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Bedford Hills NY Homes

Builder confidence up | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose three points to 66 in May, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Builder sentiment is at its highest level since October 2018 after declines in late 2018 due to higher interest rates and concerns over slower growth. Builders are catching up after a wet winter and many characterize sales as solid, driven by improved demand and ongoing low overall supply. However, affordability challenges persist.

Mortgage rates are hovering just above 4 percent following a challenging fourth quarter of 2018 when they peaked near 5 percent. This lower-interest rate environment, along with ongoing job growth and rising wages, is contributing to a gradual improvement in the marketplace. At the same time, builders continue to deal with ongoing labor and lot shortages and rising material costs that are holding back supply and harming affordability.

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All the HMI indices posted gains in May. The index measuring current sales conditions rose three points to 72, the component gauging expectations in the next six months edged one point higher to 72 and the metric charting buyer traffic moved up two points to 49.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast posted a six-point gain to 57, the West increased two points to 71, the Midwest gained one point to 54, and the South rose a single point to 68.

The HMI tables can be found at nahb.org/hmi.

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Mortgage interest rates average 4.17% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that fixed mortgage rates rose for the third consecutive week.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “After dropping dramatically in late March, mortgage rates have modestly increased since then. While this week marks the third consecutive week of rises, purchase activity reached a nine-year high – indicative of a strong spring homebuying season.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.17 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending April 18, 2019, up from last week when it averaged 4.12 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.47 percent. 
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.62 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.60 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.94 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.78 percent with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.80 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.67 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.

New smoke detector law in NY April 1 | Bedford Hills Real Estate

We’re not trying to fool anyone — especially for something as serious as having smoke detectors. This coming April 1 is the day a new law goes into effect that bans the sale or installation of any smoke detecting device that has a battery that can be replaced or removed.

The law states that, as of April 1, any new or replacement smoke detectors in the state have to powered by a non-removable battery that lasts for at least 10 years, or it must be hardwired to the home’s electricity, localsyr.com said.

New smoke detecting units have a sealed lithium battery that people cannot take out.

The upgraded smoke detectors cost more than the ones you may still have in your home, but you will no longer need to spring for new batteries, making them likely cheaper over the long run, news10.com said.

Legislators originally passed a Jan. 1, 2017, effective date for the law, but it was amended to be in force April 1, 2019.Subscribe

The New York State Association of Realtors, Inc., noted that the law does not require smoke detectors that are already in use to be in compliance, just ones that are being newly installed or replaced.

The New York State Association of Fire Chiefs said all smoke detectorsthat are more than 10 years old should be replaced, even if you think it’s still working.

Besides testing them on a regular basis, the alarms need to be cleaned to remove any dust, cobwebs, pet fur or other substances that may have made their way into the unit.

Cleaning could be as simple as using a hair dryer to blow air at the smoke alarm for a few seconds to get rid of any debris.

If you are concerned about the cost of the new smoke detectors, the Red Cross is giving some away for free as part of the Sound the Alarm program.

There will be a mega-install day in Yonkers in Westchester County May 11, according to a Red Cross spokeswoman.

To have a smoke detector installed, people can call 845-673-1198 to schedule an appointment or visit www.soundthealarm.org/mnyn and fill out the online form.

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https://patch.com/new-york/bedford/new-smoke-detector-law-set-go-effect-new-york

Best and worst mortgage rates for homebuyers, by state | Bedford Hills Real Estate

U.S. homebuyers are facing affordabilityOpens a New Window. challenges as home prices continue rising, however everything from mortgageOpens a New Window. rate terms to average down payments can vary markedly from state to state.

The average interest rate offered in the U.S. is 4.84 percent, according to findings from online lending exchange LendingTree. Rates tended to fall within a fairly narrow range across the country – there were no states with rates below 4.74 percent or in excess of 4.96 percent.

The average down payment across all 50 states is about $28,000, while the average loan offered in the U.S. is $224,297.

Here’s a look at the conditions prospective homebuyers are currently facing in the housing market, as compiled by LendingTree:

Highest interest rates

The states with the highest average interest rates are:

New York: Average interest rates in the Empire State are 4.96 percent, the highest in the country.

Iowa: In Iowa, residents face the second-highest interest rates, at 4.93 percent.

Arkansas: At 4.92 percent, residents in Arkansas only face slightly lower rates than Iowans.

Lowest interest rates

The states where interest rates are the lowest include:

California: The Golden State has the lowest interest rates, on average, at 4.74 percent.

New Jersey: Follows California with the second-lowest rates of 4.75 percent.

Washington & Massachusetts are tied for the third place spot, each state offering average rates of 4.76 percent.

Highest down payment

The states where consumers tend to put down the highest average down payment is New York, at $43,404.

Lowest down payment

On the flip side, residents in West Virginia typically only need to put down a little bit more than $15,000.

Lowest APR

The state with the lowest average APR is California at 4.83 percent.

Highest APR

New York had the highest APR at 5.07 percent.C

Highest offered loan

California homebuyers were offered the highest average loan, at $313,508.

Lowest offered loan

In Oklahoma, the average loan offered was the lowest out of all 50 states, at $186,502.

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https://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/best-and-worst-rates-for-prospective-homebuyers-by-state

Mortgage rates average 4.46% | Bedhord Hills Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Surveyâ, showing that mortgage rates moved up slightly after weeks of moderating.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “Purchase applications were down this week after soaring early in the year. However, softening house price appreciation along with increasing inventory of homes on the market – and historically low mortgage rates –  should give a boost to the spring homebuying season.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.46 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending January 31, 2019, up from last week when it averaged 4.45 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.22 percent. 
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.89 percent with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.88 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.68 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.96 percent with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.90 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.53 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.

Home remodeling slowdown expected | Bedford Hills Homes

After several years of solid acceleration, annual growth in national home improvement and repair spending is expected to soften in 2019, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) released today by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA projects that year-over-year increases in residential remodeling expenditures will reach a decade high of 7.7 percent this year and then start to drift downward to 6.6 percent through the third quarter of 2019.

“Rising mortgage interest rates and flat home sales activity around much of the country are expected to pinch otherwise very strong growth in homeowner remodeling spending moving forward,” says Chris Herbert, Managing Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “Low for-sale inventories are presenting a headwind because home sales tend to spur investments in remodeling and repair both before a sale and in the years following.” 

“Even so, many other remodeling market indicators including home prices, permit activity, and retail sales of building materials continue to strengthen and will support above-average gains in spending next year,” says Abbe Will, Associate Project Director in the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center. “Through the third quarter of 2019, annual expenditures for residential improvements and repairs by homeowners is still expected to grow to over $350 billion nationally.”

The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) provides a short-term outlook of national home improvement and repair spending to owner-occupied homes. The indicator, measured as an annual rate-of-change of its components, is designed to project the annual rate of change in spending for the current quarter and subsequent four quarters, and is intended to help identify future turning points in the business cycle of the home improvement and repair industry. Originally developed in 2007, the LIRA was re-benchmarked in April 2016 to a broader market measure based on the biennial American Housing Survey.

The LIRA is released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University in the third week after each quarter’s closing. The next LIRA release date is January 17, 2019.

The Remodeling Futures Program, initiated by the Joint Center for Housing Studies in 1995, is a comprehensive study of the factors influencing the growth and changing characteristics of housing renovation and repair activity in the United States. The Program seeks to produce a better understanding of the home improvement industry and its relationship to the broader residential construction industry.

The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies advances understanding of housing issues and informs policy. Through its research, education, and public outreach programs, the center helps leaders in government, business, and the civic sectors make decisions that effectively address the needs of cities and communities. Through graduate and executive courses, as well as fellowships and internship opportunities, the Joint Center also trains and inspires the next generation of housing leaders. 

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http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/press-releases/slower-growth-anticipated-home-remodeling

Builder Confidence Remains Solid | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes weakened slightly in June, down two points to a level of 67 from a downwardly revised May reading of 69 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).

Builder confidence levels have remained consistently sound this year, reflecting the ongoing gradual recovery of the housing market. As the housing market strengthens and more buyers enter the market, builders continue to express their frustration over an ongoing shortage of skilled labor and buildable lots that is impeding stronger growth in the single-family market.

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

All three HMI components posted losses in June but remain at healthy levels. The components gauging current sales conditions fell two points to 73 while the index charting sales expectations in the next six months dropped two points to 76. Meanwhile, the component measuring buyer traffic also moved down two points to 49.

Private Residential Construction Spending Slows | Bedford Hills Real Estate

NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending stood at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of $522.2 billion in April, 0.7% lower than upwardly revised March estimates. The private residential construction spending slowed down after a strong start this year. However, it was still 16.7% higher than a year ago.

The monthly declines are largely attributed to the slowdown of private construction spending on both multifamily and home improvements. Multifamily construction spending fell 0.2% over the revised February estimates, but was 10.1% higher since a year ago. Spending on home improvements halted its increasing pace in April. On a year-over-year basis, home improvement spending rose by 32.3%. Single-family construction spending increased by 0.8%, continuing its steady growth since October 2016.

The NAHB construction spending index, which is shown in the graph below (the base is January 2000), illustrates the strong growth in new multifamily construction since 2010 and a more modest growth in single-family construction spending.

Private nonresidential construction spending slipped 0.6% on a monthly basis, however, it was 4.3% higher than a year ago. The largest contribution to this year-over-year nonresidential spending gain was made by the office class (14.8%), followed by commercial (13.5% increase), and communication (11.8% increase).

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/06/private-residential-construction-spending-slows-in-april/

Average Boston-area rent falls for the first time in almost 7 years | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Boston, Mass - 06/20/2016 - Construction workers work on the Pierce apartment under construction at corner of Boylston and Brookline Streets in Boston, Mass, June 20, 2016. (Keith Bedford/Globe Staff)

After years of going up, rents in Boston’s super heated real estate market may have finally reached a peak.

Data released Thursday show that apartment rental prices fell slightly at the end of 2016 — the first drop since 2010 — amid a surge of new buildings that have opened in Boston and neighboring cities such as Cambridge, Chelsea, and Somerville.

The decline was modest, just 1.7 percent — or $36 a month on the average lease of $2,038, according to the rental-tracking firm Reis Inc. But it was the latest and clearest sign that the flood of construction in Boston is putting a lid on prices, at least at the upper end of the market.

“When you put that much supply on the market, you’re going to disrupt the equilibrium,” said Sue Hawkes, chief executive of Collaborative Cos., a real estate marketing firm in Boston. “That’s what’s happening.”

During the first nine months of 2016, more than 5,100 apartments, most renting for top dollar, opened in the heart of the Boston area. Another 7,200 are under construction in Boston alone, according to city figures.

While rents may no longer be uniformly escalating, city apartments remain unaffordable for many people, something unlikely to change over the next few years.

Only New York City and San Francisco have higher average rents than Boston.

Still, the expanding supply of rental units is clearly having an effect on the balance of supply and demand, according to Hawkes.

That means renters —at least well-heeled ones — can be choosers for a change.

To woo tenants, some landlords of new luxury buildings are offering free rent for a month or more, covering brokers’ fees and dangling gift cards or other goodies in front of prospective tenants.

But those kinds of perks aren’t available to the majority of renters, especially outside of the immediate Boston area. In parts of the region where there hasn’t been as much construction, rents continue to climb — in some places, far faster than in the market as a whole.

In Malden, for instance, rents are up 5 percent over the last year, according to separate data from the website ApartmentList.com.

Rents in Allston/Brighton and Mission Hill have climbed about 8 percent over the same period, said Ishay Grinberg, president of the Somerville-based website RentalBeast.

“People are getting priced out of downtown,” Grinberg said. “But all it’s doing is pushing rents up higher in areas that may have been slightly less desirable a couple of years ago.”

Over the last year, large apartment buildings have opened up in Chelsea and Quincy, Jamaica Plain, and Dorchester. In Brighton, a wave of new projects is getting underway, and renting at a brisk clip.

In November, Hamilton Co. opened a 49-unit building on Malvern Street in Allston, with two-bedroom units starting at $2,500 a month — less than half the going rate at new complexes in the Seaport District. It was nearly full in a week.

“That’s a very good sign for a working-class building,” said Hamilton’s president, Carl Valeri.

But the demand is also leading to a surge in land and construction prices in Boston’s outer neighborhoods. That’s putting financial pressure on projects that are aiming for a modest price point. If developers believe they won’t hit their projected rents when they open in two years, they might pull back on construction projects, said Travis D’Amato, a broker who specializes in multifamily investments at the real estate firm JLL.

“We are at an inflection point in the market,” D’Amato said. “If construction costs continue to rise and rents don’t continue to rise, we could see some slowdown in development.”

So far, there’s little evidence of that happening.

A number of major projects in outlying neighborhoods — such as the 650-unit Washington Village development near Andrew Square — are poised to get underway later this year.

More proposals, such as a plan to build 680 graduate student-oriented apartments on the grounds of St. Gabriel’s Monastery in Brighton, are going through the city’s approval process.

If those projects come to fruition, rents should eventually flatten in the outlying neighborhoods, just as they appear to be doing downtown, said Sheila Dillon, the city’s housing chief.

“What’s playing out is, really, exactly what we want,” Dillon said. “We want to see investors continue to build housing, and that’s taking pressure off the existing housing stock.”

Meanwhile, the market for high-end living downtown will soon face more tests.

Two huge rental buildings, 832 units in all, are set to open this spring in the Seaport.

In addition, a 585-unit complex in the South End is under construction, and a 45-story apartment tower is planned to break ground soon atop the Government Center Garage.

Builders who have recently launched downtown apartment projects say they’re not worried. Avalon North Station, a 38-story tower that opened in November, has leased 85 of its 503 units. That’s an impressive showing, especially during the holidays, said Scott Dale, senior vice president of development for the developer, Avalon Bay.

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http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2017/01/05/average-boston-area-rent-falls-for-first-time-almost-years/2JMoK39bFND08wKhQT2BnM/story.html?s_campaign=email_BG_TodaysHeadline&s_campaign=

U.S. new home sales jump to four-month high | Bedford Hills Real Estate

New U.S. single-family home sales rose more than forecast to a four-month high in November, likely as expectations of higher mortgage rates drew buyers into the market.

Other data on Friday showed consumer sentiment holding at near a 13-year high this month as Americans anticipated that a stronger economy would create more jobs.

The Commerce Department said new home sales increased 5.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000 units last month.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast single-family home sales, which account for about 9.5 percent of overall home sales, rising 2.1 percent to a 575,000-unit rate last month.

New home sales, which are derived from building permits, are volatile on a month-to-month basis and subject to large revisions. Sales were up 16.5 percent from a year ago.

Separately, the University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index edged up to a reading of 98.2 from 98 earlier this month. That was the highest reading since January 2004.

The U.S. dollar .DXY pared gains and was trading lower against a basket of currencies after the data. Prices of U.S. Treasuries were trading higher while U.S. stock indexes were mixed.

Mortgage rates have been rising rapidly in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election, which economists say could be pulling procrastinators into the market in fear of further increases in borrowing costs.

Trump’s plan to boost infrastructure spending and cut taxes is expected to stoke inflation. A report on Wednesday showed sales of previously owned homes rose to near a 10-year high in November.

INVENTORY RISE

Since the election, the interest rate on a fixed 30-year mortgage has increased more than 70 basis points to an average of 4.30 percent, the highest level since April 2014, according to data from mortgage finance firm Freddie Mac.

Mortgage rates are likely to rise further after the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark overnight interest rate last week by 25 basis points to a range of 0.50 percent to 0.75 percent. The U.S. central bank forecast three rate hikes for next year.

Higher borrowing costs come at a time when house price increases are outstripping wage gains, which could make purchases unaffordable for many first-time buyers.

 

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http://www.marketbeat.com/stories.aspx?story=http%3a%2f%2ffeeds.reuters.com%2f~r%2freuters%2fbusinessNews%2f~3%2f96u5-iu_kio%2fus-usa-economy-idUSKBN14C1NI