Tag Archives: Bedford Hills NY

Bedford Hills NY

Japan’s vacant rural homes | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Japan has an increasing number of vacant homes — a problem that’s set to persist because of an aging and shrinking population that has left many towns and villages empty.

“Japan faces significant economic and social impact effects from demographic (aging) over the next three decades,” Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit, wrote in an October note.

Abandoned properties in the world’s third-largest economy are among the least-discussed side effects of the country’s demographic changes. But it’s getting more attention given the increasing number of affordable — and sometimes free — houses put up for sale online on websites called “akiya banks.”

Akiya is the Japanese term for vacant homes. Many of such sites are set up by local governments and communities to better manage the supply and demand for the growing stock of empty houses in their respective towns.

Properties listed on Tochigi’s “akiya bank”

On one website, several homes are free, with the buyer having to pay only taxes and fees such as agent commissions.

“This is usually because the owners cannot take care of the property anymore or do not want to pay the property tax that applies in Japan for a home that they do not use,” said real estate site REthink Tokyo in an October report.

The free homes also usually require major refurbishment because they are old and run down. But some local governments — such as the Tochigi and Nagano prefectures — offer subsidies for renovation work on vacant houses.

For vacant homes that are not free, prices can range from 500,000 Japanese yen ($4,428.50) to close to 20 million yen ($177,140) depending on location, age and condition of the house, according to the listings seen by CNBC.

Suburbs, larger towns — and Tokyo

Across Japan, the number of vacant homes stood at 8.196 million in 2013, representing around 13.52 percent of the country’s total housing stock, according to latest data by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

The 2013 figures were higher than 2008′s 7.568 million empty houses, which accounted for about 13.14 percent of Japan’s total homes that year, according to the data. By 2033, the proportion of vacant homes in Japan is expected to grow to surpass 20 percent, according to Fujitsu Research Institute.

Japan’s vacant homes are largely concentrated in rural towns, but the phenomenon has started to show up in the suburbs and larger cities, according to various media reports such as The Japan Times.

In Tokyo, the proportion of vacant homes stood at 11.1 percent in 2013 — among the lowest in the country, according to official statistics. But that number is expected to grow above 20 percent by 2033, said Fujitsu Research Institute.

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https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/22/japan-free-homes-empty-houses-given-away-and-sold-cheap.html

 

Housing Inventory Tracking | Bedford Hills Real Estate

I love Bill McBride’s Calculated Risk blog

Update: Watching existing home “for sale” inventory is very helpful. As an example, the increase in inventory in late 2005 helped me call the top for housing.

And the decrease in inventory eventually helped me correctly call the bottom for house prices in early 2012, see: The Housing Bottom is Here.

And in 2015, it appeared the inventory build in several markets was ending, and that boosted price increases.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but watching inventory helps understand the housing market.

Inventory, on a national basis, was unchanged year-over-year (YoY) in July, this followed 37 consecutive months with a YoY decline.

The graph below shows the YoY change for non-contingent inventory in Houston, Las Vegas, Sacramento (through August) and also Phoenix (through July) and total existing home inventory as reported by the NAR (through July).

image: https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-q5HBzFd0njM/W5q8p0StEDI/AAAAAAAAwAU/rQCgnKAobAsQ2a5xzlfVUzGANmCIoFzDgCLcBGAs/s320/InventoryPreAug2018.PNG

Click on graph for larger image.

This shows the YoY change in inventory for Houston, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Sacramento.  The black line is the year-over-year change in inventory as reported by the NAR.

Note that inventory in Sacramento was up 22% year-over-year in July (inventory was still very low), and has increased YoY for eleven consecutive months.

Also note that inventory was up 20% YoY in Las Vegas in August (red), the second consecutive month with a YoY increase.

Houston is a special case, and inventory was up for several years due to lower oil prices, but declined YoY recently as oil prices increased.  Inventory was up slightly in Houston in August (but the YoY change might be distorted by Hurricane Harvey last year).

Inventory is a key for the housing market, and I am watching inventory for the impact of the new tax law and higher mortgage rates on housing.   I expect national inventory will be up YoY at the end of 2018 (but still be low).

This is not comparable to late 2005 when inventory increased sharply signaling the end of the housing bubble, but it does appear that inventory is bottoming nationally (but still very low).

 

Read more at https://www.calculatedriskblog.com/#DgT40fTJtpLyGmFz.99

Builder Confidence Rises in June | Bedford Hills Real Estate

After holding steady for the past four months, builder confidence in the market for newly constructed single-family homes rose two points in June to a level of 60 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This marks the highest reading since January 2016.

HMI_June

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 gains in June. The component gauging current sales conditions rose one point to 64, the index charting sales expectations in the next six months increased five points to 70, and the component measuring buyer traffic climbed three points to 47.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/06/builder-confidence-rises-in-june/

CHICAGO HOME SALES JUMP TO 9-YEAR HIGH | Bedford Hills Real Estate

The city that used to be second is staging something of a comeback, at least as far as home sales are concerned.

Chicagonow.com reports this: After a weak March and several other months of languishing sales activity the Chicago real estate market came roaring back in April with the highest home sales in 9 years and the largest year over year gain in 9 months. Check out the graph below to see these numbers in their historic context. All the April data points are flagged in red and the blue line is a 12 month moving average. However, that blue line is still not quite flashing an upward trend again.

April Chicago home sales were up a whopping 10.1% over last year but when the Illinois Association of Realtors announces the official numbers in a little less than 2 weeks they are going to report it as a 7.9% increase.

 

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http://www.builderonline.com/newsletter/chicago-home-sales-jump-to-9-year-high_c

U.S. Housing Market Recovery Remains on Track | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released its updated Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®) showing the U.S. housing market continuing to slowly stabilize with two additional metro areas entering their outer range of stable housing activity: Scranton and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The national MiMi value stands at 81.2, indicating a housing market that is on its outer range of stable housing activity, while showing an improvement of +0.27% from July to August and a three-month improvement of +2.54%. On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved +6.16%. Since its all-time low in October 2010, the national MiMi has rebounded 37%, but remains significantly off from its high of 121.7.

News Facts:

  • Twenty-nine of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with North Dakota (96.9), District of Columbia (103.9), Hawaii (93.5), Montana (93.2), and Utah (90.3) ranking in the top five.
  • Forty-seven of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with Fresno (99.4), Austin (96.6), Honolulu (94.1), Salt Lake City (93.3) and Los Angeles (93) ranking in the top five.
  • The most improving states month-over-month were Ohio (+1.30%), South Carolina (+1.20%), New Jersey (+0.97%), Colorado (+0.92%) and Georgia (+0.83%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Florida (+14.07%), Oregon (+12.02%), Nevada (11.75%), Colorado (+11.28%), and Washington (+10.41%).
  • The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Akron, OH (+1.47%), Palm Bay, FL (+1.28%), Cleveland, OH (+1.27%), Lakeland, FL (+1.26%) and Denver, CO (+1.21%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Orlando, FL (+18.07%), Cape Coral, FL (+17.77%), Tampa, FL (+16.00%), Denver, CO (14.73) and Palm Bay, FL (+14.64%).
  • In August, 48 of the 50 states and 98 of the top 100 metros were showing an improving three month trend. The same time last year, 35 of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and 71 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.

Quote attributable to Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer:

“The nation’s housing market continues to improve riding the wave of the best year in home sales since 2007. With the MiMi purchase applications indicator at its highest level in more than seven years we expect home sales to remain strong. Low mortgage rates are fueling the recovery across the country. Places like Denver, Austin and Salt Lake City, and most markets in California, are seeing robust home purchase demand and in many cases double-digit growth over last year.”

“Buoyed by strong employment growth, housing supply is struggling to keep pace with demand, which is driving house prices higher. Fortunately, low mortgage interest rates are helping to keep homebuying affordable for some prospective homebuyers. Nationwide, housing markets are getting back to their long term benchmark averages, but they still have room for improvement. We’re expecting housing to sustain its momentum going into yearend, but we’re going to need stronger income growth to carry housing throughout 2016.”

 

 

 

 

May Gains for Residential Construction Spending | Bedford Hills Real Estate

NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total residential construction spending for May increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $366.1 billion. On a month-over-month basis, multifamily spending was $48.7 billion, up by 0.2% over the revised April estimate, while the single-family spending was $209.4 billion, an increase of 0.03% from April. Annually, multifamily spending rose 20.8% from the revised 2014 estimate and the spending on single-family construction was 11.2% higher than May 2014.

The Census construction spending index, which is shown in the graph below (the base is January 2000), indicates that both the monthly and annual increase were largely driven by the steady increase in multifamily construction spending. The pace of multifamily spending is gradually slowing. NAHB anticipates an increase in single-family spending in 2015.

Slide1

 

The pace of nonresidential construction spending was also up by 1.1% monthly in May, and the annual increase from the revised May 2014 data was around 8.2%. The largest contribution to this year-over-year nonresidential spending gain was made by the class of manufacturing-related construction (69.5% increase), followed by lodging (30.6% increase) and amusement/recreation (29.8% increase).

Slide2

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/07/may-gains-for-residential-construction-spending/

Mortgage Rates Up | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates moving higher amid a strong jobs report and bringing mortgage rates back to where they were at the start of 2015. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has averaged below 4 percent since the week ending November 13, 2014.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.86 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending March 12, 2015, up from last week when it averaged 3.75 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.37 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.10 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.03 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.38 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.01 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.96 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.09 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.46 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.44 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.48 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 links for theRegional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quotes
Attributed to Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.86 percent for this week following a strong labor market report, essentially bring rates back to where they were at the start of the year. The U.S. economy created 295,000 jobs in February while the unemployment rate dipped to 5.5 percent from 5.7 percent in January, both outperforming market expectations.

Firefighters Battle Two Bedford Home Blazes Within A Day | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Bedford Hills fire

Bedford Hills fire

Firefighters in and near Bedford were busy on Tuesday battling two house fires in town, both of which were in the Bedford Hills Fire District.

Bedford Hills Fire Chief Joseph Lombardo said that his department responded shortly before midnight Tuesday for a chimney fire, which was at a home at 98 Buxton Road. A firefighter, who arrived in just minutes, observed heavy fire on the roof, Lombardo said, and the fire extended to the attic and roof line.

It took about an hour and a half to get the fire under control, Lombardo recalled. One firefighter was injured due to having fallen on ice, according to the chief.

The fire was caused by a malfunctioning chimney, Lombardo explained. Mutual aid was provided, according to the chief, by fire departments from Katonah, Mount Kisco, Goldens Bridge and Banksville. The Katonah Bedford Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps (KBHVAC) and Westchester EMS were also on scene, he noted.

The blaze caused the home’s roof to collapse. The home is located at Buxton Gorge Farm, which traces its history to circa 1760. The farm is a short drive away from downtown Bedford Hills.

 

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http://bedford.dailyvoice.com/police-fire/firefighters-battle-two-bedford-home-blazes-within-day

Housing Starts Top 1 Million for 2014 | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Total housing starts for 2014 reached the 1 million mark for the first time since 2007. Data from the Census Bureau and HUD for December, plus revisions for October and November, pushed total housing construction to a total of 1,005,800 for the year.

Multifamily construction held virtually even at a 361,000 annual rate, down 0.8% from November. For the year, multifamily starts were up 16% to 358,000, the highest tally since 2007.

The pace of December starts was up 4.4% from November to a 1.089 million annualized rate. The late-year push was led by single-family construction, which was up 7.2% in December, reaching the highest monthly rate since March 2008.

The increase for single-family development mirrors continued positive reporting from the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), a measure of builder confidence. For January, the HMI held steady at a level of 57. Any value above a level of 50 indicates more respondents view market conditions as good rather than poor.

The NAHB Remodeling Market Index (RMI) also suggested attractive market conditions for the home improvement sector. The RMI came in at 60 for the final quarter of 2014 and has been above the key 50 level since the second quarter of 2013.

Home sales showed strength at the end of 2014. The sales pace of newly built, single-family homes increased 11.6% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000, according to data from HUD and the Census Bureau. This is the highest monthly sales rate since June 2008. The inventory of new homes for sale rose to 219,000 in December, a 5.5-months’ supply at the current sales pace.

The market share of conventional financed purchases for new homes is also growing, with declines seen in the share of FHA-insured purchases. These changes are consistent with a market recovering to more normal conditions.

Also demonstrating improvement for the second half of 2014, the pace of existing home sales increased 2.4% in December, although the share of sales to first-time buyers continued to disappoint at 29%. Existing home sales exceeded a 5 million sales pace for the sixth time in the past seven months and were 3.5% above the same period a year ago.

The momentum gained in the housing market at the end of 2014 should continue in to next year. NAHB is projecting strong growth for single-family production, which is expected to rise to 804,000 units. NAHB is also forecasting 2% growth for multifamily and a 3% increase for remodeling.

Housing prices continue to rise, albeit at slower rates. The Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index rose 5.3% for November, the 34th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Over the last two and half years, home prices have risen by 19%. At the same time, residential rents have increased. Using Consumer Price Index (CPI) data, NAHB estimates that rent growth has outpaced inflation by 1.7%.

A significant economic story in recent months has been the dramatic decline in gas prices. The CPI’s gasoline index has declined 21% over the last 12 months. On a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis, the overall CPI fell 0.4%. Over the past 12 months, prices on expenditures made by urban consumers have increased by just 0.8% before seasonal adjustments.

While good for the overall economy, the decline in gas prices will likely have little impact on building material prices. In December, data from the government’s Producer Price Index indicated that prices for a number of materials declined in December, including gypsum (-3.8%) and softwood lumber (-1.2%). OSB prices rose 0.2%. Material costs for builders are expected to rise in 2015, particularly for gypsum, as housing production increases.

Muted increases for inflation indicators like the CPI have modified the focus of the Federal Reserve. With economic output expanding, strong job growth and a declining unemployment rate the Fed’s monetary policy committee has shifted its focus to below-target (2%) inflation as the primary threat to the continuing economic recovery. Consensus expectations are for a first increase in the federal funds rate for mid-2015.

In analysis news, NAHB economists explored survey data of Millennial housing preferences. Most prospective home buyers in this generation want to buy a single-family detached home and prefer to live in the suburbs. However, 10% would choose to live in the central city, which is a larger share that reported by Gen Xers and other generations.

While Millennials want to achieve homeownership, downpayments and loan qualification remain an important hurdle. Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicates that such finance constraints on mortgage access have a considerably larger impacts on housing demand than do historical changes in mortgage interest rates.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/01/eye-on-the-economy-housing-starts-top-1-million-for-2014/