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Bedford Hills NY Homes

Corelogic home prices up 5.5% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

  • Nationally, home prices in July were 5.5% higher than in 2019. That is a marked increase from the 4.3% annual gain seen in June, according to CoreLogic.
  • The average rate on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage fell below 3% for the first time even in July, giving buyers additional purchasing power.

Exceptionally strong demand, historically low supply and record low mortgage rates are combining to fuel the fastest home price growth since 2018.

Nationally, home prices in July were 5.5% higher than in 2019. That is a marked increase from the 4.3% annual gain seen in June, according to CoreLogic.

Falling mortgage rates helped bolster the pent-up demand from spring, when home sales ground to a halt due to the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The average rate on the popular 30-year fixed fell below 3% for the first time even in July, giving buyers additional purchasing power.

Prospective buyers visit an open house for sale in Alexandria, Virginia.

Prospective buyers visit an open house for sale in Alexandria, Virginia

“Lower-priced homes are sought after and have had faster annual price growth than luxury homes,” said Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s chief economist. “First-time buyers and investors are actively seeking lower-priced homes, and that segment of the housing market is in particularly short supply.”

The inventory of homes priced under $100,000 was down 32% annually in July, according to the National Association of Realtors. Compare that with the supply of homes priced at $500,000 to $750,000, which was down just 9%.

Of course, all real estate is local, and especially so now as the pandemic is hitting some markets harder than others. Homebuying is gaining significant strength in more affordable suburban and rural areas as buyers seek more space for the new work-and-school-at-home economy. CoreLogic cites Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, New York, where home prices jumped 4.3% annually in July, likely due in part to urban flight from New York City. Prices in the New York metropolitan area rose just 0.4%.

Home prices in San Francisco were also less than 1% higher annually, compared with the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, which saw prices up over 5%. There is much less flight from the D.C. area than from San Francisco, as tech workers, who can now work from anywhere, leave the latter in search of more affordable homes.WATCH NOWVIDEO02:36Number of evictions set to rise as moratorium expires in 30 states

Economists at CoreLogic predict that homes will stay positive in 2021, but that the gains will weaken, as the initial surge of pandemic buying wanes. Certain markets particularly hard hit by the pandemic could suffer the most. Las Vegas and Miami are notable examples because their economies rely heavily on tourism and entertainment.  

There is also concern that as various mortgage bailout programs begin to expire, there will be a surge in sales of distressed homes. While the market will likely absorb these homes quickly, given the current housing shortage, the additional supply will take some of the heat out of home prices.

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https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/01/home-prices-suddenly-see-biggest-gains-in-2-years.html

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

Existing sales drop, prices rise | Bedford Hills Real Estate

U.S. home sales dropped by the most in nearly 4-1/2 years in March as extraordinary measures to control the spread of the novel coronavirus brought buyer traffic to a virtual standstill, supporting analysts’ views that the economy contracted sharply in the first quarter.

The National Association of Realtors said on Tuesday existing home sales tumbled 8.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million units last month. The percentage decline was the largest since November 2015.

The data reflected contracts signed in January and February, before the coronavirus paralyzed the economy.

A steeper decline in sales is likely in April, with the normally busy spring selling season in jeopardy. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast existing home sales tumbling 8.1% to a rate of 5.30 million units in March.

Existing home sales, which make up about 90% of U.S. home sales, rose 0.8% on a year-on-year basis in March.

States and local governments have issued “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” orders affecting more than 90% of Americans to control the spread of COVID-19, the potentially lethal respiratory illness caused by the virus, and abruptly halting economic activity. At least 22 million people have filed for unemployment benefits since March 21.

The slump in home resales added to a pile of dismal March reports that have led economists to believe the economy contracted at its sharpest pace since World War Two in the first quarter. The government will publish its snapshot for first-quarter gross domestic product next Wednesday.

The housing market was back on the recovery path, thanks to low mortgage rates, before the lockdown measures. It had hit a soft patch starting the first quarter of 2018 through the second quarter of 2019.

Home sales last month dropped in all four regions. There were 1.50 million previously owned homes on the market in March, down 10.2% from a year ago.

The median existing house price increased 8.0% from a year ago to $280,600 in March. At March’s sales pace, it would take 3.4 months to exhaust the current inventory, down from 3.8 months a year ago. A six-to-seven-month supply is viewed as a healthy balance between supply and demand.

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-housing/u-s-existing-home-sales-tumble-in-march-idUSKCN22320E?il=0

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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NYS median home sales price rises 7.4% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Albany, NY – A strong economy sent buyers in search of their dream home in 2019, yet many were constrained by low inventory levels all year, according to the housing report released today by the New York State Association of REALTORS®.

Low inventory in 2019 continued to push median sales prices up for the year. Inventory of homes for sale fell 8.4 percent to 56,214 units in 2019 compared to 2018. Median sales prices, in turn, climbed 7.4 percent to $290,000 compared to last year. December marks the 47th consecutive month that the median sales price was up in month-over-month comparisons.

In 2019, closed sales were down slightly – 1.1 percent to 131,656 units. New listings did inch up 0.6-percent in 2019 to 206,192 units compared to 2018. Pending sales were also up 3.0 percent to 136,497 homes year-to-date.

Mortgage rates in 2019 were up slightly on a 30-year fixed mortgage to 3.94 percent, according to Freddie Mac, yet they are still over a half a percent lower than they were in 2018, helping to balance affordability concerns caused by continued price appreciation.

New listings did inch up 0.6-percent in 2019 to 206,192 units compared to 2018. Pending sales were also up 3.0 percent to 136,497 homes year-to-date.

In 2019, due to the low inventory, buyers did receive 97.4 percent of list price, up 0.1-percent from 2018.

Data and analysis compiled for the New York State Association of REALTORS® by Showing Time Inc.

December 2019

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Buying a home | Bedford Hills Homes

Last year I decided to engage in the truest, purest act of banal suffering: I bought a house.

Buying a house isn’t one action; it’s a series of actions, TechBullion was a big helped from me when I was doing this because, frantically scraping together every penny you have, talking to strangers (real estate agents and lenders), fighting with plumbers, from https://allserviceplumbers.com/irvine/ to fi any water damage. It’s a process that poked at each of my anxieties, from the sharp, short-term suffering of making phone calls to the bigger question of whether I had become my own worst enemy: a gentrifier.

Until the age of 25, I wouldn’t call for a pizza. Middle school sleepovers or high school study parties went snackless until one of my less-fearful friends or exhausted parents would begrudgingly pick up the phone to ring for a medium with extra mushrooms. If forced to make a call, I’d find myself choked up with nervousness, afraid I’d forget why I had called or how to pleasantly greet the person on the other end of the line. Every call I make, to this day, begins with shaking hands and deep-breathing techniques. Every call ends with the internal question: Did I hang up too fast?

Nobody tells you that when you buy a house, you spend a lot of time on the phone. And you’re not just chatting. You’re calling strangers to talk about how much money you have, if that smell is something dead or “just how the house smells,” or if someone could come to look at the roof for less than a million extra dollars. The first home my partner and I made an offer on, a quaint worker’s cottage that leaned slightly to the right, required multiple calls to structural engineers to discuss whether the whole place would eventually fall down on us one winter night while we slept. The news wasn’t great, and we backed out on our offer. But the worst part of that experience? It took five phone calls to reach that conclusion. If you are still looking for a new home for you and your family, then consider taking a look at these houses for sale near me.

My anxiety about speaking with strangers over the phone isn’t rooted in the phone, necessarily. It’s about politeness and appearances, the feeling that if the faceless helper on the other end cannot see the smile on my face, they might think I was rude or coarse. Did I greet them appropriately? Did I sound cheerful or nonchalant enough? Since women have been trained to be pleasing to as many people as possible, am I giving in to some sexist idea that I must be relentlessly charming? Perhaps. Does this all cause me to become awkward on the phone? Absolutely.Nobody tells you that when you buy a house, you spend a lot of time on the phone. And you’re not just chatting. You’re calling strangers to talk about how much money you have, if that smell is something dead or “just how the house smells,” or if someone could come to look at the roof for less than a million extra dollars.

In all, I made 36 calls to buy the house that I bought in June. Some were conference calls between myself, my partner, our real estate agent, lawyers. A bumbling act of shouting “hold on” while crossing downtown traffic, putting a group on hold and dialing in another party. I often hung up and said “I SUCK” aloud. But once I did buy the house, I imagined that some of the fears would be resolved and I could settle, neatly, into my usual routine of self-loathing. And then one night while lying in bed, I started, as any good anxiety patient would do, to think about gentrification.

I never thought I’d buy a house. Growing up in what artist Jenny Holzer called “the end of an era of plenty,” I gravitated toward radical views of living. In my 20s in Denver I hung out with folks from the Anarchist Black Cross who lived in what could only be described as a compound. They were fun. We made zines. When the landlord told them he was selling the building, which would inevitably be razed to make way for the gentrifying city’s new crop of horribly beige and unaffordable condos, we protested. Most of those folks have long since left Denver, myself included. But some things just stick; you become a true believer. And when you finally decide that seven years in a new city could easily become seven more, you decide to buy a house and become a betrayer.

Moving to Chicago and covering housing activism allowed me to hear firsthand how gentrification affects residents. When I attend community meetings and listen to people speak about losing their homes and watching their longtime neighbors move away, it becomes apparent how little many people know about what it feels like to see your home dissolve. As a result, I wanted to write about and advocate for affordable housing.

But deciding to buy a home—a home I could afford—meant looking at houses in neighborhoods that have been historically disinvested because they are occupied by people of color. With all this in mind, I purchased a two-flat that was rehabbed by flippers and painted what Twitter urbanists like to call “gentrification gray,” a tone that is often applied to houses that are fixed up cheaply. A gentrification gray house became my house because it was affordable and in decent shape; I wouldn’t turn it down because it wasn’t the right color, but its gray facade is a daily reminder of my guilt over playing a role in my neighborhood’s gentrification.

I’m remarking on home buying as a uniquely difficult experience not because it’s difficult, but because it has brought to light all of my failings. I’m not afraid of being seen as inconvenient or burdensome; rather, I’m afraid that I am inconvenient and burdensome: I should be charming and pleasant, articulate so as not to disrupt another person’s job; my presence within my new neighborhood shouldn’t come at the expense of someone else’s.

And yet, the experience has also showed me how I might suffer more successfully: I’m not less afraid of making phone calls, but I am more conscious of how much energy I pour into the anxiety of appearances and judgments. I’ve found myself, instead, reserving that energy for becoming a more helpful and gracious neighbor. Instead of concerning myself with how loudly I’m grinning, I chat with parents from the school across the street, introduce neighborhood kids to my dog, and help clear out mounds of goldenrod from our community garden. Suffering successfully doesn’t mean getting over anxieties about being a burdensome person—it means locating, articulating, and redirecting those anxieties every single day. Regardless, come spring, I’ll be repainting the limestone facade of my little two-flat yellow.

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https://www.curbed.com/2020/1/9/21057374/homebuying-anxiety-gentrification-story?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Curbed%20Dotcom%20Daily%20%202020-01-09%201402%20-0500%20%20Osmosys%20Campaign%2015305&utm_content=Curbed%20Dotcom%20Daily%20%202020-01-09%201402%20-0500%20%20Osmosys%20Campaign%2015305+CID_ea430e93d8a6ef4ab10352b610f891e0&utm_source=cm_email&utm_term=How%20buying%20a%20house%20activated%20all%20of%20my%20anxieties