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Bedford Hills NY Homes for Sale

Pending sales up 16.6% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Pending home sales soared again in June, although the liftoff was relatively shallow compared to the 43 percent increase in May. The National Association of Realtors’® (NAR’s) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI). The index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts to purchase existing homes, rose 16.6 percent compared to May, and increased year-over-year by 6.3 percent. The index is now at 116.1.

The two months of improving activity have brought the index back from its April level of 69.0 where it landed after falling by more than 20 percent in both that month and in March as much of the nation was shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The gains were above even the best guesses by analysts polled by Econoday. Their predictions ranged from a 10 percent downturn to gains of 15.6 percent. The consensus was an increase of 5.2 percent.

Lawrence Yun, cheif economist says, “Consumers are taking advantage of record-low mortgage rates resulting from the Federal Reserve’s maximum liquidity monetary policy.”

In light of the apparent housing market turnaround, NAR has raised its forecast for the home sales market. For all of 2020, existing-home sales are expected to decline by only 3 percent and should be at an annual rate of 5.6 million by the fourth quarter. The same percentage increase is expected for new home sales.

Yun says he expects that the GDP will grow 4.0 percent in 2021 and that, along with mortgage rates that are anticipated to stay at near 3 percent over the next 18 months, should boost home sales. He projects a 7 percent growth in existing sales and 16 percent in new home sales in 2021. Home prices will likely appreciate 4 percent this year then moderate to 3 percent next year as more new supply comes to market.

Each of the four major regions experienced a second month of growth in month-over-month pending home sales transactions. The Northeast, which saw a 54.4 percent gain from May was the only region that did not move higher on an annual basis. Its PHSI is now at 95.4, down 0.9 percent from June 2019.

Pending home sales in the South increased 11.9 percent to an index of 140.3, 10.3 percent above a year earlier. The index in the West improved by 11.7 percent to 99.6, a 4.7 percent annual gain.

“The Northeast’s strong bounce back comes after a lengthier lockdown, while the South has consistently outperformed the rest of the country,” Yun said. “These remarkable rebounds speak to exceptionally high buyer demand.”

Yun says that as house hunters seek homes away from bigger cites – likely to avoid the coronavirus – properties that were once an afterthought for potential buyers are now growing in popularity.

“While the outlook is promising, sharply rising lumber prices are concerning,” Yun said. “A reduction in tariffs – even if temporary – would help increase home building and thereby spur faster economic growth.”

The PHSI is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months. Existing-Home Sales for July will be reported August 21.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined. By coincidence, the volume of existing-home sales in 2001 fell within the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million, which is considered normal for the current U.S. population.

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http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/07292020_pending_sales.asp

5 reasons to get your mortgage application rejected | Bedford Hills Real Estate

mortgage-application-crumpled
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Picture this nightmare: You apply for a mortgage, but your application gets rejected. Suddenly, you’re hit with an overwhelming wave of embarrassment, shock, and horror. It’s like having your credit card denied at the Shoprite. So. Much. Shame.

Sadly, this is a reality for some home buyers. According to a recent Federal Reserve study, one out of every eight home loan applications (12%) ends in a rejection.

There are a number of reasons mortgage applications get denied‚ and the saddest part is that many could have been avoided quite easily, had only the applicants known certain things were no-nos. So, before you’re the next home buyer who gets burned by sheer ignorance, scan this list, and make sure you aren’t making any of these five grave mistakes, which could land your mortgage application in the “no” pile.

1. You didn’t use credit cards enough

Some people think credit card debt is the kiss of death … but guess what? It’s also a way to establish a credit history that shows you’ve got a solid track record paying off past debts.

While a poor credit history riddled with late payments can certainly call your application into question, it’s just as bad, and perhaps worse, to have little or no credit history at all. Most lenders are reluctant to fork over money to individuals without substantial credit history. It’s as if you’re a ghost: Who’s to say you won’t disappear?

Get Pre-ApprovedFind a lender who can offer competitive mortgage rates and help you with pre-approval.Enter the ZIP code where you plan to buy a homeGO

According to a recent report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, roughly 45 million Americans are characterized as “credit invisible”—which means they don’t have a credit report on file with the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).

There’s a silver lining, though, for those who don’t have credit established. Some lenders will use alternative data, such as rent payments, cellphone bills, and school tuition, to assess your credit worthiness, says Staci Titsworth, a regional manager at PNC Mortgage in Pittsburgh.

2. You opened new credit cards recently

That Macy’s credit card you signed up for last month? Bad idea. New credit card applications can ding your credit score by up to five points, says Beverly Harzog, a consumer credit expert and author of “The Debt Escape Plan.”

That hit might seem minuscule, but if you’re on the cusp of qualifying for a mortgage, your new credit card could cause your loan application to be denied by a lender. So, the lesson is simple: Don’t open new credit cards right before you apply for a mortgage—and, even if your lender says things look good, don’t open any new cards or spend oodles of money (on, say, furniture) until after you’ve moved in. After all, lenders can yank your loan up until the last minute if they suspect anything fishy, and hey, better safe than sorry.

3. You missed a medical bill

Credit cards aren’t the only debt that count with a mortgage application—unpaid medical bills matter, too. When you default on medical bills, your doctor’s office or hospital is likely to outsource it to a debt collection agency, says independent credit expert John Ulzheimer. The debt collector may then decide to notify the credit bureaus that you’re overdue on your medical payments, which would place a black mark on your credit report. That’s a red flag to mortgage lenders.

If you can pay off your medical debt in full, do it. Can’t foot the bill? Many doctors and hospitals will work with you to create a payment plan, says Gerri Detweiler, head of market education at Nav.com, which helps small-business owners manage their credit. Showing a mortgage lender that you’re working to repay the debt could strengthen your application.

4. You changed jobs

So you changed jobs recently—so what? Problem is, mortgage lenders like to see at least two years of consistent income history when approving a loan. As a result, changing jobs shortly before you apply for a mortgage can hurt your application.

Of course, you don’t always have control over your employment. For instance, if you were recently laid off by your employer, finding a new job would certainly be more important than buying a house. But if you’re gainfully employed and just considering changing jobs, you’ll want to wait until after you close on a house so that your mortgage gets approved.

5. You lied on your loan application

This one seems painfully obvious, but let’s face it—while it may be tempting to think that lenders don’t know everything about you financially, they really do their homework well! So no matter what, be honest with your lender—or there could be serious repercussions. Exaggerating or lying about your income on a mortgage application, or including any other other untruths, can be a federal offense. It’s called mortgage fraud, and it’s not something you want on your record.

Bottom line? With mortgages, honesty really is the best policy.

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https://www.realtor.com/advice/finance/

Building materials prices drop 6.6% Bedford Hills Real Estate

Prices paid for goods used in residential construction decreased 4.1% in April (not seasonally adjusted)—the largest monthly decline on record—according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The year-to-date decline (-5.4%) in residential construction inputs prices is more than three times larger than the previous record (-1.3% in 2009).

Building materials prices have fallen 6.6% since April 2019 by -0.6% per month, on average. In contrast, prices increased 0.2% per month, on average, from April 2018 to April 2019. The index now stands at its lowest level since August 2017.

Prices paid for gypsum products decreased 1.3% in April (seasonally adjusted) after climbing 2.2% in March. The price index for gypsum products has decreased 4.4% in 2020 and has fallen 9.5% since its most recent peak in March 2018.

Gypsum product prices have declined 4.4% YTD, the largest January-to-April decrease since seasonally adjusted data became available in 2012.

Although the PPI report shows that softwood lumber prices declined 10.8% (seasonally adjusted) in April, the decrease is at odds with recent prices reported by Random Lengths.  According to their weekly data, prices fell a more modest 2.7% over the month.

The discrepancy between the BLS and Random Lengths data stems from known differences in survey timing.  We anticipated this in last month’s PPI post, in which we stated that the decline over the last 10 days of March “should be captured in next month’s PPI report.”

Prices paid for ready-mix concrete (RMC) decreased 0.4% in April (seasonally adjusted), following a 0.7% increase in March. The RMC index has increased 1.1% year-to-date (YTD), which is close to the historical average YTD price change in April.

Prices were little changed from March to April in the Northeast (unchanged), Midwest (-0.2%), and South (-0.1%), but increased 1.9% in the West region (not seasonally adjusted). Since the beginning of 2020, RMC prices have decreased 3.2% in the Midwest but have climbed 5.0%, 1.1%, and 0.5% in the South, West, and Northeast, respectively.

Other changes in indexes relevant to home building are shown below.

in April (not seasonally adjusted)—the largest monthly decline on record—according to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The year-to-date decline (-5.4%) in residential construction inputs prices is more than three times larger than the previous record (-1.3% in 2009).

Building materials prices have fallen 6.6% since April 2019 by -0.6% per month, on average. In contrast, prices increased 0.2% per month, on average, from April 2018 to April 2019. The index now stands at its lowest level since August 2017.

Prices paid for gypsum products decreased 1.3% in April (seasonally adjusted) after climbing 2.2% in March. The price index for gypsum products has decreased 4.4% in 2020 and has fallen 9.5% since its most recent peak in March 2018.

Gypsum product prices have declined 4.4% YTD, the largest January-to-April decrease since seasonally adjusted data became available in 2012.

Although the PPI report shows that softwood lumber prices declined 10.8% (seasonally adjusted) in April, the decrease is at odds with recent prices reported by Random Lengths.  According to their weekly data, prices fell a more modest 2.7% over the month.

The discrepancy between the BLS and Random Lengths data stems from known differences in survey timing.  We anticipated this in last month’s PPI post, in which we stated that the decline over the last 10 days of March “should be captured in next month’s PPI report.”

Prices paid for ready-mix concrete (RMC) decreased 0.4% in April (seasonally adjusted), following a 0.7% increase in March. The RMC index has increased 1.1% year-to-date (YTD), which is close to the historical average YTD price change in April.

Prices were little changed from March to April in the Northeast (unchanged), Midwest (-0.2%), and South (-0.1%), but increased 1.9% in the West region (not seasonally adjusted). Since the beginning of 2020, RMC prices have decreased 3.2% in the Midwest but have climbed 5.0%, 1.1%, and 0.5% in the South, West, and Northeast, respectively.

Other changes in indexes relevant to home building are shown below.

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eyeonhousing.org

Mortgage rates average 3.33% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.33 percent, unchanged from last week.

“While mortgage rates remained flat over the last week, there is room for rates to move down,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “This year the 10-year Treasury market has declined by over a full percentage point, yet mortgage rates have only declined by one-third of a point. As financial markets continue to heal, we expect mortgage rates will drift lower in the second half of 2020.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.33 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending April 9, 2020, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.12 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.77 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.82 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.60 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.40 percent with an average 0.3 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.80 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Nahb polling numbers for Covid week 2 | Bedford Hills Real Estate

The second week of NAHB’s online poll showed that several of the coronavirus’s impacts on the residential construction industry have become more widespread and severe.  Once again, traffic ranked as the most widespread problem, with 93 percent of respondents saying the coronavirus has had an adverse impact on traffic of prospective buyers.

This result is based on 318 responses collected online between March 24 and March 30.  As in week 1, the largest share of responses came from single-family home builders; and respondents were most often owner, president or CEO of their companies.  The geographic distribution was somewhat different in week 2, however, with a greater share of responses coming from the Northeast and West Census regions.

The week 2 poll listed eight possible impacts of the coronavirus and asked if each has so far had a major, minor, or no adverse effect on respondents’ businesses.  After traffic, 89 percent of respondents for whom the item was applicable said the virus was having a noticeable, adverse impact on homeowners’ concerns about interacting with remodeling crews, followed by the rate at which inquiries for remodeling work are coming in (86 percent), cancellations or delays of existing remodeling projects (82 percent), how long it takes to obtain a plan review for a typical single-family home (80 percent), and how long it takes the local building department to respond to a request for an inspection (78 percent).  The least common problems on the list were supply of building products and materials and willingness of workers and subs to report to a construction site, but even these were cited as a virus-induced problem by over three-fifths of the respondents.

Five of these problems were also covered in week 1 of the poll.  Four clearly worsened in week 2.  For example, the 80 percent of respondents who said the virus has had an adverse impact on how long it takes to obtain a plan review for a single-family home was up from 57 percent a week earlier.  Comparisons across weeks should be interpreted cautiously, due primarily to differences in the geographic distribution of responses.  In this case, however, the percentage increased significantly in each of the four Census regions.

Similarly, the 78 percent who said the virus has had an adverse impact on how long it takes the local building department to respond to a request for an inspection was up from 50 percent a week earlier.  Again, the increase was present and significant in each of the four regions.

As mentioned above, problems with willingness of workers and subs to report to a construction site were less widespread than the other items on the list, but the 64 percent who cited it as a virus-induced problem in week 2 was nevertheless up from 42 percent a week earlier.  Again, the rising trend was consistent across regions.

Even a decline in the traffic of prospective buyers, the most widespread problem in week 1 of the poll, was more widespread in week 2.  The incidence of the problem increased in every region except the Northeast.  The Northeast, however, showed a marked increase (from 57 to 73 percent) in the share reporting that the virus had a major, rather than minor, adverse impact on traffic.

The trend was not completely consistent across regions for the fifth item present in both weeks of the poll: supply of building products and materials.  Although the overall share reporting this as a virus-induced problem was up, this was primarily due to a particularly strong increase (from 45 to 74 percent) in the Midwest.  For additional details—including tables for each question broken down by respondents’ region, primary business, and position in the company—please see the full survey report.

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eyeonhousing.org

America’s inequitable housing system is completely unprepared for coronavirus | Bedford Hills Real Estate

As COVID-19 (or the coronavirus) spreads and Americans prepare for potential quarantines, public health officials have recommended some advice for U.S. households: Namely, stock up two weeks of supplies, avoid crowds, and stay in your homes.

And that advice is fine for middle-class suburbanites with white-collar jobs. Sure, hop in the SUV and drive to the nearest Costco. Stash extra cases of canned beans in the pantry and frozen veggies in the basement freezer. Kids can hang out in their separate bedrooms or play in the backyard while parents conduct conference calls from the home office.

Of course, for people who lack these residential resources—especially those with unstable, crowded, or poor-quality housing—this situation is impossible. Not to mention the fact that workers in fields such as food service, retail, and hospitality can’t conduct their work remotely. In the face of a global pandemic, what are these Americans supposed to do?

Workers in fields such as food service, retail, and hospitality can’t conduct their work remotely. In the face of a global pandemic, what are these Americans supposed to do?

“SHELTERING AT HOME” REQUIRES GOOD HOUSING

The people who will have trouble “sheltering at home” are already among the most vulnerable populations. Estimating how many people will be affected is tricky, because these are also the most difficult populations for the Census Bureau to count. But we can predict which types of housing situations will create the greatest barriers.

Homeless persons. More than 500,000 people across the U.S. are homeless, roughly 40% of whom are unsheltered (living on streets, parks, and other open spaces). The remaining 60% live in temporary homes, including cars, shelters, or doubled-up with family. In a recent Curbed piece, Alissa Walker described the many challenges that homeless individuals face in trying to protect themselves from COVID-19, including hand-washing and storing food, which are critical obstacles.

Unaffordable or unstable housing. The poorest 20% of U.S. households spend more than half their monthly income on rent. Any loss of income—say, food service workers having their hours reduced as fewer people patronize restaurants—will put these households behind on their rent, increasing their risk of becoming homeless.

Group quarters. Some of the first U.S. fatalities from COVID-19 occurred in a nursing home outside Seattle. Contagious diseases spread rapidly in these types of group quarters, with residents living in close contact, sharing bathrooms, and eating together. Nearly 4 million Americans live in institutional group quarters such as nursing homes and correctional facilities. Another 4 million live in noninstitutional facilities, including college dorms, military barracks, and group foster homes. While colleges and universities can close dorms to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, that’s not an option for nursing homes or prisons.

Overcrowded households. Keeping the recommended 6-foot distance between people is tough for households with too many people crammed into too small of a space. Nationally, a very small share of households are overcrowded (more than two persons per bedroom). But the incidence varies substantially across population groups and cities: Nearly 15% of households with children living in high-cost metro areas are overcrowded. And even single-person households in small studio apartments or “tiny homes” will have difficulty storing extra supplies.

Unsafe, unhealthy housing. Even in the absence of contagious diseases, low-income households are more likely to live in housing that damages their health: mold and pest infestations that exacerbate asthma, for example, or lead paint and other toxic substances that harm children’s neurological development. We have virtually no data on how many people live in informal, unregulated housing, which is often ignored by local governments until disaster strikes.

TO PREPARE, PEOPLE NEED MONEY, WELL-STOCKED STORES, AND RELIABLE TRANSPORTATION

Low-wage workers who live paycheck to paycheck will be hard pressed to come up with the funds to buy two weeks of supplies in advance. Neighborhood resources matter too: Low-income urban neighborhoods have few large supermarkets or big box stores within easy reach. The corner stores and bodegas that many people rely on for supplies only carry small portions, and bulk buying from these stores isn’t just less convenient, it’s more expensive: The per-unit cost of one toilet paper roll is higher than buying a large package. Riding the bus home with a few days’ worth of groceries is one thing. Lugging home two weeks’ worth of rice, dried beans, and canned goods is another.

GIVING PEOPLE MONEY—QUICKLY—WOULD HELP. BUT IT’S NOT THE WHOLE SOLUTION.

For households who lack resources, giving people money as quickly and directly as possible would help. Short-term financial assistance would help poor families continue paying rent and buying food until the broader economy stabilizes. It would be more effective than a temporary moratorium on evictions (as some jurisdictions have enacted), since landlords also need money to pay their mortgages, property taxes, and utilities. Banks offering to allow borrowers more time on their mortgages could help homeowners as well as landlords—but the bigger concern is renter households, who have lower incomes and smaller savings.

For far too long, policymakers at all levels of government have failed to provide decent-quality, stable, and affordable housing to millions of Americans. In COVID-19, we’re only starting to see the devastating consequences of that failure.

Many of the other problems will be harder to address. To reach homeless populations, local governments will need not just money but trained staff, portable bathrooms, and modular housing. The short-term housing solutions we often use in the aftermath of natural disasters—gathering displaced people into large facilities such as gyms or convention centers—are not advisable during contagious disease outbreaks.

For far too long, policymakers at all levels of government have failed to provide decent-quality, stable, and affordable housing to millions of Americans. In COVID-19, we’re only starting to see the devastating consequences of that failure.

Sarah Crump provided excellent research assistance for this post.

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Homeownership rate increases with lower rates | Bedford Hills Real Estate

According to the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS), the U.S. homeownership rate increased to 64.8% in the third quarter of 2019, which is 0.7 percentage points higher than the previous quarter reading of 64.1%. This puts the national homeownership rate back to a level near where it started dropping as interest rates increased. The rate reached a cycle low of 62.9% in the second quarter 2016. Compared to the peak of 69.2% by the end of 2004, the homeownership rate is still 4.4 percentage points lower and remains below the 25-year average rate of 66.3%.

The HVS also provides a timely measure of household formations – the key driver of housing demand. The housing stock-based HVS revealed that the count of total households increased to 122.7 million in the third quarter of 2019 from 121.4 million a year ago. The gains are largely attributed to strong owner household formation. Indeed, the number of homeowner households has been climbing since the third quarter of 2015, while the number of renter households has been on a downward trend. This implies a transition from renting to owning is the powerful driver of household change. Specifically, the number of homeowners increased by 1.4 million, but the number of renter households declined by 33,000 in the third quarter.

The homeownership rates among all age groups, except for households ages 55-64, increased in the third quarter 2019. Households lead by 35-44 year-olds registered the largest gains among all households, 0.8 percentage points from a year ago. The homeownership rate of households under 35, mostly first-time homebuyers, stood at 37.5 % in the third quarter, 0.7 percentage points higher than a year ago. The homeownership rates of households ages 45-54 edged up a 0.4 percentage point. Households ages 65 and older saw their homeownership rates rise to 78.9% in the third quarter 2019 from 78.6% a year ago. However, the homeownership rate of households lead by 45- 54 year-olds did see a drop in the third quarter compared to a year ago.

The homeowner and rental vacancy rates remained in the record low territories, signaling a supply-constrained housing market. The non seasonally adjusted homeowner vacancy rate remained low at 1.4% in the third quarter 2019. At the same time, the national rental vacancy rate stood at 6.8%, unchanged from the second quarter.

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30 Yr Mortgage averages 3.75% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.75 percent, the highest it’s been in 12 weeks.

“The outlook for a favorable resolution to the trade dispute between the U.S. and China is still unclear, introducing some volatility into financial markets and the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Mortgage rates are following suit at near historic lows, while mortgage applications to purchase a home remain higher year over year.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.75 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending October 24, 2019, up from last week when it averaged 3.69 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.86 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.18 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.15 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.29 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.4 percent with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.15 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.14 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

US homebuilder confidence surges | Bedford Hills Real Estate

US homebuilder confidence rises to 20 month high with lower interest rates

The nation’s low-interest-rate environment and strong job market propelled homebuilder confidence to 71 points in October, the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo said in this month’s Housing Market Index.

According to the index, October’s level now marks the highest reading since February of last year.

“The housing rebound that began in the spring continues, supported by low mortgage ratessolid job growth and a reduction in new home inventory,” NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde said.

In October, the index measuring current sales conditions rose to 78 points, while buyer traffic increased to 54 points and sales expectations over the next six months jumped to 76.

“The second half of 2019 has seen steady gains in single-family construction, and this is mirrored by the gradual uptick in builder sentiment over the past few months,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said. “However, builders continue to remain cautious due to ongoing supply-side constraints and concerns about a slowing economy.”

Despite these concerns, the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores show the Northeast grew to 60 points, the South rose to 73 points, the West climbed to 78 points and the Midwest inched forward to 58 points.

NOTE: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder opinions of single-family home sales and expectations, asking for a rating of good, fair or poor. Builders are also asked to rate prospective buyer traffic from very low to very high. The scores are used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index with a rating of 50 or over indicating positive sentiment.

NYC developers constantly lie about how tall their buildings are | Bedford Hills Real Estate

You ain’t dreaming. New York’s toniest buildings really are bigger on the inside than the outside.

For a small pool of New York buyers, a floor in the 90s is the new Park Avenue address — and developers are fudging numbers to accommodate them.

In 2013, Saudi retail magnate Fawaz Al Hokair signed an $87.7 million contract for a splendiferous privilege: owning the top floor of the Western Hemisphere’s tallest residential tower, 432 Park Ave. Al Hokair could boast that his 8,255-square-foot penthouse is on the 96th floor — six floors higher than billionaire Michael Dell’s then-record-breaking spread on the 90th floor of One57 (previously the city’s tallest residential tower).

Splendiferous, that is, if you ­ignore the fact that 432 Park is an 88-floor tower, eight floors less than advertised.

That’s not a fluke, it’s a power move. Nearly every new luxury condo in the city’s latest wave of super-tall construction mislabels floors to stroke buyers’ vanity.

“If you have the 95th floor in your address, that’s going to be impressive to pretty much everyone,” said Leonard Steinberg of Compass Real Estate. “Being on the 95th floor is unbelievable. In how many cities can you even live on the 95th floor?”

432 Park
432 ParkProvided by DBOX for CIM Group/Macklowe Properties

Like a short man in Cuban heels, One57 boasts a 90th-floor penthouse that is, technically, on the 75th floor. For more than a decade, billionaire developer Stephen Ross occupied the 80th-floor penthouse of his Time Warner Center, but has since moved up to the 92nd floor of his latest tower, 35 Hudson Yards. In reality, the Time Warner Center has 53 floors. His Hudson Yards building has 71.

“When [brokers] go see buildings under construction, we say, ‘Go to the top floor’ — which is often marketed as the 90th, but there will be a sign in the elevator that reads 63,” said broker Tristan Harper of Douglas Elliman.

This sleight of hand is achieved by developers in different ways, Harper and other experts explained. For one, most new residential skyscrapers have lobbies with tremendous ceiling heights. They might be counted as 10 or more stories. Many also have several floors of building ­mechanicals and amenity spaces that are counted.

Some — like One57 or 35 Hudson Yards — have hotels on the first couple dozen floors. Instead of counting from the first apartment, developers will divide building height by eight feet (the measure of a typical New York ceiling height) to get a total floor count that is higher than the actual number of residential floors. Or they count from the ground to determine on which floor an apartment would theoretically be.

That’s why residences at One57 start on the 22nd floor, while 35 Hudson Yards begins on the 53rd. In the industry, it’s known as marketing floors versus real floor, or “construction counting.”

“If we lived by the letter, buildings in New York would have a 13th floor — and I haven’t seen a 13th floor in a long time,” Steinberg said, adding that he considers the practice of embellishing floor numbers to be a mostly harmless example of “truthful hyperbole . . . Every developer wants to maximize value.”

Harry Macklowe is often credited with inventing vanity numbering with his Metropolitan Tower, which opened in 1985 on the south end of Central Park, now considered “Billionaires Row.” Macklowe advertised the building as having 78 floors, when it really has 66.

Trump World Tower
The Trump World Tower was the first building to claim it had 90 floors.Seth Gottfried

But it was Donald Trump who introduced 90th-floor fever. When Trump World Tower opened in 2001, he proclaimed it the “tallest residential building in the world” at 90 floors. (If you count them up, there are 72.)

“I chose 90 because I thought it was a good number,’’ Trump told The New York Times in 2003.

While the city allows developers to label floors as they please, it requires that the real number be disclosed on official offering plans.

But experts agree that, in a market where higher floors equal higher prestige and higher dollars, the rubber ruler is here to stay.

“If you repeat something often enough, it becomes the new normal,” said Steinberg. “There was a moment when a Botoxed face looked really weird. Now a face without Botox looks weird. It’s like that with real estate.”

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https://nypost.com/2019/09/14/nyc-developers-constantly-lie-about-how-tall-their-buildings-are/