Tag Archives: Cross River Homes

Housing Recovery – Prices and Production | Cross River Real Estate

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Standard and Poor’s/Case-Shiller recently released the Home Price Index (HPI) for March.

The price index reported by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) decelerated in March, slowing to an annualized growth rate of 4.2% from 7.8% in February. Monthly growth rates have been volatile but have trended down since the recent peak in 2013. The level of the index remains below the housing boom peak but has recovered to a level consistent with trend growth prior to the boom and bust extremes.

Figure 1_March

House prices reported by the Standard and Poor’s/Case-Shiller show the same dynamics as the FHFA index, sharply rising prices during the boom followed by steep declines and finally recovery beginning in 2012. The Case-Shiller index also shows volatile monthly growth rates and a deceleration in price growth since 2013.


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Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Increase at Faster Pace | Cross River Homes

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities climbed at a faster pace than forecast in the year ended February, a sign the housing industry may be gaining momentum amid low borrowing costs and continued job growth.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values increased 5 percent from February 2014, the biggest year-to-year gain since August, after rising 4.5 percent in the year ended in January, the group said today in New York. The median projection of 28 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 4.7 percent year-over-year advance. Nationally, prices rose 4.2 percent.

Higher real estate prices may persuade more homeowners to put their properties on the market, boosting the limited inventory that’s been holding some prospective buyers back. More supply, in addition to continued gains in the labor market and looser lending standards, will be needed to help the housing market accelerate after showing inconsistent progress.


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Mortgage Rates Lower | Cross River Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates moving lower following a weaker than expected jobs report for March.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.66 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending April 9, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 3.70 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.34 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.93 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.98 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.38 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.46 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.41 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.

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

“Mortgage rates fell across the board following last week’s disappointing employment report. The US economy added 126,000 new jobs in March, well below market expectations of 247,000 jobs. We did see some uptick in wages, as average hourly earnings increased 7 cents for the month, and are up 2.1 percent over the year. Meanwhile, jobless claims fell sharply to 268,000 this week, much lower than market expectations of 285,000.”

Zillow Index Shows Access to Credit Halfway to Recovery | Cross River Real Estate

Mortgage credit availability as measured by Zillow’s Mortgage Access Index  has risen steadily over the past two years to surpass a halfway point between the depths of 2011 and the peak of the boom in August 2004.

The new metric (ZMAI) combines seven sources of data: credit score data, debt to income ratios, PMI availability, quotes on Zillow’s mortgage platform, and other data to come up with a way to measure and track how difficult it is to qualify for a mortgage.




The index shows an abrupt and virtual evaporation of housing credit between 2008 and 2009. At the close of 2007, ZMAI stood at 97.8 points, but tumbled all the way to 28 points by the end of 2008. For the next four years, it showed no signs of credit conditions improving. It wasn’t until May 2013 when ZMAI again reached the 30-point threshold.

Other measures of credit access, like actual mortgage closing rates tracked by Ellie Mae, are not nearly as positive as the Zillow index.  Closing rates on purchase loans reached an annual average of 63.3 percent from 60.1 percent in 2013.  MBA’s mortgage credit availability index reached 118.6 in February.  It has risen 118.6 points since it was benchmarked at 100 in March 2012.


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Own the Original Lease for Andy Warhol’s First NYC Studio | Cross River Real Estate

[159 East 87th Street photo via PropertyShark]

In the early 1960s, Andy Warhol, pop art icon and then-Upper East Side resident, was beginning to outgrow his workspace in his home on Lexington Avenue, so he did what anyone else would do: he wrote a letter to the city and asked if he could rent an old fire house on East 87th Street. The city agreed, and gave Warhol run of the space for just $150/year. It became Warhol’s first ever studio in New York City, and now the lease that Warhol signedis going to hit the auction block at part of Sotheby’s inaugural New York Sale. The faded, torn document, signed on December 10, 1962, is a one-of-a-kind artifact from Warhol’s life, and it’s expected to sell for $8,000 to $12,000—a downright steal compared to how much one could pay for a piece of Warhol’s art.


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Mega-Treehouse is an Entire Apartment Building | Cross River Real Estate

Whoever designed this delightful apartment complex in Turin, Italy, really must have loved building tree houses in their backyard as a kid. The housing development features a bold, tree-heavy design that turns the typical urban jungle into a unique-looking urban forest.

Called “25 Verde,” the site includes 150 mature trees, plus another 40 in the courtyard, and a roof garden on the building’s top floor. According to 25 Verde’s website, the trees aren’t there just for decoration: they clean the air of pollutants, muffle the city street noise, and help keep the apartments cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The 63-unit complex is designed to be as close to a living, breathing forest as possible. It even harvests rainwater to irrigate the trees.

Designed by Italian architect Luciano Pia, 25 Verde aims to “combine architectural innovation, environmental quality, and energy performance.” It’s described as “the houses children dream of.” It’s also the dream of anyone who wants to live in an environmentally-friendly forest environment without sacrificing the comforts and conveniences of the city.

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Single-Family and Multifamily Construction Spending Continue to Increase | Cross River Real Estate

NAHB analysis of Census construction spending data found that on a 3-month moving average basis, from January 2014, single-family construction spending increased 11.4% and multifamily construction spending increased 28.9%. The seasonally adjusted annual spending for single-family construction was $204.9 billion and $48.9 billion for multifamily construction.


Single-family and multifamily construction spending both experienced monthly increases over December estimates. Single-family spending increased 0.6% month-over-month. Multifamily spending increased 1.9% month-over-month.

Increased construction spending is a reflection of improving market conditions. Builder sentiment in the multifamily market remains positive as rents remain high and vacancy rates low.   Builder sentiment in the single-family market is also positive as new home sales increase and the labor market improves.


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Existing-home sales slow to 9-month low in January | Cross River Real Estate

The housing market didn’t get off to a great start in 2015, as existing-home sales in January fell to the lowest level in nine months.

The National Association of Realtors reported that home sales fell 4.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 4.95 million rate.

December’s data saw a mild upward revision to 5.07 million from an initially reported 5.04 million.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR, attributed the decline to a lack of housing supply and rising prices.

The median existing-home price was $199,600, which is 6.2% above January 2014 levels. Inventory edged up 0.5% to 1.87 million homes, or a 4.7 month supply at the current sales price.

Yun added that low mortgage rates are generating interest, but the lack of new and affordable listings is delaying decisions.

Other factoids from the January report:

• All-cash sales were 27% of all transactions, up from 26% in December but down from 33% in January 2014.

• Distressed sales were 11% of all sales, unchanged from December.

• Properties typically stayed on the market slightly longer in January (69 days) than December (66 days) and a year ago (67 days).

• The share of first-time buyers declined to 28% in January, the lowest since June.

“Today a somewhat softer-than-expected report is a further sign that housing is still struggling to gain altitude although we expect further signs of recovery in the next two to three years as the improving job market encourages more first-time buyers,” said Peter Buchanan, an economist at CIBC World Markets.


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LeBron James’ $17 Million Grove House is Still Available | Cross River Real Estate

We haven’t heard about it much lately, so here’s a quick update. Just over four months after the abdicated King of Miami basketball LeBron James put his castle on the market, signaling that, yes, he was giving up Miami for good, the$17 million house still there. Not that that’s all that surprising. It’s only been four months. But then again the total absence of this house from headlines since then might also say something. James’ house comes with a “sommelier’s dream wine cellar”, a fancy kitchen, dockage space for two 60-foot yachts, a big wall around it, an infinity pool with a rather bold lighting scheme, 16,768 square feet of living space, 4500 square feet of entertainment space, six bedrooms, and 6.5 baths, an infinity pool, ceilings high enough for a basketball player, and some gorgeous listing photos.

In other LeBron news, he apparently keeps coming back to Miami.


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