Tag Archives: Armonk NY Real Estate

Armonk NY Real Estate

Home price index reaches all-time high | Armonk Real Estate

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index for September blew past the peak set in July 2006, with the national index posting a 5.5% annual gain in September, up from 5.1% last month, S&P reported Tuesday morning. The 10-City Composite posted a 4.3% annual increase, up from 4.2% the previous month. The 20-City Composite reported a year- over-year gain of 5.1%, unchanged from August.

Before seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a month-over-month gain of 0.4% in September. Both the 10-City Composite and the 20-City Composite posted a 0.1% increase in September. After seasonal adjustment, the National Index recorded a 0.8% month-over-month increase, the 10-City Composite posted a 0.2% month-over-month increase, and the 20-City Composite reported a 0.4% month-over-month increase. 15 of 20 cities reported increases in September before seasonal adjustment; after seasonal adjustment, all 20 cities saw prices rise.


Seattle, Portland, and Denver reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities over each of the last eight months. In September, Seattle led the way with an 11.0% year-over-year price increase, followed by Portland with 10.9%, and Denver with an 8.7% increase. 12 cities reported greater price increases in the year ending September 2016 versus the year ending August 2016.

“The new peak set by the S&P Case-Shiller CoreLogic National Index will be seen as marking a shift from the housing recovery to the hoped-for start of a new advance,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “ While seven of the 20 cities previously reached new post-recession peaks, those that experienced the biggest booms — Miami, Tampa, Phoenix and Las Vegas — remain well below their all-time highs. Other housing indicators are also giving positive signals: sales of existing and new homes are rising and housing starts at an annual rate of 1.3 million units are at a post-recession peak.


Freddie Mac real estate outlook | Armonk Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) released today its monthly Outlook for October showing that housing remains a bright spot in the face of a marginally improving U.S. economy and tight inventories of for-sale homes. However, mortgage activity, which has benefited greatly from low mortgage rates post-Brexit, is starting to see a slowdown in refinance activity that will persist into next year as the mortgage market transitions to a purchase-dominated mix.

Outlook Highlights

  • Continued strength in consumer spending and a reduction in the drag from inventory spending should boost second half growth, resulting in full-year 2016 GDP growth of 1.6 percent. The economy should do modestly better in 2017, posting 1.9 percent year-over-year growth.
  • A mature expansion operating near full employment only needs to generate enough jobs to keep the unemployment rate steady. Expect the unemployment rate to decline slightly over the next year-and-a-half, ending 2017 at 4.7 percent.
  • Even if worldwide bond yields recover to the pre-Brexit status quo, mortgage interest rates are likely to remain low for an extended period. Expect a gradual rise in rates throughout the remainder of 2016 and into 2017, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • Don’t expect much increase in total home sales going forward with a slight decline in seasonally-adjusted sales in the fourth quarter. Next year, rising new home sales driven by increases in new single-family housing construction will push total home sales slightly higher, to 6.16 million in 2017 compared to 6.04 million in 2016.
  • Forecasting house prices will grow at a 5.6 percent annual rate in 2016, moderating to 4.7 percent in 2017.

Quote: Attributed to Sean Becketti, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac.

“The economy and labor markets are looking better. We’re even seeing modest wage gains. And Fed watchers are increasingly predicting a December rate hike as things improve. However, worldwide economic growth is weak and its prospects have gotten worse. This may all sound familiar because we’ve been here before… last year.

“As the economy sputters along a little bit faster than stall speed, the U.S. housing market continues to be a bright spot, though there’s less room to run than in the prior few years. Unlike new home sales, existing home sales have nearly recovered back to pre-recession norms. Regardless, we see new home sales improving some next year driven by increases in new single-family housing construction which will push total home sales slightly higher.”

 

 

 

 

Will Airbnb disrupt the housing market? | Armonk Real Estate

Crowds press together in the streets of New Orleans as people gather to see the city’s festivities, but this year, there’s something different about the tourists. This year, instead of staying in the city’s hotels, more tourists are pouring into residential areas after using an app to quickly book a home for the week.

Airbnb, founded in 2008 as an online marketplace for short-term rentals, has seen its business grow exponentially in the last few years. In 2014, rooms available through the site jumped from 300,000 in February to more than 1 million in December, outpacing many of the largest hotel groups in the world. In May of 2016 Airbnb had almost 1.4 listings on the site and raised its revenue projection for this year to more than $900 million.

But the site impacts more than just hotel chains. As more investors, not just homeowners, use the site to rent out spare rooms — and even spare couches — it strains the supply of rental houses.

This is especially true in a place like New Orleans, where rising home prices have caused serious affordability problems. Home prices have risen 46% since Hurricane Katrina hit, according to an article by Katherine Sayre for The Times-Picayune.

Besides the number of lives lost, the most tangible impact the hurricane had on the city was the demolition of its housing stock, where 26% to 34% of its housing was lost or damaged, according to an article by Allison Plyer for The Data Center. The Center’s “The New Orleans Index” was the most widely used means of tracking rebuilding efforts in the months and years following Hurricane Katrina.

As of February 2016, Airbnb had a total of 3,621 active listings in New Orleans, according to data from Inside Airbnb, a non-commercial set of tools and data that shows how Airbnb is being used in different cities around the world.

Of course, there would seem to be a correlation between the rise in home prices and the gains in the app’s popularity, however, correlation does not always equal causation.

In order to truly understand the app’s effects, or lack thereof, you have to look deeper.

One letter circulating on Facebook entitled “Dear Airbnb Renter!” talks about what it sees as the dangers of Airbnb.

“The spread of tourism into residential neighborhoods is pushing out the people who live there,” the letter stated. “When landlords can get so much more for a property on Airbnb they no longer want to rent to actual working New Orleanians. Even residents that own their home are finding it difficult to pay their taxes because of the rising property values.”

That kind of outcry has reached lawmakers. In a letter sent on July 13 to Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, several prominent senators expressed their concern. Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, and Diane Feinstein, D-Calif, stated that they are especially concerned that short-term rentals are not only making housing more expensive in certain communities, but also making it harder to buy a house in the first place.

 

read more,,,

 

http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37909-will-airbnb-disrupt-the-housing-market?eid=311691494&bid=1540391

Greenwich Ct. Is Worst U.S. Home Market | Armonk Real Estate

Barry Sternlicht, chairman and chief executive officer of Starwood Capital Group LLC, said his former town of Greenwich, Connecticut, may be the worst housing market in the U.S.

“You can’t give away a house in Greenwich,” Sternlicht said Tuesday at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference in New York.

The town — about 45 minutes north of Manhattan and home to some of the country’s largest hedge funds — is seeing a pile-up of houses on the market and prices that are faltering as properties linger. Home sales in the second quarter fell 18 percent from a year earlier to 169 deals, according to a report by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

At the same time, new listings surged 27 percent. The absorption period, or the time it would take to sell all the homes on the market at the current pace, was 12 months, compared with 7.7 months a year earlier, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said.

 

read more…

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-13/starwood-s-sternlicht-says-greenwich-is-worst-u-s-housing-market

New-home sales roar to an 8-year high | Armonk Real Estate

U.S. new-home sales surged to the highest in nearly eight years in July as builders picked up the pace while buyer demand remained robust.

Sales of newly constructed homes rose 12.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 654,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was 31.3% higher than a year ago, and easily beat forecasts of a 581,000 pace from economists surveyed by MarketWatch.

June’s figure was revised downward slightly, to 582,000.

The median sales price in July was $294,600, 0.5% lower than year-ago levels. As sales soared, supply dwindled to 4.3 months’ worth of homes at the current pace.

On Tuesday, luxury home builder Toll Brothers TOL, +3.27%  reported double-digit profit and revenue growth for its second quarter. “The solid economy and employment picture are also benefiting our target customers,” executive chairman Robert Toll told analysts.

Analysts and economists have waited to see stronger activity from home builders as the economic recovery drags on and the job market strengthens. Builders have been wary of ramping up construction to pre-crisis levels, but with demand running so much hotter than inventory, and new construction favoring higher-end customers, the housing market has struggled to find equilibrium.

 

read more…

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-home-sales-roar-to-an-8-year-high-of-654000-in-july-2016-08-23?mod=MW_story_latest_news

U.S. single-family housing starts hit 9-year high | Armonk Real Estate

Construction on new houses rose in February to a five-month high, led by the biggest increase in single-family units in nine years.

Housing starts climbed 5.2% last month to an annual pace of 1.18 million, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected starts to rise at a seasonally adjusted 1.15 million rate.

The faster pace of construction signals that housing will remain one of the best-performing segments of the U.S. economy and help underpin growth in 2016. A surge in new hiring over the past several years has created an expanding pool of potential homeowners who can benefit from ultra-low interest rates.

“Housing continues to be a bright spot for the US economy,” said Steve Blitz, chief economist at ITG Investment Research.

The pickup in construction last month was centered on single-family homes.

Single-family starts jumped 7.2% to an annual rate of 822,000. That’s the highest level since November 2007, one month before the Great Recession started.

Builders were especially busy in the West, where starts hit a nine-year peak. New construction in the Midwest reached the highest level in 1½ years.

Little letup is likely, either. Permits for new construction, a sign of future demand, rose 3.2% to an annual rate of 1.17 million. Permits are running 6.3% above year-ago levels.

Permits for single-family homes, which account for about three-quarters of the housing market, edged up slightly last month and remain near a postrecession high.

 

read more…

 

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-single-family-housing-starts-hit-9-year-high-2016-03-16?siteid=bnbh

Are FICO scores becoming a thing of the past? | Armonk Real Estate

While most people can agree that the current credit score system needs work, not everyone can agree on the proper solution.

Take a look at San Francisco-based SoFi as an example. The company operates like a young tech garage in Silicon Valley except it’s a a disrupter in the mortgage industry, pushing the limits by doing things like choosing to not use FICO scores when evaluating applicants.

Here’s a clip from the lender’s blog explaining the reason behind that decision:

The idea of assigning a score based on your dealings with debt makes sense in theory, but in practice there are a few flaws.

The FICO score calculation doesn’t consider things like your savings, your cash flow, your ability to pay non-credit bills like water and electric or your future earnings (for example, if you just landed a job with excellent pay). Plus there’s the fact that a growing number of millennials are forgoing credit cards entirely, which is reflected negatively in their credit scores – even though they may be perfectly able to pay off a loan. All of these factors can have a major impact on your creditworthiness, but your FICO score doesn’t take them into account.

Because of these gaps, SoFi has chosen to not use FICO scores when evaluating the financial wherewithal of applicants. We still consider your track record of meeting financial obligations, but we also look at a more complete picture of your financial situation than what your credit score can provide.

Whether you agree or disagree with this method, SoFi seems to be doing well in its endeavors.

The lender only recently ventured into the mortgage industry, expanding past the world of student loans where it got its start.

Toward the end of 2015, SoFi announced that it had not only officially surpassed $4 billion in funded loans across mortgages, personal loans and student loan refinancing, but it alsoannounced $1 billion in Series E funding shortly after.

“SoFi continues to redefine consumer expectations in financial services. This funding will dramatically advance expansion of our disruptive products and experiences, and in turn, meaningfully benefit financially responsible individuals.  Our trajectory is clear: we are well on our way to becoming the most trusted financial services partner in the U.S.,” Mike Cagney, SoFi CEO and co-founder, said at the time.

It’s not just mortgage lenders questioning the credit scoring model — the government isn’t too fond of the current credit system either.

In December, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives that would allowFannie Mae and Freddie Mac to consider alternative credit-scoring models beyond the FICO credit score the government-sponsored enterprises currently use when determining what loans to purchase.

The bill, which is entitled the “Credit Score Competition Act of 2015,” was introduced by Rep. Ed Royce, R-CA., and Rep. Terri Sewell, D-AL.

In Royce and Sewell’s view, lower-to-middle income Americans who are qualified to buy a home but are unable to do so because of their FICO score or lack thereof will “specifically benefit from the GSEs using other credit scoring models.”

 

read more…

 

http://www.housingwire.com/blogs/1-rewired/post/36017-are-fico-scores-becoming-a-thing-of-the-past?eid=311691494&bid=1278399

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.

Quote
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.”

Are appraisals all wrong? | Armonk Real Estate

A study by a company that analyzes appraisals to reduce lender risk found that 39 percent of more than 300,000 appraisals contained property quality or condition ratings that conflicted with previous ratings of the same property.

Conflicting property condition and quality ratings cause delays that generally range from one day to several days—a costly and risky setback for lenders concerned with rate locks, and deadline-oriented guidelines and regulations. They can result from a number of factors, such as human error, appraiser subjectivity, actual changes in the property’s condition or quality, or even possible appraisal fraud, which has been cited by the GSEs as the top origination fraud scheme trend in 2014.

“More than one in three appraisals contain inconsistencies in property ratings,” said Phil Huff, president and CEO of Platinum Data Solutions. “Causes aren’t easy to determine, so they need to be investigated. Doing this after UCDP submission opens lenders up to numerous issues. Costly delays are just one of them.”

Fannie Mae’s new Collateral Underwriter (CU) identifies rating inconsistencies on loans submitted through the Uniform Collateral Data Portal (UCDP) by comparing the appraisal’s data with its own proprietary data, and flags the appraisal for comments or corrections.

Despite Platinum Data Solutions’ findings, the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network reported that loans with appraisal or valuation fraud fell to15% or 2,033 incidents in 2014 from 7,641 in 2013, a 50% improvement in 3 years.

 

read more…

 

http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2015/10/are-39-percent-of-appraisals-wrong/

Round Homes | Armonk Real Estate

circular building, yurt, round home, mandala home, wood panel round house

Wind and tsunami waves move naturally around a round building rather than getting caught at (and potentially ripping off) corners. A rounded roof avoids ‘air-planing’- a situation where a strong wind lifts the roof structure up and off of the building.

There are dozens of interconnected points in a round home. These are sites where builders can connect parts of the building together. In the olden days, the connecting materials were rope, vine and hides. Modern materials are  engineered components- like a center radial steel ring,  steel brackets,Seismic and hurricane ties, bolts and steel cables. These connect the structural pieces and give the building a unique combination of flexibility and strength- qualities which causes them to be significantly safer in severe weather conditions like earth quakes, extreme winds and heavy snow­fall.

hurricane ties, roof trusses for round roof, engineered scissor trusses, simpson ties

The roof structure incorporates a unique architectural design that has its origins in the mountain steppes of Central Asia. Roof trusses meet in a center ring, producing inward and outward pressure which holds the roof in a state of compression. In modern round buildings using the ancient Yurtdesign, 1-3 airplane grade steel cables circle the outer perimeter where the trusses meet the wall and hold the natural outward thrust. Because of this combination of a central compression ring at the top of the roof and the encircling cables where the roof meets the walls, long roof spans are possible without any internal support system (like beams or posts). The interconnected tension in the building goes all the way to the ground and uses gravity and compression to hold it together with incredible strength.

The natural ther­mal dynam­ics of open-at-the-top architecture round space uses no external energy to circulate temperature. It works like this; heated air naturally rises till it reaches the insulated ceiling, it moves up the domed ceiling till it reaches the center skylight, which is cooler, the air reacts by dropping to the floor where it moves across to the walls and rises again till it meets the skylight and drops again. This action constantly circulates the air and temperatures in the home.
building round houses, round home construction, less waste

Round buildings use less wall, floor and roof mate­ri­als to enclose the same square footage as a rec­tan­gu­lar struc­ture.  15 to 20% less mate­r­ial is used to cre­ate the same square foot build­ing com­pared to a rec­tan­gu­lar design! This means the possibility for a smaller eco-footprint and more living space for less cost. It also means less sur­face area in con­tact with adverse weather con­di­tions, which improves the over­all dura­bil­ity and energy effi­ciency of the home.

The acoustics of round space can be out of this world. The curve soft­ens the sounds inside the build­ing mak­ing it the per­fect place for rest and reflec­tion or for social­iz­ing and lis­ten­ing to and play­ing music (…think long winter evenings of storytelling around the central fire….) The shape also pre­vents noise from pen­e­trat­ing in from the out­side. Sound waves dis­si­pate as they wrap around the build­ing, shield­ing the interior from loud out­side noise.
modern day yurt, circular house, round buildings,

Our ancestors also understood a round home quality that is less measurable than the intelligent use of energy, the clever space allocation and the powerful and natural movement of air and sound. David Raitt, yurt builder, describes it “Circular living provides a balance of looking inward and outward, looking out at the natural environment and surroundings but then coming in again to the self and the hearth.”  You might call it curve appeal.