Marilyn Monroe got married in Waccabuc, Westchester.
The actress married playwright Arthur Miller in a short civil ceremony in the White Plains Courthouse in 1956.
It was her third marriage and Miller’s second. Few knew of the impending ceremony.
But their relationship had caused headlines. Miller had divorced his wife to marry Monroe, who had divorced Joe DiMaggio in 1954.
When the news got out of their impending nuptials, the couple held a press conference at Miller’s house in Connecticut on June 29. The local paper had the headline: “Local Resident Will Marry Miss Monroe of Hollywood’, adding, ‘Roxbury Only Spot in World to Greet News Calmly.”
Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller held a wedding reception at this Waccabuc home. Karen Croke, firstname.lastname@example.org
Afterwards, they slipped into Westchester and were married in a quick ceremony at the courthouse, after which, as reported the following day in The New York Times, the Millers “got into their sports car and disappeared into traffic.”
They weren’t heading far.
On July 1, the couple held a Jewish ceremony and wedding reception for 25 guests in the Westchester County home of Miller’s literary agent, Kay Brown.
From the outside, it’s not hard to imagine the party that once took place here.
The French Country-style residence built in 1948 seems untouched from those halcyon days when many stars, including Tallulah Bankhead and Benny Goodman lived nearby and fabulous parties were the norm.
The gated property is set on a quiet road with a wonderful view of the surrounding area, and is just across from the 16th hole of the Waccabuc Country Club.
There are many original details, including parquet and tile floors, French doors, leaded windows, and European-style fireplaces. One of the highlights is the living room with walls of glass and terrace exit, a private master suite, and a first-floor guest suite with its own side entrance.
There are four bedrooms and five bathrooms in the home, which is in the Katonah School district.
Outside, the just over 4 acre property is still private and serene. A crescent-shaped lawn terrace steps down to pool and pool house with summer kitchen and cabana, and all surrounded by light woodlands, specimen landscaping and gardens creating sought-after privacy.
Sadly, the Millers were married for only five years before divorcing in 1961. Monroe tragically died the following the year.
Seattle is known for its hip neighborhoods, soaring home prices, and being home to Amazon.com Inc., the world’s most valuable company. So why is its rental housing market experiencing the most severe slowdown in the U.S.?
Seattle-area median rents didn’t budge in July, after a 5 percent annual increase a year earlier and 10 percent the year before, according to Zillow data on apartments, houses and condos. While that’s the biggest decline among the top 50 largest metropolitan areas, it’s part of a national trend. Rents in Nashville and Portland, Oregon, have actually started falling. In the U.S., rents were up just 0.5 percent in July, the smallest gain for any month since 2012.
“This is something that we first started to see two years ago in New York and D.C.,” Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist at Zillow, said in a phone interview. “A year ago, it was San Francisco and most recently, Seattle and Portland. It’s spreading through what once were the fastest growing rental markets.”
Tenants are gaining the upper hand in urban centers across the U.S. as new amenity-rich apartment buildings, constructed in response to big rent gains in previous years, are forced to fight for customers. Rents are softening most on the high end and within city limits, Terrazas said. Landlords also have been losing customers to homeownership as millennials strike out on their own, often moving to more affordable suburbs.
Realtor Roy Powell last month was helping his clients, two women in their mid-20s find an apartment in Seattle. They looked at seven places and narrowed it down to two — a five-story building with a rooftop dog park and an air-conditioned gym, and a newly remodeled seven-story tower that won their business by throwing in a year of free underground parking, normally $175 a month.
Even condo owners with just one or two units to rent are offering concessions to compete with new buildings, Powell said. “A lot of them are going from absolutely no pets to allowing pets. That’s a big deal in Seattle, where everybody has a dog or cat.”
Batik, a new 195-unit Seattle apartment building, has views of the downtown skyline and Mount Rainier, a giant rooftop deck with a garden where tenants can grow fruits and vegetables, a community barbecue and an off-leash pet area. New tenants can receive Visa gift cards worth as much as $6,000, with half paid at signing and the rest a month later.
“There is tremendous competition for tenants,” said Lori Mason Curran, spokeswoman for landlord Vulcan Real Estate, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s company, which launched Batik in March. “Over time, we think long-term demand is solid. But there is so much supply tamping down rent growth right now.”
In Seattle, another factor contributed to the glut of rentals. While the city is in the midst of a building boom — with more cranes dotting the skyline than any other in the U.S. — much of the residential multifamily construction has been apartments. Developers have shied away from condos because of state laws that allow buyers to more easily sue if there are defects in the construction.
U.S. multifamily apartment construction for the past few years have been at levels not seen since the 1980s and rapid rent gains have also encouraged owners of single-family homes and condos to fill them with tenants. Projects opening now were conceived by developers a few years ago when rent gains in the U.S. were peaking at an annual gain of 6.6 percent, according to Zillow data.
The most expensive markets slowed first as new supply became available and tenants struggled to afford rapidly-rising lease rates. Rents in the San Francisco area jumped 19 percent in the year through July 2015. Now, they have been flat since last July. New York rents, which were up 7 percent in 2015, have been decelerating for a couple years, declining 0.4 percent in July.
For the first time since 2010, it’s now easier to build wealth over an eight-year period by renting a home and investing in stocks and bonds, rather than by buying and accumulating equity, according to a national rent-versus-buy index of 23 cities produced by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University faculty. That’s because home prices are high and rising mortgage rates are adding to the cost of homeownership.
That could be bad for sellers, especially in markets like Dallas and Denver, where renting is now so much more favorable than buying, according to Ken Johnson, a real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University, a co-creator of the Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent Index.
Reminiscent of the Bubble
Already, housing markets in strong economies are cooling, in part because incomes haven’t kept pace with rising prices and borrowing costs. Dallas and Denver have reached so far into favorable rental territory that they look like Miami right before it crashed in the last decade, Johnson said.
The difference now is that neither market is experiencing the kind of speculation and risky lending that inflated the last housing bubble, he said.
“What’s interesting is that cities that suffered the least in 2007 and 2008 — Dallas and Denver — now are experiencing the most exposure to risk,” Johnson said.
The slowdown in the rental market coincides with a rise in homeownership among millennials, which jumped to 36.5 percent in the second quarter from 35.3 percent a year earlier.
The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have now published their findings for May new residential housing starts. The latest reading of 1.350M was above the Investing.com forecast of 1.310M and an increase from the previous month’s revised 1.286M. March figures were also revised.
Here is the opening of this morning’s monthly report:
Privately-owned housing starts in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,350,000. This is 5.0 percent (±10.2 percent)* above the revised April estimate of 1,286,000 and is 20.3 percent (±14.4 percent) above the May 2017 rate of 1,122,000. Single-family housing starts in May were at a rate of 936,000; this is 3.9 percent (±10.6 percent)* above the revised April figure of 901,000. The May rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 404,000. [link to report]
Here is the historical series for total privately owned housing starts, which dates from 1959. Because of the extreme volatility of the monthly data points, a 6-month moving average has been included.
The Population-Adjusted Reality
Here is the data with a simple population adjustment. The Census Bureau’s mid-month population estimates show substantial growth in the US population since 1959. Here is a chart of housing starts as a percent of the population. We’ve added a linear regression through the monthly data to highlight the trend.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index in the US rose 6.8 percent year-on-year in February 2018, following a 6.4 percent advance in January and easily beating market expectations of a 6.3 percent gain. It was the steepest increase in house prices since an 8.1 percent climb in June 2014, with Seattle (12.7 percent), Las Vegas (11.6 percent) and San Francisco (10.1 percent) reporting the sharpest gains among the 20 cities. Meanwhile, the national index, covering all nine US census divisions rose 6.3 percent, up from 6.1 percent in the previous month. Case Shiller Home Price Index in the United States averaged 160.67 Index Points from 2000 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 206.67 Index Points in February of 2018 and a record low of 100 Index Points in January of 2000.
The average rate you’ll pay for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 4.33 percent, an increase of 2 basis points over the last week. A month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was lower, at 4.31 percent.
At the current average rate, you’ll pay a combined $496.63 per month in principal and interest for every $100,000 you borrow. That’s $1.17 higher compared with last week.
You can use Bankrate’s mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly payments and find out how much you’ll save by adding extra payments. It will also help you calculate how much interest you’ll pay over the life of the loan.
15-year fixed mortgages
The average 15-year fixed-mortgage rate is 3.76 percent, up 3 basis points over the last seven days.
Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $728 per $100,000 borrowed. The bigger payment may be a little harder to find room for in your monthly budget than a 30-year mortgage payment would, but it comes with some big advantages: You’ll save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan in total interest paid and build equity much more rapidly.
The average rate on a 5/1 ARM is 4.11 percent, sliding 10 basis points over the last 7 days.
These types of loans are best for those who expect to sell or refinance before the first or second adjustment. Rates could be substantially higher when the loan first adjusts, and thereafter.
Monthly payments on a 5/1 ARM at 4.11 percent would cost about $484 for each $100,000 borrowed over the initial five years, but could increase by hundreds of dollars afterward, depending on the loan’s terms.
Where rates are headed
To see where Bankrate’s panel of experts expect rates to go from here, check out our Rate Trend Index.
Methodology: The rates you see above are Bankrate.com Site Averages. These calculations are run after the close of the previous business day and include rates and/or yields we have collected that day for a specific banking product. Bankrate.com site averages tend to be volatile — they help consumers see the movement of rates day to day. The institutions included in the “Bankrate.com Site Average” tables will be different from one day to the next, depending on which institutions’ rates we gather on a particular day for presentation on the site.
The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment for the US jumped to 102 in March from 99.7 in February, beating expectations of 99.3. It is the strongest reading since January 2004 as the assessment of current economic conditions reached a record high. Consumer Confidence in the United States averaged 86.27 Index Points from 1952 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 111.40 Index Points in January of 2000 and a record low of 51.70 Index Points in May of 1980.
Sales of new single-family houses in the United States jumped 17.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733 thousand in November of 2017 from a downwardly revised 624 thousand in October and beating market forecasts of 654 thousand. It was the strongest number since July of 2007. Sales rose in all four regions. New Home Sales in the United States averaged 650.82 Thousand from 1963 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 1389 Thousand in July of 2005 and a record low of 270 Thousand in February of 2011.
US New Home Sales Highest Since July 2007
Sales of new single-family houses in the United States jumped 17.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 733 thousand in November of 2017 from a downwardly revised 624 thousand in October and beating market forecasts of 654 thousand. Sales rose in all four regions.
Sales surged in all four main regions: South (14.9 percent to 416 thousand); West (31.1 percent to 194 thousand); Midwest (6.9 percent to 77 thousand) and Northeast (9.5 percent to 46 thousand):
The median sales price of new houses sold was $318,700, above $315,000 a year earlier. The average sales price was $377,100, also higher than $363,400 in November of 2016.
The stock of new houses for sale was flat at 283 thousand. This represents a supply of 4.6 months at the current sales rate.
Year-on-year, new home sales increased 26.6 percent.
National home price appreciation continued in September, while local home prices grew at different rates. All of the 20 metro areas had positive annual growth rates.
The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 9.0% in September, faster than an 8.2% increase in August. It was the highest seasonally adjusted annual growth rate since October 2013. Tight inventory of existing homes is contributing to strong house price appreciation.
Meanwhile, the Home Price Index, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.2% in September, following the 9.7% increase in August.
Figure 2 shows the annual growth rate of home prices for 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas. In September, local home price varied greatly and its annual growth rates ranged from 2.2% to 16.4%. However, all 20 metro areas tracked recorded year-over-year appreciation.
Among the 20 metro areas, Atlanta, San Francisco and Tampa had the highest home price appreciation. Atlanta led the way with 16.4%, followed by San Francisco with 14.6% and Tampa with a 12.7% increase. Half of the 20 metro areas exceeded the national average of 9.0%. The ten metro areas that had lower home price appreciation than the national level were: Los Angeles (8.1%), Denver (7.9%), Charlotte (7.4%), Seattle (6.8%), Miami (6.6%), Chicago (6.4%), Portland (6.2%), Detroit (3.9%), Washington, DC (3.7%) and Minneapolis (2.2%).
Get ready, New Yorkers: SantaCon is about to flood streets (and bars) of New York once again. If you live under a rock and haven’t seen or heard of SantaCon, it’s that one time of year where flocks of Santa and elf impersonators embark on a festive bar crawl, making a booze-fueled scene through the city that you’ll find either amusing or annoying to watch. It all goes down this Saturday, December 9.
Update: The SantaCon organizers have announced the locations for this year’s event, and as predicted, it’ll be concentrated in Manhattan—namely in Midtown and down to the East Village. The festivities will kick off at the James A. Farley Post Office across from Penn Station (of course) at 10 a.m., and things will continue on from there.
If you’re looking to participate, we recommend keeping an eye on SantaCon’s official website and Twitterpage for more details.
But if you want to avoid the whole thing (and something tells us that if you’re reading this, you do), we have a few tips along with some alternatives that don’t involve being around a swarm of drunken Santas gallivanting around.
Stay in the outer boroughs. There’s less of a risk of running into any hordes of Santas in the outer boroughs. Though we do recommend staying away from neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Bushwick, since they’re a little to close to Manhattan for comfort.
Avoid going through Midtown if at all possible. Bars on the SantaCon route tend to span much of Midtown, so if you had plans in the area, maybe save it for Sunday. This includes riding the subway through the area. Nowhere is safe from Santas.
Get the heck out of town. There are likely to be some bridge-and-tunnel Santas coming in on the LIRR or Metro-North—both of which have imposed alcohol bans on Saturday, along with the New Jersey Transit, who is imposing a ban on all liquid beverages. If you’re going in the opposite direction of Manhattan, you should be safe.
And 5 fun things to do that are far away from SantaCon:
Check out local artwork in the Bronx. The Poe Park Visitor Center will be hosting its fifth annual Whimsical Winter Wonder… Exhibition, where you can catch artwork from over a dozen established and upcoming local artists.
Head on over to a Winter Wonderland. Enjoy an afternoon filled with crafts, hot chocolate, and a trackless train as part of Winter Wonderland, happening at Brookville Park in Queens.
Go dancing on a vintage train. The New York Transit Museum will invite revelers onto the vintage subway cars for a swing-themed dance party. The Nostalgia Swing Train will travel from Second Avenue to the museum’s Downtown Brooklyn location, where the party will continue. Costumes—of the non-Santa, ’40s-inspired variety—are encouraged.
Learn how to make a holiday wreath. Have an itch to learn how to make your own holiday wreaths? If so, here is your chance. Horticulturist and landscape designer Wambui Ippolito will be conducting a workshop at Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Admission is $75 and includes all materials.
Embark on an adventure at the Bronx Zoo. If you really want to do something out of the ordinary, make your way to the Bronx Zoo and check out their Treetop Adventure center where you can climb across various obstacle courses and enjoy two zipline adventures.
According to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS), the U.S. homeownership rate is at 63.9% in the third quarter 2017, which is statistically unchanged from its last quarter reading of 63.7%. The rate of homeownership is on an upward trend after dropping to a cycle low of 62.9% in the second quarter 2016. Compared to the peak of 69.2% in 2004, the homeownership rate is below by 5.3% and remains below the 25-year average rate of 66.3%.
Younger homebuyers are gradually entering the housing market after the Recession. Compared to a year ago, the homeownership rates among households ages 35-44 increased from 58.4% to 59.3%. Millennials also registered noticeable gains – from 35.2% to 35.6%. Older households, ages 65 and over, is the only group where homeownership rates showed a slight decline of 0.1%.
The nonseasonally adjusted homeowner vacancy rate remained low at 1.6% in the third quarter 2017, down by 0.2% from previous year and statistically not different from the rate in the second quarter. At the same time, the national rental vacancy rate increased to 7.5%, compared to only 6.9% a year ago.
The HVS also provides a timely measure of household formations – the key driver of housing demand. Although it is not perfectly consistent with other Census Bureau surveys (Current Population Survey’s March ASEC, American Community Survey, and Decennial Census), the HVS remains a useful source of relatively real-time data.
The housing stock-based HVS revealed that the number of households increased to 119.1 million during the third quarter of 2017. This is 0.4 million higher than a year ago and sustains gains recorded in 2016. Growth in household formations will spur rental housing demand first, and ultimately, home sales. Indeed, the number of homeowner households rose by 0.8 million, after experiencing a large gain of 1.3 million in the second quarter.