Category Archives: Pound Ridge

Free-Falling New York Rents Plunge 12% in Queens | Pound Ridge Real Estate

For New York City apartment hunters, April was another good month to find a deal on rents. But no one fared better than those in northwest Queens.

Rents there dropped 12 percent from a year earlier, to a median of $2,646 a month after landlord giveaways were subtracted, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Those giveaways were offered on 65 percent of all new leases signed in the area, excluding renewals, a record share in data going back to the beginning of 2016.

The enticements brought in more renters. New leases in northwest Queens — Long Island City, Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside — jumped 11 percent to 272, the firms said.

“More customers who were originally looking in Manhattan and Brooklyn are considering Queens,” said Hal Gavzie, Douglas Elliman’s executive manager of leasing. “It used to be just 100 percent a different consumer.”

Take the 7 Train

A glut of apartment supply is pushing rents down in New York City, with northwest Queens plunging 12% in April.

New York City tenants are crossing borders to compare deals in a market groaning under the weight of new supply. Landlords, who’ve accepted they need to compete to keep their units filled, are working to attract new tenants and offering sweeter renewal terms to keep the ones they have, Gavzie said. In Manhattan, 44 percent of all new leases came with a landlord concession, such as a free month of rent or payment of broker fees. In Brooklyn, the share was 51 percent, a record for the borough.

Still, the number of new leases in Manhattan and Brooklyn fell 3.5 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively, a sign that renters there found good reason to stay in their current apartments, Gavzie said.

“Tenants negotiating a renewal, they’ve looked around to see what deals they can get,” he said. “So their landlord gives them a sweet offer to stay.”

Manhattan rents in April, after subtracting concessions, fell 2.2 percent, to a median of $3,236, the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year declines. In Brooklyn, where rents have also fallen for five months, the decline was 2.9 percent, to a median of $2,686.

For Queens, the report tracks only the northwest, the part of the borough nearest Manhattan.

 

real estate…

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-05-10/with-nyc-rents-sliding-queens-leads-the-way-on-landlord-breaks

NYS high taxes versus other states | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Tax season can be stressful for the millions of Americans who owe money to Uncle Sam. Every year, the average U.S. household pays more than $5,700 in federal income taxes, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And while we’re all faced with that same obligation, there is significant difference when it comes to state and local taxes. Taxpayers in the most tax-expensive states, for instance, pay three times more than those in the cheapest states.

Surprisingly, though, low income taxes don’t always mean low taxes as a whole. For example, while the state of Washington’s citizens don’t pay income tax, they still end up spending over 8% of their annual income on sales and excise taxes. Texas residents also don’t pay income tax, but spend 1.86% of their income on real estate taxes, one of the highest rates in the country. Compare these to California, where residents owe a little over 4% of their income in sales and excise taxes, and just 0.79% in real estate tax.

As this year’s tax-filing deadline, April 17, comes closer, it’s fair to wonder which states give their taxpayers more of a break. WalletHub searched for answers by comparing state and local tax rates in the 50 states and the District of Columbia against national medians. To illustrate, we calculated relative income-tax obligations by applying the effective income-tax rates in each state and locality to the average American’s income. Scroll down for the complete ranking, commentary from a panel of tax experts and a full description of our methodology.

 

Main Findings

 

Taxes by State

Overall Rank (1=Lowest) State Effective Total State & Local Tax Rates on Median U.S. Household* Annual State & Local Taxes on Median U.S. Household* % Difference Between State & U.S. Avg.** Annual State & Local Taxes on Median State Household*** Adjusted Overall Rank (based on Cost of Living Index)
1 Alaska 5.67% $3,164 -47.26% $4,353 5
2 Delaware 6.11% $3,407 -43.21% $3,909 1
3 Montana 7.29% $4,066 -32.23% $3,911 4
4 Nevada 7.44% $4,145 -30.90% $4,103 6
5 Wyoming 7.45% $4,155 -30.75% $4,417 2
6 Tennessee 7.98% $4,449 -25.84% $3,667 3
7 Idaho 8.48% $4,730 -21.16% $4,216 7
8 California 8.77% $4,888 -18.51% $7,167 36
9 Florida 8.83% $4,921 -17.97% $4,373 9
10 South Carolina 9.02% $5,030 -16.16% $4,278 11
11 Oregon 9.20% $5,129 -14.51% $5,677 34
12 Utah 9.23% $5,144 -14.25% $5,902 10
13 Colorado 9.27% $5,170 -13.82% $6,100 13
14 Alabama 9.40% $5,241 -12.64% $4,177 8
15 Arizona 9.50% $5,299 -11.67% $4,977 12
16 South Dakota 9.75% $5,439 -9.34% $4,757 16
17 North Dakota 9.84% $5,488 -8.53% $5,493 18
18 District of Columbia 10.00% $5,574 -7.09% $8,811 46
19 New Hampshire 10.27% $5,725 -4.57% $7,221 33
20 Hawaii 10.33% $5,762 -3.96% $8,277 51
21 West Virginia 10.39% $5,791 -3.48% $4,343 19
22 Louisiana 10.39% $5,795 -3.41% $4,757 17
23 Georgia 10.54% $5,876 -2.06% $5,237 14
24 North Carolina 10.64% $5,934 -1.09% $5,167 20
25 Oklahoma 10.75% $5,993 -0.11% $4,848 15
26 New Mexico 10.82% $6,031 0.53% $5,038 23
27 Virginia 10.87% $6,061 1.03% $7,276 27
28 Texas 11.04% $6,156 2.61% $5,347 21
29 Vermont 11.04% $6,158 2.64% $6,800 41
30 Missouri 11.28% $6,291 4.86% $5,435 22
31 Minnesota 11.57% $6,453 7.56% $7,085 31
32 Massachusetts 11.61% $6,470 7.85% $9,390 45
33 Washington 11.68% $6,514 8.57% $8,023 37
34 Maine 11.75% $6,554 9.24% $6,133 42
35 Indiana 11.86% $6,614 10.25% $5,667 26
36 Maryland 11.96% $6,666 11.12% $9,552 44
37 Kentucky 12.06% $6,723 12.06% $5,293 29
38 Mississippi 12.21% $6,810 13.51% $4,954 24
39 Arkansas 12.30% $6,858 14.32% $5,142 25
40 Kansas 12.42% $6,924 15.41% $6,104 28
41 Pennsylvania 12.45% $6,940 15.68% $6,642 38
42 Michigan 12.81% $7,145 19.09% $5,843 30
43 New Jersey 12.87% $7,175 19.59% $11,237 47
44 Iowa 12.92% $7,202 20.05% $6,354 32
45 Ohio 13.09% $7,300 21.68% $6,081 35
46 Wisconsin 13.62% $7,593 26.56% $7,193 40
47 Rhode Island 13.69% $7,634 27.26% $8,697 48
48 New York 13.72% $7,648 27.49% $9,759 50
49 Nebraska 13.83% $7,712 28.55% $6,776 39
50 Connecticut 13.85% $7,720 28.68% $10,419 49
51 Illinois 14.89% $8,299 38.34% $8,330 43

*Assumes “Median U.S. Household” has an annual income of $55,754 (mean third quintile U.S. income); owns a home valued at $184,700 (median U.S. home value); owns a car valued at $24,000 (the highest-selling car of 2017); and spends annually an amount equal to the spending of a household earning the median U.S. income.
**National Average of State and Local Tax Rates = 10.78%
***Assumes “Median State Household” has an annual income equal to the mean third quintile income of the state; owns a home at a value equal to the median of the state; owns a car valued at $24,000 (the highest-selling car of 2017); and spends annually an amount equal to the spending of a household earning the median state income.

Artwork-Best-&-Worst-States-to-be-a-Taxpayer-2018-v1

Red States vs. Blue States

 

State & Local Tax Breakdown

All effective tax rates shown below were calculated as a percentage of the mean third quintile U.S. income of $55,754 and based on the characteristics of the Median U.S. Household*.

State

Effective Real-Estate Tax Rate

Real-Estate Tax Rank ($)

Effective Vehicle Property Tax Rate

Vehicle Property Tax Rank ($)

Effective Income Tax Rate

Income Tax Rank ($)

Effective Sales & Excise Tax Rate

Sales & Excise Tax Rank ($)

Effective Total State & Local Tax Rates on Median U.S. Household*

Alabama 1.42% 2
($791)
0.29% 28
($163)
2.68% 28
($1,494)
5.01% 39
($2,793)
9.40%
Alaska 3.93% 33
($2,190)
0.00% 1
($0)
0.10% 6
($56)
1.65% 4
($918)
5.67%
Arizona 2.56% 16
($1,427)
0.72% 38
($403)
1.57% 13
($873)
4.66% 35
($2,595)
9.50%
Arkansas 2.08% 10
($1,161)
0.43% 29
($239)
2.66% 27
($1,483)
7.13% 50
($3,975)
12.30%
California 2.62% 17
($1,461)
0.28% 27
($156)
1.40% 11
($781)
4.47% 30
($2,491)
8.77%
Colorado 1.90% 7
($1,058)
0.77% 40
($428)
2.54% 25
($1,414)
4.07% 24
($2,269)
9.27%
Connecticut 6.70% 48
($3,733)
1.09% 47
($609)
2.25% 19
($1,255)
3.81% 18
($2,123)
13.85%
Delaware 1.81% 4
($1,009)
0.00% 1
($0)
3.03% 33
($1,689)
1.27% 3
($708)
6.11%
District of Columbia 1.84% 5
($1,026)
0.00% 1
($0)
3.72% 46
($2,072)
4.44% 28
($2,475)
10.00%
Florida 3.38% 27
($1,885)
0.00% 1
($0)
0.00% 1
($0)
5.45% 44
($3,037)
8.83%
Georgia 3.07% 25
($1,712)
0.00% 1
($0)
3.17% 35
($1,768)
4.30% 26
($2,396)
10.54%
Hawaii 0.90% 1
($501)
0.00% 1
($0)
3.85% 47
($2,147)
5.59% 46
($3,115)
10.33%
Idaho 2.52% 13
($1,404)
0.00% 1
($0)
2.13% 16
($1,185)
3.84% 20
($2,141)
8.48%
Illinois 7.69% 50
($4,288)
0.00% 1
($0)
2.82% 30
($1,572)
4.37% 27
($2,439)
14.89%
Indiana 2.88% 23
($1,606)
0.54% 33
($300)
3.71% 45
($2,068)
4.73% 36
($2,640)
11.86%
Iowa 4.95% 38
($2,762)
0.43% 30
($240)
3.03% 34
($1,691)
4.50% 31
($2,509)
12.92%
Kansas 4.63% 37
($2,580)
0.89% 43
($495)
1.78% 15
($994)
5.12% 40
($2,855)
12.42%
Kentucky 2.83% 21
($1,579)
0.52% 31
($292)
4.87% 51
($2,716)
3.83% 19
($2,135)
12.06%
Louisiana 1.68% 3
($934)
0.04% 25
($24)
2.17% 18
($1,212)
6.50% 49
($3,624)
10.39%
Maine 4.38% 35
($2,444)
1.03% 45
($576)
2.54% 26
($1,416)
3.80% 17
($2,117)
11.75%
Maryland 3.64% 31
($2,030)
0.00% 1
($0)
4.30% 49
($2,395)
4.02% 23
($2,241)
11.96%
Massachusetts 4.01% 34
($2,238)
0.97% 44
($540)
3.67% 44
($2,046)
2.95% 6
($1,646)
11.61%
Michigan 5.66% 43
($3,158)
0.25% 26
($142)
3.32% 37
($1,850)
3.58% 11
($1,995)
12.81%
Minnesota 3.86% 32
($2,155)
0.56% 35
($311)
2.94% 32
($1,640)
4.21% 25
($2,347)
11.57%
Mississippi 2.64% 19
($1,470)
1.46% 49
($813)
2.34% 21
($1,303)
5.78% 47
($3,224)
12.21%
Missouri 3.30% 26
($1,842)
1.08% 46
($600)
2.91% 31
($1,625)
3.99% 22
($2,224)
11.28%
Montana 2.82% 20
($1,570)
0.55% 34
($307)
2.76% 29
($1,541)
1.16% 2
($646)
7.29%
Nebraska 6.05% 45
($3,371)
0.69% 36
($383)
2.53% 24
($1,410)
4.57% 32
($2,548)
13.83%
Nevada 2.56% 15
($1,425)
0.76% 39
($423)
0.53% 8
($295)
3.59% 12
($2,002)
7.44%
New Hampshire 7.24% 49
($4,038)
0.77% 41
($432)
0.60% 9
($335)
1.65% 5
($920)
10.27%
New Jersey 7.96% 51
($4,437)
0.00% 1
($0)
1.40% 11
($781)
3.51% 9
($1,957)
12.87%
New Mexico 2.53% 14
($1,408)
0.00% 1
($0)
2.16% 17
($1,204)
6.13% 48
($3,419)
10.82%
New York 5.48% 42
($3,057)
0.00% 1
($0)
3.49% 40
($1,945)
4.75% 37
($2,647)
13.72%
North Carolina 2.84% 22
($1,581)
0.54% 32
($299)
3.62% 43
($2,018)
3.65% 15
($2,035)
10.64%
North Dakota 3.49% 28
($1,947)
0.00% 1
($0)
0.78% 10
($432)
5.58% 45
($3,108)
9.84%
Ohio 5.18% 40
($2,890)
0.00% 1
($0)
3.34% 38
($1,862)
4.57% 33
($2,548)
13.09%
Oklahoma 2.94% 24
($1,638)
0.00% 1
($0)
2.44% 23
($1,360)
5.37% 42
($2,994)
10.75%
Oregon 3.53% 30
($1,970)
0.00% 1
($0)
4.74% 50
($2,640)
0.93% 1
($519)
9.20%
Pennsylvania 5.14% 39
($2,867)
0.00% 1
($0)
3.90% 48
($2,174)
3.40% 8
($1,898)
12.45%
Rhode Island 5.46% 41
($3,047)
2.05% 51
($1,144)
2.30% 20
($1,282)
3.88% 21
($2,162)
13.69%
South Carolina 1.89% 6
($1,056)
1.17% 48
($651)
2.35% 22
($1,310)
3.61% 14
($2,013)
9.02%
South Dakota 4.39% 36
($2,446)
0.00% 1
($0)
0.00% 1
($0)
5.37% 41
($2,992)
9.75%
Tennessee 2.47% 12
($1,376)
0.00% 1
($0)
0.10% 6
($56)
5.41% 43
($3,017)
7.98%
Texas 6.16% 46
($3,435)
0.00% 1
($0)
0.00% 1
($0)
4.88% 38
($2,720)
11.04%
Utah 2.22% 11
($1,240)
0.00% 1
($0)
3.35% 39
($1,869)
3.65% 15
($2,035)
9.23%
Vermont 5.89% 44
($3,285)
0.00% 1
($0)
1.61% 14
($896)
3.55% 10
($1,977)
11.04%
Virginia 2.63% 18
($1,467)
1.74% 50
($971)
3.49% 41
($1,947)
3.00% 7
($1,675)
10.87%
Washington 3.52% 29
($1,962)
0.00% 1
($0)
0.00% 1
($0)
8.16% 51
($4,552)
11.68%
West Virginia 1.94% 8
($1,082)
0.71% 37
($398)
3.29% 36
($1,833)
4.44% 29
($2,478)
10.39%
Wisconsin 6.46% 47
($3,602)
0.00% 1
($0)
3.56% 42
($1,985)
3.60% 13
($2,006)
13.62%
Wyoming 2.03% 9
($1,130)
0.77% 41
($432)
0.00% 1
($0)
4.65% 34
($2,593)
7.45%

*Assumes “Median U.S. Household” has an income equal to $55,754 (mean third quintile U.S. income); owns a home valued at $184,700 (median U.S. home value); owns a car valued at $24,000 (the highest-selling car of 2017); and spends annually an amount equal to the spending of a household earning the median U.S. income.

 

Ask the Experts: Best Tax Advice

For more insight into the impact state and local taxes have on migration and public policy, we turned to a panel of leading tax and policy experts. You can check out their bios and responses below.

  1. Do people usually consider taxes when deciding where to live? Should they?
  2. How can state and local tax policy be used to attract new residents and stimulate growth?
  3. Which states have particularly complicated tax rules for families?
  4. How has the total amount families pay in state and local taxes changed as a result of the new tax code?
  5. Which states have the best mix of taxes and government services?
  6. Should people pay taxes based on where they live or where they work?

read more…

 

https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-states-to-be-a-taxpayer/2416/

Fed raises rates | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Federal Reserve officials, meeting for the first time under Chairman Jerome Powell, raised the benchmark lending rate a quarter-point and forecast a steeper path of hikes in 2019 and 2020, citing an improving economic outlook. Policy makers continued to project a total of three increases this year.

“The economic outlook has strengthened in recent months,” the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement Wednesday in Washington. Officials repeated previous language that they anticipate “further gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy.”

The upward revision in their rate path suggests Fed officials are looking through soft first-quarter economic reports and expect a lift this year and next from tax cuts passed by Republicans in December. Financial conditions have tightened since late January as investors look for signs that the central bank might raise rates at a faster pace, while forecasters predict stronger U.S. growth and tight labor markets.

The vote to lift the federal funds rate target range to 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent was a unanimous 8-0.

The latest set of quarterly forecasts forecasts showed that policy makers were divided over the outlook for the benchmark interest rate in 2018. Seven officials projected at least four quarter-point hikes would be appropriate this year, while eight expected three or fewer increases to be warranted.

In the forecasts, U.S. central bankers projected a median federal funds rate of 2.9 percent by the end of 2019, implying three rate increases next year, compared with two 2019 moves seen in the last round of forecasts in December. They saw rates at 3.4 percent in 2020, up from 3.1 percent in December, according to the median estimate.

Inflation Pickup

In another change to the statement, the Fed said inflation on an annual basis is “expected to move up in coming months,” after saying “move up this year” in the January statement. Price gains are still expected to stabilize around the Fed’s 2 percent target over the medium term, the FOMC said.

The central bank’s preferred price gauge rose 1.7 percent in the 12 months through January and officials projected it to rise to 2 percent in 2019 and hit 2.1 percent the following year, the latest estimates showed. The estimates for inflation excluding food and energy, which officials see as a better way to gauge underlying price trends, rose to 2.1 percent in 2019 and 2020 from 2 percent seen in December.

“Job gains have been strong in recent months, and the unemployment rate has stayed low,” the FOMC said. The statement said that household spending and business investment “have moderated” from strong fourth-quarter readings.

The statement also repeated previous language that “near-term risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced.”

Powell will hold his first post-FOMC press conference at 2:30 p.m. local time.

Supply, Demand

The Fed’s goal is to keep supply and demand in balance in the economy amid a tight labor market, without lifting borrowing costs so quickly that the economy stalls.

Officials have had to factor in the impact of fiscal stimulus signed by President Donald Trump since their previous projections.

The median estimate for economic growth this year rose to 2.7 percent from 2.5 percent in December, signaling confidence in U.S. consumers despite recent weak readings on retail sales that have pushed down tracking estimates of first-quarter activity. The 2019 estimate rose to 2.4 percent from 2.1 percent.

The committee’s forecast for the long-run sustainable growth rate of the economy was unchanged at 1.8 percent, suggesting policy makers are still skeptical of the effect of tax cuts on the economy’s capacity for growth. The 2020 gross domestic product growth median projection was also unchanged at 2 percent.

While U.S. unemployment of 4.1 percent is the lowest since 2000, wage growth has remained moderate and inflation has been below the Fed’s target for most of the last five years.

The median projection for the long-run fed funds rate ticked up to 2.9 percent from 2.8 percent in December. The Fed had been gradually reducing its estimate of the long-run neutral fed funds rate since it began publishing its calculations in January 2012.

 

read more…

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-20/

Monthly home price up .3% | Pound Ridge Real Estate

The average prices of single-family houses with mortgages guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the United States increased 0.3 percent month-over-month in December 2017, following an upwardly revised 0.5 percent gain in November and missing market expectations of 0.4 percent. Year-on-year, house prices went up 6.5 percent, the same pace as in the previous month. Housing Index in the United States averaged 0.29 percent from 1991 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 1.20 percent in January of 2000 and a record low of -1.80 percent in November of 2008.

 

 

read more…

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

Tight home buying market | Pound Ridge Real Estate

The tight US housing market is prompting a growing number of homebuyers to bid before they’re able to see the properties in person, a Redfin survey found.

Last year, 35% of homebuyers — over a third — made an offer sight-unseen, according to a survey conducted late last year. That’s up from 33% of buyers that were polled in May 2017, and 19% of those polled in June 2016.

It shows how heated the race to make the fastest and most attractive offer has become.

Because builders are unable to keep up with the pace of demand, housing markets in many major cities are tight, except at the luxury end. Additionally, existing homeowners trying to upgrade may be able to sell quickly, but often hesitate knowing they’ll face a much tougher buyer’s market. That’s making even fewer homes available for sale.

Millennials were much more likely than older homebuyers to make offers sight-unseen. Redfin’s Greg McCarriston, who authored the report, said this was partly because the younger demographic tends to have more faith in what they see when shopping online. Remote shoppers also relied on agents to conduct live video tours, and for advice on details like school districts and neighborhoods.

A full 57% of offers in Los Angeles were made sight-unseen, while 46% of offers San Diego, and 44% in San Francisco were made remotely, according to the study.

“Demand is relentless despite all of these headwinds homebuyers should be facing in terms of low inventory competition and high prices,” Cheryl Young, a senior economist at Trulia, told Business Insider. “I think we’ll actually see demand continue going up this year.”

 

 

 

read more…

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/home-offers-sight-unseen-grows-in-redfin-survey-2018-2

Single Family Construction Spending Up | Pound Ridge Real Estate

NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending grew 0.4% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $517.7 billion. It was a modest gain after a 0.2% dip in September. The total private residential construction spending was 7.4% higher than a year ago.

The monthly gains are largely attributed to the steady growth of spending on single-family and home improvements. Single-family construction spending edged up 0.3%, and remodeling spending rebounded by 1.4% in October. However, multifamily construction spending slipped 1.6% after the September dip, and was 2% lower since a year ago.

The NAHB construction spending index, which is shown in the graph below (the base is January 2000), illustrates the strong growth in new multifamily construction since 2010 and a steady growth in single-family construction and home improvement spending.

Private nonresidential construction spending increased 2.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $432 billion. However, it was 1.3% lower than a year ago. The largest contribution to this month-over-month nonresidential spending increase was made by the class of office ($2.5 billion), followed by transportation ($1.1 billion), and lodging ($0.6 billion).

 

 

 

read more…

 

http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/12/single-family-construction-spending-up-in-october/

Home Features that Use Water | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Almost exactly half of residential water use consists of water used outside the home (e.g., for watering lawns), according to a recent NAHB study.  Indoors, the biggest users of water are toilets, followed by showers, faucets, clothes washers and leaks.

These results of the NAHB are based on data that became available in 2016 in the form of Residential End Uses of Water (REUW), a detailed study and data set of single-family homes produced by the Water Research Foundation.

In total, the single-family homes in the REUW study used an average of 276 gallons of water per day (gpd).   Almost exactly half of this was attributable to water used outside the home.  It is well known that lawns and gardens need more watering in climates that are hot and get little natural rainfall, so this helps explain the climate-related pattern to state water use per housing unit shown in last week’s post.  Indoors, toilets account for the greatest share of water use, but the shares for showers, faucets, clothes washers and leaks are also substantial.

The numbers in the chart above include both hot and cold water. The water heater in and of itself is not counted as an end use; the end use is where the water goes after leaving the heater.  If storing water in a tank to heat it increases indoor water use, this would not be characterized as an identifiable end use and would show up in the “other” category.  The 2016 REUW studies hot water use specifically in a sample of 94 homes and found that hot water accounted for one-third of total indoor water use.

Although it is not feasible to parse specific indoor uses by age of structure in the REUW data, it is possible to do this for total water used per single-family home.  Results show less water used by homes built before 1960, but relatively small differences among homes built after that.  For example, there is less than a 3 percent difference between the 244 gpd used by homes built in the 1960s and the 251 gpd used by homes built after 1999.

One possible explanation for lower water use in homes built before 1960 is the incidence of swimming pools.  Not surprisingly, statistical models in the REUW study indicate that swimming pools have a particularly strong impact on household water use.  Although 12 to 15 percent of homes built after 1959 in the REUW data have swimming pools, swimming pools are present on only 8 percent of homes built in the 1950s and only 3 percent of homes built before 1950.

This result, along with many others, is discussed more thoroughly in the full NAHB study.

 

read more…

 

http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/11/home-features-that-use-water/

US Housing Starts Fall | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Housing starts in the United States fell sharply by 4.7 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1,127 thousand in September 2017 from an upwardly revised 1,183 thousand in August, compared with market expectations of a 0.5 percent decline to 1,180 thousand. It was the lowest level since September 2016, as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma disrupted the construction of single-family homes in the South. Housing Starts in the United States averaged 1435.60 Thousand from 1959 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 2494 Thousand in January of 1972 and a record low of 478 Thousand in April of 2009.

United States Housing Starts

 

US Housing Starts Fall for 2nd Month

Housing starts in the United States fell 0.8 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1180 thousand in August of 2017, following an upwardly revised 1190 thousand in the previous month and compared to market expectations of a 1.7 percent rise. Starts declined in the Northeast and the South.

The volatile multi-family segment slumped 5.8 percent to 323 thousand. In contrast, single-family starts, the largest segment of the market increased 1.6 percent to 851 thousand. Starts went down in the Northeast (-8.7 percent to 105 thousand) and the South (-7.9 percent to 563 thousand) but rose in the Midwest (22 percent to 200 thousand) and the West (4 percent to 312 thousand).
Building permits increased sharply by 5.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1300 thousand, way above market expectations of 1220 thousand. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more jumped 22.8 percent to 464 thousand while single-family permits dropped 1.5 percent to 800 thousand. Permits rose in the Midwest (8.8 percent to 185 thousand), the West (15.3 percent to 362 thousand) and the South (3.7 percent to 646 thousand) but fell in the Northeast (-13 percent to 107 thousand).
Year-on-year, starts rose 1.4 percent and permits went up 8.3 percent.

Data released for August suggested a limit impact from storms as Hurricane Harvey impacted construction activity in Texas only for the last week of the month and Hurricane Irma did not have an impact until September. Moreover, the response rate from areas affected by both hurricanes was not significantly lower than normal. Together, Texas and Florida accounted for about 13 percent of 2016 US authorizations and 26 percent of authorizations in the South region.

read more…
https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/housing-starts

Dealing with home emergencies | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Grease Fire in the Kitchen

Grease Fire in the Kitchen

Home emergencies are best planned out before the case of an emergency. Never use water to put out a grease fire – it splashes the grease around and often makes things worse. Instead, look around for a handy metal lid from a nearby pot (a wok lid, for example, is ideal). Cover the fire with the lid until it suffocates and dies down. Then carefully remove the hot lid to observe the damage. If a lid is not around, carefully douse the fire with baking soda. Sorry, but your food is probably finished. Plus: How to Prevent Home Fires

Burst and Broken Pipes

Burst and Broken Pipes

Your home has a main water valve – often in the basement or near the front of the house – that controls the flow of water: If you have a bad leak, you need to turn this valve off immediately to prevent expensive water damage (this is also a good preventative step if you are leaving the house during winter). Then inspect the pipes to find out what is damaged and needs to be replaced. If freezing water caused your pipes to burst, you should also consider pipe insulation.

Furnace Failure

Furnace Failure

Remember to shut down electrical power to your furnace before taking a look inside. If you have a gas furnace, check to see if the pilot light has gone out and needs to be re-ignited. If the pilot light isn’t the problem, look for signs of damaged wiring or burnt out switches and sensors to narrow down the problem. Make sure the fan and motor are also working. If any of these components have failed, call a professional about a repair date. Photo: Neil Lockhart/Shutterstock

Overflowing Toilet

Overflowing Toilet

Toilets typically overflow when they can’t stop running and cannot drain properly. First, stop the flow by turning off the valve in the back of the toilet near the wall, which shuts down water. Quickly mop up standing water before it causes any damage, then look for the source of the problems. First look for issues with the fill tube and float that may keep the toilet running, then look for clogs and other issues that are keeping the toilet from draining.

Broken Windows

Broken Windows

Pull on thick gloves and carefully inspect the damage. Pick up any glass shards and remove any jagged, dangerous edges while noting the extent of the damage. You can seal the window by taking a trash bag and cutting it with scissors to fit the window opening. Tape several layers of this bag plastic to the window’s frame with duct tape. Window repair professionals typically offer same-day repairs if you don’t have enough time for a DIY project.

Power Outage

Power Outage

Pull out your phone for a guiding light and make sure everyone is OK. Then check nearby homes and streetlights: If they still have power, you should check your breakers to see if there was an overload or other problem that caused the shutdown. If everyone has lost power, call up your power company (or visit online) to document the power loss and get information about repair times. If the outage is going to last at least several hours, start making plans to put refrigerator or freezer perishables on ice or toss them out.

Confirmed Mice in the House

Confirmed Mice in the House

Grab a flashlight and carefully inspect the perimeter both outside and inside your home. Look for three things: Droppings (a sign that mice are sticking around), signs of chewing/nests and any tiny crevices that mice may be using. Cover crevices with sealant or wire mesh to prevent further rodent problems and set a series of traps to get rid of mice in the house. If mice continue to appear, call up a professional inspector before they start causing structural damage.

Ant Infestation

Ant Infestation

If you notice trails of ants, remove the ants and thoroughly clean everywhere they’ve been with a vinegar spray to remove their trail scents. Then start looking for cracks and gaps in windows, doors, floorboards and other areas the ants may be emerging from. If you can’t narrow it down, set up ant traps and call a professional to see if you have a nearby nest. Remember, large black carpenter ants are a more serious threat to your home than other species and should be removed quickly.

Smoking Oven

Smoking Oven

Some light smoking is expected with brand new ovens or ovens with spilled oils or food. Clean the oven compartment thoroughly, making sure any oil or chemical residue is removed. For worse smoking problems, switch the oven off and open up windows around the house to encourage air flow (this is also a good time to see how sensitive your smoke detector is). If your oven is overcooking food, make sure the timer controls are working. Plus: Stove Repair

Leaking Water Heater

Leaking Water Heater

Check your temperature and pressure valve, a small faucet toward the top of the hot water heater. If the tank develops pressure issues, water will be evacuated from this valve: It’s not a leak, but it is a sign that you need to check wiring and settings. Real leaks from a broken valve or cracked tank are more serious: Shut down your water supply and consider your options. Repairs typically require fully draining the tank, which at least gives you an excuse to clean out any sediment at the same time.

Ceiling Leak

Ceiling Leak

If the ceiling is dripping, prevent water damage by gathering buckets or plastic sheets under the leak. Then climb to your crawlspace or attic and track down the source of the leak: This could be anything from a broken pipe to a damaged roof underlayment and the leak may be far from the source of the problem, so this requires some patience. If you cannot narrow down the source, call in an experienced professional. Meanwhile, get ready to patch and repair your ceiling. Bottom line is these types of home emergencies are best to be dealt with right away. Plus: 12 Roof Repair Tips
read more…
https://www.familyhandyman.com/smart-homeowner/12-common-home-emergencies-and-how-to-deal-with-them/view-all/

US Builder Confidence Falls in September | Pound Ridge Real Estate

The NAHB Housing Market Index in the United States dropped to 64 in September 2017 from a downwardly revised 67 in the previous month. The reading came in way below market expectations of 67, as recent hurricanes have raised concerns about the availability of labor and the cost of building materials. All three HMI components posted losses in September but remain at healthy levels: current sales conditions fell 4 points to 70, sales expectations in the next six months dropped 4 points to 74 and buyer traffic slipped 1 point to 47. Nahb Housing Market Index in the United States averaged 49.52 from 1985 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 78 in December of 1998 and a record low of 8 in January of 2009.

United States Nahb Housing Market Index

 

Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2017-07-18 02:00 PM NAHB Housing Market Index 64 66 67 66
2017-08-15 02:00 PM NAHB Housing Market Index 68 64 65 65
2017-09-18 02:00 PM NAHB Housing Market Index 64 67 67 66
2017-10-17 02:00 PM NAHB Housing Market Index 64 64.04
2017-11-16 03:00 PM NAHB Housing Market Index 64.23
2017-12-18 03:00 PM NAHB Housing Market Index