Category Archives: Waccabuc NY

Westchester Parks this weekend | Westchester Real Estate

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — Looking for something to do for the weekend? Here’s a list of events at Westchester’s public parks.

Friday, June 16
Playland Park, Playland Parkway, Rye – (914) 813-7010
$15 Friday Nights – 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
All rides $15 from 5 p.m. to closing. Parking fee applies.

Croton Point Nature Center, Croton Point Avenue, Croton-on-Hudson – (914) 862-5297
Riverlovers Pot Luck Supper – 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Sign up to help out at the Clearwater Festival. Info at Riverlovers.org.

Muscoot Farm, Route 100, Somers – (914) 864-7282
Muscoot Movies – 8:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Enjoy a late night movie in the historic barn. Title to be announced.

Saturday, June 17
Edith G. Read Wildlife Sanctuary, Playland Parkway, Rye – (914) 967-8720
Volunteer Corps Work Day – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Invasive plant removal, trail maintenance, beach clean-up and more.

Trailside Nature Museum at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, Routes 35 and 121 South, Cross River – (914) 864-7322
Orienteering for Kids – 1 p.m.
Children ages 10 to 12 can learn how to find their way through guided waypoints along the trail. Registration required.

Cranberry Lake Preserve, Old Orchard Street, North White Plains – (914) 428-1005
Orienteering Scavenger Hunt – 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Find hidden flags at the preserve by using only a map and compass.

Marshlands Conservancy, Route 1 (Boston Post Road), Rye – (914) 835-4466
Volunteer Work Project: Removing Tidal Debris from the Salt Marsh – 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Bring work gloves; hand tools provided. Great for any type of service credit hours.

Saturday and Sunday, June 17 and 18
Lasdon Park, Arboretum and Veterans Memorial, Route 35, Somers – (914) 864-7268
Opening of the New Lasdon Conservatory: “The Rainforest: Tropical Treasures” – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Grand opening of the new conservatory with tours, entertainment, face painting, food for sale and more. Admission: $10 adults, $5 children. Info at LasdonPark.org.

Croton Point Park, Croton Point Avenue, Croton-on-Hudson – (914) 864-5290
Clearwater Festival – 11 a.m. – 8:45 p.m.
Music and environment festival. Tickets at Clearwaterfestival.org.

Muscoot Farm, Route 100, Somers – (914) 864-7282
Art Show – Noon – 4 p.m.
Works by local artist Hope Friedland on view in the Main House Gallery on weekends through June 25.

Sunday, June 18
Muscoot Farm, Route 100, Somers – (914) 864-7282
Farmers Market – 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
More than 20 vendors offer fresh produce and local food products every Sunday through October. Vendors at muscootfarm.org.
-and-
Big Equipment Day – 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
See the equipment that is used to get some of the biggest jobs done at the farm.

Bronx River Parkway, White Plains to Yonkers – (914) 995-4050
Bicycle Sundays – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Weather permitting)
Parkway closes to vehicular traffic for the exclusive use of cyclists, walkers, joggers and those with strollers, from the Westchester County Center to Scarsdale Road, a 13.5-mile loop. Parking at the County Center. Also 6/25.

Ridge Road Park, 287 Ridge Road, Hartsdale – (914) 946-8133
Portuguese-American Heritage Festival – (914) Noon – 7 p.m.
Music and dance, arts and crafts and food vendors.

Playland Park, Playland Parkway, Rye – (914) 813-7010
Father’s Day at Playland – Noon –10 p.m.
Dads ride free, families pay $15 for unlimited rides all day.

More info at parks.westchestergov.com.

New York real estate showing symptoms of distress | Waccabuc Real Estate

For Hans Futterman, it was a dream defaulted. 

The developer assembled a vacant plot of land — formerly a Shell gas station and a parking lot — at Frederick Douglass Boulevard and West 122nd Street in Harlem over roughly four years, from 2011 to 2015. He then secured approvals to construct a 12-story, 127-unit residential building on the site, which offers 205,000 buildable square feet.

But in June of last year, Futterman, who declined to comment for this story, defaulted on a $36 million loan from RWN Real Estate Partners, and five months later his development firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The bankruptcy auction is now set for June 21, and sources said the site could sell for as much as $70 million — about $44 million more than Futterman paid for the stretch of land over the years.

A source said Futterman pumped “his life savings” into the project — and that he is still holding out hope to develop it himself.

“This is the reality of the market today,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Bob Knakal, who is handling the bankruptcy auction with colleague Adam Spies. “Transactions are not going the way owners want.”

Indeed, the first signs of distress have emerged in several pockets of New York City’s commercial real estate market in recent months. Retail vacancies, declining hotel revenues and foreclosures on Park Avenue are among a flurry of indications that the market is inching closer to the brink of financial trouble.    

“There’s a lot more stress in the system than most people probably realize,” said Iron Hound Management’s Robert Verrone, who added that his mortgage brokerage is handling more workouts nationally than ever before. 

The influx of troubled loans is a product of the 2007 lending boom, and $90 billion in commercial mortgage backed-securities backed by properties across the country are set to mature this year. Sean Barrie of Trepp, which tracks CMBS, noted that the massive batch of loans was “underwritten pretty liberally,” and now, many of those sponsors may face difficulty refinancing their over-leveraged assets.

Attorney Ray Hannigan, of Herrick Feinstein, who specializes in foreclosures and workouts, said the tri-state area is already seeing a substantial influx of those maturity defaults.

“It’s a long time coming,” he said. “The market needs to work through this latest cycle and weed out the good and the bad.” 

The bad can be found across the five boroughs. In Brooklyn and Staten Island, scheduled foreclosure auctions are making a comeback. There were 90 foreclosure auctions in Brooklyn in March, a 125 percent year-over-year increase. Staten Island — where the real estate market has been less active — had 32 in the same month, a 10 percent increase from the previous year, according to California-based research firm ATTOM Data Solutions data provided to The Real Deal.

ATTOM data also showed that there was a 327 percent increase in New York City multifamily and retail sales to third-party investors in foreclosure auctions in 2017’s first quarter, year-over year. Similarly, the number of bank-owned commercial properties rose 8 percent year-over-year.

No one is suggesting that distress is widespread — yet. More than 25 lawyers, economists, lenders and brokers who spoke to TRD for this story were confident that although a decline is around the corner, it won’t be as severe as it was 2007 or 2008 — when, as attorney Wallace Schwartz of the national law firm Kasowitz put it, “everything fell off the table.”

“Distress is a very macro word,” said Ayush Kapahi of capital advisory firm HKS Capital Partners. “There’s something churning. I don’t know if the word ‘distress’ will apply, or if it will just be a market reset.… There are so many variables that go into a storm.”

To get a better idea of the extent of the trouble in the market, TRD took a temperature check of all the commercial real estate asset classes across the city.

Retail anxieties

When real estate developer Billy Macklowe proclaimed, “I think retail is fucked, plain and simple,” in late April, he was echoing a sentiment widely shared among industry insiders: Of all commercial real estate asset classes, retail is showing the clearest signs of distress.

“Retail is a disaster in New York City,” one source said on the condition of anonymity. While part of that situation is due to the continual rise of online retailers, “another part of it is people are too greedy,” the source added in reference to landlords seeking steep rents.

Indeed, brick-and-mortar stores across the country are collapsing due to high overhead, weak sales and mounting debt, and major U.S. retailers including American Apparel and Aeropostale, among many others, have filed for bankruptcy.

Some retailers are making real estate moves to stay afloat amid falling sales. Department store Lord & Taylor is considering adding a residential tower on top of its flagship at 424 Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus recently met with Related Companies about a potential merger — a deal that Related chair Stephen Ross later said would not happen.

No major retail landlords in the city have defaulted on their loans because of the waning market, but many are seeing increased vacancies. Last year, availability rates on Fifth Avenue between 42nd and 49th streets hit a high of 31 percent, Cushman data show. All in all, eight of Manhattan’s 11 major retail neighborhoods saw availability rates grow between 0.6 and 8.2 percent, according to the commercial brokerage.

“Look anywhere in the city and you see unusually high vacancy,” said real estate attorney Joshua Stein. To be sure, there is more leasing activity taking place on less-glamorous stretches like Ninth Avenue (see related story).

Most recently, Ralph Lauren announced it would be closing its 39,000 square-foot flagship store at the Coca-Cola
Company’s 711 Fifth Avenue. The retailer will continue to pay a whopping $70,000 per day in rent as part of the lease, which expires in 2029, if it can’t get out of the arrangement.

And as leasing volume slows, landlords are wooing new tenants by offering  concessions, including cheaper rents, build-outs and more flexible deal terms.

If any major retail landlord is approaching trouble, it could be Thor Equities’ TRData LogoTINY Joseph Sitt (see related story), whose portfolio has retail vacancies, including nearly 27,000 square feet of vacancies at 530 Fifth, which the firm co-owns with General Growth Properties.

And Sitt certainly isn’t alone.

Jack Terzi’s JTRE Holdings, for example, has reportedly been in contract for nearly a year to pay about $140 million for a vacant six-story retail building at 23 Wall Street. Sources said that over that time, Terzi has had difficulty locking in financing and securing a flagship tenant, though Uniqlo is among the prospective retailers that have negotiated for space there.

Of the $7.53 billion in 200 CMBS notes backed by retail properties in New York City, five, totaling $77 million, are with a special servicer, according to Trepp.

“Retail dynamics and challenges are certainly not unique to New York,” said Sam Chandan, an economist and associate dean at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. “New York has a very unique retail footprint by virtue of it being a dense tourist market and one where most retail is ground floor or street-facing. There will be some difficult adjustments.”

Hotel oversupply 

The hotel industry is also facing an uphill battle to absorb oversupply in the city and combat online home-sharing marketplace Airbnb.  

“The industry’s struggle is really playing out in the room rates, which have declined and are expected to continue to do so,” said Peter Muoio, chief economist and head of research at online real estate marketplace Ten-X. 

Revenue per available room fell to $163 during the first three months of this year — its lowest level of the current cycle and a 2.3 percent drop year-over-year, according to a recent report from hotel-and-data analytics firm STR. 

Transactions are also down, as New York City saw $2 billion in hotel deals in 2016, a sizable drop from $4.8 billion the prior year, according to STR. The 2015 figure, it should be noted, included the blockbuster $1.95 billion sale of the Waldorf Astoria to Anbang Insurance Group. Many of the 2016 deals were for “upper midscale” or “upscale” properties, unlike 2015 when most hotels that sold were “luxury” or “upper upscale,” according to the data firm’s report.

Sources said that so far, hotel owners have been able to largely escape trouble with a “big paydown” through a recapitalization or a sale, but the few hotels that were sold in the last two years have done so at a loss. Thor has been in contract since the fall to purchase PGIM Real Estate’s five-star James New York hotel in Soho for $70 million — a $13 million drop from the property’s previous sale price of $83.4 million in 2013.

While some hotels are simply depreciating in value, at least one is facing foreclosure. The four-star, boutique Mansfield Hotel at 12 West 44th  Street in Midtown has been hemorrhaging cash for more than a year as the owner, Ark Partners, has struggled to sell for $65 million.

Court records show Wells Fargo, the trustee on the hotel’s $20 million loan, is working through foreclosure proceedings with the developers.

A wide range of Manhattan hotels are on the market, though very few have been able to find a buyer quickly. The properties on the hunt include the Park Lane Hotel, the Quin, the Standard High Line and Hotel Wales.

read more…

https://therealdeal.com/issues_articles/distressed-out/?utm_source=The+Real+Deal+E-Lerts&utm_campaign=ddb3f210e9-New_York_Weekend_Update_10.18.2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6e806bb87a-ddb3f210e9-385733629

Mortgage rates fall again | Waccabuc Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping for the fourth consecutive week and hitting its lowest level in nearly seven months.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.89 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending June 8, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.94 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.60 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.16 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.19 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.87 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.11 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. 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.

“The 10-year Treasury yield fell 3 basis points this week. The 30-year mortgage rate moved in tandem with Treasury yields, falling 5 basis points to 3.89 percent. Mixed economic data and increasing uncertainty are continuing to push rates to the lowest levels in nearly seven months.”

Canada Must Deflate Its Housing Bubble | Waccabuc Real Estate

Canada’s housing market offers a case study in a contentious economic issue: If a central bank sees a bubble forming, should it act to deflate it? In this instance, the answer should be a resounding yes.

A combination of foreign money, local speculation and abundant credit has driven Canadian house prices to levels that even government officials recognize cannot be sustained. In the Toronto area, for example, they were up 32 percent from a year earlier in April. David Rosenberg, an economist at Canadian investment firm Gluskin Sheff, notes that it would take a decline of more than 40 percent to restore the historical relationship between prices and household income.

Granted, the bubble bears little resemblance to the U.S. subprime boom that triggered the global financial crisis. Although one specialized lender, Home Capital Group, has had issues with fraudulent mortgage applications, regulation has largely kept out high-risk products. Homeowners haven’t been withdrawing a lot of equity, and can’t legally walk away from their debts like many Americans can. Banks aren’t sitting on the kinds of structured products that destroyed balance sheets in the U.S. Nearly all mortgage securities and a large portion of loans are guaranteed by the government.

That said, the situation presents clear risks. As buyers stretch to afford homes, household debt has risen to 167 percent of disposable income — the highest among the Group of Seven industrialized nations. This is a serious vulnerability, and a big part of the rationale behind Canadian banks’ recent ratings downgrade. The more indebted people are, the more sensitive their spending becomes to changes in prices and interest rates, potentially allowing an otherwise small shock to result in a deep recession.

What to do? Administrative efforts to curb lending and tax foreign buyers have helped but haven’t solved the problem. That’s largely because extremely low interest rates are still giving people a big incentive to borrow. The Bank of Canada has held its target rate at 1 percent or lower since 2009, and at 0.5 percent since 2015, when it eased to counteract the effect of falling oil prices. That’s a very stimulative stance in a country where the neutral rate is estimated to be about 3 percent or higher. One can’t help but see a parallel with the low U.S. rates and the housing bubble of the early 2000s.

 

read more…

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-05-23/what-canada-should-do-about-its-housing-bubble

Expats living in Cotacachi Ecuador | Waccabuc Real Estate

Cotacachi, in the Imbabura province, is getting the lion’s share of expat attention these days. Many, especially those of retirement age, are finding their way here to enjoy the perfect weather, beautiful scenery, low cost of living, and especially the tranquil, slow-paced small-town lifestyle.

Like Otavalo and many other villages in this part of Ecuador, Cotacachi (population: about 8,000) is an artisan town. Just 20 minutes northwest of Otavalo, Cotacachi is Ecuador’s famous “leather” town. Artisan shops line the main street and you can buy any type of leather item, from shoes, boots and jackets to coin purses, bags, and suitcases…even upholstered furniture. Prices for all these items are 50% to 75% less than you would pay in the U.S.

Cotacachi has always enjoyed a reputation as a clean, peaceful village, and its plazas are kept neat and tidy. At night the artisan shops close up and only a few restaurants and small mom-and-pop shops are open. On the corners, you may find families congregating around a hot grill, where ears of corn are roasting along with pork and chicken kabobs. The cool, crisp air smells faintly of wood smoke, roasting corn, and eucalyptus. Eucalyptus trees grow abundantly wild, as do palm trees.

Cotacachi has become one of Ecuador’s most active expat communities in recent years, as many foreigners have chosen to locate here—and they enjoy a great lifestyle in Cotacachi. It’s a small, mostly indigenous town with a strong sense of community.

Largely dependent on agriculture, it is the sort of town many of us remember from our childhoods. Fresh raw milk can be bought from local farms, along with eggs laid by free-range chickens. Children still help with the family businesses after school and are well-mannered.

In the quaint downtown, you’ll find a couple of barbers, a small health clinic, and a pavilion for the town band. Ethnic restaurants and cozy cafés make welcoming spots to catch up with friends or just sit and watch life unfold in the Ecuadorian highlands.

Though Cotacachi has a slow and relaxed pace there are constant events and activities to take part in. Every month at least one parade or festival takes place. There are live music events, dances, and even horse processions to be watched and photographed. Seed exchanges, food fairs, and leather expos are all annual events too.

Of course it’s always nice to explore other areas too and there are plenty of great day-trips to choose from. Within two hours you could be at Chachimbiro Hot Springs relaxing in the thermal springs, or enjoying a mud bath at the spa. Lake Cuicocha is just a 15-minute taxi ride from town where you can marvel at the deep blue volcanic crater lake. If you’re up for some physical activity you can take a four-hour hike around the rim, or if you prefer to relax, take the boat tour around the islands in the center of the lake.

The famed market town of Otavalo is nearby, where you can explore the streets filled with craft items, food, and even animals for sale. Ibarra is a larger city just 45 minutes away with shopping malls, dining options, and large parks and plazas to enjoy.

When the sun sets in Cotacachi, the artisan shops close up and only a few restaurants and small mom-and-pop shops are open. That’s all you need, really. After a day of sunshine in the 8,000-foot-elevation, mountain climate, night-time is for sleeping.

Retire in Cotacachi, Ecuador

Retire in CotacachiCotacachi is becoming something of an expat magnet. Estimates are that about 100 expats live full-time in Cotacachi now. It’s a diverse group—not all American. There are Israelis, Cubans, Brits, and more among them, who get together regularly to discuss topics of interest or just to celebrate life. This makes retirement in Cotacachi enjoyable. The expats here are outgoing and relaxed, since there’s not much to worry about. No traffic, no temperature swings, no pesky insects, and certainly no money problems.

The town is also scenic. Two of the most majestic cordilleras of the Andes flank either side of the small village of Cotacachi. And several of Ecuador’s most famous volcanoes can be seen from just about anywhere in town, including Volcan Cotacachi to the west and Imbabura to the east. On a clear day, you can see Volcan Pichincha to the south.

If you want to enjoy good weather, clean air, great scenery, and a rich indigenous culture, but still be within two hours of the international airport in Quito, then retirement in Cotacachi could fit the bill.

Lifestyle in Cotacachi, Ecuador

Lifestyle In CotacachiCotacachi is a fabulous place to improve your health. The moderate climate with little variation throughout the year means that nearly every fruit and vegetable can be grown within a hundred miles. Not only is healthy produce readily available, but it’s also very affordable. With avocados priced at 3 for a dollar, organic leaf lettuce at 25 cents, and 6 plump carrots for 50 cents there is no monetary reason not to eat right.

In addition, the small size of the town makes it perfect for walking. Instead of jumping in your car to run to the grocery store, pay bills, or meet a friend for lunch you can easily accomplish it all with your own two feet. Many folks find that they lose weight without even trying after being in Cotacachi for only a few months. The healthy food choices and extra walking each day help shed excess pounds.

For a small town there are few things lacking. Residents can take advantage of spas, fitness centers, and basic medical needs all within a few blocks of each other. They can also participate in art classes, hiking groups, dance lessons, live musical events, yoga, foreign films, and science courses.

If you’re a social person, Cotacachi is the place for you. There are plenty of other expats to get to know, but the locals are friendly and welcoming too. It’s tough to spend much time in this town without quickly and easily making friends.

Real Estate in Cotacachi, Ecuador

Real Estate in CotacachiThis influx of foreigners has caused something of a building boom in Cotacachi in recent years, and if you come to look for real estate, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Older homes and apartments in need of renovation can be had for the price of a good used car.

Recognizing the trend of foreign baby boomers looking for an unspoiled and inexpensive retirement destination, local builders offer appealing homes and condos with features like large modern kitchens, elegant bathrooms, fireplaces, and more.

Rentals go for as little as $150 a month for a modern, three-bedroom apartment while furnished units with all utilities included go for $600.

Cost of Living in Cotacachi, Ecuador

Cost of Living in CotacachiThe cost of living is low in Ecuador, but especially so in smaller towns like Cotacachi. If you’re living on a budget or just looking to save money, this is a great place to do so.

Sunday is market day, when the villagers bring their wares to sell. Everything from fruits and vegetables to ground spices, woven baskets, and rope made of woven plastic shopping bags—recycling at its best. And then there are the roses…you pay $2 for one dozen, long-stemmed roses that are so fresh they last nearly three weeks.

On Saturdays head to Otavalo—to the largest open-air indigenous market in South America. If you’re a good negotiator, you can buy scarves, woolen socks, and hats for $2 each, or pretty wool and alpaca sweaters for $8 ($4 for kids’ sizes). The 30-minute bus ride from Cotacachi to Otavalo costs 35 cents; a taxi costs $5.

You can hire a maid to clean your condo for $10, and gardeners or landscapers charge around $4 per hour. Furnishing that same condo can be fun and inexpensive as well. There are master carpenters right in town that will build furniture to your specs for 50% to 75% of U.S. costs. Artistic paintings, colorful weavings, and wooden carvings are all easily found in the area and are priced at or below half of what you would pay back home.

Unless you must have imported food items or expensive cuts of meat you’ll save on your grocery bill here. Five dollars at the farmers’ market will get you an extra-large grocery bag filled to the brim with good healthy produce. Bananas, pineapples, mangos, avocados, tomatoes, leafy greens, and dozens of varieties of potatoes are just a few things you’ll find for sale. Whole chickens range from $5 to $8 depending on the size while fresh free-range eggs cost around $1.30 per dozen.

Many restaurants in town serve a menu del dia that consists of a beverage, soup, salad, main course, and dessert. How much? $2.50 each. It’s almost cheaper to eat out than to cook at home.

There are several good doctors in Cotacachi who typically charge $10 for an office visit. An eye exam costs $5 while a dental cleaning and exam will run around $20.

With the lack of severe temperature fluxes you’ll find that heating and air conditioning aren’t necessary, saving you plenty of money. Average electric costs for a household run between $15 and $20 per month. Monthly bills for water and propane gas usually come in at around $5 each. A package of cable TV, internet, and landline phone service can be had for around $100 per month.

Many folks live without a vehicle which eliminates fuel, maintenance, and insurance expenses. Bus fare usually averages around $1 per hour of travel time, and taxis are cheap too, charging $5 to nearby Otavalo (20 minute drive) and $12 to Ibarra (40 minute drive).

Depending upon the lifestyle you want a couple can easily live on $1,200 to $1,800 per month here. Of course frequent dining at high-end restaurants and traveling will require more income, but can still be done for far less than what it would cost in many other parts of the world. Don’t forget to factor in extra funds for trips back home, initial moving and visa costs, and for routine medical care.

 

read more…

 

https://internationalliving.com/countries/ecuador/cotacachi-ecuador/

 

Real state of housing market | Waccabuc Real Estate

On the third day of Mortgage Bankers Association National Secondary Market Conference and Expo in New York City, three economists took the stage to explain their view of the housing market, and their forecast for 2017.

Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti, Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan and MBA Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni gave their projections over the chance of a recession within the next 12 months.

Becketti emphasized that while the chance of a recession increased, it would need to be driven by a specific event.

“Recessions are event driven, the economy doesn’t just run out of gas and slow down,” Becketti said.

Fratantoni predicted a 15% to 20% chance of a recession over the next 12 months, while Duncan pushed it to a 30% chance. He listed several factors including a peak in consumer credit card usage, auto sales and corporate debt, which could point to a looming recession.

The three economists pointed out that while employment is rising, there are still gaps in the growth.

What we’ve seen has been a polarization of jobs, Becketti said. Jobs have left the mid-skill level and gone to the high-skill level, and low skill jobs have also seen growth. The reason for this shift is that mid-skilled jobs are easier to automate.

But even as jobs polarize, the growth between urban and suburban areas leveled out, becoming more equally distributed between the two areas, Duncan said. However, this leveling out in the location of jobs is creating more problems in the housing market.

“But now urban areas are the most difficult area to build entry-level housing due to cost of land,” he said.

As the year goes on, Fratantoni predicted the market will see two more rate hikes – one in June and one in September, saying the year would finish with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate of 4.5%.

Becketti predicted slightly more, saying the Federal Open Markets Committee could raise rates from two to three times this year, but said the year will end with a 30-year FRM of about 4.4%.

Duncan, who predicted the highest chance of a recession in the next 12 months, agreed the Fed will raise rates twice more this year, however kept it’s rate for the end of 2017 more conservative at 4.2%.

“We’re not convinced that inflationary pressures are enough to make the Fed more aggressive,” he said.

Click to Enlarge

Economic Outlook

(Source: Freddie Mac)

But for now, the housing market continues to boom as home prices hit their previous peak nationally, and even significantly surpassed it in some states.

This map shows the states in relation to their former peak:

Click to Enlarge

Economic Outlook

(Source: MBA)

All three economists were puzzled by the substantial increase in Texas, saying they could only venture to guess that while there is plenty of land to spread out in the state, the jobs are more centered, driving home prices up in key areas, such as Dallas.

And what about the rumored housing bubble? Fratantoni asked: Is San Francisco in a housing bubble? Becketti’s answer, to put it simply, was no. He answered that the city is subject to a tech collapse, but said it will not collapse on account of affordability.

 

read more….

 

http://www.housingwire.com/articles/40020-heres-the-real-state-of-the-housing-market?eid=311691494&bid=1743085

Pending sales drop | Waccabuc Real Estate

The Pending Home Sales Index decreased 2.5% in November 2016 to its lowest level since January 2016, and is 0.4% below November 2015. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), decreased to 107.3 in November 2016 from 110.0 the previous month.

The PHSI increased 0.6% in the Northeast, but fell 1.2% in the South, 2.5% in the Midwest and 6.7% in the West. Year-over-year, the PHSI increased 5.7% in the Northeast, but decreased 1.0% in the West, 1.3% in the South and 2.4% in the Midwest.

NAR recently reported a decline in confidence among renters who are contemplating the best time to buy a home. The election boosted the U.S. 10-year Treasury note from 1.83% the day before the election to 2.54% on December 28, 2016, and mortgage rates followed quickly. The Freddie Mac Weekly Survey reported a 30-year commitment rate of 3.54% on November 3, which increased to 4.30% for the week ending December 22, 2016. However, November existing sales continued a solid year-end path, and total 2016 existing sales are expected to reach the highest level since 2006. As the economy adds jobs, increased demand among first-time buyers will help fuel existing sales into 2017.

 

read more…

 

http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/01/pending-sales-retreat-2/

Mortgage rates average 4.09% | Waccabuc Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average mortgage rates moving lower for the third consecutive week.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.09 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending Jan. 19, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 4.12 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.81 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.34 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.37 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.10 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.21 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.23 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.91 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.

“After trending down for most of the week, the 10-year Treasury yield rose following the release of the CPI report. In contrast, the 30-year mortgage rate fell three basis points to 4.09 percent, the third straight week of declines.”

Serious Delinquency Rates Improve Across Most Household Debts | Waccabuc Real Estate

A recent release by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicates that, in aggregate, 90 or more day delinquency rates are falling on most household debt products. However, serious delinquency on student loans remains elevated while a greater portion of auto debt held by households with low credit scores is entering serious delinquency. The results indicate that household balance sheets are likely improving on balance but some concerns persist.

As the figure below illustrates, the majority of consumer loan types have seen the share of balances 90 or more days delinquent fall from their cycle peaks. The proportion of credit card debt 90 or more days past due has dropped to 7.1 percent 6.6 percentage points below its peak in 2010, 13.7 percent. The percentage of mortgage debt has dived 7.3 percentage points to 1.6 percent while the portion of 90 or more days late home equity lines of credit has fallen from 4.9 percent to 2.0 percent.

presentation1

Although credit card debt, mortgages, and home equity lines of credit have trended downward since reaching their cycle peaks, the share of student loan debt 90 or more days delinquent jumped in 2012 to 11.7 percent and has remained near this level in subsequent years.

Interestingly, the 90 or more day delinquency rate on auto debt followed the same pattern as credit card and mortgage debt, declining in the years immediately after reaching its peak. However, since 2014, the proportion of auto loan debt 90 or more days delinquent has held steady. More precisely, the percent of auto loans 90 or more days delinquent has trended up slightly since the middle of 2014.

Additional analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicates that, after declines from their cycle peaks, the flow of auto debt into 90 or more day delinquency has been generally flat for households with a 620 and above. However, as shown in the figure below which was reproduced from the blog post linked to above, the flow of auto loans into 90 or more day delinquency has increased noticeably for consumers with a credit score below a 620.

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More precisely, the flow of auto debt flowing into 90 or more day delinquency for those with a credit score between 620 and 659 rose a bit in 2014 before returning in 2015. In addition, there has been a very slight upward trend in the flow of auto debt into 90 or more day delinquency by borrowers with a credit score between 660 and 719 and a small uptick over 2016 in the flow for consumers with a score between 720 and 759.

 

read more…

 

http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/12/serious-delinquency-rates-improve-across-most-household-debts/

Are Trophy Homes Losing their Lustre? | Waccabuc Real Estate

Are Trophy Homes Losing their Lustre?

With pressure on the homebuilding industry to build fewer trophy homes and concentrate on filling the demand for affordable housing, the data does not bode well for builders.

Median prices of new homes have risen steadily during the recession. In September, the median sold price of a new home hit $313,500, 5.5 percent higher than last year’s median of $296,400 and 25.2 percent higher than the median price for existing homes in September.

Even so, over the past two years super expensive homes priced at one million or more are on the decline, according to data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction.  In 2015, a total of 1,762 homes were started for sale with a price of $1 million or more and 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).

 

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In percentage terms, these expensive homes represented 1.06 percent of all new homes started for sale in 2015, from a peak of 1.26 percent in 2014 but about the same as in 2013 (0.99 percent). This represents a much higher percent share compared to other years. For instance, from 2008 to 2012 the percent share of $1 million or more homes started for sale was less than 0.50 percent, while it was at most 0.66 percent during the boom period, reported the National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog.

To put things in perspective, Trulia reported in May that since 2012 the share of all million dollar homes in the United States has increased from 1.6 percent to 3 percent, but many metros and neighborhoods have seen a much larger increase.

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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2016/11/are-trophy-homes-losing-their-lustre/