Category Archives: Pound Ridge

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).

 

 

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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
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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  

Fewer investors flip homes in Q2 | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Investors flipped less homes during the second quarter as the returns decreased for the third consecutive quarter, according to the Q2 2017 U.S. Home Flipping report from ATTOM Data Solutions, a multi-sourced property database.

Home flipping dropped to 5.6% of all home sales during the second quarter, or 53,638 single-family homes and condos, down from 6.9% in the first quarter but unchanged from last year.

According to the report, a home flip is defined as a property that is sold in an arms-length sale for the second time within a 12-month period. The information is based on publicly recorded sales deed data collected by ATTOM Data Solutions in more than 950 counties accounting for more than 80% of the U.S. population.

Not only is home flipping down overall, but the average gross flipping profit also decreased for the third consecutive quarter, falling to $67,516 during the second quarter. This represents a 48.4% return on investment for flippers, down from 49% the previous quarter and 49.6% from the second quarter last year to the lowest level since the third quarter of 2015.

“Home flippers are employing a number of strategies to give them an edge in the increasingly competitive environment where flipping yields are being compressed,” ATTOM Senior Vice President Daren Blomquist said. “Many flippers are gravitating toward lower-priced areas where discounted purchases are more readily available, often due to foreclosure or some other type of distress.”

“Many of those lower-priced areas also have strong rental markets, giving flippers a consistent pipeline of demand from buy-and-hold investors looking for turnkey rentals,” Blomquist said. “In markets where distressed discounts have largely dried up, flippers are showing more willingness to leverage financing when acquiring properties, often purchasing closer to full market value and then relying more heavily on price appreciation to fuel their flipping profits.”

As the market share and number of home flippers drop, the dollar volume of home flipper financing climbed to nearly a 10-year high.

More than 35% of homes flipped in the second quarter were with financing, up from 33.2% in the previous quarter and 32.3% last year. This also marks the highest level since the third quarter of 2008.

The dollar volume of this financing increased to $4.4 billion, up from $3.9 billion in the first quarter and from $3.4 billion in the second quarter of 2016, reaching the highest level since the third quarter of 2007, a nearly 10-year high.

 

Read more….

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/41319-returns-from-home-flipping-drop-for-third-consecutive-quarter?eid=311691494&bid=1868790

Mortgage rates drop to 3.78% | Pound Ridge Real Estate

MCLEAN, VA–(Marketwired – Sep 14, 2017) – Freddie Mac (OTCQBFMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average mortgage rates remaining largely unchanged from last week’s year-to-date low.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.78 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending September 14, 2017, the same as last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.50 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.08 percent with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.77 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.13 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.15 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.82 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.
“Following a sharp decline last week, the 10-year Treasury yield rose 11 basis points this week. The 30-year mortgage rate, however, remained unchanged at 3.78 percent. If Treasury yields continue to rise, mortgage rates could see an increase in next week’s survey.”

Freddie Mac makes home possible for millions of families and individuals by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Since our creation by Congress in 1970, we’ve made housing more accessible and affordable for homebuyers and renters in communities nationwide. We are building a better housing finance system for homebuyers, renters, lenders and taxpayers. Learn more at FreddieMac.com, Twitter @FreddieMac and Freddie Mac’s blog FreddieMac.com/blog.

 

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.

Read more…

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 [+]