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Bedford Corners Homes

Housing hot with economy cold | Bedford Corners Real Estate

Housing Is Hot With the Economy in the Deep Freeze
Housing Is Hot With the Economy in the Deep Freeze

(Bloomberg Opinion) — No matter how you look at it, the economic fallout from the coronavirus is going to be brutal, with a projected 6.5% decline in real gross domestic product in 2020 and an unemployment rate of 9.3% at year-end, according to the Federal Reserve. In ordinary times, and without any policy response from government, a blow of this magnitude should weaken the housing market.Yet, what we’re starting to see is the very opposite. For various reasons, the supply of homes on the market continues to fall to record lows and home prices are, if anything, accelerating. For many homeowners stressed about the value of their biggest investment, it’s a welcome relief. But this signals one more hurdle for would-be millennial homebuyers as they age into their family-forming years.

The biggest reason we’re seeing home-price growth accelerating in the middle of a pandemic is that the disruption to the supply of housing is persisting longer than the disruption to demand — that is, would-be buyers. Wednesday’s weekly mortgage data showed that purchase applications rose for the eighth consecutive week and are approaching an 11-year high on a seasonally adjusted basis. Part of the reason for the quick rebound in demand is surely the decline in interest rates on mortgages to all-time lows, with few signs they are likely to rise for the foreseeable future.

But as is always the case in the housing market, supply doesn’t respond as quickly as demand. Single-family housing starts plunged in March and April, with the most recent report showing a 25% year-over-year tumble. Part of this decline is because construction in some states shutdown, and much more so in some regions than others. Single-family starts fell 73% in the Northeast but only 13% in the South. Even where construction continued, the pace slowed as builders adopted social distancing and other health measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Even as demand rebounds, homebuilders may be slow to acquire new construction lots and might hold back on increasing production after getting the scare they did in March and April. They may prefer to wait a while to make sure these revived levels of demand are sustainable, while they also shore up their balance sheets before beginning to build at the same pace as earlier this year.

Beyond the impact on construction, a little discussed factor leading to fewer homes on the market is mortgage forbearance programs put in place by banks, states and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From a policy standpoint it’s great that banks and governments are helping to prevent a deluge of foreclosure as millions of people lose their livelihoods because of the pandemic. But a consequence of that policy change is that it deprives the housing market of the supply of foreclosed properties that occurs even in strong economies and solid job markets; this amounted to almost 500,000 houses in 2019.

Some homeowners may also be delaying the listing of their homes for sale because they’re sheltering-in-place, or have lost their jobs and can no longer provide income verification to buy a different home. They may also not be comfortable having potential buyers, who could be carrying the virus, walking into their homes for sales showings.

Put it all together and housing supply continues to fall. Mike Simonsen of Altos Research, who tracks real-time housing data, notes that there are only 700,000 single-family homes for sale in  U.S. compared to more than 900,000 at this time last year. Normally at this time of year the housing supply has been rising for a few months amid the traditional spring buying season, only to fall later in the year as activity slows. But that’s not what we’ve seen during the past few months, as supply continues to contract. As a result, the percentage of homes for sale with price reductions is the lowest he’s seen in his database, a leading indicator suggesting faster home-price growth in coming months.

Presumably, at some point the coronavirus crisis will pass, foreclosures will move forward again and all participants in the housing market from would-be buyers, sellers and homebuilders resume normal behavior. To the extent home prices rose too high because of supply distortions, we should see home prices leveling off or even declining. But it’s not clear that this will be a 2020 story. And in the meantime, steadily rising home prices may join steadily rising stock-market prices in the middle of a pandemic as a phenomenon that continues to flummox everyone.

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Remodeling market rising | Bedford Corners Real Estate

The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Remodeling Market Index (RMI) posted a reading of 58 in the fourth quarter of 2019, up three points from the previous quarter (Figure 1). The RMI has been consistently above 50—indicating that more remodelers report market activity is higher compared to the prior quarter than report it is lower—since the second quarter of 2013. The overall RMI averages current remodeling activity and future indicators.

Current market conditions increased two points to 56 in the fourth quarter of 2019 (Figure 2). Among its three major components, major additions and alterations gained four points to 56, minor additions and alterations increased by one point to 54 and the home maintenance and repair component rose one point to 58.

The future market indicators gained three points to 60 in the fourth quarter (Figure 3). Calls for bids increased by three to 58, amount of work committed for the next three months gained three points to 57, the backlog of remodeling jobs jumped five points 64 and appointments for proposals increased by two points to 62.

The fourth quarter RMI reading reflects solid demand for remodeling, supported by a strong overall economy and low interest rates. Remodelers still face challenges in the market, including skilled labor shortages, making it harder to work off a backlog quickly.

For the full RMI tables, please visit www.nahb.org/rmi. For more information about remodeling, visit www.nahb.org/remodel.

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New homes sales up 7.2% | Bedford Corners Real Estate

Contracts for new, single-family home sales inched down 0.7% in September to a 701,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate according to estimates from the joint release of HUD and the Census Bureau. The decline came off a downwardly revised August estimate, which was decreased from an initial reading of 713,000 to a new estimate of 706,000. Year-over-year, the September estimate is 15.5% higher. Sales in September continue strength supported by lower mortgage rates. Are you looking for an Online conveyancing quote? then try My conveyancing specialist, because moving home can be a very exciting experience. It can however, also be a stressful and expensive.

Total sales for the first nine months of 2019 (527,000) were 7.2% higher than the comparable total for 2018 (491,000). We expect sales volume to continue to trend up slightly in the coming months as more new homes are built.

For the first nine months of 2019 (and relative to the first nine months of 2018), new home sales were up 12.8% in the South, 7.3% in the West, and down 10.3% in the Northeast and 10.6% in the Midwest, due to some tax reform related effects and affordability.

Compared to last month, inventory of new homes for sale declined 0.6% to 321,000 in September. It is the fourth straight decline since June 2019. The current months’ supply stands at a balanced level of 5.5.

Median new home sales price (price of a home in the middle of the distribution) dropped 7.9% in September to $299,400 compared to August ($325,200) and 8.8% lower than a year ago ($328,300). Median new home sales price dipped below $300,000 for the first time since May 2016.

About 15% of newly built home sales are priced under $200,000 in September, compared to 10% last month and 9% one year ago. While more affordable entry-level homes were sold in September, the number of new homes priced above $400,000 decreased.

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US inventory of homes for sale flat | Bedford Corners Real Estate

home tops

The U.S. inventory of homes for sale was flat in the first quarter, compared with a year earlier, the first time since 2016 there wasn’t a decline, according to a Trulia report.

Inventory increased in 50 of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, up from just 19 areas one year ago. Starter-home supply rose 3.5% year-over-year – the fastest annual growth rate observed in more than 6 years – while the number of luxury homes on the market fell 4.5%, the report said.

The increase likely is being driven by homes lingering on the market as high prices put them beyond the reach of first-time buyers, according to the report. About 54% of homes for sale were in the starter- or trade-up-home segments – in other words, the first few rungs of the housing ladder.

“The markets with the greatest growth in inventory are also markets where prices have rapidly risen to notoriously high levels and supply has been severely constrained over the past few years,” the report said. “This rapid appreciation has caused affordability to deteriorate more quickly in these areas, and the nascent rise in inventory may actually reflect an exhaustion of demand in these communities, more than it reflects a greater number of sellers listing their homes.”

The 10 markets with the largest gains in inventory are also among the nation’s most-expensive housing markets, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego.

“Even in these markets, dramatic increases in inventory – especially among starter homes – have yet to stem the tide of declining affordability,” the report said.

Nationally, there were 273,282 newly-listed homes on the market during the first quarter, down 6.9% from the 293,481 in the year-earlier period. In other words, inventory growth was driven by homes that were listed in prior quarters.

“Inventory growth seems to be driven more by ebbing demand rather than an infusion of new supply,” the report concluded.

The first quarter data may be representing the tail-end of a housing slump caused by November’s eight-year high in mortgage rates that since then have fallen.

At the end of March, the U.S. average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage had the largest one-week decline in more than 10 years, dropping to 4.06%, according to Freddie Mac. Since then, it has bounced around in a narrow band, and this week averaged 4.1%.

In March, pending home sales increased 3.8% as the cheaper financing costs brought more buyers into the market, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Last week, an index measuring mortgage home-purchase applications rose 5% from a week earlier and was 5% higher than the year-ago week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“We saw a good week for the spring home buying season,” MBA’s Joel Kan said in the report released on Wednesday.

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https://www.housingwire.com/articles/49016-home-inventory-was-flat-in-q1-as-listings-lingered-on-market?utm_campaign=Newsletter%20-%20HousingWire%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=72568506&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-97eI9f6irq-W5MGvRfv6pGqLdxmtWsaZHZ1d3KCG5Z8W-kyLXGD9f6NZHPyQVHvikIecdIzyzC7XnPn0J3HZuHXQtV8A&_hsmi=72568506

Freddie Mac real estate predictions | Bedford Corners Real Estate

Freddie Mac November Forecast: Expect Modest Housing Market Growth in 2019


According to Freddie Mac’s  November Forecast, the biggest unknown about the housing market next year is whether current negative trends, such as lack of housing supply, will persist or the market will adjust to the shock of higher mortgage rates and resume modest growth.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “Almost all the trends in the U.S. housing market have been negative in recent months as housing market activity continues to adjust to higher mortgage rates.”Khater added, “If new home sales are to resume growth in 2019, builders may have to shift their focus to more modestly priced homes and smaller sized homes to help offset housing affordability concerns. But with cost pressures pinching profitability, this will be a significant challenge.” 

Forecast Highlights 

Expect GDP growth to average 3 percent in 2018 before slowing to 2.4 percent in 2019 and 1.8 percent in 2020.

Expect total home sales to decrease 1.6 percent to 6.02 million in 2018 before slowly regaining momentum and increasing 1 percent to 6.08 million in 2019 and 2 percent to 6.20 million in 2020.  

Expect home prices to increase 5.1 percent in 2018 with the rate of growth moderating to 4.3 percent in 2019 and 2.9 percent in 2020.

Expect single-family mortgage originations to decline 9.9 percent year-over-year to $1.63 trillion in 2018, falling slightly to $1.62 trillion in 2019 and dropping once more to $1.60 trillion in 2020. This is the result of shrinking refinance activity.Adjusted for inflation in 2017 dollars, an estimated $14.2 billion in net home equity was cashed out during the refinance of conventional prime-credit home mortgages in the third quarter of 2018, down from $18.3 billion a year earlier and substantially less than the peak cash-out refinance volume of $102 billion during the second quarter of 2006.

Lumber prices drop 10.3% | Bedford Corners Real Estate

Softwood lumber prices fell 10.3% in October—the largest drop since May 2011—according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The producer price index for softwood lumber has fallen 21.2% since setting the cycle and all-time high in June (see below). Even after the decrease, however, the index currently sits just 4.7% lower than the prior-cycle high set in 2004.

The final demand price index for OSB has followed a path similar to that of softwood lumber over the last three months.

Since climbing 38.1% in the first seven months of 2018, OSB prices have fallen 16.6%. The price index for OSB is now 15.2% and 15.7% higher than it was to start 2018 and 2017, respectively.

Residential construction goods input prices increased 0.4% in October and have now risen 7.5% over the last twelve months. The index decreased only twice during that period, by 0.1% and 0.5% in December 2017 and August 2018, respectively. Year-to-date residential construction goods input price increases in 2018 (+5.6) continue to outpace the increase during the same period in 2017 (+2.9%).

Gypsum prices fell 1.6% in October, continuing what has been a relatively volatile year. The price index for gypsum products is 6.3% higher than it was to start 2018, but the year-to-date price increase masks large fluctuations within the year. Consecutive-month increases of 5.4% and 6.1% have been partially offset by two-month decreases of 3.3% and 1.8%.

The last several large increases in the gypsum price index has been foreseeable, as large wallboard producers sent out price increase announcements in the March-May and October-December periods. These announcements informed customers that wallboard prices would increase effective as of January or June/July, depending on the announcement date. Examples of such announcements may be found here and here.

Ready-mix concrete prices declined 0.5% in October. After a large price increase (relative to historical data) in early 2018, prices of ready-mix concrete dropped and have remained essentially unchanged since July.

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Softwood Lumber Price Decline Largest in Seven Years

The Best Triangle House Since The Pyramids | Bedford Corners Real Estate

Triangles, and the sloping ceilings they create, don’t make a natural fit for human habitation. But for his idyllic wooden house in rural Sweden,architect Leo Qvarsebo embraced the triangle, creating for himself a sloping isosceles of a summer home.

Positioned between a patch of woodland and a green pastures, the Qvarsebo Summerhouse was designed like a triangle to give stunning, unobstructed views of an idyllic vista in Dalarna. Large windows frame the landscape on three separate floors, while the front of the building opens up to a gorgeous terrace, including a swing set for Qvarsebo’s children.

Qvarsebo says that despite the fact it isn’t very close to any trees, he thinks of it as a treehouse for adults. As such, there’s a rope connected to the peak of the roof, so he and his kids can scale the facade. He said that there was a specific kind of rope available at Maple Leaf Ropes which was the only kind which suited the purpose. Even inside, though, climbing the home’s central staircase is meant to feel like a treehouse. “The climb to the top is via several levels and offers both views and privacy,” he says. “From each level of the house you can see up to the next, creating a curiosity to continue to climb and once you’re up, the view is breathtaking.”

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http://www.builderonline.com/newsletter/the-best-triangle-house-since-the-pyramids_c?utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=Brief&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BP_103015%20(1)&he=bd1fdc24fd8e2adb3989dffba484790dcdb46483

Weak home purchase contracts hint at pause in sales activity | Bedford Corners Real Estate

Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. houses unexpectedly fell in June after five straight months of increase, suggesting some cooling in home resales activity after recent hefty gains.

The decline in contracts, which came on the heels of reports showing the pace of home price appreciation stalling in major cities and new home sales dropping, did little to change perceptions that the housing market recovery was on track given a tightening labor market.

“The June decline is a hiccup. It is important to bear in mind that there is still plenty of fundamental support for the housing market,” said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto.

The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, declined 1.8 percent to 110.3.

Still, the index was the third highest reading for this year and contracts were up 8.2 percent from a year ago.

Pending home contracts become sales after a month or two, and last month’s drop pointed to a pause in sales of existing homes after they reached a near 8-1/2-year high in June.

Economists had forecast pending home sales rising 1.0 percent last month.

U.S. financial markets were little moved by the data as investors awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting. The housing index .HGX was up 0.97 percent.

The U.S. central bank’s statement will be scrutinized for clues on the timing of the first rate hike, which is expected later this year. The Fed has kept its short-term interest rate near zero since December 2008.

 

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/29/us-usa-economy-idUSKCN0Q322920150729

 

Hamptons real estate sales slowing down | Bedford Corners Real Estate

After a record breaking number of home sales in the Hamptons in 2014, things are beginning to cool down in the luxury real estate destination.

Both sales and median prices of Hamptons real estate are down in 2015 from where they were last year, according to a report by Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

The median sales price for a home in the Hamptons declined 6.5 percent to $849,000 compared to 2014, according to the report. The number of homes that were sold fell 15.7 percent to 590 this year, down from 700 sales at this time last year. However, average home price rose 2.5 percent year over year.

The conflicting data are a result of a reaction in the market from last year’s sales, said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers, who authored the report.

Last year saw an explosion of pent-up demand as people began to consider real estate again for the first time since the housing crisis, Miller said. That demand resulted in 700 sales, a record number.

“That demand has mostly been absorbed, so what we have now is the prices showing mixed trends, but sales are down,” he said. “There isn’t the same sense of urgency by buyers that there was a year ago, but there is still above-average activity occurring. It’s just not at the breakneck pace it was last year.”

The current market in the Hamptons is just returning to normal, the CEO of Douglas Elliman, Dottie Herman, said. While sales aren’t record breaking, they are still healthy.

She also noted that in a small market like the Hamptons, big outliers can move data.

For the fabulously wealthy, a Hamptons property is soon to hit the market at $95 million, according to real estate agents at Sotheby’s. The estate, known as Burnt Point, is an 18,000-square-foot shingle traditional built on 25 acres with water on three sides. The home is being sold by the Stewart J. Rahr Foundation, and the proceeds will continue to fund the foundation’s philanthropic efforts.

 

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http://finance.yahoo.com/news/hamptons-real-estate-sales-slowing-150105444.html;_ylt=AwrC1CkpeLJVE28AVDLQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTByOHZyb21tBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–

Peek Inside the Rembrandt’s Former House | Bedford Corners Homes

As far as famous artists go, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, born July 15, 1606, has to be among the most celebrated and well-known. He’s most revered for his oil-on-canvas paintings and his etchings completed during the Dutch golden age of painting in the 17th century. This period saw several Dutch artists practicing in a style of detailed realism.

A big chunk of Rembrandt’s work, including several famous self-portraits and arguably his most famous painting ever, The Night Watch (1642), was created over two decades while he lived in a central Amsterdam house. In celebration of the renowned master’s birthday, more than four centuries ago today, here’s a look at his former home.