Tag Archives: Bedford Hills Real Estate

Bedford Hills Real Estate

Marcel Breuer-Designed House Hits The Market | Bedford Hills Real Estate

A three-bedroom, two-bathroom single-family house designed by Marcel Breuer was quietly listed by ReeceNichols in June, according to real estate firm’s website. The asking price for the Snower Residence at 6701 Belinder Ave. in Mission Hill’s, Kan., is $925,000.

Completed in 1954, the polygonal residence features an open floor plan atop a cantilever base, a now-ubiquitous structural design element that Breuer first championed in furniture design and later in architecture. The Bauhaus alum also designed the home’s interior, much of which remained intact when the residence was purchased by Rob Barnes and Karen Bisset in 2013, according to the Kansas City Star. Furnishings include a Herman Miller rocking chair designed by Charles and Ray Eames and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Sofa for Knoll Furniture (below). The couple installed a new roof, refinished the cedar-plank ceilings, and repainted the exterior to its original blue and orange hues.

The current owners restored the living room's cedar-plank ceilings and kept much of Breuer's furnishings, including Mies' Barcelona Sofa (left.)
ReeceNicholsThe current owners restored the living room’s cedar-plank ceilings and kept much of Breuer’s furnishings, including Mies’ Barcelona Sofa (left.)
A bedroom in the Snower Residence with Breuer's signature sliding windows and an Eames Rocking Chair (right.)
ReeceNicholsA bedroom in the Snower Residence with Breuer’s signature sliding windows and an Eames Rocking Chair (right.)

According to ReeceNichols’ website, Robert Snower asked Breuer to design a house that would stand alone among the sea of his Ranch-style neighbors. “Of course I am asking the impossible,” wrote Snower, who first saw Breuer’s residential work in the 1952 edition of House and Home Magazine. “[My wife and I] hope for a house which we will consider exceedingly handsome, yet which will not too seriously offend what in our opinion are duller eyes than our own. Most of the newer houses around here fit the description of what I believe are called ‘Sunset Ranch Homes,’ ” a variation of the Colonial Ranch style that was popular at the time. “This we do not want.” Snower owned the home until his death in 2013.


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Mortgage rates average 3.41% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates dropping further to new 2016 lows in the wake of the Brexit vote. At 3.41 percent, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is just 10 basis points from its November 2012 all-time record low of 3.31 percent.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.41 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending July 7, 2016, down from last week when it averaged 3.48 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.04 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.74 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.78 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.20 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.68 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.70 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.93.

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.

Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Continuing fallout from the Brexit vote drove Treasury yields lower again this week. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage followed Treasury yields, falling 7 basis points to 3.41 percent in this week’s survey. Mortgage rates have now dropped 15 basis points over the past two weeks, leaving them only 10 basis points above the all-time low.”


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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Millennials Move to the Burbs for Price and Choice | Bedford Hills Real Estate

More affordable and better choice are driving more millennials to buy in the suburbs and fewer in city neighborhoods, according to the 2016 National Association of Realtors® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study.

The share of millennials buying in an urban or central city area decreased to 17 percent in 2016 from 21 percent a year ago while more than half (51%) of buyers under age 35 bought in the suburbs, up from 49 percent a year ago, the study found.

2016-03-09_10-47-16However, younger buyers are not making a permanent commitment to the suburban lifestyle.  Buyers 35 years and younger expect stay in their new homes only ten years—the same tenure as last year– compared to the median of 14 years for all age groups, an increase from 12 years in 2015.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said while millennials may choose to live in an urban area as renters, the survey reveals that most aren’t staying once they are ready to buy. “The median age of a millennial homebuyer is 30 years old, which typically is the time in life where one settles down to marry and raise a family,” he said. “Even if an urban setting is where they’d like to buy their first home, the need for more space at an affordable price is, for the most part, pushing their search further out.”


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Housing Starts and Sales Stumble | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Home building data for January showed declines for new home sales and housing construction. Builder confidence also declined but remains in positive territory. NAHB’s forecast is for continued, modest growth for single-family construction and a slowing of the growth rate for multifamily development in 2016.

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index measure of single-family builder sentiment declined three points in February to 58 – still well above the tipping point of 50, and three points above last February, but down from a recent peak of 65 in October 2015. Builders reported more consumer concern over the price of new homes relative to existing homes as builders face higher costs for labor, land and materials.

Total housing starts fell 3.8% in January, according to estimates from the Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The rate of single-family construction declined 3.9% from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 731,000 units. However, there are currently 421,000 single-family homes under construction, a 15% increase from one year ago.

Multifamily starts (units with five or more properties) were down 2.5% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 354,000. But the 557,000 apartments currently in production is an increase of almost 19% on a year-over year basis.

New homes sales posted an unexpected decline in January, as consumers signed contracts to purchase new homes at an annual rate of 494,000 in January, a 9.2% decline in the rate compared to an elevated December. There was a significant decline in the West, which fell 32% compared to December. It appears that some sales accelerated into the final month of the year, resulting in December gains and January declines.


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CoreLogic: Home prices maintain pace, increase 6.3% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, posted similar results to last month, increasing year-over-year by 6.3% in December 2015 compared with December 2014, according to the most recent report from housing data and analytics provider, CoreLogic.

On a monthly basis, home prices are up 0.8% in December 2015 compared to November 2015.

The below chart shows the home price index going back to 2002.

Click to enlarge

home prices

(Source: CoreLogic)

“Nationally, home prices have been rising at a 5% to 6% annual rate for more than a year,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic.

“However, local-market growth can vary substantially from that. Some metropolitan areas have had double-digit appreciation, such as Denver and Naples, Florida, while others have had price declines, like New Orleans and Rochester, New York,” said Nothaft.

Looking ahead, CoreLogic’s HPI Forecast predicts that home prices will increase by 5.4% on a year-over-year basis from December 2015 to December 2016, and on a month-over-month basis home prices are expected to increase 0.2% from December 2015 to January 2016


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Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Climb | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose at a faster pace in the year ended November, underscoring the shortage of supply amid steady demand.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities increased 5.8 percent from a year earlier, the biggest advance since July 2014, a report from the group showed Tuesday in New York. The median projection of 31 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 5.7 percent gain. Nationally, prices rose 5.3 percent year-over-year.

Low inventories are boosting property values, helping support household wealth for homeowners and offsetting some of the damage from the drop in stock prices. While mortgage rates are expected to stay low, faster wage growth is needed to bring homes within reach of more Americans, underpinning the industry’s recovery this year.

“There’s a positive underlying picture in the trend in home prices,” said David Sloan, a senior economist at 4Cast Inc. in New York, who correctly projected the gain. “As long as demand is strong, the price appreciation will persist. We expect it to continue this year.”

Economists’ estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gains of 4.9 percent to 6 percent. The October reading showed a year-over-year advance of 5.5 percent.

Another report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed prices increased 0.5 percent in November from the previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis. The gauge measures transactions for single-family properties financed with mortgages owned or securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It doesn’t provide specific prices.

Three-Month Average

The S&P/Case-Shiller index is based on a three-month average, which means the November figure was also influenced by transactions in October and September.

All 20 cities in the index showed a year-over-year gain, led by an 11.1 percent increase in Portland, Oregon. Chicago had the smallest increase at 2 percent. Gains in November accelerated in 14 cities from the prior month, with indexes for Dallas, Denver and Portland. Oregon, reaching record highs.

The year-over-year gauge provides better indications of trends in prices, the group has said. The panel includes Karl Case and Robert Shiller, the economists who created the index.

Borrowing Costs

“Home prices extended their gains, supported by continued low mortgage rates, tight supplies and an improving labor market,” David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee, said in a statement. “The consumer portion of the economy is doing well.”

On a monthly basis, home prices in the 20-city index adjusted for seasonal variations climbed 0.9 percent. The Bloomberg survey median called for a 0.8 percent increase.

The month-over-month gain was led by Charlotte, North Carolina, followed by Detroit.

Unadjusted prices in the 20-city gauge rose 0.1 percent from the previous month.

By lowering household wealth, the slump in stock prices will subtract about 0.3 to 0.4 percentage point from consumer spending this year, according to a research note e-mailed today by economists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York. They projected increasing home prices will make up for some of the decline, limiting the overall reduction in consumption to 0.2 percent.


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The evolution of window styles and technology | Bedford Hills Real Estate

This post is part of a monthly series that explores the historical applications of building materials and systems through resources from the Building Technology Heritage Library (BTHL), an online collection of AEC catalogs, brochures, trade publications, and more. The BTHL is a project of the Association for Preservation Technology, an international building preservation organization. Read more about the archive here.

Windows are one of the most expressive and vital features of a building, serving as part of the thermal envelope while affording light transmission, sound control, and natural ventilation. While window designs have long varied in opening size, sash pattern, and shape, they remained largely made from wood until the early 20th century, when steel and aluminum became feasible material options. Around the same time, insulated glass units, curtainwalls, and glass block came onto the scene, taking off in use following World War II. The following 11 brochures, pamphlets, and journals, culled from the BTHL, explore how glazing, windows, and related components evolved from the mid-19th through the mid-20th centuries.

Combined Book of Sash, Doors, Blinds, Mouldings, Paine Lumber Co., 1893: Wood windows and window moldings were commonly available through millwork companies and at lumber yards by the mid-19th century. Window and frame units were among the first building components to be made in a factory rather than built on-site. This catalog, published by Rand McNally and typical of the era, was issued by a number of lumber yards and exemplifies standardization in materials and dimensions of building components like millwork across the country.

Complete Catalog, Roach & Musser Sash and Door Co., 1905: This extensive brochure features double-hung windows with myriad design configurations, including arch-top, bowed, and stained-glass.

United Steel Sash, Trussed Concrete Steel Co., 1912: The use of steel-sash windows like those marketed in this catalog brought ample daylight into factories and warehouses and represent a milestone in window design in the early 20th century.

The Window Women Want, Andrew Hoffman Manufacturing Co., c. 1923: The now-universal practice of marketing windows to homeowners takes a unique direction in this 1920s catalog for steel casement windows. Offset hinges aim to make cleaning their exterior faces easier—a supposed boon to the woman who, as the pamphlet notes, “spends as many hours of her life in the home that she is entitled to all the comforts that can be secured.”

Building Material: Millwork, Lumber, Roofing, Mantels, and Fireplace Furnishings, Sears, Roebuck & Co., 1929: Though touting energy savings is nothing new, even back then, this page from a 1929 Sears, Roebuck & Co. building materials catalog makes a case for installing storm windows to cut one’s coal bill.

Kawneer: Windows, Doors, Architectural Metal Work, Kawneer Co., 1936: Kawneer was one of the first building-product manufacturers to make aluminum windows, such as those shown in the catalog above, starting in the 1930s. Initially, the company produced metal storefronts before expanding its operations into metal windows and curtainwalls in the mid-20th century.

New! French Mosaic Stained Glass, Studios of George L. Payne, c. 1945: Specialty glass products have an important role in the history of windows in residential and commercial construction. This French company used an American distributor to introduce a new type of stained glass—set in reinforced mortar rather than in lead—to the U.S. market, which would find particular use for the product in midcentury churches.

Glass Manual, Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. (PPG), 1946: This dealer’s manual from PPG begins with a history of glass making and of the company. Because this manual was intended for building-material dealers to sell windows and glazing to architects and builders, it includes technical and performance details for the full range of PPG glass products.

For Brighter Homes: Insulux Glass Block, American Structural Products Co., 1950: Glass block made its debut in the 1930s and quickly found its place in many commercial, industrial, and residential applications. This small catalog shows how it can be used to bring daylight into homes without sacrificing privacy.

Twindow: The World’s Finest Insulating Glass!, PPG, 1958: Insulating glass is an early-20th-century innovation that didn’t enter the mass market until after World War II. Twindow was PPG’s propriety name for its insulated glass product, which in this catalog is being marketed for use in homes to maintain thermal comfort and manage energy costs year-round.

Kirsch Guide to Window Beauty, Kirsch Co., 1961: Window curtains and shades are featured in this catalog from the Kirsch Co., a century-old interior finishes business started in 1907. Kirsch catalogs from the 1920s through the 1960s show the evolution of popular window-blind and curtain styles.


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Senior Housing Costs Soar | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Households headed by adults age 65 or older devoted a quarter of their 2013 income to housing, which includes spending on mortgage interest, rent, property taxes, maintenance, repairs, homeowners’ and renters’ insurance, and utilities.

Older households are more than three times as likely as younger households to own their homes free and clear (58 versus 17 percent). Yet, the lack of a mortgage doesn’t reduce their housing costs much because they still have to pay property taxes, maintenance, repairs, insurance, and utilities. In fact, those costs combined make up more than half of what older households with mortgages spend on housing.

Housing doesn’t eat up much more of household budgets for older adults than for adults younger than 65, who allocated 21 percent of their 2013 income to housing. What’s surprising, though, is that seniors spend so much on housing even when they aren’t saddled with mortgages.

Older homeowners without mortgages spent 18 percent of their 2013 income on housing, including 8 percent on utilities, 5 percent on property taxes, and 5 percent on maintenance. Older renters spent much more of their income—43 percent—on housing because their incomes, on average, were half as much as homeowners without mortgages. This share is well above the 30 percent cutoff commonly used to identify burdensome housing costs.


Low-income seniors spend an even larger share of their income on housing. Nearly 7 million adults age 65 or older receive incomes below 125 percent of the federal poverty level, a reliable indicator of inadequate income. They spent a staggering 74 percent of their income on housing in 2013. Those with more income but less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level devoted 41 percent of their income to housing.


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HELOCs Continue to Shrink, But at Larger Banks | Bedford Hills Real Estate

According the Federal Reserve Bank of New York the outstanding amount of home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) was the only debt category to record a decrease in the third quarter of 2015. Home equity lines of credit are an important source of financing for home remodeling projects. Over the quarter, the outstanding amount of HELOCs fell by 1.4%, $7 billion, and over the year, it shrank by 3.9%, $20 billion. An earlier postdocumented the decline in the outstanding amount of HELOCs beginning in 2009, and the most recent reportfrom the Fed indicates that the trend continues.

According to bank-level analysis of the Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income, commonly referred to as “call reports”, the decline in the outstanding amount of HELOCs reflects a decrease at larger-sized banks. In contrast, the outstanding amount of HELOCs at smaller sized banks has risen in recent years. As illustrated in Figure 1 below, in 2001 the outstanding amount of HELOCs at the 20 largest banks as measured by total loans and leases, was equal to the combined amount of HELOCs on the balance sheets of all other banks. The outstanding amount of HELOCs was split nearly evenly until 2003, even as the total amount was rising.


However, beginning in 2003, the outstanding amount of HELOCs on the balance sheets of the Top 20 banks soared, peaking at $475.9 billion in 2009. Since 2009, the outstanding amount of HELOCs has collapsed, falling to $314.7 billion by 2015. Meanwhile the outstanding amount of HELOCs held at all other banks doubled between 2001 and 2004, but then declined to $131.6 billion by 2006. Instead of an up-and-down cycle, the outstanding amount of HELOCs held at all other banks remained steady through the financial crisis. In recent years, the outstanding amount of HELOCs held at other banks has risen slightly. Since the outstanding amount of HELOCs on the balance sheets of all other banks is rising while declining at the Top 20 banks, then the gap between the two cohorts is converging.


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