Tag Archives: Cross River NY Homes

Trump’s Labor Department Pulls Obama-Era Guidance on Independent Subs | Cross River Real Estate

The Department of Labor announced today it has withdrawn informal guidance that was widely regarded as an Obama Administration crackdown on companies’ use of independent contractors and of workers who in effect are employed by two companies jointly.

Of those, the 2015 guidance on independent subcontractors raised the greatest concerns among remodelers because it could have forced companies to treat those subs as employees and thus pay payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, and related costs on those workers.

“Removal of the administrator interpretations does not change the legal responsibilities of employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, as reflected in the department’s long-standing regulations and case law,” the Labor Department’s statement said. “The department will continue to fully and fairly enforce all laws within its jurisdiction, including the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act.”

The July 15, 2015, administrator’s interpretation by the head of the Wage and Hour Division–which no longer is available on the department’s website–basically declared the government will be looking closer at a subcontractor’s economic independence when deciding whether that sub really ought to be regarded as an independent enterprise. That represented a shift from past practices in which government reviews appeared to focus on whether a company controlled a supposedly independent contractor by setting that person’s hours, providing tools, and requiring the contractor wear the company’s uniform.

“[N]o single factor, including control, should be over-emphasized,”  David Weil, administrator of DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, wrote in that now-removed administrator’s interpretation. “Instead, each factor should be considered in light of the ultimate determination of whether the worker is really in business for him or herself (and thus is an independent contractor) or is economically dependent on the employer (and thus is its employee). The factors should be used as guides to answer that ultimate question of economic dependence.”

The interpretation came out three months after the Labor Department announced it had secured consent judgments with 16 defendants in Utah and Arizona who had claimed more than 1,000 of their workers were independent contractors. In that case, which yielded $700,000 in back wages and penalties, the defendants were accused of requiring the workers to become member/owners of limited liability companies. “These construction workers were building houses in Utah and Arizona as employees one day and then the next day were performing the same work on the same job sites for the same companies but without the protection of federal and state wage and safety laws,” DOL’s announcement said. “The companies, in turn, avoided paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll taxes.”

The joint employer rule basically involves whether one company effectively controls all the activities of another company and thus is responsible for what that second company does to its employees. The rule had multiple implications for cases in which contractors used subcontractors and companies related to franchises.

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http://www.remodeling.hw.net/business/operations/trumps-labor-department-pulls-obama-era-guidance-on-independent-subs_o?utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=Article&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=REM_060717%20(1)&he=bd1fdc24fd8e2adb3989dffba484790dcdb46483

Realtors: Homebuyers flooded housing market in first quarter | Cross River Real Estate

The first quarter of 2017 saw the strongest quarterly home sales pace in a decade, according to the latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors.

This increase in home sales put downward pressure on housing inventory levels and caused home prices growth to accelerate its rate of increase in the first quarter, the report states. In fact, metro home prices now accelerated for three consecutive quarters.

The national median home price increased to $232,100, up 6.9% from the first quarter of 2016. This represents the fastest rate of growth since the second quarter of 2015.

“Prospective buyers poured into the market to start the year, and while their increased presence led to a boost in sales, new listings failed to keep up and hovered around record lows all quarter,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Those able to successfully buy most likely had to outbid others, especially for those in the starter-home market, which in turn quickened price growth to the fastest quarterly pace in almost two years.”

Single family home prices increased in 85% of markets as 152 of 178 metropolitan statistical areas showed sales prices gains in the first quarter, the report states. However, in 14 MSAs, home prices decreased year-over-year.

“Several metro areas with the healthiest job gains in recent years continue to see a large upswing in buyer demand but lack the commensurate ramp up in new home construction,” Yun said. “This is why many of these areas, in particular several parts of the South and West, are seeing unhealthy price appreciation that far exceeds incomes.”

Total existing home sales, including single-family homes and condos, increased 1.4% in the first quarter to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.62 million, the highest rate since the first quarter of 2007.  This is up from 5.55 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and from 5.36 million in the first quarter of 2016.

Housing inventory, however, decreased 6.6% from 1.96 million homes for sale in the first quarter last year to 1.83 million this year. This average supply rested at 3.7 months in the first quarter, down from 4.2 months last year.

And while median income is increasing,, hitting a national average of $71,201, higher mortgage rates and home prices weakened affordability.

“Last quarter’s robust pace of sales was especially impressive considering the affordability sting buyers experienced from higher prices and mortgage rates,” Yun said. “High demand is poised to continue heading into the summer as long as job gains continue. However, many metro areas need to see a significant rise in new and existing inventory to meet this demand and cool down price growth.”

 

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http://www.housingwire.com/articles/40118-realtors-homebuyers-flooded-housing-market-in-first-quarter?eid=311691494&bid=1755028

Mortgage rates rise slightly | Cross River Real Estate

Multiple closely watched mortgage rates moved higher today. The average rates on 30-year fixed and 15-year fixed mortgages both rose. The average rate on 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, meanwhile, also increased.

Rates for mortgages are constantly changing, but they continue to represent a bargain compared to rates before the Great Recession. If you’re in the market for a mortgage, it may make sense to lock if you see a rate you like. Just make sure you shop around first.

30-year fixed mortgages

The average 30-year fixed-mortgage rate is 3.89 percent, up 4 basis points over the last week. A month ago, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was higher, at 3.99 percent.

At the current average rate, you’ll pay principal and interest of $471.10 for every $100,000 you borrow. That’s an increase of $2.29 over what you would have paid last week.

15-year fixed mortgages

The average 15-year fixed-mortgage rate is 3.10 percent, up 5 basis points from a week ago.

Monthly payments on a 15-year fixed mortgage at that rate will cost around $695 per $100,000 borrowed. The bigger payment may be a little harder to find room for in your monthly budget than a 30-year mortgage payment would, but it comes with some big advantages: You’ll save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan in total interest paid and build equity much more quickly.

5/1 ARMs

The average rate on a 5/1 ARM is 3.16 percent, up 5 basis points over the last 7 days.

These types of loans are best for those who expect to sell or refinance before the first or second adjustment. Rates could be substantially higher when the loan first adjusts, and thereafter.

Monthly payments on a 5/1 ARM at 3.16 percent would cost about $430 for each $100,000 borrowed over the initial five years, but could increase by hundreds of dollars afterward, depending on the loan’s terms.

 

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http://www.bankrate.com/financing/mortgages/mortgage-rates-for-monday-may-1/

Time to Build a Single-Family Home | Cross River Real Estate

With the end of 2016 approaching, NAHB’s Eye on Housing is reviewing the posts that attracted the most readers over the last year. In July, Na Zhao examined typical construction durations for various types of single-family homes and regions.


The 2015 Survey of Construction (SOC) from the Census Bureau shows that the average completion time of a single-family house is around 7 months, which usually includes almost a month from authorization to start and another 6 months to finish the construction. The timeline from authorization to completion, however, is not consistent across the nation, depending on the housing category, the geographic location, and metropolitan status.

Among all the single-family houses completed in 2015, houses built for sale took the shortest time, 6 months to completion after obtaining building permits, while houses built by owners required the longest time, almost a year. Homes built for rent took 9 months from permit to completion, and those built by hired contractors normally needed around 8 months. A large proportion of single-family homes built for sale and on owners’ land built by contractors began construction within the same month after obtaining building authorizations. However, homes built for rent and built by owners had a one-month lag between permits and construction start in 2015.

Slide1

The average time from authorization to completion also varies across the nation. New England division had the longest time of 10 months, followed by the Middle Atlantic of 9.6 months, East South Central, East North Central, and Pacific of 8 months in 2014. These four divisions all had above average time from permit to completion. The shortest period, 6 months, happened in the Mountain division, which also had the shortest waiting period from permit to construction start.

permit_compper_start

 

 

The metropolitan status indicates how long it takes to build a single-family home. Houses in metropolitan areas, on average, took nearly 7.5 months to completion, which was 2 months shorter than those in non-metropolitan areas. This pattern was quite consistent across the nation, except for the Middle Atlantic division where the average month to completion in metropolitan areas was longer than in non-metropolitan areas in 2015.

Slide2

The SOC also collects sale information for houses built for sale, including the sale date when buyers sign the sale contracts or make a deposit. In 2015, the share of single-family sold while under construction was 66%, with 32% even sold before construction start and 12% sold during the same month of completion. The percent of single-family houses completed in 2015 stayed unsold at the first quarter of 2016 was only 6%.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/12/top-posts-of-2016-time-to-build-a-single-family-home-in-2015/

Home prices increasing annually | Cross River Real Estate

Home prices continued their increasing trends continued to increase in July, but at a slower rate than before, according to the most recent report by S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices released by S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic.

“The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index is within 0.6% of the record high set in July 2006,” said David Blitzer, S&P Dow Jones Indices managing director and chairman of the Index Committee. “Seven of the 20 cities have already set new record highs.”

“The 10-year, 20-year, and National indices have been rising at about 5% per year over the last 24 months,” Blitzer said. “Eight of the cities are seeing prices up 6% or more in the last year. Given that the overall inflation is a bit below 2%, the pace is probably not sustainable over the long term.”

Annually, the National Home Price index showed a gain of 5.1% in July. This is up slightly from June’s 5% annual gain. The 10-City Composite increased by 4.2% annually and the 20-City Composite increased by 5%. Each of these is down from June’s 4.3% and 5.1% for the respective composites.

Click to Enlarge

Case-SHiller

(Source: S&P Dow Jones Indices, CoreLogic)

“Both the housing sector and the economy continue to expand with home prices continuing to rise at about a 5% annual rate,” Blitzer said. “The statement issued last week by the Fed after its policy meeting confirms the central bank’s view that the economy will see further gains.”

While the Federal Open Market Committee did not raise rates at their last meeting, Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve System chair of the Board of Governors, explained, “Our decision does not reflect a lack of confidence in the economy.”

She explained the Fed preferred to take a more cautious approach to see if current growth would continue.

“Most analysts now expect the Fed to raise interest rates in December,” Blitzer said. “After such Fed action, mortgage rates would still be at historically low levels and would not be a major negative for house prices.”

Out of the 20 cities, Portland, Seattle and Denver reported the highest annual gains over the last six months. In July, Portland increased 12.4%, Seattle increased 11.2% and Denver increased 9.4%.

After seasonal price adjustment, the National Index increased by 0.4% monthly but the 10-City Composite decreased 0.1%. The 20-City Composite remained unchanged.

 

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http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38133-case-shiller-results-barely-miss-july-2006s-high?eid=311691494&bid=1540391

Pending Sales Down | Cross River Real Estate

The Pending Home Sales Index declined 2.5% in January, but has increased year-over-year for 17 consecutive months. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), decreased 2.5% in January to 106.0 from an upwardly revised 108.7 December, and was 1.4% above the same month a year ago.

Pending Home Sales January 2016

The PHSI increased slightly in the South by 0.3%, but fell in the remaining three regions, ranging from a 3.2% decrease in the Northeast to a 4.9% decrease in the Midwest. Year-over-year, three regions increased, ranging from 10.9% in the Northeast to 0.4% in the West. The South decreased 1.3% from the same month a year ago.

Existing sales increased 11.0% in 2015, and improving economic conditions and rising employment suggest a continuing recovery in existing sales. However, both housing starts and new home sales stumbled in January. Also, the long-term weakness among first-time buyers will continue to dampen all sales in 2016.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/02/pending-sales-down-2/

Gen Xers more likely than Millennials or Boomers to buy a home | Cross River Real Estate

MCLEAN, VA–(Marketwired – Nov 18, 2015) – Freddie Mac

  • Gen Xers more likely than Millennials or Boomers to buy a home
  • Millennials more likely to save for short- and long-term goals
  • Renters offset rent hikes by spending less on essentials and are considering getting a roommate

Renters indicate they still feel challenged with their finances and 66 percent are carrying debt each month, according to a recent Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) survey. Yet, the majority of renters (56 percent) are optimistic about managing their debt. Renters are also saving money for numerous priorities and a down payment on a home is not at the top of their list. In addition, Gen Xers are more likely than Millennials or Boomers to buy a home in the next three years.

For the Freddie Mac quarterly online survey, conducted in October on its behalf by Harris Poll, renters currently saving for all listed goals place a higher priority on saving money for an emergency/unexpected expense (59 percent), retirement (51 percent) and children’s education (50 percent) than a down payment on a home (39 percent) or a vacation (26 percent). They also indicate that they are behind in saving for those things.

Looking across generations, Millennial renters are more likely to be saving for short- and long-term goals than Boomer and Gen X renters. For example, Millennial renters are more likely to be saving for a major purchase (92 percent) and a vacation (94 percent), when compared to Boomers (82 percent and 81 percent respectively) and Gen Xers (77 percent and 75 percent respectively).

“We know rents are rising faster than incomes and now we have data to show that many renters don’t have enough to pay all their debts each month, which is forcing them to make tradeoffs, such as cutting spending on other items,” said David Brickman, Freddie Mac executive vice president of Multifamily. “Despite this, some renters feel optimistic about managing their debt.”

Brickman added, “Growth in the renter segment will most likely occur through multifamily properties as more than half of those currently renting single-family properties are planning to become homeowners in the near future. The data shows single-family renters are increasingly more dissatisfied than multifamily renters.”

Ways to Offset a Rent Hike

The many ways in which renters are making adjustments due to rent increases include:

  • 51 percent are spending less on essentials, the same as last quarter.
  • 52 percent put off plans to purchase a home, compared to 44 percent in June.
  • 35 percent are contemplating getting a roommate, up from 29 percent in June.
  • 26 percent say they need to move into a smaller rental property, compared to 20 percent in June.

The Future Homebuyer

When broken out by generations, 58 percent of Gen X renters expect to purchase a home in the next three years, compared to 42 percent of Millennials and 33 percent of Baby Boomers.

Overall, almost half (48 percent) of renters in single-family properties are dissatisfied with renting, and are more likely to purchase a home in the next three years than multifamily renters (57 percent vs. 28 percent).

Satisfaction with Rental Experience

The satisfaction rates from the March, October and June surveys this year are virtually unchanged, with a third of renters being very satisfied with their rental experience and almost a third (30 percent) indicating they are moderately satisfied. In the October survey,

  • 70 percent of satisfied renters are likely to continue renting for the next three years, up slightly from 68 percent in the previous quarter.
  • 30 percent of satisfied renters indicate they are more likely to buy a home, compared to 32 percent in the previous quarter.

In addition, the top favorable factors for renting remain about the same and are freedom from home maintenance (79 percent), more flexibility over where you live (74 percent) and protection against declines in home prices (68 percent).

Additional details about the survey, including charts, are on the Freddie Mac website.

Mortgage Rates average 3.94% | Cross River Realtor

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates reversing course and nudging higher for the first time in four weeks.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.94 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending August 13, 2015, up from last week when it averaged 3.91 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.12 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.17 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.13 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.24 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.93 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.95 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.97 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.62 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.54 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.36 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.

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

“The jobs report for July showed that the economy added 215,000 jobs, in line with expectations. Wage growth remains modest at 2.1 percent compared to the same time last year, and another solid if not stellar employment report leaves a potential Fed rate hike on the table for September. However, this year’s theme of overseas economic turbulence continues with the focus shifting east to China. Over the past few days the Chinese Yuan has fallen sharply. In the midst of these mixed data mortgage rates inched up, increasing 3 basis points to 3.94 percent. Headed into the fall, we’ll likely see continued interest rate tension, with dollar appreciation weighing against possible Fed rate hikes leaving the rate outlook clouded.”

Employment Situation in June for Housing | Cross River Real Estate

Strong job gains in April and May were revised downward by 60 thousand and the unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points based on a reversal of the labor market expansion in May. Overall, the employment situation in June was decent, but the recovery from the weakness in March was less vibrant than originally estimated.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that payroll employment expanded by 223 thousand in June. This brings average monthly payroll gains to 208 thousand in the first half of 2015 compared to 239 thousand in the first half of 2014 and 260 thousand for all of 2014. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.3% in June from 5.5% in May despite a decline in employed persons in the household survey and based on a reduction in the labor force of 432 thousand. The labor force expanded by 397 thousand in May.

blog emp 2015_06

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/07/