Category Archives: Waccabuc NY

NYS median sales price rises 11.5% | Waccabuc Real Estate

Homebuyer activity remained strong in May, driving the New York State housing market to the second-highest sales total for the month with 10,348 closings, according to the housing market report released today by the New York State Association of REALTORS. May 2018 closed sales were 8.6 percent lower than the record of 11,322 set in May 2017. The median sales price growth trend continued, increasing by 11.5 percent compared to last May, ending the month at $262,000.

“Robust buyer demand continues to keep homes across the Empire State selling at a brisk pace, despite the lower number of homes listed for sale,” said Duncan R. MacKenzie, CEO of the New York State Association of REALTORS. “Newly listed homes are selling more quickly than a year ago as buyers faced with fewer options are eager to get to the closing table. We believe that without the headwind of lower inventory sales would be near the record-setting levels of a year ago.”

“While growing sales prices may entice current owners to bring greatly needed inventory to the market, the combination of higher prices and growing mortgage rates will begin to erode affordability, potentially dampening buyer enthusiasm,” said MacKenzie.

The May 2018 sales total of 10,348 represents a decrease of 8.6 percent from the May 2017 total of 11,322. Year-to-date (Jan. 1 – May 31) sales were 45,005, a decrease of 3 percent from the same period in 2017.

The May 2018 statewide median sales price was $262,000, an increase of 11.5 percent from the May 2017 median of $235,000. The year-to-date (Jan. 1 – May 31) median sales price was $259,000, an increase of 8.6 percent from the same period in 2017.

Pending sales decreased 4.3 percent in May compared to a year ago to reach 13,633.

The average days on market for home sales closed during May 2018 was 80, a decrease from 87 in May 2017. Year-to-date (Jan. 1 – May 31) days on market for closed sales was 85, down from 93 during the same period in 2017.

The months supply of homes for sale dropped 7.8 percent at the end of May to 5.9 months supply. It was at 6.4 months at the end of May 2017. A 6 month to 6.5 month supply is considered to be a balanced market. Inventory stood at 66,682, a decrease of 6.7 percent compared to May 2017.

Additional data is available at a New Window.

Editor’s Note: All data is compiled from multiple listing services in the state of New York and the data include townhomes, condominiums and existing single-family homes.

Condemned Silicon Valley home sells for $1.23 million | Waccabuc Real Estate

A condemned home in Northern California — with holes in the roof and mildew inside — recently sold for $1.23 million, becoming the latest example of the Bay Area’s tight housing market.

The home in Fremont was originally listed for $1 million but ended up closing at $230,000 over its asking price, listing agent Larry Gallegos told KTVU.

“We had a couple of offers that were very close. Actually, my client, when I first met them, wanted a little bit more than that with the price they had in their mind. But they ended up being happy with this one,” he said.

A condemned home is seen Wednesday, April 18, 2018, in Fremont, Calif. The condemned Northern California house with holes in the roof and mildew in the pipes sold last month for $1.23 million. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The condemned Northern California house with holes in the roof and mildew in the pipes sold last month for $1.23 million.  (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

The home, located about 35 miles southeast of San Francisco, has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and was condemned in 2013. The two investors who bought the property design green homes, according to Gallegos, and plan to put a 4,000 square-foot “masterpiece” on the lot in Fremont.

Gallegos told the Associated Press the buyers didn’t even enter the house because they had no interest in the actual building but on its location, which could offer a view of the bay from a second story.

Online property records show its assessment is years out of date — its taxable value is listed as $90,000.

David Stark of the Bay East Association of Realtors told KTVU there was “nothing surprising” about the sale.

“It’s a great example of location, location, location,” he said.

Stark told the television station that buying a tear-down to build a dream home reflects a 10-year trend, and that unlike in 2008, current home prices show no indication a crash is coming.

California Home 1

The home in Fremont was condemned in 2013, and has three-bedrooms, and two-bathrooms.  (KTVU)

“People are purchasing homes. They’re purchasing vacant properties like this. The demand is there. The supply isn’t. These prices are sustainable,” he told KTVU.

The median home price in Fremont, which connects to Silicon Valley through several highways and with easy access to San Francisco and Oakland by train, is $1 million as of late February, according to, compared to $1.3 million in San Francisco and $1.28 million in Berkeley.

For residents that have been in the neighborhood for years, the spike in home prices leaves them in a difficult situation.


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New home sales fall again | Waccabuc Real Estate

Sales of new single-family houses in the United States shrank 0.6 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618 thousand in February of 2018 from an upwardly revised 622 thousand in January. It is the lowest reading in four months and compares with market forecasts of a 4.4 percent rise to 623 thousand. Sales fell in the West and the Midwest. New Home Sales in the United States averaged 650.65 Thousand from 1963 until 2018, 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 Fall for 3rd Month

Sales of new single-family houses in the United States shrank 0.6 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618 thousand in February of 2018 from an upwardly revised 622 thousand in January. It is the lowest reading in four months and compares with market forecasts of a 4.4 percent rise to 623 thousand. Sales fell in the West and the Midwest.

Sales fell in the West (-17.6 percent to 164 thousand) and the Midwest (-3.7 percent to 79 thousand) but rose in the South (9 percent to 338 thousand) and the Northeast (19.4 percent to 37 thousand).
The median sales price of new houses sold was $326,800, above $298,000 a year earlier. The average sales price was $376,700, also higher than $370,500 in February of 2017.
The stock of new houses for sale went up 2 percent from the previous month to 305 thousand, the highest level since March of 2009. This represents a supply of 5.9 months at the current sales rate.
Year-on-year, new home sales edged up 0.5 percent.
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London prices falling | Waccabuc Real Estate

House prices in some of London’s wealthiest boroughs plummeted as much as 14.9% in the year to January, dragging down the average price in the capital—and in England—according to a report Monday by real estate consultants Acadata.

Prices in the capital fell 0.8% in January from December, to £593,396 (US$825,318). That’s down 2.6% annually, the report said, the biggest fall since August 2009, when the recession was still in full swing.

Price growth across the U.K. has likely been weighed down by uncertainties surrounding Brexit, along with 2016’s 3% surcharge on second homes and buy-to-let properties. “Subsequent to the introduction of this tax, the rates of price growth have been falling, and at an accelerated rate since September 2017,” the report said.

No doubt the fall is more acutely felt in London, a hotspot for international investors.

The biggest drops were logged in the priciest boroughs.

Wandsworth saw the largest dip, with the average price declining 14.9% in the year to January, to £685,567 (US$953,514) from £805,460 (US$1.12 million) the prior year. The City of London followed, where prices are now £844,768 (US$1.17 million), down 10.8% from last January and in Islington, prices are down 8.8% to £684,869 (US$952,543).

But in the city’s most expensive borough, Kensington and Chelsea, prices rose 4.6% up to £2.16 million (US$3 million).

Combined, the most expensive 11 boroughs fell by 3.8%, while mid-priced boroughs are down an average 2.7%, according to the report.

The less expensive boroughs fared better. More than half logged price rises over the last year, led by Bexley, which saw its average price rise 4.5% to £363,082 (US$504,988). In Barking and Dagenham, which has the lowest priced property in the capital, according to the report, prices inched up 0.1% to £300,627 (US$418,124).

Brent, in northwest London and home to Wembley Stadium, logged the largest price increases, up 8.5% to £587,372 (US$816,940).


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Single-family houses constructed at best pace in more than a decade | Waccabuc Real Estate

Construction of new homes increased 3.3 percent in November — with the gain largely coming from single-family houses being built at the strongest pace in more than a decade.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that builders broke ground on homes last month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.3 million units. The increase marks a key moment in the recovery from the Great Recession: Builders started work on single-family houses at the fastest pace since September 2007, which was just a few months before the start of that economic downturn.

Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at the real estate company Trulia, said completed new homes are likely to finish at a post-recession high, but completions are still just 65 percent of their 50 year-average.

Driving the rebound in home construction has been a shortage of existing properties being listed for sale.

Fewer people are putting their property on the market, despite healthy demand from buyers because the unemployment rate is at a 17 year-low and mortgage rates remain at attractive levels. New construction has filled some of this gap with starts on single-family houses rising 8.7 percent so far this year.

Still, not enough new homes are being built to totally end the supply squeeze. Over the past year, the number of sales listings for the much larger market for existing homes has fallen 6.4 percent.

The construction growth last month came from the South and West, while the Northeast and Midwest reported declines.

Builders are also backing away from the apartment rentals that until recently were a driving force behind the rebound in residential construction. Ground breakings for multi-family buildings such as apartment complexes have declined 8.5 percent year-to-date.

The move away from apartment construction has corresponded with a shift by the millennial population toward buying homes, said Mark Fleming, chief economist at First American Financial, a real estate transactions firm.

“The last two quarters have seen an increase, specifically a shift from renter occupied to owner occupied households, as Millennials age out of rentership and into homeownership,” Fleming said.

Building permits, an indicator of future construction, slipped 1.4 percent in October to 1.3 million. But the number of permits authorized so far this year has increased 5.8 percent.

Relatively low mortgage rates have helped would-be homebuyers, even as property prices have climbed faster than wages. The average rate on 30-year fixed-rate U.S. mortgages was 3.93 percent last week, slightly better than the 4.16 percent rate a year ago, according to mortgage Freddie Mac.

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Mortgage rates average 3.93% | Waccabuc Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQBFMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average mortgage rates holding relatively flat across the board.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.93 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending December 14, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.94 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.16 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.36 percent with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.37 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.36 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.35 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.19 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.

Attributed to Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist.
“As widely expected, the Fed increased the federal funds target rate this week for the third time in 2017. The market had already priced in the rate hike so long term interest rates, including mortgage rates hardly moved. Mortgage rates held relatively flat across the board, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate inching down 1 basis point to 3.93 percent in this week’s survey. Mortgage rates have been in a holding pattern for the fourth quarter, remaining within a 10 basis point range since October.”

Senate tax reform bill | Waccabuc Real Estate

Earlier this week the Senate jumped into the fray, releasing its own proposal for tax reform. The Senate’s proposal, much like the House bill, which we looked at last week, creates significant headwinds for homeowners and homebuyers, while providing only a temporary cut for middle class homeowners.

What Stays the Same?

Like the House bill, the Senate chose to change the definition for capital gains so that a home seller must have lived in their home for at least five of the prior 8 years. This change would affect 12% to 22% of home sellers, locking in some inventory and potentially changing the trade-up purchase process.

The Senate also proposed to eliminate personal exemptions as the House did, but they chose to increase the child credit to $2000 per child. This latter change is more generous than the House’s $1,600 credit per child and $300 for each parent.

Pouring SALT in the Wound

Unlike the House bill, the Senate chose to eliminate all state and local taxes (SALT) including state and local income and sales taxes as well as state and local real estate taxes. This change will make it more difficult for homeowners to itemize their mortgage interest and when they do, they will face a much lower benefit from homeownership. In a perverse way, only those who can afford very expensive homes will be able to benefit from the real estate provisions of the tax code.

Tax Reform - Standard Deduction vs Itemize on a Home Purchase in Illinois

The generous $24,000 standard deduction for couples who are renter or owners provides little support for renters who move to ownership nor does it guarantee that tax cuts today will be utilized to boost housing affordability in the future. Worse, when this provision expires in 8 years, both groups will be worse off.

Time Does Not Heal All Wounds

Most forecasts are for home prices and mortgage rates to rise in the coming years. The chart below shows how the proposals from the House and Senate compare with current law. The orange bars depict the difference between the Senate proposal and current law. A home buying family of four with an income of $100,000 or less would see a gain, while upper-middle income buyers would face a tax hike. However, in 5 years1 that tax cut would disappear for nearly all middle-income homebuyers as mortgage rates and prices rise (red bars). Finally, after 8 years, the tax cuts and enhanced standard deduction both expire letting virtually no buyers benefit under the plan (dark blue bars).

Chart Comparing Tax Plans for a Family of Four Over Time: Current vs Proposed

The Senate’s proposal reflects many new changes, but retains many facets of the House proposal. While some changes help middle class homeowners today, it appears that the changes quickly wear out and are worse in the future.


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New Canaan mid-century modern | Waccbuc Real Estate

The DeSilver house was designed in 1961 by John Black Lee and Harrison DeSilver.
 All photos by Michael Biondo

Location: New Canaan, CT

Price: $1,700,000 (guide price)

The affluent enclave of New Canaan, Connecticut, is known as a mecca of modern architecture, where during the 1940s and ’50s, a group of architects collectively known as the Harvard Five settled here and built nearly 100 modern homes, 20 of which have since been torn down.

The DeSilver House on Chichester Road is one of them, and it was designed in 1961 by Harrison DeSilver and John Black Lee, who was often considered the sixth member of the Harvard Five. Lee also lived in New Canaan until his death, in a home he built himself.

Offered through a private sale by owner, the incredible home, which has largely been preserved with a few updates, is now on the market. Characterized by a 6-foot-by-6-foot modular prefab system, the 2,048-square-foot residence sits at a lower grade than the driveway and is accessed by a floating wood bridge.

Once inside, an (original) open-tread staircase leads upstairs to spacious bedrooms (four total, with three baths) and downstairs to the main living area and kitchen (with separate pantry room, Miele appliances, and Heath Ceramics tiles). Further below are a study, children’s playroom, and basement.

Floor-to-ceiling windows take in the gorgeous surroundings of the nearly three-acre site, while an open floorplan allows for flexible family-friendly living. An overhanging flat roof provides passive shelter from the sun on the ground floor and provides coverage over the second-floor balconies as well. A large outdoor patio, directly accessible from the kitchen, encourages indoor-outdoor living.

For a lover of midcentury modern design, the DeSilver House would be a treasure trove of endless inspiration. Located on Chichester Road, where many modernists also built homes, the property is offered with a guide price of $1.7 million. It is also available to rent for $7,000 a month.

Courtesy ofNatalie Louw (h/t The Spaces)

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Used home sales rise .7% | Waccabuc Real Estate

Sales of previously owned houses in the United States rose 0.7 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in September 2017 from a year low of 5.35 million in August, beating market expectations of a 1 percent fall. Still, ongoing supply shortages and recent hurricanes muted overall activity. Sales of single family houses increased 1.1 percent to 4.79 million after falling 2.1 percent in August, while those of condos fell 1.6 percent to 0.60 million, following a 1.7 percent decline. The median house price fell to $245,100 from $253,100 in August and the months’ worth of supply was steady at 4.2 percent. In addition, the number of houses available in the market rose to 1.90 million from 1.87 million in August. Existing Home Sales in the United States averaged 3912.19 Thousand from 1968 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 7250 Thousand in September of 2005 and a record low of 1370 Thousand in March of 1970.

United States Existing Home Sales
Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2017-08-24 02:00 PM Existing Home Sales 5.44M 5.51M 5.57M 5.55M
2017-09-20 02:00 PM Existing Home Sales 5.35M 5.44M 5.46M 5.45M
2017-10-20 02:00 PM Existing Home Sales 5.39M 5.35M 5.30M 5.29M
2017-11-21 03:00 PM Existing Home Sales 5.39M 5.36M
2017-12-20 03:00 PM Existing Home Sales 5.42M


United States Housing Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Building Permits 1215.00 1272.00 2419.00 513.00 Thousand [+]
Housing Starts 1127.00 1183.00 2494.00 478.00 Thousand [+]
New Home Sales 560.00 580.00 1389.00 270.00 Thousand [+]
Pending Home Sales -2.60 -1.30 30.90 -24.30 percent [+]
Existing Home Sales 5390.00 5350.00 7250.00 1370.00 Thousand [+]
Construction Spending 0.50 -1.20 5.90 -4.80 percent [+]
Housing Index 0.20 0.10 1.20 -1.80 percent [+]
Nahb Housing Market Index 68.00 64.00 78.00 8.00 [+]
Mortgage Rate 4.14 4.16 10.56 3.47 percent [+]
Mortgage Applications 3.60 -2.10 49.10 -38.80 percent [+]
Home Ownership Rate 63.70 63.60 69.20 62.90 percent [+]
Case Shiller Home Price Index 201.99 200.53 206.52 100.00 Index Points [+]


United States Existing Home Sales

Existing Home Sales occurs when the mortgage is closed. Mortgage closing usually takes place 30-60 days after the sales contract is closed. . This page provides the latest reported value for – United States Existing Home Sales – plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. United States Existing Home Sales – actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases – was last updated on October of 2017.


Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
5390.00 5350.00 7250.00 1370.00 1968 – 2017 Thousand Monthly


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Amazon selling shipping container house | Waccabuc Real Estate

A MODS International shipping container house available for sale on Amazon
All photos via Amazon

From Amazon’s potential new headquarters to it’s latest lineup of smart home devices, the roughly $430 billion company is in the headlines and in our households. The Seattle e-commerce company sells almost everything—including, it seems, a shipping container house.

In an effort to recycle the thousands of surplus containers that sit on docks around the world, shipping containers have been used in urban farmsoff-the-grid getaways, and even as all-in-one pools. A fleet of new companies also use the 20- or 40-foot containers to create prefab tiny homes, all available to orderand delivered to your location.

Now, Wisconsin-based MODs International is selling their version on Amazon. The 320-square-foot house uses a new sea container as the structural shell—not a recycled one—and includes a rather plain bedroom, shower, toilet, sink, small kitchenette, appliances, and living area. Large double doors open to the outside, and extra windows were added to increase light.

The price for the home of your shipping container dreams on Amazon: $36,000. Of course, the unit isn’t sold from Amazon itself and is available from MODS as a third party seller under the “See all Buying Options” tab. It also costs $4,500 to ship the 7,500 pound structure to your location, so don’t expect your normal Prime discount.

All photos via Amazon
All photos via Amazon
All photos via Amazon
All photos via Amazon

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