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US housing stages ‘lopsided’ recovery | Bedford NY Real Estate

The lasting legacy of the US housing crash has ranked at the top of the so-called “headwinds” that Federal Reserve policy makers such asJanet Yellen cite when discussing America’s economic prospects.

A host of indicators are suggesting now that, even if the property market remains well below its boom-time highs, it is firmly in recovery mode.

The Case-Shiller index of home values in 20 cities rose 4.9 per cent from a year earlier in April, according to data released Tuesday, with values in Denver and San Francisco rising around 10 per cent from a year earlier. That came after the National Association of Realtors index of pending home sales hit its highest level since April 2006.

The problem with the recovery is that it is, in the words of Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic, a lopsided one.

An acute lack of construction at the lower end of the market is creating a tight supply of housing, driving up rents and pushing up prices of affordable homes to levels reached in 2006.

With access to credit far more constricted than it was before the financial crisis and income growth depressed, home ownership rates have fallen to 20-year lows, as many younger Americans are locked out of property ownership.

Mr Khater said: “The property market is strengthening, but it’s a complex picture that’s by no means good news for all Americans.”

Back in 2013 US housing hit a setback associated with a 100 basis-point upward lurch in mortgage rates induced by the Fed’s so-called “taper tantrum”. In recent months it has seen renewed momentum, however. Existing home sales rose to an annual rate of 5.35m in May, according to the National Association of Realtors, the fastest pace since 2009.

Rising values are pushing up equity in the housing market, with low interest rates helping for those who can qualify for home loans. In addition, real disposable incomes have risen 4 per cent nationally over the past four quarters.

While an increase in interest rates by the Federal Reserve could impact affordability, Tim Hopper, chief economist at TIAA-CREF, a financial services company, argued that US households are better positioned to weather higher borrowing costs. “The consumer is in much better shape than just a few years ago,” he said.

Nevertheless, there were still 5.1m mortgaged houses in negative equity in the first quarter, compared with 5.4m at the end of last year, according to CoreLogic data. Poorer neighbourhoods tend to have very high concentrations of negative equity, underlining the long shadow of the property crash and deeply divided fortunes now characterising the housing market.

Among the lasting legacies of the downturn have been tightening lending standards, a shift to renting, and a decline in rates of home ownership. The home ownership rate at the end of last year was at 64.5 per cent, erasing most of the increase over the previous two decades. Between 2006 and 2013, there was a 3m increase in single family home rentals.

With construction of housing remaining depressed, households are encountering a tight supply and surging rents — with the national vacancy rate near its lowest in 20 years. This is putting acute pressure on many people’s finances. In 2013 almost half of renters had housing cost burdens, including more than a quarter with “severe” burdens — paying more than 50 per cent of income for housing, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

 

 

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http://www.cnbc.com/id/102802954

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U.S. Housing Markets Strengthen | Bedford NY Real Estate

Freddia Mac today released its updated Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®) showing the U.S. housing market continuing to stabilize with the strongest markets realizing the greatest benefits from a spring homebuying season in full swing.

The national MiMi value stands at 78.7, indicating a weak housing market overall but showing an improvement (+0.14%) from March to April and a three-month improvement of (+2.10%). On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved (+3.57%). Since its all-time low in October 2010, the national MiMi has rebounded 33 percent, but it’s still significantly off from its high of 121.7.

News Facts:

  • Twenty-six of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with the District of Columbia (97.8), North Dakota (96.3), Montana (92), Hawaii (91), and Alaska (87.4) ranking in the top five.
  • Thirty-five of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with Fresno (94.8), Honolulu (92.3), Austin (92.1), Los Angeles (89.1) and Salt Lake City, TX (88.9) ranking in the top five.
  • The most improving states month-over-month were Washington (+1.49%), Indiana (+1.32%), Tennessee (+1.03%), Oregon (+0.83%) and Mississippi (+0.82%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Florida (+10.89%), Nevada (+10.55%), Oregon (10.29%), Colorado (+8.72%), and Michigan (+8.31%).
  • The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Palm Bay, FL (+1.51%), Portland, OR (+1.32%), Indianapolis, IN (+1.22%), Oxnard, CA (+1.22%) and Lakeland, FL (+1.99%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Orlando, FL (+12.6%), Palm Bay, FL (+12.14%), Miami, FL (+11.97%), Cape Coral, FL (+10.73%), and Las Vegas, NV (+11.54%).
  • In April, 43 of the 50 states and 92 of the 100 metros were showing an improving three month trend. The same time last year, all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, and 99 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.

Quote attributable to Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer:

“We saw a significant improvement in housing markets nationwide, with ten more metro areas and nine more states moving within range of their benchmark, stable level of housing activity. The West and Southwest areas of the country continue to lead the way, especially Colorado, Oregon and Utah, and California is right there as well. Unlike a year ago, when the most improving markets were those hardest hit by the Great Recession, we’re now seeing stable markets among the most improving as well. So the strong housing markets are getting stronger, which reflects the better employment picture, rising home values and increased purchase activity in these markets with the spring homebuying season in full swing.”

The 2015 MiMi release calendar is available online.

MiMi monitors and measures the stability of the nation’s housing market, as well as the housing markets of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the top 100 metro markets. MiMi combines proprietary Freddie Mac data with current local market data to assess where each single-family housing market is relative to its own long-term stable range by looking at home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios (changes in home purchasing power based on house prices, mortgage rates and household income), proportion of on-time mortgage payments in each market, and the local employment picture. The four indicators are combined to create a composite MiMi value for each market. Monthly, MiMi uses this data to show, at a glance, where each market stands relative to its own stable range of housing activity. MiMi also indicates how each market is trending, whether it is moving closer to, or further away from, its stable range. A market can fall outside its stable range by being too weak to generate enough demand for a well-balanced housing market or by overheating to an unsustainable level of activity.

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Bedford Town Cleanup Days | Bedford Real Estate

Town Wide CleanUp Days

Please join us for Bedford 2015 Town-Wide Clean-up Days at the Crusher Road Highway Facility off Route 22, just North of Route 172, in Bedford Village.

Town residents can bring household debris and metal waste to the Crusher Road Yard during the following periods:

Thursday, April 30th & Friday, May 1st – 7:30am to 3pm

Saturday, May 2nd – 7:30am to 4:30pm

Proof of Bedford residency is required, and fees are as follows:

  • $25 per carload
  • $60 per pickup truck load
  • $115 for small dump trucks (<6 yd)
  • $230 and up for large dump trucks (>6 yd)

Residents may also take brush and tree debris to the Beaver Dam Highway facility on Beaver Dam road off Harris Road during the same days and hours listed above. THERE IS NO CHARGE FOR THIS!

The Highway Department will not accept any of the following items:  tires, batteries, refrigerators, freezers, pressure treated lumber, air conditioners, propane tanks, paint, varnish, chemicals, medical waste, or other toxic materials. See http://bedford2020.org/recyclopedia/ for information on disposing of various types of items.

We also will not accept E-Waste (Televisions, computers, printers, scanners, fax machines, cell phones, VCRs) at our Crusher Road facility, although ewaste is accepted at our 301 Adams Street Recycling Center in Bedford Hills on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 7am to 3pm.

Please contact the Bedford DPW Highway Division at 666-7669 with any questions.

Bedford Village Chowder & Marching Club will hold their Tag Sale on Friday May 1st and Saturday, May 2nd at the Crusher Road Highway Facility. Chowder & Marching Club also provides truck pick-ups of old household items in exchange for a tax-deductible donation to C&M. Pickups can be scheduled at http://www.chowderandmarching.org/events/clean-up-weekend/

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Current Trend For U.S. Median New Home Sale Prices | Bedford Real Estate

Beginning in January 2014, the trajectory of median new home sale prices in the U.S. with respect to median household income began to follow a new trend, with typical new home sale prices increasing at an average pace of nearly $11 for every $1 increase in typical household incomes.

(click to enlarge)

The good news is that rate of increase is less than half that observed during the primary inflation phases of the first and second housing bubbles in the U.S. The bad news is that rate of increase with respect to household incomes is still 2.7-3.3 greater than those recorded during periods of stable growth in the periods preceding the inflation phases of real estate bubbles.

As we noted in our previous installment, the current pace of growth is consistent with that observed in the latter portion of the inflation of the first housing bubble.

Now, it’s important to note that this situation doesn’t mean that a new crash in housing prices is imminent, or even likely. Now that real estate investors have established a shortage of affordably priced homes in the U.S. market, U.S. homebuilders are now better able to exploit the situation by building more affordably priced homes, which several have begun to do in recent months.

Note to America’s builders: less-expensive homes are starting to move.

Purchases of new homes climbed 7.8 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted 539,000 annualized pace in February, a seven-year high, according to the latest U.S. government report. Perhaps the best news for the housing industry as a whole came in the breakdown of sales, by price.

Americans signed contracts to purchase 17,000 new houses in the $200,000-to-$299,999 price range last month, the most since March 2008. That amounts to 39 percent of the 44,000 properties sold in February (unadjusted and not annualized). Another 8,000 homes-the most in nine months-sold in the range of $150,000 to $199,999.

The shifting sales mix of new homes toward lower-priced homes is prompting an increase in sales volumes, which is a desirable outcome for the current market. Since November 2014, when the median new home sale price in the U.S. peaked at $302,700, the median sale prices of new homes has fallen in each month since, and in February 2015, stands at a preliminary value of $275,500. This figure will be revised several times over the next several months.

 

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http://seekingalpha.com/article/3054396-the-current-trend-for-u-s-median-new-home-sale-prices?ifp=0

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Bank of Mom and Dad Puts Kids in Houses | Bedford Real Estate

New research by loanDepot LLC indicates the number of parents who expect to help their Millennial-age children purchase a home in the future will increase by 31 percent compared to the past five years, from 13 to 17 percent. Half (50%) of the parents who will help their children buy a home say they’ll contribute toward down payments, while 20 percent will cover closing costs and 20 percent will cosign the loan.

In the future, about two-thirds of parents (67%) say they they’ll use savings to help their children buy a home, compared to 72 percent in the past. The number of parents who plan to use cash from a refinance or take out a personal loan to help their children buy a home is expect to double. In the past, just 4 percent of parents refinanced their homes and 3 percent used personal loans. In the future, those numbers are expected to increase to 8 percent for parents who will refinance and 8 percent for parents who will take out a personal loan.

“Support from parents is playing a significant role in the housing recovery, and this new research indicates the trend will increase,” said Dave Norris, president and chief operations officer at loanDepot LLC. “First time home buyers comprise 28 percent of the today’s home buying market[1], an almost all-time low. Through the survey, 75 percent of Millennial-age home-buyers who received financial support from their parents said that assistance made it possible for them to buy a home. Without that financial support, it’s likely the pool of Millennial first-time home buyers would be even smaller than today.”

AGREE TO DISAGREE

The loanDepot research surfaced opposing views between parents and Millennial-aged buyers about whether or not the parent’s financial support was or will be a gift, loan, inheritance or something else altogether. While most parents (68%) view the financial support as a gift, only 29 percent of Millennial-aged children agreed. More Millennials (36%) view their parent’s financial support as a loan to be repaid than as a gift (29%).

 

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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2015/03/bank-of-mom-and-dad-puts-kids-in-houses/

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New-home sales jump to 539,000 rate in February, highest in 7 years | Bedford NY Real Estate

New U.S. homes sold at an annual rate of 539,000 in February to mark the best month of sales in seven years, the government reported Tuesday. The pace of sales for January was also revised up sharply to 500,000. It’s the first time annualized sales have hit 500,000 or more for two straight months since early 2008, though demand is still far lower compared to the years prior to the Great Recession. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast sales to total a seasonally adjusted 455,000 last month. The median sales price climbed 2.6% to $275,500 in February from a year ago. All the homes now on the market would be sold in 4.7 months at the current sales pace, down from 5.7 months in January. That leaves the supply of new homes for sale at the lowest point since June 2013. Unless more homes are built soon, the lack of supply could force prices higher in the spring months when home buying is typically at a peak and potentially constrain sales. Builders have filed permits to increase construction, though they have been focusing more on condos and townhouses than single-family homes. The rise in new home sales in February is at odds with other reports on existing home sales and new construction that showed a decline last month owing to heavy snow in large swaths of the eastern United States.

 

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-home-sales-jump-to-539000-rate-in-february-highest-in-7-years-2015-03-24?siteid=bnbh

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Bedford NY Town Offices Memo | Bedford Real Estate

A MESSAGE FROM
SUPERVISOR CHRIS BURDICK

Dear Residents,

 

We’re pleased to announce that the Town has launched an annual report, please click here for the  2014 Town of Bedford Annual Report.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

I can be reached at Supervisor@bedfordny.gov or at 666-6530.

Warmest regards,

Chris Burdick

Supervisor

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Court rules ListHub must continue to provide listing data to Trulia | Bedford Real Estate

Realtors, real estate agents and brokers who were worried that their listings were going to disappear from Trulia by the end of the week can breathe a sigh of relief, at least for now.

That’s because the latest round in the contentious battle between Move and the Zillow Group (Z) over Move-ownedListHub’s decision to terminate its listing agreement with Trulia has gone Zillow’s way, with a California judge ruling that ListHub is required to continue to provide listing data to Trulia until at least March 12.

The Zillow Group threatened legal actionagainst Move, which is owned by News Corp (NWS) and operates Realtor.com for the National Association of Realtors, after it informed Trulia last week that it was immediately terminating its listing agreement with Trulia, effective Feb. 26.

But that’s not going to happen now, because Judge Ernest Goldsmith of the San Francisco Superior Court granted Zillow Group’s request for a temporary restraining order and set a court date of March 12, which will keep ListHub listings flowing to Trulia until at least that date.

Trulia was predictably pleased with the court’s decision.

“The court’s order is a win for brokers, agents and the home sellers they represent. Since News Corp announced its decision on Friday to prematurely cut off the listing feed to Trulia, we’ve received an influx of calls from MLSs and brokers who were concerned that they and their clients wouldn’t be able to effectively market their listings ahead of the home shopping season,” Trulia’s president, Paul Levine said in a statement.

“We’re very pleased with this preliminary decision, and hopeful the court will grant us the further time necessary to make this transition in an orderly way,” he continued.

The fight over the ListHub listings is more than a little interesting, considering what Zillow Group CEO Rascoff said last week. “When we announced we were parting ways with News Corp, we were constrained on being reliant on a competitor for listings,” Rascoff said Wednesday morning. He said ListHub sent inferior listings to emphasize that Move’s Realtor.com had “higher quality listings.”

Rascoff also called the separation from Move a “liberating moment.”

Zillow’s previously announced decision to cancel its own listing agreement with ListHub was a surprise to Move, which expected the listing agreement to continue. As it stands now, ListHub listings will disappear from Zillow on April 7.

 

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http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33047-court-rules-listhub-must-continue-to-provide-listing-data-to-trulia

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30-year fixed-rate mortgage edges up to 3.66% | #Bedford NY Real Estate

Mortgage rates crept higher last week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. The benchmark 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.66% in the week ending Jan. 29, up from 3.63%. A year ago, the 30-year averaged 4.32%. The 15-year fixed-rate averaged 2.98%, up from 2.93%; the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.86%, up from 2.83%; and the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.38%, up from 2.37%.

 

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/30-year-fixed-rate-mortgage-edges-up-to-366-freddie-mac-2015-01-29

 

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