Tag Archives: Armonk Real Estate

Armonk Real Estate

Small wall mounted guest bath sinks | Armonk Real Estate

When washroom space is limited, small-profile sinks are essential: Here are ten tiny wall-mounted sinks for the guest bathroom.

Above: Lacava’s 5074 Aquamedia Washbasin in white porcelain measures 10.25 by 19.75 by 7 inches; the wall-mounted version includes a towel bar; $390 at Faucet Farm.

Above: Duravit’s Happy D. Hand Rinse Basin in white porcelain measures about 20 inches wide and 10 inches deep; $180 at Every Faucet.

Above: The wall-mounted Round Ann Sink measures 15.75-inches wide and deep; $79.99 at Ikea.

Above: Kohler’s Taunton Cast-Iron White Wall-Mount Lavatory measures 14 by 16 inches; $337.99 at Plumbers Surplus.

Above: The Scarabeo Thin-Line Ceramic Washbasin measures 11.7 inches square; $350 at eFaucets.

Above: The Whitehaus Wall-Mounted Basin measures approximately 20 by 10 by 5 inches and is available with a chrome towel bar; $258.75 at eFaucets.

Above: Lacava’s Alia Wall Mounted Porcelain Lavatory SInk is 22 inches wide and 11 inches deep; $375 at Lacava.

Above: A space-saving corner sink, the white porcelain Scarabeo Square Wall-Mounted Corner Sinkby Nameeks measures 18.5 inches wide and deep; $486.50 at Every Faucet.

Above: The Duravit Architec Series Hand-Rinse Basin measures a tiny 14 inches; $241.50 through Amazon.

Above: Duravit’s Vero Basins are a modern European classic and are available in several sizes and configurations, including the approximately 10-by-18 inch Vero Handrinse Basin; $296.25 at eFaucets.

 

read more…

 

http://www.remodelista.com/posts/10-easy-pieces-wall-mounted-guest-bath-sinks/

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

Aging in Place Is Fastest-Growing Segment in Residential Remodeling | Armonk Real Estate

The Richmond Times Dispatch’s Carol Hazard writes on the growing trend among baby boomers: aging in place. According to the National Association of Home Builders, home modifications are the fastest-growing segment in residential remodeling.

To look at how one woman is changing her home, Hazard interviewed Donna Edgerton, who had an elevator shaft installed, which she will eventually turn it into an actual elevator. Furthermore, she added an open-plan kitchen and family room. She also widened the doors throughout the home to at least 3 feet to accommodate a wheelchair and a walker, along with choosing drawers over cabinets in her kitchen to better mange things around her home. Edgerton’s home renovation now includes doors and faucet features with lever handles rather than knobs, along with a bathroom that has a built-in bench, sinks that allow for a wheelchair, and tilted mirrors.

Aging in place has allowed baby boomers to not move, continue to enjoy their neighborhoods and communities, and enjoy the new amenities of their homes.

As the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports:

In the Richmond area, the number of people ages 65 and older will outnumber the school-age population for the first time in history over the next 15 years, according to a 2015 report by the Greater Richmond Age Wave, a collaboration of public and private organizations working to prepare for the region’s growing aging population.

By 2040, the number of people 85 and older (40,541) in the area will have more than quadrupled since 2000, according to the report.

“One of the biggest challenges over the next decade is how we will accommodate the growing senior population and make sure the houses they live in and the housing choices they make will be suitable for their changing needs,” said Bob Adams, executive director of Virginia Accessible Housing Solutions, whose EasyLiving Home program is designed to encourage builders to include accessibility features in home design and construction.

The problem is particularly acute in rural areas, as young people leave for urban areas and the number of senior households increases, Adams said.

“The number of seniors who live alone is growing dramatically in these areas,” he said, “and they are more susceptible to being isolated.”

 

read more…

 

http://www.remodeling.hw.net/newsletter/

So California home prices jump | Armonk Real Estate

The Southern California housing market is red-hot again.

Home prices in the region have been climbing steadily, as they have nationwide, toward record levels not seen since the 2008 housing crisis plunged the country into a severe recession.

The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, a widely followed gauge of the market, showed that prices in the Los Angeles market in April stood at their highest point since October 2007.

The median home price in Orange County in May was $651,500, surpassing its bubble-era peak reached in 2007, according to the real estate data firm CoreLogic.

Interest rates of about 3.5% or less for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages  not far off the all-time low of 3.31% in November 2012  have helped fuel the gains.

Dana Kuhn is a lecturer at the Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate at San Diego State University, and we asked him to summarize the market and what it means for would-be buyers and sellers. Here’s an edited excerpt:

Has the Southern California housing market completely recovered from the recession?

In the most desirable markets, that’s essentially true. That would be West Coast large-metro areas. The San Francisco Bay Area is now priced above its peak numbers of the last decade. Orange County, too, and Los Angeles and San Diego are getting very close to their former peaks. Seattle is doing really well. Portland is doing well.

One of the worst-hit areas in the housing crisis was the Inland Empire. How is that region faring?

That was the real subprime [mortgage] disaster area. Those markets have been slower to recover. There are areas like the Inland Empire that are probably only between 80% and 85% of [their pre-bubble] peak.

Is it surprising that it’s taken this long?

Yes and no. Given how severe the recession was, there was so little production [of new housing] in that time. There was a four-year period between September 2008 and September 2012 when the nation’s housing starts were below all previous troughs going back some 40 years. And in those previous troughs, what you typically had was one year at that nadir, and then you’d climb back up fairly quickly. But we had four years below all of those troughs, and so production obviously fell behind demand.

So there was a huge pent-up demand when people started getting jobs and believing in housing again. The industry has struggled to keep up with it in the more desirable markets.

Is that driving the surge in prices?

Yes. Like most things, it’s a supply/demand situation. The number of [housing] starts hasn’t been able to take care of that pent-up demand. The pricing has gone up accordingly, and that has been accommodated by low [mortgage] interest rates. Continued low interest rates have in essence subsidized a rapid ascent in pricing.

Why is it tough to add more housing to the supply in Southern California?

Land is increasingly scarce, and that’s forcing people to build up rather than out. And those higher-density projects are more sensitive politically, more difficult to get approved and take longer to get through the pipeline. You can have agreement about needing more housing in a given market, but when it actually comes down to [building] those 300 units on that corner in that neighborhood, you get resistance. So it can take years in Southern California coastal areas to get [those] projects approved. That’s true whether it’s a for-sale product or a rental market.

This all sounds good for sellers, but is it a tough time to be a buyer?

Yes. Unfortunately real [inflation-adjusted] wage growth hasn’t kept up with that surge in pricing. It’s significantly harder to buy something now than it was a few years ago because people’s wages just haven’t kept up, even though interest rates are still the same.

The median price of a house in Los Angeles County is above a half-million dollars. How does a first-time buyer afford that?

They don’t buy that house. That’s the middle of a statistical group. Your first-time buyer is pretty much forced to buy a [less-expensive] attached product, not detached.

Like a condominium?

Yes. And they’re probably not going to be able to afford to buy that unit in the same neighborhood in which they would rent if they were renters. So they have to make a lifestyle concession in order to become homeowners.

Meaning they would build up equity in that house, then later sell it in hopes of buying one in the neighborhood they desire?

Right. Also, the millennial generation [18 to 34 years old] has eschewed the concept of home ownership because they saw their parents and others get burned in the last downturn and because they prefer lifestyle over ownership.

But as they get older and have kids they’ll have a different outlook. And as their wages increase, they’re also going to realize the importance of the mortgage deduction  the tax benefits that come from home ownership  and there will be move back toward home ownership.

 

read more…

 

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-qa-home-prices-20160713-snap-story.html?yptr=yahoo

Remodeling: 2016 Cost vs Value Report | Armonk Real Estate

This site compares average cost for 30 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 100 U.S. markets. Check out this year’s trends and how they compare to prior years.
Midrange
2016 National Averages
PROJECT
JOB COST
RESALE VALUE
COST RECOUPED
CHANGE VS 2015
Attic Insulation (fiberglass) $1,268 $1,482 116.9%
Backup Power Generator $12,712 $7,556 59.4%
Basement Remodel $68,490 $48,194 70.4%
Bathroom Addition $42,233 $23,727 56.2%
Bathroom Remodel $17,908 $11,769 65.7%
Deck Addition (composite) $16,798 $10,819 64.4%
Deck Addition (wood) $10,471 $7,850 75.0%
Entry Door Replacement (fiberglass) $3,126 $2,574 82.3%
Entry Door Replacement (steel) $1,335 $1,217 91.1%
Family Room Addition $86,615 $58,807 67.9%
Garage Door Replacement $1,652 $1,512 91.5%
Major Kitchen Remodel $59,999 $38,938 64.9%
Manufactured Stone Veneer $7,519 $6,988 92.9%
Master Suite Addition $115,810 $74,224 64.1%
Minor Kitchen Remodel $20,122 $16,716 83.1%
Roofing Replacement $20,142 $14,446 71.7%
Siding Replacement $14,100 $10,857 77.0%
Two-Story Addition $171,056 $118,555 69.3%
Upscale
2016 National Averages
PROJECT
JOB COST
RESALE VALUE
COST RECOUPED
CHANGE VS 2015
Bathroom Addition $79,380 $45,006 56.7%
Bathroom Remodel $57,411 $32,998 57.5%
Deck Addition (composite) $37,943 $21,877 57.7%
Garage Door Replacement $3,140 $2,830 90.1%
Grand Entrance (fiberglass) $7,971 $5,545 69.6%
Major Kitchen Remodel $119,909 $73,707 61.5%
Master Suite Addition $245,474 $140,448 57.2%
Window Replacement (vinyl) $14,725 $10,794 73.3%
Window Replacement (wood) $18,087 $13,050 72.1%
read more…
http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2016/

Home Prices in March – Bubbles Anyone? | Armonk Real Estate

The Case-Shiller (CS) National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 1.1% in March, down from 3.8% in February. The Home Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 8.4% in March, faster than 6.2% in February.

After the boom and bust, home prices have been recovering from the trough since 2012. As of March 2016, the CS national house price index was at 97% of the February 2007 peak. Nine years after their collapse, house prices are re-approaching their housing bubble peak, but now this level is in line with longer term trend growth.

Figure1_Mar16

However, housing markets are local and the pace of price appreciation varied greatly in different markets during the boom, so proximity to earlier peaks may not mean the same thing in different markets.

House prices in Denver and Dallas now exceed their mid-2000s levels but these markets were among the most stable during the boom with the smallest increases and the shallowest declines, so new peaks shouldn’t be seen as warning signs of new bubble conditions.

In contrast several markets have current house prices that are at or near their previous peaks, but these peaks were significantly inflated during the boom, suggesting these markets may have supply and demand imbalances that are re-inflating price bubbles. These markets include San Francisco, Portland OR, and Seattle.

At the same time several markets are at or near peak levels, but the earlier peaks and declines were relatively restrained. This current proximity to earlier peaks suggests price increases reflect house price recovery, not bubbles. These markets include Boston, Charlotte NC, Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York and Chicago.

San Diego and Los Angeles are markets that are not as close to their earlier peaks as some markets, but those peaks reflected some of the most inflated house prices. Even a sizable gap between current and peak prices may reflect some ongoing supply and demand imbalance. The Washington DC and Miami markets share a similar distinction.

 

read more…

 

http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/05/home-prices-in-march-bubbles-anyone/

Home Price Index Continued Steady Climb | Armonk Real Estate

Home prices in the United States climbed again at the start of the year, adding to pressure on buyers in a sellers’ market. Americans are feeling more confident this month, another report released on Tuesday showed, as a rebounding stock market brightened their outlook.

In January, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.7 percent from a year earlier, a slight increase from the 5.6 percent annual increase in December.

“The pace of U.S. home value growth has been picking up bit by bit over the past few months, driven in large part by stubbornly low inventory in most markets that creates competition and drives up prices for those homes that are available,” said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at the real estate firm Zillow.

Home values have risen at a faster pace than average hourly wages, which have improved just 2.2 percent, according to a government report this month. Tight supplies of homes on the market have propelled much of the price growth, as low mortgage rates and steady hiring have increased demand.

Denver, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle each registered double-digit annual price increases. Home values rose in all 20 metro area markets, which account for roughly half of the housing stock in the country.

The index remains more than 11 percent below its mid-2006 peak, when subprime mortgages pushed the market to heights that set off the recession in late 2007.

Existing homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.08 million in February, the National Association of Realtors said this month. Sales dipped 7.1 percent from a relatively healthy pace in January, but an increase in the number of signed contracts to buy houses indicates that purchases should rebound in March.

Despite the demand, listings in February declined 1.1 percent from a year ago. Many homeowners are reluctant to sell, because they lack the equity to cover the down payment for upgrading to a new house.

“The low inventory of homes for sale — currently about a five-month supply — means that would-be sellers seeking to trade up are having a hard time finding a new, larger home,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

In a separate report, the Conference Board said that its consumer confidence index rose to 96.2 this month, after tumbling to a revised 94 in February.

Consumers’ assessment of current economic conditions has dipped. But their outlook for the future has improved modestly.

United States markets got off to a dismal start in 2016, driven by fears of economic weakness overseas and plunging oil prices, but they have since recovered most of those losses. This month, 28.7 percent of consumers said they expected stocks to rise over the next year. That was up from 26.9 percent in February, the lowest share since July 2012.

read more…

AP

Local Market Conditions Shape How Interest Rates Impact Prices | Armonk Real Estate

Local market conditions raging from supply and demand to local population growth have a substantial impact on how federal monetary policy affects home prices, according to new study to be published in the Journal of Housing Economics next month.

Motivated by the fact that the period of house price inflation prior to the economic downturn in 2008-9 was characterized by significant differences in inflation rates across markets, economists at the Swiss Institute of Banking and Finance and Middle Tennessee State University found that the vast differences in home price inflation rates experienced at the local level, especially before 2006, can be tied to differences in local demand and supply conditions that systematically and predictably cause monetary policy to different local consequences.

‘Why did we see so very different house price inflation rates across MSAs when all MSAs are subject to the same federal funds rate in a highly integrated financial market?2 The key point of this study is to show empirically that the vast differences in home price inflation rates experienced at the MSA level, especially prior to 2006, can be tied to differences in local demand and supply conditions that systematically and predictably cause monetary policy to have rather different consequences at the local level.3

Local population growth is a key demand side factor and the percentage of undevelopable land a primary supply side factor that determine how national monetary policy impacts house price inflation rates at the MSA level. the study found. MSAs with a high share of undevelopable land or strong population growth are far more prone to experience house price inflation from a reduction in the federal funds rate than MSAs without those characteristics.

A higher quality of life, by contrast, appears to moderate the impact of a change in the federal funds rate on house price inflation. For the larger set of MSAs contained in the FHFA data set, there is evidence that large values for land use restrictions and high income growth during the period before the house price crash in 2007-8 are also important to explain a strong response of MSAs to changes in monetary policy.

 

read more…

 

http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2016/02/local-market-conditions-shape-how-interest-rates-impact-prices/

Mortgage rates average 3.62% | Armonk Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed mortgage rates resuming their decline and aiding home buyer affordability amid a tight supply of for-sale homes in many markets.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.62 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending February 25, 2016, down from last week when it averaged 3.65 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.80 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.93 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.95%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.07 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.79 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.85 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.99 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 theDefinitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Yields on the 10-year Treasury continued their downward trend this week after a small rally the previous two weeks. The 30-year mortgage responded, falling 3 basis points to 3.62 percent. Since the beginning of 2016, 30-year rates have fallen almost 40 basis points helping housing markets sustain their momentum into this year. Earlier this week, the National Association of Realtors announced existing home-sales were up 4 percent month-over-month in January and up 11 percent from last year.”

Another housing crisis just around the corner | Armonk Real Estate

Movie sequels are rarely as good as the original films on which they’re based. The same dictum, it appears, holds for finance. The 2008 housing market collapse was bad enough, but it appears now that we’re on the verge of experiencing it all again. And the financial sequel, working from a similar script as its original version, could prove to be just as devastating to the American taxpayer.

The Federal National Mortgage Association (commonly referred to as Fannie Mae) plans a mortgage loan reboot, which could produce the same insane and predictable results as when the mortgage agency loaned so much money to people who had neither the income, nor credit history, to qualify for a traditional loan.

The Obama administration proposes the HomeReady program, a new mortgage program largely targeting high-risk immigrants, which, writes Investors.com, “for the first time lets lenders qualify borrowers by counting income from nonborrowers living in the household. What could go wrong?”

The question should answer itself.

The administration apparently believes that by changing the dirty words “subprime” to “alternative” mortgages, the process will be more palatable to the public. But, as Investor’s notes, instead of the name HomeReady, which will offer the mortgages, “It might as well be called DefaultReady, because it is just as risky as the subprime junk Fannie was peddling on the eve of the crisis.”

Before the 2008 housing bubble burst, one’s mortgage fitness was supposed to be based on the income of the borrower, the person whose name would be on the deed and who was responsible for making timely monthly payments. Under this new scheme — and scheme is what it is — the combined income of everyone living in the house will be considered for a conventional home loan backed by Fannie. One may even claim income from people not living in the home, such as the borrower’s parents.

If, or as recent history proves, when the approved borrower defaults, who will pay? Taxpayers, of course, not the politicians and certainly not those associated with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, whose leaders made out like the bandits they were during the last mortgage go-round. As CNNMoney reported in 2011, “Mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac received the biggest federal bailout of the financial crisis. And nearly $100 million of those tax dollars went to lucrative pay packages for top executives, filings show.”

In case further reminders are needed of the outrageous behavior of financial institutions that contributed to the housing market collapse and a recession whose pain is still being felt by many, Goldman Sachs has agreed to a civil settlement of up to $5 billion for its role associated with the marketing and selling of faulty mortgage securities to investors.

Go see the film “The Big Short” to be reminded of the cynicism of many in the financial industry. It follows on the heels of the HBO film “Too Big to Fail,” which revealed how politicians and banks were part of the scam that harmed just about everyone but themselves. According to The New York Times, only one top banker, Kareem Serageldin, went to prison for concealing hundreds of millions in losses in Credit Suisse’s mortgage-backed securities portfolio. Many more should have joined him.

Under the latest mortgage proposal, it’s no credit, no problem. An immigrant can qualify with a credit score as low as 620. That’s subprime. And the borrower has only to put 3 percent down.

Investor’s reports, “Fannie says that 1 in 4 Hispanic households share dwellings — and finances — with extended families. It says this is a large ‘underserved’ market.”

 

read more…

 

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/01/19/is-another-housing-crisis-just-around-corner.html