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Housing market looking positive | Chappaqua Real Estate

Nationwide’s Health of Housing Markets Report

Select a quarter and then press “Play” to initiate the interactive map. To get the performance ranking for a specific MSA, zoom in or scroll over the map or click on the numerical ranking legend for wider comparisons.N

2019Q2 HoHM Report: Housing market looking more sustainable

  • While home sales data have been a bit slower so far in 2019, the national LIHHM* sees positive, more sustainable trends from the housing sector. With the highest reading in three years, the index points to healthy housing activity over the next year or so.
  • Slower house price gains are improving housing sector sustainability, while reduced mortgage rates, solid job gains, and rising wages should lift home buyer demand this year. Although supply constraints remain, these fundamentals are positive for housing demand
  • More than half of the country’s 400 MSAs have a positive rating as house price gains in many areas have decelerated over the past year. The slowdown is more pronounced in larger cities, especially along the Pacific Coast where price appreciation is now below average.
  • Existing home sales dropped during 2018 as rising mortgage rates squeezed potential home buyers. Data show that the declines were sharper in states with the highest median sales prices. The outlook for the remainder of 2019 has improved with lower mortgage rates
Download HOHM Report

* Leading Index of Healthy Housing Markets (LIHHM): A data-driven view of the near-term performance of housing markets based upon current health indicators for the national housing market and 400 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and divisions across the country.

Housing outlook continues to brighten with the LIHHM in positive territory

The national LIHHM rose to a positive reading of 106.3 this quarter, the highest reading in three years. Demand metrics (led by solid job growth and strong household formations) remain highly positive and are indicative of near term health for the housing market. National house price growth continues to decelerate and is near the long-term trend, a positive for sector sustainability. Home buyer demand should respond positively to lower mortgage rates and faster income growth, although continued supply constraints are likely to cap any sales gains. Regionally, more than half of the LIHHM performance rankings are positive and indicate a healthy outlook for housing in those local markets. Demand factors at a regional level are generally supportive with low unemployment rates and faster household formations. Moreover, housing affordability is improving in many local areas as income growth outpaces house price gains while mortgage financing costs have declined.

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Americans favor owning over renting | Chappaqua Real Estate

close up neighborhood houses

With a homeownership rate of 64.2%, it’s safe to say the American dream of homeownership is alive and well. However, lackluster growth in the sector suggests the market might be turning, especially as affordability remains a top concern.

In a recent analysis, LendingTree surveyed 2,095 American homeowners aged 22 and older about their perceptions of owning a property versus renting.

According to the company’s study, 67% of American homeowners believe owning a home is a better option than renting. However, LendingTree discovered that for many American homeowners, renting is still a viable option.

“About 15% of homeowners believe renting is easier than owning a home, and another 18% are neutral on the topic,” LendingTree writes. “Just 13% of homeowners across all ages wish they could go back to renting, but when broken down by age, 1 out of every 5 homeowners ages 22 to 37 say they miss renting.”

Interestingly, LendingTree says this breakdown is highly dependent on the number of years a homeowner has lived in their home.

“In most cases, the longer that survey respondents have been in their homes, the more likely they are to believe owning is easier,” LendingTree writes. “That changes for those who have owned for a decade or longer. Nearly 72% of homeowners who have spent seven to nine years in their home agree with the statement, compared with 65% of those with at least 10 years in their home.”

Additionally, the report found that age also plays a major role in homeowner satisfaction.

According to the study, 23% of Gen Xers claimed to be dissatisfied with their home purchases, this was followed by 21% of Millennials who expressed the same sentiment.

When it came to Baby Boomers and those aged 73 and older, LendingTree reports that only 14% and 3% held the same regrets, respectively.

Overall, the study revealed that homeownership tenure is a tremendous indication of whether or not a person is likely to return to the rental market. 

“Our survey found that the longer you own your home, the less likely you’ll want to rent again,” LendingTree writes. “Only 7% of respondents who have owned their home for at least 10 years wish they could go back to renting, compared with 19% of those who have owned for three years or less.”

The image below highlights the percentage of Americans who wish to return to renting after owning a home:

(Click to enlarge

LendingTree: Return to Renting

Note: LendingTree commissioned Qualtrics to collect the responses of 2,095 American homeowners aged 22 and older from the dates of March 22-27, 2019.

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https://www.housingwire.com/articles/48981-americans-still-favor-owning-over-renting-but-for-how-long?utm_campaign=Newsletter%20-%20HousingWire%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=72449673&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_wf5nhkg1FFSaVfcLLsDAq-vSfamUsKWH6fYQFizfFvEM3FO4rbfwKPtMxpuPxnlua16i-cB9BPHu8neekjPxwT8280A&_hsmi=72449673

Oregon’s new rent control law | Chappaqua Real Estate

Oregon Governor Kate Brown yesterday signed into law a statewide cap on rent increases—the first statewide policy of this kind. The economic rationale is to lessen financial strain on renters, given that housing costs have risen faster than incomes. In many large cities along East and West Coasts, even middle-income families are stretching to pay for good quality housing in desirable neighborhoods. The political motivation behind Oregon’s new law is also clear: Unhappy rentershave emerged as a more vocal constituency across the country, and policymakers in both parties, from Boston to Minneapolis to San Diego, are taking notice.

But Oregon’s new law will not fix the underlying problem of high housing costs, and it could even make matters worse for vulnerable families.

THE U.S. HAS TWO HOUSING AFFORDABILITY PROBLEMS. RENT CONTROL WON’T FIX EITHER OF THEM.

The first affordability problem is that the nation’s poorest 20 percent have too little income to afford minimum quality housing without receiving subsidies. That’s not a failure of housing markets, but a function of the low wages and unstable incomes generated by labor markets. Poor families could be helped by expanding existing programs such as housing vouchers or the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to cover more poor households. But to fund those programs, middle- and higher-income households would have to pay more in taxes—which state and federal lawmakers have been reluctant to propose.

The second, more challenging affordability problem is that over the past 40 years, the U.S. hasn’t built enough housing in the locations where people most want to live. Metropolitan areas with strong labor markets and high levels of amenities—including Portland, Ore., Seattle, Wash., most of coastal California, and the Northeast corridor from Washington, D.C. to Boston, Mass.—have underbuilt housing relative to demand. The same pattern is true for neighborhoods within cities. Affluent residential areas with good public schools, access to jobs and transportation, have effectively shut down new development of anything other than expensive single family homes on large lots.

The only effective long-term fix to the housing scarcity challenge is to build more housing—especially building less expensive housing in cities and neighborhoods where demand is high. This would require substantial changes to local zoning in nearly every U.S. city. But homeowners are a powerful lobby at every level of government, and only a few bold electedofficials have dared to challenge the NIMBYs.

EVEN WELL-DESIGNED RENT CONTROL POLICIES CAN REDUCE HOUSING SUPPLY, HARMING VULNERABLE FAMILIES.

The Oregon law tries to foresee and forestall some ways in which rent control can push landlords and developers into harmful responses. For instance, when landlords cannot raise rents, they often choose to not provide adequate maintenance. The Oregon law allows relatively generous annual rent increases of 7 percent plus inflation to avoid this problem. Although the bill is thoughtfully designed, any such regulations create incentives for developers and landlords to seek out loopholes. Past research shows that property owners in rent controlled cities are more likely to convert apartment buildings into condominiums. A developer considering building an eight-unit apartment building might revise their plans to build only five apartments, just under the cap set by Oregon’s law—thus contributing less new housing overall. Landlords may pre-emptively raise the rent more as they approach the 15 year mark when controls kick in. Even the increased tenant protections could backfire, encouraging landlords to screen out less desirable tenants—including many low-income families with young children.

FIXING HOUSING AFFORDABILITY WILL REQUIRE COURAGE FROM POLITICIANS, AND SOME SACRIFICES FROM AFFLUENT VOTERS.

Rent control is similar to another popular housing policy, inclusionary zoning, in that it tries to push the onus for improving housing affordability onto for-profit developers and landlords. Self-identified progressive homeowners may be willing to support politicians who advocate these policies. But neither rent control nor inclusionary zoning address the underlying causes of housing affordability, and indeed have the potential to discourage new supply and make the problem worse. Politicians need to be honest with their constituents about the cost of better policies as well as the costs of failing to act. Affluent households should pay more taxes to support poor families, and should allow new apartments in their own backyards.

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Higher mortgage rates slow real estate purchases | Chappaqua Real Estate

Information compiled by Freddie Mac shows that mortgage rates continued to increase in the fall. The 30-year FRM – Commitment rate, inched up by four basis points to 4.87 percent from 4.83 percent in October. With the November increase, the 30-year FRM – Commitment rate, was at the highest level since February 2011. As a result of rising home costs, builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes fell four points to 56 in December and affordability was at the lowest level in a decade.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that the contract rate for newly-built homes, inched up 10 basis points to 4.77 percent in November. Mortgage rates on purchases of newly built homes (MIRS) increased by 11 basis points over the month of November to 4.86 percent.

After increasing the federal funds rate to 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent at the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the Fed remains cautiously on track to continue its gradual approach to raising interest rates with one or two possible rate hikes in 2019.

Moreover, the 10-year Treasury rate fell from above 3.21% at the start of November to 2.7% at the start of January. This decline will reduce mortgage interest rates. The average market rate, according to Freddie Mac, was 4.51% at the start of January.

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FHFA: Home prices continue climbing in first quarter | Chappaqua Real Estate

Home prices rose during each month of the first quarter, continuing a climb that began in the early part of this decade, a new report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed.

The FHFA’s House Price Index for March, which is the most recent data available, showed that seasonally adjusted monthly index for March was up 0.6% from February.

Overall, house prices rose 1.4% during the first quarter of 2017, the FHFA report showed. On a year-over-year basis, house prices rose 6% from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017.

“The steep, multi-year rise in U.S. home prices continued in the first quarter,” FHFA Deputy Chief Economist Andrew Leventis said.

“Mortgage rates during the quarter remained slightly elevated relative to most of last year, but demand for homes remained very strong,” Leventis added. “With housing inventories still languishing at extremely low levels, the strong demand led to another exceptionally large quarterly price increase.”

Low inventory is also a concern of the National Association of Realtors, as its latest existing home sales report showed that home sales fell in April and homes flew off the market at a rate not seen since 2011.

The FHFA report also showed that home prices rose in 48 states and the District of Columbia between the first quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.

FHFA monthly home price index March 2017

(Click the image to enlarge. Image courtesy of the FHFA.)

According to the FHFA report, the top five areas in annual appreciation were: District of Columbia at 13.9% Colorado at 10.7%; Idaho at 10.3%; Washington at 10.2%; and New Hampshire at 9.5%.

The FHFA report also showed that among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., the annual price increase in Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Michigan was the highest in the nation, at 13.7%.

Prices were weakest in San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, California, where prices fell by 2.5%.

Of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division showed the strongest increase in the first quarter, with a 2% quarterly increase and a 7.7% increase since the first quarter of 2016, the FHFA report showed.

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http://www.housingwire.com/articles/40199-fhfa-home-prices-continue-climbing-in-first-quarter?eid=311691494&bid=1765052

Top empty nester cities | Chappaqua Real Estate

Zillow, an online marketplace, conducted a study to show the top 10 housing markets for empty nesters in the U.S.

As it turns out, the pricey markets and places with weak labor markets have the highest concentrations of empty nests, the report, which is based on the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data from 2015, shows.

And the lowest densities of empty nesters are found in booming cities with strong job markets, retirement communities and new family-oriented areas.

In other words, this study by Ellie Mae which shows where Millennials flock will be the last places you might find empty nesters. And you can count metros in Florida and California off the list as well.

Empty nests are homes where the heads of the household are 55 years or older, own the home and have lived in it 10 or more years; there are no children of any age living in the home. These homes are gaining ground as the Baby Boomers age, rising to 15.5% of all households in 2015.

Here are the top 10 metros with the highest percentage of empty nesters:

10. Baltimore, Maryland – 17%

Baltimore city

9. Louisville, Kentucky – 17.2%

8. Virginia Beach, Virginia – 17.4%

7. Detroit, Michigan – 17.9%

skyline

6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 18.2%

5. Birmingham, Alabama – 18.3%

Alabama

4. Richmond, Virginia – 18.6%

3. Cleveland, Ohio – 19.4%

Ohio

2. Buffalo, New York – 20.1%

1. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – 20.2%

skyline

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http://www.housingwire.com/articles/40071-here-are-the-top-10-metros-for-empty-nesters?eid=311691494&bid=1748890

Mortgage rates average 4.23% | Chappaqua Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average mortgage rates dropping after two consecutive weeks of increases.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.23 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending March 23, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 4.30 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.71 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.44 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.50 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.96 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.24 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.28 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.89 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.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“The 10-year Treasury yield fell about 10 basis points this week. The 30-year mortgage rate moved with Treasury yields and dropped 7 basis points to 4.23 percent. This marks the greatest week-over-week decline for the 30-year mortgage rate in over two months, a stark contrast from last week’s jump following the FOMC announcement.”

Age of Housing Stock by State | Chappaqua Real Estate

According to the latest data from the 2015 American Community Survey (ACS), the median age of owner-occupied homes is 37 years. The age of housing stock is not evenly distributed across the United States. Among the states, New York has the oldest homes with a median age of 57 years old, followed by Massachusetts at 53 years. The median age of homes in the District of Columbia, which is entirely urban, is 75 years. The newest homes are in the West. The median age of homes in Nevada is only 20 years, followed by Arizona where half of all owner-occupied homes were built in the last 24 years ago.

The geographic distribution of the age of the owner-occupied housing stock is strongly correlated with population changes from 2000 to 2015. The population changes, including both natural growth and net migration, signal the rising demand for housing. States with faster population growth tend to have newer housing stock.

The age of the housing stock is an important remodeling market indicator. Older houses are less energy-efficient than new construction and ultimately will require remodeling and renovation in the future.

 

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/01/age-of-housing-stock-by-state/

Facebook CEO smart house | Chappaqua Real Estate

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave users a unique look into his home, as part of an explanation of his custom-made artificially intelligent assistant.

Building on Facebook’s internal technology for Messenger app building, Zuckerberg made an iPhone app, Jarvis, to connect the smart devices and phones around his home, similar to Amazon’s Echo. In explaining his progress in the app, Zuckerberg somewhat jokingly revealed some of the quirks of his lifestyle with his wife, Priscilla Chan.

For instance, Jarvis wakes Zuckerberg’s daughter, Max, up to a Mandarin lesson, thanks to Facebook’s visual face detection which determines when the infant is awake. This same technology helps Zuckerberg recognize who’s ringing his doorbell, he said.

We also know Zuckerberg has a pretty extensive set of Spotify playlists and someone in the family may be an Adele fan.

Zuckerberg also showed an interface to request a clean gray T-shirt — his signature look — from what he called a rigged-up ” T-shirt cannon.” He has also ginned up a special 1950’s-era toaster “that will let you push the bread down while it’s powered off so you can automatically start toasting when the power goes on.”

Creating the assistant was one of Zuckerberg’s yearly resolutions, which have also included running a mile a day, reading a new book every other week and learning Chinese.

This year’s challenge was aimed to help him learn how powerful AI can be with 100 hours of work, he wrote. For instance, Zuckerberg said that he realized texting Jarvis — especially if he was away from his home or in the middle of a task — was often more valuable than voice commands alone. That, Zuckerberg said, falls in line with trends he’s seen on Messenger and WhatsApp, where texting is growing more quickly than voice calls.

However, Zuckerberg said, with the voice bot, he learned to consider it a presence that responded more quickly and empathetically.

“It can interact with Max and I want those interactions to be entertaining for her, but part of it is that it now feels like it’s present with us,” Zuckerberg wrote. “I’ve taught it fun little games like Priscilla or I can ask it who we should tickle and it will randomly tell our family to all go tickle one of us, Max or Beast. I’ve also had fun adding classic lines like ‘I’m sorry, Priscilla. I’m afraid I can’t do that.'”

Zuckerberg said he found little bugs that showed how far AI systems are from being generalized for a wide variety of requests.

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http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/19/how-the-other-half-lives-mark-zuckerbergs-life-inside-his-bespoke-smart-house.html?__source=newsletter%7Ceveningbrief

Housing starts down in November, permits up | Chappaqua Real Estate

Single-family housing starts dipped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 828,000 in November, according to new residential construction data released by the Commerce Department Friday morning. This month’s result marks a -4.1% decrease from October’s downwardly revised rate of 869,000 and represents a 5.3% gain compared to November 2015, when the estimate was 786,000.

The Midwest was the only region to experience a month-over-month increase in 1-unit housing starts, rising 19.8% from October levels to a rate of 145,000. All other regions decreased from October levels, most significantly the West, where single-family starts dropped -15.3% to a still-healthy rate of 183,000. On a year-over-year basis, the Midwest and South reported gains in the single-family category. Gains were most significant in the Midwest, where this month’s levels surpassed October 2015 levels by 33.0%

Total housing permits, the leading indicator for future starts, fell -4.7% in November, primarily due to a big dip in the multifamily sector, especially permits for 5-unit or more structures, which fell -15.8% month-over-month. Single-family permits rose 0.5%, indicating that next month’s report could be mediocre. Permits issued for 1-unit structures increased 7.0% in the Midwest, and 2.7% in the West, while the Northeast and South experienced single-digit losses month-over-month.

Total privately-owned housing completions increased 15.4% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,216,000. Completions of both single-family and multi-family housing increased in November following October’s strong report, by 3.3% and 44.5%, respectively.

 

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http://www.builderonline.com/money/economics/starts-down-in-november-permits-up_o?utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=Brief&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BP_121616%20(1)&he=bd1fdc24fd8e2adb3989dffba484790dcdb46483