%
2017-07-27 01:00 PM May

 

United States Housing Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Building Permits 1228.00 1260.00 2419.00 513.00 Thousand [+]
Housing Starts 1172.00 1203.00 2494.00 478.00 Thousand [+]
New Home Sales 569.00 642.00 1389.00 270.00 Thousand [+]
Pending Home Sales 0.80 2.60 30.90 -24.30 percent [+]
Existing Home Sales 5570.00 5700.00 7250.00 1370.00 Thousand [+]
Construction Spending -0.20 1.80 5.90 -4.80 percent [+]
Housing Index 0.60 0.80 1.20 -1.70 percent [+]
Nahb Housing Market Index 70.00 68.00 78.00 8.00 [+]
Mortgage Rate 4.17 4.23 10.56 3.47 percent [+]
Mortgage Applications 4.40 -4.10 49.10 -38.80 percent [+]
Home Ownership Rate 63.60 63.70 69.20 62.90 percent [+]
Case Shiller Home Price Index 195.39 193.50 206.52 100.00 Index Points [+]

6 Food Trucks to Book for Your Wedding | Pound Ridge Real Estate

With so many events – engagement parties, showers, rehearsal dinners, after parties and send-off brunches – associated with your wedding day, food trucks are the perfect mobile way to break out of a catering rut. Six of our favorites offer a variety of cuisines and services perfect for all your events, or even the big day itself.

 

Melt Mobile

Based in Stamford, this duo of trucks offers seven grilled cheeses, plus sweet dessert melts.

The Menu: Rentals include the full menu (from the original to the jalapeno popper to the pulled pork with caramelized onions and pickles), plus any daily specials.

The Cost: Main service is $25/person; end-of-night service is $400 plus consumption. Bookings more than 1 hour from Stamford incur a $250 travel fee.

Test it Out: Follow Melt Mobile on facebook for a weekly list of locations.

Book it: www.melt-mobile.com

 

Walter’s Hot Dog Truck

Mamaroneck’s iconic hot-dog stand now has a small fleet of trucks serving its most popular standards.

The Menu: Customers can pick and choose which dishes (hot dogs, fries, potato puffs, ice cream, and homemade Italian ices, to name a few) they’d like to offer.

Cost: Starts at $1000 and varies based on the menu

Test it Out: The truck is at the White Plains Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) until November.

Book it: www.waltershotdogs.com/truck

 

The Cookery’s DoughNation

Chef David DiBari’s Dobbs Ferry pizza truck serves original interpretations of Neapolitan-style pies.

The Menu: Five pies: Margherita; Cookery meatball with silky ricotta; four cheese drizzled with chili honey; Brussels sprouts and bacon; and fresh lemon with scamorza and basil.

The Cost: Prices range from $1,200 (up to 50 guests) to $2,700 (up to 200 guests)

Test it Out: Find it at farmers’ markets in Irvington, Hastings-on-Hudson, and Chappaqua.

Book it: www.thecookerysdoughnation.com; only available April to November within 65 miles of Dobbs Ferry.

 

 

Frites of NY

Party of Two Catering operates this popular Hudson Valley-based truck specializing in fries tossed with flavorful seasonings or smothered in creative toppings.

The Menu: Choose from three options. The Basic Party (two hours of service, choose three menu items from more than 15 options) and the After Party (one hour of service, choose from seven options) both feature all-you-can-eat topped fries. The Toss Up is a pay-by-the-hour service and only includes tossed fries.

Cost: The Basic Party, $14 per guest; the After Party, $7 per guest; the Toss Up, $5 per guest per hour.

Test it Out: Follow Frites of NY on Facebook to find the truck at events.

Book it: www.fritesofny.com; truck is not permitted in Rockland, Greene or Albany counties.

 

The Souvlaki Truck

Greek street food (and thick-cut oregano fries) is the big draw for this Yonkers truck.

The Menu: Choose from Vending Style (guests order individually) or Buffet Style (setup of trays), to bring chicken souvlaki, pork souvlaki, lamb gyro, falafel, and fries to your guests.

The Cost: Vending style charges a truck rental fee (starts at $500) plus consumption; Buffet Style, $1,000 up to 50 guests, then $15 per guest.

Test it Out: The truck parks on Central Ave in Yonkers (between Fort Hill Ave and Ardsley Rd) Tuesday through Sunday.

Book it: www.souvlakitruck.com

 

Bona Bona Truck

The sweetest way to cap the night? How about a few scoops Nick DiBona’s popular, locally made ice cream.

The Menu: Scoops (cups or cones), sundaes, and shakes in flavors like rainbow cookie and cannoli, plus plenty of whipped cream, sauces, and sprinkles.

The Cost: $350 truck-rental fee plus per person fees $6-$13 (depending on the menu)

Test it Out: Follow Bona Bona Ice Cream Truck on Facebook to find it at events.

Book it: www.bonabonaicecream.com; only available within 20 miles of Larchmont

 

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http://www.westchestermagazine.com/Blogs/Wedding-of-the-Month/May-2017/6-Food-Trucks-to-Book-for-Your-Wedding/

Mortgage rates average 4.05% | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the 30-year mortgage rate hovering around 4 percent for the fourth consecutive week.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.05 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending May 11, 2017, up from last week when it averaged 4.02 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.57 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.29 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.27 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 3.14 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.13 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.78 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 jumped 8 basis points this week while the 30-year mortgage rate rose 3 basis points to 4.05 percent. Mixed economic reports over the last few weeks have anchored the 30-year mortgage rate around the 4 percent mark.”

Apartment and Condominium Market Momentum Continues | Pound Ridge Real Estate

The National Association of Home Builders’ Multifamily Production Index (MPI) increased two points to 55 in the fourth quarter of 2016. For five straight years, the MPI has been at or above 50, which indicates that more respondents report conditions are improving than report conditions are getting worse (Figure 1).

Figure 1: NAHB Multifamily Production Index (MPI) and Multifamily Starts (in thousands)

The MPI is a composite measure of three key segments of the multifamily housing market: construction of low-rent units, market-rate rental units and “for-sale” units, or condominiums. In the fourth quarter, low-rent units remained unchanged at 54 while market-rate rental units rose one point to 58 and for-sale units increased three points to 53.

The Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI), which measures the multifamily housing industry’s perception of vacancies, remained unchanged at 42, with lower numbers indicating fewer vacancies (Figure 2).

Figure 2: NAHB Multifamily Vacancy Index (MVI) and 5+ Rental Vacancy Rate

After peaking at 70 in the second quarter of 2009, the MVI improved consistently through 2010 and has been fairly stable since 2011. Historically, the MVI has shown to be a leading indicator of Census multifamily vacancy rates, which is displayed in Figure 2 as well.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/02/apartment-and-condominium-market-momentum-continues/

Builders Satisfy Demand for Open Floor Plans | Pound Ridge Real Estate

According to a recent NAHB article, open floor plans are popular among home buyers, and the design of new single-family homes tends to be, if anything, even more open. For example, in a 2015 NAHB survey, 70 percent of recent and prospective homebuyers said they preferred a home with either a completely or partially open kitchen-family room arrangement with 32 percent preferring the arrangement completely open).

When a similar question was asked in the September 2016 survey for the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, an even higher 84 percent of builders said that, in the typical single-family homes they build, the kitchen-family room arrangement is completely or partially open. Over half (54 percent) said it is completely open. Both surveys defined completely open as essentially combining two areas into the same room, and partially open as areas separated by a partial wall, counter, arch, or something else less than a full wall.

Of the remaining possibilities, 16 percent of buyers want the kitchen and family rooms in separate areas of the house, and 6 percent of builders say this is how their typical homes are designed. Eleven percent of buyers want the two areas side-by-side but separated by a wall, while only 2 percent of builders design their typical homes this way. And 4 percent of buyers prefer a home without a family room, while 9 percent of builders do not include a family room in their typical homes.

The same surveys show that 45 percent of home buyers favor a completely open kitchen and dining area arrangement, while an even higher 51 percent of builders design their typical single-family homes this way.

However, 41 percent of buyers want a home with a kitchen and dining area that are partially open to each other, while only 24 percent of builders design their typical homes this way. As a result, the 86 percent of buyers who want either a completely or partially open kitchen and dining area is actually higher than the 75 percent of builders who provide the completely or partially open design. This occurs in part because 12 percent of builders locate the kitchen and dining rooms in separate areas of the house, while only 3 percent of buyers say they want their homes this way

There are no hard data on the openness of floor plans in existing homes. However, in the survey for the first quarter 2016 Remodeling Market Index, professional remodelers reported that 40 percent of their projects involved making the floor plan more open by removing interior walls/pillars/arches, etc., indicating that the floor plans of existing homes are often not as open as their owners would like.

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/01/builders-satisfy-demand-for-open-floor-plans/

High End New Homes | Pound Ridge Real Estate

In 2015, a total of 1,762 homes were started for sale with a price of $1 million or more according to the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction. 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). Previous posts have discussed the upward trend in the median and average size of new single-family homes and how part of this is likely due to a historically atypical mix of buyers in the market.

chart1

In 2005, the number of new homes at this price reached a peak of 5,647 units. In the boom year of 2006, 4,966 new homes started were million dollar homes built for sale. In 2007, only 2,449 such homes were started followed by 1,028 homes in 2008. From 2009 to 2012, fewer than 1,000 of these $1 million+ homes were started every year.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/11/high-end-new-homes/

Mortgage rates average 4.03% | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates moving higher with the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage topping 4 percent for the first time since 2015.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.03 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending November 23, 2016, up from last week when it averaged 3.94 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.95 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.25 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.14 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.18 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.12 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.07 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.01 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 leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday, the 10-year Treasury yield rose 8 basis points. The 30-year mortgage rate followed suit, rising 9 basis points to 4.03 percent. This increase marks the first week since 2015 that mortgage rates have risen above 4 percent.”

US existing sales increase 2% | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Sales of previously owned houses in the United States rose 2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5600 thousand in October of 2016. It is the highest figure since February of 2007, beating market expectations of a 0.5 percent fall or 5430 thousand. Sales of single family homes went up 2.3 percent to 4990 thousand while those of condos were flat at 610 thousand. The average price fell 1 percent and the months’ worth of supply went down to 4.3 from 4.4. Existing Home Sales in the United States averaged 3881.83 Thousand from 1968 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 7250 Thousand in September of 2005 and a record low of 1370 Thousand in March of 1970. Existing Home Sales in the United States is reported by the National Association of Realtors.

 

 

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http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/existing-home-sales