Tag Archives: Cross River NY Homes

Building lot prices hit new high | Cross River Real Estate

According to NAHB’s analysis of the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction (SOC) data, median single-family lot prices outpaced inflation once again (4.4% vs 2.4%) and reached new record high in 2018, with half of the lots selling at or above $49,500. The most dramatic rise in lot values is observed in the West South Central division where median lot values more than doubled since the housing boom years.

While this constitutes a new nominal national record, lot values adjusted for inflation have not reached the housing boom peak levels. In the midst of the building boom – when twice as many single-family homes were started – half of the lots were going for over $43,000, which is over $53,000 when converted in $2018.

The West South Central division – that includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana – stands out as a division where new historical records were hit not only in nominal terms but also when adjusted for inflation. Compared to the peak years of the housing boom, lot values more than doubled in this division.

Historically, lot values in the West South Central division have been the lowest in the nation. They started rising in 2013 and by 2015 caught up with the national median. As of 2018, half of the lots in the West South Central division sells for more than $62,000, 25% above the national median lot value for single-family spec homes of $49,500. This represents a significant jump in the division lot values since the building boom when more than half of lots were priced under $30,000.

Single-family spec homes started in New England are built on some of the most expensive lots in the nation. Half of all sold single-family homes started in New England in 2018 report lot values in excess of $140,000, a new nominal record for the division. New England is known for strict local zoning regulations that often require very low densities. Therefore, it is not surprising that typical single-family spec homes started in New England are built on some of the largest and most expensive lots in the nation.

The Pacific division has the smallest lots. However, the median lot value reached $87,000 in 2018, the second most expensive value in the nation and a new nominal record for the division. As a result, the Pacific division lots stand out for being most expensive in the nation in terms of per acre costs.

The East North Central is another division that hit a new record high, with half of the lots priced above $52,000, exceeding the national median lot value for single-family spec homes.

The East South Central Division that has the second largest lots in the nation simultaneously reports the lowest median value of $38,000 per lot, thus defining the most economical lots in the nation as well as lowest per acre costs.

Given that nation’s lots are getting smaller and home production is still significantly below the historically normal levels, it might seem surprising that lot values keep going up. However, the rising lot values are consistent with persistent record lot shortages that NAHB reported recently. They are also consistent with significant and rising regulatory costs that ultimately increase development costs and boost lot values. It is also possible that home building shifted towards more urban and dense areas where land values are typically higher, and land development faces more stringent regulation requirements.

For this analysis, the median lot values were chosen over averages since averages tend to be heavily influenced by extreme outliers. In addition, the Census Bureau often masks extreme lot values on the public use SOC dataset making it difficult to calculate averages precisely but medians remain unaffected by these procedures.

This analysis is limited to single-family speculatively-built homes by year started and with reported sales prices. For custom homes built on owner’s land with either the owner or a builder acting as the general contractor, the corresponding land values are not reported in the SOC. Consequently, custom homes are excluded from the analysis.

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NYC home prices drop 5.2% up 4.2% nationally | Cross River Real Estate

National home prices increased modestly in August. New York and Las Vegas experienced price declines while Phoenix led the way with a 9.1% annual growth rate in August.

The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 4.2% in August, following an increase of 2.1% in July. On a year-over-year basis, the Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index posted a 3.2% annual gain in August, up from 3.1% in July. After six straight months of declines of the rate of growth, the annual growth rate increased for the first time in August.

Meanwhile, the Home Price Index, released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2.1% in August, following a 4.9% increase in July. On a year-over-year basis, the FHFA Home Price NSA Index rose by 4.6% in August, after an increase of 5.1% in July. It was the lowest annual growth rate since October 2014.

In addition to tracking home price changes nationwide, S&P also reported home price indexes across 20 metro areas. In August, local home prices varied and their annual growth rates ranged from -5.2% to 9.1%. Among the 20 metro areas, four metro areas exceeded the national average of 4.2%. Phoenix, Miami and Seattle had the highest home price appreciation in August. Phoenix led the way with a 9.1% increase, followed by Miami with a 6.1% increase and Seattle with a 6.0% increase.

Home prices in two metro areas declined in August. They were New York (-5.2%) and Las Vegas (-1.7%). New York has experienced negative home price appreciation for six straight months this year.

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Why your credit score matters | Cross River Real Estate

Credit scores. It seems like we’re talking about them more than ever. Where to get them, how to track them, and the best ways to improve them.

But why is your credit score so important to so many lenders? What does it tell them about you and how does it help them make decisions about what kind of loan you may be approved for?

Or if you’ll receive one at all?

We’re here to demystify “creditworthiness” in the eyes of some lenders and break down different credit scores, so you can feel more prepared — and less confused, and perhaps a little less frustrated — when you apply for a loan.

Credit scores tell most lenders how likely you are to repay them

Think of your credit score as a financial report card. When lenders pull your credit report, one of the things they look at is your credit score — your “grades,” so to speak — and, based on how high or low your number is, they can estimate how much risk you present as a borrower.

Instead of As, Bs, Cs, and so on, your three-digit credit score is grouped into the following categories (also known as a credit score scale): poor, fair, good, very good, and excellent. While these categories differ slightly between the two main credit calculators (FICO® credit score and VantageScore®)1, they generally fall into the following ranges:

  • Poor – VantageScore: 300-600; FICO: 300-579
  • Fair – VantageScore: 601-660; FICO: 580-669
  • Good – VantageScore: 661-780; FICO: 670-739
  • Very Good – (FICO only): 740 to 799
  • Excellent – VantageScore: 781-850; FICO: 800-850

(Learn more about FICO vs. Vantage scores here.)

Where your credit score falls tells many lenders a lot about your financial history. And while it’s not the only factor that determines whether or not you’ll get a loan — and the loan terms you’ll receive — it can be an important one.

What credit report information do most lenders use to make their decisions?

When lenders pull your credit report from the 3 credit bureaus — Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion® — they’ll be able to see much more than where you fall on the credit score scale.

Here’s some of what they’ll review:

  • If you pay your bills on time.
    Lenders want to know you pay your bills on time. They also want to know if you have any accounts in collection or if you’ve declared bankruptcy. There’s a reason payment history is a whopping 35% of your FICO score.2 The more responsible you are with the bills you already have, the more likely you are to be responsible with a new one.
  • How much credit you’re using. (Also known as credit utilization ratio.)
    Lenders also like to see that you haven’t used up all of your available credit so you have the least amount of debt possible. For example, if you have $5,000 worth of credit on your credit cards, it looks bad to lenders if you’re already using $4,000 of it. A good rule of thumb is to keep your credit utilization at 30% or less.3
  • Your debt-to-income ratio.
    Also known as your DTI, your debt-to-income ratio tells lenders you have enough income to pay your debts. This is why lenders request your income along with mortgage or rent, car payments, and other monthly bills. They want to see that even after paying all your bills, you’ll still have enough money to pay them as well. (The lower your DTI the better. You can calculate your own DTI here.)
  • How long you’ve had your accounts.
    That credit card you’ve had for years and years can be a good thing, especially if you’ve had a great payment history. The length of time you’ve had an account in good standing—as well as the diversity of your accounts (auto loan, mortgage, etc.) — looks good to lenders because it demonstrates that you have a history of responsible borrowing with different creditors.

The bottom line? Lenders want to be confident you’ll pay them back.

The financial industry’s credit model can sometimes feel like a harsh way of deciding who’s worthy enough for a loan, especially if your credit score could use improvement. It’s important to remember that lenders simply want to rest assured that you’ll pay them back, and your credit score, as well as your credit report, helps them do that.

It’s also important to remember there are lenders that look at more than your credit score. You just have to take time to find one that will review your individual situation to help you find the right solution.

Look your best to lenders by keeping an eye on your credit.

No matter what type of credit score you have, it’s important to keep track of your credit report so you can not only be approved for loans, but get the very best rates for repayment. As mandated by the federal government, every U.S. citizen is entitled to one free credit report from each of the 3 credit bureaus each year.4 It’s a great way to prevent unwelcome surprises and work your way to excellent credit.


Sources:
1. https://www.creditkarma.com/advice/i/credit-score-ranges/
2. https://creditcards.usnews.com/articles/what-is-considered-a-good-credit-score
3. https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-a-good-credit-utilization-ratio-960548
4. https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-proceedings/fair-credit-reporting-act

Builder confidence holds firm | Cross River Real Estate

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose one point to 65 in July, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This marks the sixth consecutive month that sentiment levels have held at a steady range in the low- to mid-60s.

Builders report solid demand for single-family homes. However, they continue to grapple with labor shortages, a dearth of buildable lots and rising construction costs that are making it increasingly challenging to build homes at affordable price points relative to buyer incomes.

Even as builders try to rein in costs, home prices continue to outpace incomes. The current low mortgage interest rate environment should be getting more buyers off the sidelines, but they remain hesitant due to affordability concerns. Still, attractive rates should help spur new home purchases in large metro suburban markets, where approximately one-third of new construction takes place according to the NAHB HBGI. Lower recent have driven new home sales 4% higher on a year-to-date basis thus far in 2019, while single-family permits continue to lag.

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 the HMI indices inched higher in July. The index measuring current sales conditions rose one point to 72, the component gauging expectations in the next six months moved a single point higher to 71 and the metric charting buyer traffic increased one point to 48.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the South moved one point higher to 68 and the West was also up one point to 72. The Northeast remained unchanged at 60 while the Midwest fell a single point to 56.

The HMI tables can be found at nahb.org/hmi.

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Mortgage rates steady at 3.8% | Cross River Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that after consistent declines in late spring, mortgage rates have stabilized with this week’s 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate settling in near 3.8 percent for the third straight week.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “While the continued drop in mortgage rates has paused, homebuyer demand has not. This is evident in increased purchase activity and loan amounts, indicating that homebuyers still have the willingness and capacity to purchase homes. Today’s low rates, strong job market, solid wage growth and consumer confidence are typically important drivers of home sales.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.84 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending June 20, 2019, up from last week when it averaged 3.82 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.57 percent. 
  • 15-year FRM averaged 3.25 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.26 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.04 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.48 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.51 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.83 percent.

New home sales fall | Cross River Real Estate

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes fell from near an 11-1/2-year high in April as prices rebounded, but demand for housing remains underpinned by declining mortgage rates and a strengthening labor market.FILE PHOTO: A new apartment building housing construction site is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The Commerce Department said on Thursday new home sales dropped 6.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 673,000 units last month. March’s sales pace was revised up to 723,000 units, the highest level since October 2007, from the previously reported 692,000 units.

April’s decline followed three straight monthly increases

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for about 10% of housing market sales, would decrease 2.8% to a pace of 675,000 units in April.

Sales increased 7.0% from a year ago. The median new house price increased 8.8% from a year ago to $342,200 in April, the highest level since December 2017.

New home sales had in recent months outperformed other housing market indicators, including building permits, which had dropped for five straight months in April. New home sales are drawn from permits.

Economists attributed the recent strength in new home sales to declining mortgage rates. The new housing market has not been severely constrained by an inventory shortage, which has crippled sales of previously owned homes.

A report on Tuesday showed existing home sales fell for a second straight month in April, weighed down by a chronic shortage of more affordable houses.

The overall housing market hit a soft patch year and has contracted for five straight quarters. With the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping to around 4.07% from near an eight-year high of 4.94% in November, there is reason to be cautiously optimistic about the housing market.

New home sales in the South, which accounts for the bulk of transactions, declined 7.3% in April. Sales in the Midwest dropped 7.4% and those in the West tumbled 8.3%. But sales in the Northeast jumped 11.5%.

There were 332,000 new homes on the market last month, down 0.9% from March. While builders have stepped up construction of more affordable homes to meet strong demand in this market segment, land and labor shortages remain a challenge.

At April’s sales pace it would take 5.9 months to clear the supply of houses on the market, up from 5.6 months in March.

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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-housing/u-s-new-home-sales-fall-more-than-expected-in-april-idUSKCN1ST1QP

Notre Dame roof reimagined as a giant greenhouse | Cross River Real Estate

Just a week after Notre Dame went up in flames, ideas around how to redesign the historic cathedral’s spire have already started cropping up, including this leafy concept from Studio NAB.

The French architecture studio showed off its design to turn the damaged roof of the cathedral into a giant greenhouse, complete with an apiary that takes the place of the spire. (some 180,000 bees that had been kept in wooden boxes on the cathedral’s roof survived the fire). The renderings show a gabled roof perched atop the stately church; its golden-hued steel frame is filled with glass panels.

Inside, the architects envision rows of planters built from burnt wood from the old church’s attic. The greenhouse and apiary would act as an education hub where people can learn about horticulture and urban agriculture.

Rendering of greenhouse

Rendering of apiary

This concept comes after a similarly glassy vision from Foster + Partners, whose design has been compared to an Apple Store. Stay tuned as the Notre Dame restoration efforts unfold.View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

French firm Studio NAB’s concept replaces the cathedral’s iconic spire with a glassy apiary

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https://www.curbed.com/2019/4/25/18515150/notre-dame-roof-restoration-design-studio-nab

Mortgage rates drop to 4.06% | Cross River Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped 22 basis points.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “The Federal Reserve’s concern about the prospects for slowing economic growth caused investor jitters to drive down mortgage rates by the largest amount in over ten years. Despite negative outlooks by some, the economy continues to churn out jobs, which is great for housing demand. We have recently seen home sales start to recover and with this week’s rate drop we expect a continued rise in purchase demand.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.06 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending March 28, 2019, down from last week when it averaged 4.28 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.40 percent. 
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.57 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.71 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.90 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.75 percent with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.84 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.66 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.

New York’s Property Tax Rate Among Highest In Nation | Cross River Real Estate

New York's Property Tax Rate Among Highest In Nation

The property tax rate in New York is high compared to the rest of the country. That’s according to a new report Wednesday from the financial news and opinion site 24/7 Wall St., which reviewed the effective rate — meaning the total amount of property taxes paid each year as a percentage of the total value of all occupied homes — for every state. The data is from the 2015 fiscal year and came from the conservative think tank Tax Foundation. If you want more information about seafarers tax deduction, click here.

New York’s effective property tax rate ranked 14th highest in the country, the report found, nestled between Iowa and Kansas. On average, state and local governments across the country bring in about $1,500 a year in property taxes per person. Here are the numbers for New York:

  • Effective property tax rate: 1.4 percent
  • Median home value: $314,500
  • Per capita property taxes: $2,696.90
  • Median household income: $64,894

If those numbers seem like too much, you might consider moving to Hawaii, where the effective property tax rate was just .29 percent. If that sounds like a dream, consider this — the median Hawaiian home is worth more than $617,000 and the typical household earns about $77,000 a year, so don’t forget to bring a checkbook and perhaps buy a lottery ticket upon arrival. Alabama, Louisiana, West Virginia and Wyoming rounded out the five states with the lowest property tax rates.

On the flip side, residents in the Northeast appear to pay the highest rates, with New Jersey, New Hampshire and Vermont all appearing in the top five. New Jerseyans pay more than anyone else in the country with an effective property tax rate of 2.16 percent, the authors found. Residents pay more than $3,000 per capita and the median household income is just over $80,000 a year. A typical home in the state costs about $335,000.

Here are the 10 states with the highest effective property tax rates:Subscribe

  1. New Jersey
  2. Illinois
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Vermont
  6. Texas
  7. Nebraska
  8. Connecticut
  9. Ohio
  10. Rhode Island

Property taxes are the single largest money-maker for local governments and they’re spent almost entirely on a local level. Generally they are used to fund fire, police, schools, roads, cleaning and repairs.

“As a result, the United States is a patchwork of property tax codes, and depending on where you live, property taxes can be either a trivial expense or a major financial burden,” the report said.

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https://patch.com/new-york/bedford/s/glmoy/new-york-s-property-tax-rate-among-highest-in-nation?utm_source=alert-breakingnews&utm_medium=email&utm_term=weather&utm_campaign=alert

A starter house story | Cross River Real Estate


Johanna Lasser had lived in a dozen apartments before she bought her first house two years ago, a rundown Victorian in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. Ms. Lasser and her husband, Jimm, figured they would fix it up, stay a few years and then move on to a house in the suburbs, or one in a better school district, as many people do.

It didn’t take long for that plan to stop making sense.

“Once you’ve got all that work done, where would we go in the city except to another place that somebody had just fixed up?” said Ms. Lasser, 40, a stay-at-home mother who’s pregnant with her second child. “We’d just be switching apples for apples.”

Ms. and Mr. Lasser, 43, a filmmaker, are not the only homeowners with doubts about moving these days. Americans have been moving less over the years, with only 11 percent changing households in 2017, down from 13 percent in 2007, according to United States census data. Historically, we stayed in our homes for around six years; now we’re now staying for 10, according the National Association of Realtors.

The mood is affecting how we live in our homes and where we spend our money. More than three quarters of the respondents to an October Zillow survey, for example, reported that, given the option, they’d rather spend a lump sum of money renovating their current home than on a down payment for a new one.

What happens, though, when the home you think is your starter house becomes your forever house?

As first-time home buyers, we often cobble together what we have for a down payment with the expectation that in five years (because, face it, we like to believe that life operates on an endless loop of five-year plans) we’ll upgrade to something larger, or in better condition, or in a better neighborhood. Realizing that we may not actually be able to move runs counter to an American ideal that there’s always a better version of our lives a few pay raises away.

“We are restless people, we like to feel like we could move at any time. If you think of your house as your starter home, you know you can just leave,” said Melody Warnick, the author of “This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are.” “That’s a belief that we cherish because it gives us a sense of freedom.”

But increasingly, the math doesn’t work and we find that we’re not so free to go.

A brew of short- and long-term trends has led us to this moment. Millennials, saddled with student debt, are buying their first homes later in life, and so are less likely to move again. Inventory is tight (largely because homeowners aren’t moving), home prices are high, and interest rates are rising.

Added to that, the 2017 federal tax overhaul capped the mortgage interest deduction at $750,000 and limited sales and local tax deductions to $10,000 a year, making it less desirable for owners in high-tax states like New York to buy a home with a jumbo mortgage or a giant property-tax bill.

In short, if you were lucky enough to lock in a historically low interest rate, whatever you buy today will cost you more than it did just a few months ago. The Lassers, for example, pay roughly $12,000 a year in property taxes for the six-bedroom house that they bought for $1.475 million in 2016. But if they decided to move to the suburbs, their property taxes would likely be higher, and if they bought a house priced at or more than what they paid for their current home, their monthly mortgage payments would be substantially higher at current interest rates.

“With our next purchase, we will have less buying power,” Ms. Lasser said. After the couple finishes bringing the house back to its original glory — a $350,000 project that will involve restoring the original exterior and interior details, gut renovating four of the six bathrooms and renovating the kitchen — she doubts they’ll actually want to leave.

“If you’ve gone through one remodel, I don’t think you ever want to do it again,” she said. “And where would we go?”

Companies such as Fusion Exteriors provide various services all the way from free estimation on all the work to professionals who ensure perfection in every task they perform.

Now, rather than scrolling Zillow listings, the couple is paying closer attention to their neighborhood schools, a detail they had overlooked when they bought the place because they figured they’d be gone by the time their daughter, now 4, was old enough for elementary school. “We were not at all prepared for her being in elementary or middle school in the city,” she said.

There are upsides to abandoning the idea of the next house. People who have lived in one place for a long time report feeling better, healthier and more content, according to Ms. Warnick. “Imagine if you channeled some of that restless energy into building strong relationships with people in your neighborhood or planning the block party?” she said.

But if you bought your home during one life stage, it may not necessarily fit so well with the next one.

Mary Botel, 38, bought a 750-square foot bungalow in Portland, Ore., in 2011 for $100,000, when she was single. At the time, she thought it was a good deal and a great place to live for a few years. Seven years later, she is married and now shares the tiny space with her husband, Blaine Botel, 35, and his teenage son. The quarters are tight, requiring the family to pare down on their possessions and stay organized. “Everything now has to have a place,” she said.

Initially the neighborhood was rough — her car was stolen once and so were her boots, snatched off the front porch in the middle of winter. But as the economy improved, so too did the neighborhood. Now apartments in the rental building next door rent for about $1,400 a month, substantially more than Mrs. Botel’s mortgage payments. “If we were to move today, even if we sold, our money wouldn’t go very far,” said Mrs. Botel, who works for Multnomah County, Ore.

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