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Armonk NY Homes

Canada Housing Starts fall | Armonk Real Estate

Housing starts in Canada decreased to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 172,965 units in December of 2015 from an upwardly revised 212,028 units in November and well below market expectations of 200,000 units. Urban starts dropped 19.1 percent to 159,007 units. The multi-unit segment shrank 27 percent to 101,264 units while the single-detached segment held steady at 57,743 units. In December, urban starts decreased in the Prairies, Ontario, and Atlantic Canada, but increased in British Columbia and Québec. Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 13,958 units. Housing Starts in Canada averaged 183.42 Thousand from 1977 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 291.60 Thousand in March of 1978 and a record low of 90.70 Thousand in August of 1982. Housing Starts in Canada is reported by the Canada Mortgage And Housing Corporation.

Canada Housing Starts
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Mortgage rates average 3.96% | Armonk Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged heading into the holiday weekend.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.96 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending December 24, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 3.97 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.83 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.22 percent with an average 0.6 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.10 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.06 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.03 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.01 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.68 percent this week with an average 0.2 point, up from 2.67 percent last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.39 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 links for theRegional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

As of January 1, 2016, the PMMS will no longer provide results for the 1-year ARM. Additionally, the regional breakouts will not be provided for the 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages, and the
5/1 Hybrid ARM.

Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Treasury yields dropped slightly as the holidays approach. Mortgage rates remain largely unchanged, with the 30-year mortgage rate ticking down a basis point to 3.96 percent. As we mentioned last week, long-term interest rates will not spike in response to the Federal funds rate increase. While we expect the 30-year mortgage rate to be above 4 percent in early 2016, we anticipate rates will gradually increase, averaging 4.4 percent for the year.”

CoreLogic: Foreclosures down more than 25% since August 2014 | Armonk Real Estate

The national foreclosure inventory declined by 25.2% and completed foreclosures declined by 20.1% compared with August 2014, according to the latest report fromCoreLogic.

The number of foreclosures nationwide decreased year over year from 46,000 in August 2014 to 36,000 in August 2015, representing a decrease of 68.9% from the peak of 117,357 completed foreclosures in September 2010.

“Mortgage performance continues to improve, however there is a dichotomy between the performance of recently originated loans and legacy loans. Newly delinquent loans are at the lowest rates during the last two decades. That reflects the tight underwriting and improved economy during the last few years,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “However, the foreclosure pipeline of legacy loans remains elevated. Over the last 12 months, there have been 500,000 completed foreclosures, more than double the number during normal periods.”

Click to enlarge

(Source: CoreLogic)

Completed foreclosures reflect the total number of homes lost to foreclosure. Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 5.9 million completed foreclosures across the country, and since homeownership rates peaked in the second quarter of 2004, there have been nearly 8 million homes lost to foreclosure.

As of August 2015, the national foreclosure inventory included approximately 470,000, or 1.2%, of all homes with a mortgage compared with 629,000 homes, or 1.6%, in August 2014.

CoreLogic also reports that the number of mortgages in serious delinquency (defined as 90 days or more past due, including those loans in foreclosure or REO) declined by 20.7% from August 2014 to August 2015 with 1.3 million mortgages, or 3.5%, in this category. This is the lowest serious delinquency rate since January 2008. The foreclosure rate (defined as the share of all loans in the foreclosure process) was at 1.2% as of August 2015, which is back to January 2008 levels.

“In August, the housing market experienced solid and steady increases in sales, prices and performance and our preview data indicates those trends will continue in September,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Longer term, the recent increase in household formations and rapidly improving labor market for millennials will provide a demographic tailwind to the housing market and keep demand firm.”


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30 Year Mortgage Rates average 3.91% | Armonk Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s vote on an interest-rate increase for the first time in more than nine years.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.91 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending September 17, 2015, up from last week when it averaged 3.90 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.23 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.11 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.10 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.37 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.92 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.91 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.06 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.56 percent this week with an average 0.2 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.63 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.43 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 links for theRegional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“The Treasury market was relatively quiet this week, and as a result the 30-year mortgage rate barely budged. Inflation fell shy of expectations in August, up 0.2 percent over the past year, but core consumer prices increased 1.8 percent year-over-year. Low mortgage rates help to support housing markets, which continue to bring good news. The National Association of Home Builders’ HMI came in above expectations at 62, which is a ten year high.”

Obama calls Westchester County housing racist | Armonk Real Estate

The Obama administration’s heavy-handed attempts at social engineering just moved to a disturbing new level — right in Westchester.

The Justice Department wants the county held in contempt of court, fined $60,000 a month and forced to set up an escrow account of $1.65 million — in a move growing out of its longstanding claim that the county’s housing policies are racist.

It’s a preposterous claim, of course. And Friday, County Executive Rob Astorino holds a press conference to decry it.

Good for him. Because the move is based on a technicality, and it actually says more about Team Obama’s overreach than about anything the county has or hasn’t done.

The Justice Department’s claim focuses on 28 units of “affordable” housing that are to be built in downtown Chappaqua, home of Hillary Clinton. Under a 2009 consent decree, Westchester agreed to build 750 units in wealthy, largely white towns and to “market them aggressively” to non-whites. Financing for the first 450 units was to have been approved by the end of last year.

Westchester actually met that deadline — but the feds disqualified the Chappaqua project anyway, because the town hadn’t yet issued all required permits by Dec. 31. And because Astorino’s office, the feds say, didn’t ride roughshod over the town and bully it into submission.

Let’s be honest: For years, the administration has been trying to, as one official put it, “remove zip codes in the quality of life in America.” Meaning anyone should be able to live anywhere, even if they can’t afford it.

Its legal case is based on the dubious notion of “disparate impact” — statistical differences by race without any specific proof of actual discrimination.

Want more evidence Justice’s act is politically motivated? Note, then, that it filed its motion despite the fact that the Chappaqua housing project was recently fast-tracked.


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Sales of Existing Homes to First-Time Buyers Rise | Armonk Real Estate

Existing home sales, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), rose to the highest pace in six years in May. The report was also notable due to an increase in purchases by first-time buyers, which rose to the highest share experienced since September 2012.

The May pace of existing home sales (5.35 million on seasonally adjusted annual basis) was 5.1% higher than the prior month and 9.2% higher than the rate set during May of 2014. Sales of single-family homes were up 5.6% for the month, reaching a 4.73 million annual rate.


The first-time buyer share increased to 32% in May, up from 30% in April. NAR reported that first-time buyer share reached its highest level since September 2012. This increase is consistent with prior analysis of Fannie Mae data illustrating that the share of mortgage originations to first-time home buyers is expected to rise in 2015.

Regionally, existing home sales increased strongly in the Northeast (11.3% for May) and are up 11.3% year-over-year. Midwest sales increased 4.1% for the month and now stand 12.4% higher than May 2014. Sales in the West rose 4.3% in May and are up 9% from a year ago. Finally, sales in the South increased 4.3% compared to April and are 6.9% higher than May 2014.

Total housing inventory, as estimated by NAR, increased 3.2% t0 2.29 million existing housing units. This marks a 5.1 months-supply at the May sales pace.

The median existing home price in May was $228,700. NAR noted that May represented the 39th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains for existing homes.


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Nearly 80 Percent of Top 100 U.S. Housing Markets Improving | #Armonk Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released its updated Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®) showing the U.S. housing market continuing to stabilize with the most improving metro markets seeing stronger demand for home sales this spring homebuying season. Despite strong house price appreciation, low mortgage rates are keeping payment-to-incomes affordable for the typical family in most markets.

News Facts:

  • The national MiMi value stands at 75.4, indicating a weak housing market overall but showing an improvement (+0.69%) from February to March and a three-month improvement of (+1.24%). On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved (+3.11%). The nation’s all-time MiMi high of 121.7 was April 2006; its low was 57.4 in October 2010, when the housing market was at its weakest. Since that time, the national MiMi value has made a 31.3 percent rebound.
  • Seventeen of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with North Dakota (95.8), the District of Columbia (95.6), Hawaii (90.5), Montana (90), and Wyoming (85.7) ranking in the top five.
  • Twenty-five of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with Honolulu (91.8), Fresno (90.5), Austin (88.8), Los Angeles (86.8) and McAllen, TX (86.4) ranking in the top five.
  • The most improving states month-over-month were Washington (+2.37%), Oregon (+2.26%), Arizona (+1.76%), Tennessee (+1.39%) and Michigan (+1.26%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Nevada (+9.87%), Oregon (+9.86%), Colorado (9.34%), Florida (+8.23%), and Michigan (+7.60%).
  • The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Portland (+2.68%), Riverside (+2.22%), San Jose (+2.13%), Nashville (+2.10%) and Baton Rouge (+1.99%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Stockton (+12.01%), Detroit (+11.63%), Denver (+11.41%), Las Vegas (+10.73%), and Palm Bay, FL (+10.23%).
  • In March, 36 of the 50 states and 77 of the 100 metros were showing an improving three month trend. The same time last year, 40 states plus the District of Columbia, and 82 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.

Quote attributable to Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer:

“The nation’s housing markets are getting back on track. Better employment prospects, rising home values and increased purchase activity are all driving improvements in housing markets across the country. In this month’s MiMi three more states and seven metro areas moved within range of their benchmark level of activity. However, as we’ve mentioned before, we’re likely to see bouts of affordability shock with mortgage rate swings for the remainder of this year as market participants try to anticipate Fed timing around rising short term interest rates and expectations for global growth wax and wane.”

“The West and Southwest areas of the country are showing some of the strongest housing activity, especially markets like Portland, Denver, Dallas, San Jose and Los Angeles. Many markets in the South and Midwest, while improving, are still plagued by high rates of mortgage delinquencies, which are holding back these markets from recovering faster. The exception to this would be the Nashville-area market. It more closely resembles the housing markets in the West, such as those in Utah. These markets are experiencing double-digit annual growth rates in purchase applications and showing some of the strongest homebuying demand in the country.”

The 2015 MiMi release calendar is available online.

MiMi monitors and measures the stability of the nation’s housing market, as well as the housing markets of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the top 100 metro markets. MiMi combines proprietary Freddie Mac data with current local market data to assess where each single-family housing market is relative to its own long-term stable range by looking at home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios (changes in home purchasing power based on house prices, mortgage rates and household income), proportion of on-time mortgage payments in each market, and the local employment picture. The four indicators are combined to create a composite MiMi value for each market. Monthly, MiMi uses this data to show, at a glance, where each market stands relative to its own stable range of housing activity. MiMi also indicates how each market is trending, whether it is moving closer to, or further away from, its stable range. A market can fall outside its stable range by being too weak to generate enough demand for a well-balanced housing market or by overheating to an unsustainable level of activity.

Effective Rate on New Home Loans Drops Below 4 Percent | Armonk Homes

Last month we reported that the contract rate on new home loans dipped below 4 percent in January, based on data released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).  In February, the rate continued to decline, from 3.92 to 3.79 percent, as did the average initial fees and charges on the loans, from 1.18 to 1.11.  In both cases, the numbers are the lowest they’ve been since mid-2013.

Fees Feb 15

As a result, the average effective interest rate (which amortizes initial fees over the estimated life of the loan) on conventional mortgages used to purchase newly built homes also dropped below 4 percent (going from 4.05 to 3.91) in February—the first time in 20 months the effective rate has been that low.

Eff Rate Feb 15

Meanwhile, both the average size of conventional mortgages used to purchase new homes and the average price of the homes, have been drifting upward (subject to normal monthly volatility) and these trends continued in February.   The average loan amount increased from $331,700 to $338,600, while the average new home price increased from $440,300 to $449,400.  In each case, the February dollar figure represents a record high.

Avg Price Feb 15

This information is based on FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey (MIRS) of loans closed during the last five working days in February.  For other caveats and details about the survey, see the technical note at the end of FHFA’s March 26 news release.


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Williamsburg’s New Rental Has Nice Views But Tiny Apartments | Armonk Real Estate

After a tipster complained about the size of the units in the newly launched third Northside Piers tower, 1 North 4th Place, officially known as 1N4th, we were invited inside the brand new Williamsburg waterfront rental tower to take a look for ourselves. And while, yes, the units are indeed small (they’re rentals, after all), and expensive, they are also as advertised, containing condo-quality finishes, and, possibly more importantly, access to the building’s many amenities. There’s an enormous lobby as befits a building of this size (there are 509 units in total, 20 or so of which already have residents) with multiple lounging areas, a kitchenette, and a meeting room; a bike room with storage space for more than 250 bicycles; an approximately 3,000-square-foot gym; and more, as you will discover on the rest of the tour.

NAHB Completes Landmark 800th Local Impact Study | #Armonk Real Estate

n January, NAHB produced a study on the impact of home building in the nine-county Kansas City metropolitan area.  Like earlier studies, the one for Kansas City estimated the income, jobs and taxes generated by home building activity in the area.  However, the Kansas City study is especially notable because it marks the 800th such customized report NAHB has produced for various metropolitan areas, non-metropolitan counties, and states across the country since first offering this service late in 1996.

The map below illustrates the parts of the country covered by the 800 customized NAHB local impact studies.  The darker green shading indicates studies covering metro areas or non-metro counties; the somewhat lighter orange shading indicates studies produced for an entire state.

NAHB 800

Although a local market area analyzed by NAHB must be large enough to include places where construction workers live, and places where the new home occupants work and shop (most often, a metropolitan area or non-metropolitan county), the construction analyzed can be confined to a particular jurisdiction or development.  Over the years, the studies have been used to help get individual projects approved, counter anti-growth proposals, and generate publicity for the local home building industry.

A customized report can be ordered by anyone willing to pay the fee and provide the inputs needed to run the NAHB model.  For those lacking the time or resources, a study showing results for a typical or average local area is available immediately on line.

For example, this study shows that the estimated one-year local impacts of building 100 single-family homes in a typical metro area include

  • $21.1 million in local income,
  • $2.2 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and
  • 324 local jobs.

And that the additional, annually recurring impacts resulting from the 100 single-family homes becoming occupied and the occupants paying taxes and otherwise participated in the local economy  include

  • $3.1 million in local income,
  • $743,000 in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and
  • 53 local jobs.

The typical local area report, along with instructions for ordering customized reports for a particular area,  are available on NAHB’s local impact of home building web page.   Readers are urged to check back periodically, as NAHB anticipates updating the information for a typical local area within the next two months.   Readers with questions about the local impact estimates or how they’re generated may contact Paul Emrath in NAHB’s Housing Policy Department.


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