Tag Archives: Cross River NY Homes

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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U.S. Housing Stability Improves for Fourth Consecutive Month | Cross River Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released its newly updated Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®) showing the U.S. housing market continuing to stabilize at the national level for the fourth consecutive month. Thirty-eight of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, and 40 of the 50 metros, are now showing an improving three month trend. Three additional metros entered their benchmarked stable ranges of housing activity including Buffalo, Boston and Nashville.

News Facts:

  • The national MiMi value stands at 74.9, indicating a weak housing market overall but showing a slight improvement (+0.37%) from November to December and a positive 3-month trend of (+1.09%). On a year-over-year basis, the U.S. housing market has improved (+4.41%). The nation’s all-time MiMi high of 121.7 was April 2006; its low was 57.2 in October 2010, when the housing market was at its weakest. Since that time, the housing market has made a 31 percent rebound.
  • Sixteen of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with the District of Columbia (97.6), North Dakota (97.2), Montana (91.1), Hawaii (89.9) and Wyoming (89.1) ranking in the top five.
  • Eleven of the 50 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with Los Angeles (86.4), Austin (86.3), San Jose (83.9), Houston (83.3), and Pittsburgh (83.3) ranking in the top five.
  • The most improving states month-over-month were Delaware (+1.87%), Michigan (+1.28%), North Carolina (+1.18%), Oregon (+1.18%) and Texas (+0.85%) On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Nevada (+19.87%), Colorado (+11.42%), Rhode Island (10.52%), Illinois (+10.14%), and Ohio (+9.27%)
  • The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Detroit (+1.40%), Tampa (+1.28), Kansas City (+1.13%), Louisville (+1.12%), and Charlotte (1.04%). On a year-over-year basis the most improving metro areas were Las Vegas (+19.76%), Denver (+12.14%), Chicago (+10.93%), Providence (+10.35%) and Columbus (+9.36%).
  • In December, 38 of the 50 states and 40 of the 50 metros were showing an improving three month trend. The same time last year, 47 states plus the District of Columbia, and 47 of the top 50 metro areas were showing an improving three month trend.

Quote attributable to Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer:

“Housing markets are getting back on track. The national MiMi improved for the fourth consecutive month. Nearly 80 percent of the state and metro housing markets MiMi tracks are improving or in their stable range of activity. We’ve even seen the MiMi purchase application indicator increase 0.07 percent on a year-over-year basis. Low mortgage rates and moderating house price growth are helping to keep payment-to-income ratios favorable for the typical family in most of the country. In fact, Los Angeles is the only metro market with an elevated MiMi payment-to-income indicator whereas most other markets remain quite affordable. And of course, labor markets are generally improving.

“As we mentioned last month, we’re keeping an eye on markets with deep ties to energy. We’ve seen some deterioration on a month-over-month basis in some of these energy markets. For example, Louisiana has seen its state employment situation deteriorate over the last several months. A declining employment indicator has caused its MiMi score to move from 86.7 in April down to 80.2.”

The 2015 MiMi release calendar is available online. The February release of MiMi includes revisions to the Purchase Applications indicator based on the latest The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data.

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 50 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.

Mortgage Loan Rates Fall to 16-Month Low | Cross River Real Estate

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its most recent report on mortgage applications Wednesday morning. It noted a week­over­week increase of 14.2% in the group’s seasonally adjusted composite index for the week ending January 16, following a rise of 49.1% for the two­ week period endingJanuary 9. Mortgage loan rates dropped on all types of loans for the third consecutive reporting period and are now at levels equal to mid­2013.

On an unadjusted basis, the composite index increased by 17% week­over­week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased 3% compared to the week ended January 2. The unadjusted purchase index rose by 3% for the week and is now 3% higher year­ over ­year.

The MBA’s chief economist explained:
Mortgage application volume increased last week to its highest level since June 2013, led by a
22 percent increase in refinance application volume. This increase was largely due to mortgage
rates dropping to their lowest level since May 2013. However, the recent reduction in FHA
mortgage insurance premiums also played a role: FHA refinance applications increased 57
percent last week.
Adjustable rate mortgage loans accounted for 6.4% of all applications, up from 5.9% in the prior week.
The MBA’s refinance index increased 22% week­over­week, and the percentage of all new applications that were seeking refinancing rose from 71% in the prior week to 74%.

Conventional refinancing applications rose 21% week­over­week, while government refinancing rose 29%.
FHA refinancing applications rose 57%, raising the FHA share of all refinancings from 4.1% to 5.2%, compared with the prior week.


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Gorgeous Brooklyn Heights Townhouse Wants $7.2 Million | Cross River Real Estate

First up is this beautiful brick townhouse in Brooklyn Heights. The house was built in 1849 and there’s a ton of historic details, plus an elevator, 12′ ceilings, and bay windows overlooking a garden designed by landscape architect Alice Ireys. The place is 25′-wide and has around 6,500 square feet of living space. It’s asking $7.2 million.

↑ Over in Williamsburg, this three-story townhouse is asking $4.3 million. The place was built in 1890 and was gut-renovated 13 years ago. It’s currently configured for multiple families but it can be converted into a single-family home quite easily.

↑ This four-unit, two-story investment property in Weeksville is asking $1.495 million. The place is fully-rented and offers an income of $8,400/month. It has a two-car garage, separate boilers, hardwood flooring, and a coin operated laundry.



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US homebuilder sentiment slips in December | Cross River Real Estate


U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less confident in their sales prospects heading into next year, even as their overall sales outlook remains favorable.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Monday slipped this month to 57, down one point from 58 in November.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.

Builders’ view of current sales conditions and their outlook for sales over the next six months also declined slightly. A measure of traffic by prospective buyers held steady.

The index also found sentiment had improved in the West and Northeast, but took a step back in the Midwest and South, which accounts for half of the new-home market.

The latest reading reflects a housing market that is slowly recovering, said David Crowe, the NAHB’s chief economist.

“As we head into 2015, the housing market should continue to recover at a steady, gradual pace,” Crowe said.

Housing, while still a long way from the boom of several years ago, has been recovering over the past two years.

New home sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 458,000 homes in October, the highest point since May. Still, sales remain sharply below the annual rate of 700,000 seen during the 1990s.

At the same time, home prices continue to climb.

The median price of a home sold in October was $305,000, up 16.5 percent from a year ago. November data on new-home sales are due out next week.

The steady rise in home prices has held back many potential buyers, particularly first-time buyers. Many lack the savings and strong credit history needed to afford a home, causing them to rent or remain in their existing homes instead of upgrading.


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Renting Now Half as Affordable as Buying | Cross River Homes

As rent soars across the US, Zillow found that renting a home is half as affordable as buying one. In the third quarter of 2014, U.S. renters could expect to spend about 30 percent of their incomes on rent, while those buying homes could expect to spend just 15 percent of their monthly incomes on their mortgage payment.

The report reveals a big shift from the years before the real estate bubble, between 1985 and 2000, when rent was typically more affordable in major metros than buying.  Now, in most metros, those who can come up with a down payment are better off buying, in terms of affordability.

Even in the least affordable metros — like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Boston — renting was a more affordable option before the real estate market crash. But since then, rent has increased while the cost of buying a home has fallen in many places, so that renting is now the less affordable option — sometimes by a large margin.

Younger buyers making smaller down payments spend slightly more than other buyers on mortgage payments — a median of 17 percent of their incomes — but buying is still more affordable for them on a monthly basis.

“Despite rising home values, homeownership remains very accessible for buyers that can scrape together a down payment — even a relatively modest one — find a home to buy and secure financing,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries.

Humphries has said he expects 2015 to be a breakthrough year for younger buyers to enter the market, and many of those buyers will decide to buy because rent is so unaffordable. At the same time, some renters are spending so much on rent they will struggle to save for a down payment, even if they want to buy.


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Mortgage rates are lower | Cross River Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates down from the previous week. At 3.89 percent, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is at its lowest level since the week of May 30, 2013.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.89 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending December 4, 2014, down from last week when it averaged 3.97 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.46 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.10 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.17 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.47 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.94 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.01 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.99 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.41 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last from last week when it averaged 2.44 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.59 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 the Regional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Attributed to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Mortgage rates were down across the board on a week of underwhelming economic releases. New home sales missed consensus expectations by selling at an annual pace of 458,000 units in October and the National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales dipped in October by 1.1 percent. The ADP’s estimate for payroll growth in November was 208,000 jobs, under expectations of 225,000.”

New home sales squeak out weak gain in October | Cross River Real Estate

Sales of new homes in the United States printed at an annual rate of 458,000 for the month of October, up 0.7% from September.

This tepid gain was saved from being a decline by a surprising jump in sales in the Midwest, which saw 15.8% gains, and better than usual gains in the northeast of 7.7% month-over-month.

“The slight rise in new home sales in October is somewhat disappointing, as it is more of the same of what we’ve seen throughout 2014 – tepid growth in housing constrained by a slowly recovering economy,” said Quicken Loans vice president Bill Banfield.

October’s gain is 1.8% above the October 2013 estimate of 450,000.

But that month-over-month gain was only achieved because September’s new home sales figure was dramatically revised downward from 467,000 to 453,000.

Dragging down new home sales was the West and South, which saw a -2.7% decline and -1.9% decline, respectively.

The imbalance there is due to the fact that the West and the South are vastly larger housing markets compared to the Midwest and Northeast.

The median sales price of new houses sold in October 2014 was $305,000, while the average sales price was $401,100.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 212,000. This represents a supply of 5.6 months at the current sales rate.


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Mortgage volume stalls with rates | Cross River Real Estate


Mortgage rates-and applications-barely moved last week.

Total application volume fell 0.9 percent from the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Applications to refinance, which saw a brief surge on lower rates in October and then a precipitous drop when rates rose again this month, fell 2 percent from the previous week. Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 1 percent from the previous week but are still 11 percent below year-ago levels.

A bright spot in the mortgage market today appears to be for veterans. Loans guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs rose to 11 percent of total applications. Usually loans backed by the government mortgage insurer, the FHA, are more popular, but its share came in at 9.6 percent last week. Higher fees and insurance premiums have kept many borrowers away from even this low down-payment loan option.

VA loans require no down payment in most cases, and do not require mortgage insurance. This may be why they’ve gained popularity as home prices continue to rise.

“Apropos of Veteran’s Day, the VA share of the market reached a new high,” said Michael Fratantoni, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association. “VA’s share has exceeded FHA’s share of loan applications for the last three weeks.”


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DIY Spirit Reinvents an Industrial Home | Cross River Real Estate


After living for six years in his downtown Edmonton loft, in the Canadian province of Alberta, this homeowner was ready for a change. He liked the industrial nature of the space — soaring ceilings, raw redbrick walls, exposed ducting and conduit — but didn’t like its low-grade cabinetry. Plus, he was flat-out tired of his furniture.While he didn’t mind getting his hands dirty doing some of the work of refreshing the space, he knew he needed professional help when it came to the layout and choosing colors and furniture styles. He found designer Brenda Brix of AMR Design while searching for local professionals on Houzz and enlisted her help through a design consultation. She wrote up a detailed plan, and he implemented it himself, finding materials and furnishings and even teaching himself how to build and modify pieces.

For example, he bought mirror tiles and antiqued them. He took a basic pine cabinet from Ikea and distressed it. He even located his own stainless steel and installed it himself as a backsplash. “I wanted to add personal touches and cool things that people would come in and we could talk about them for five minutes,” he says.