Tag Archives: Cross River NY Real Estate

New Home Sales in September – Continuing Gains, Continuing Headwinds | Cross River Real Estate

The US Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development in a joint release reported that newly constructed single family homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 593 thousand in September, up 3.1% from a downwardly revised August figure, and up 29.8% from September 2015. However, note the monthly data is volatile and September was the lowest point in 2015 and the second highest point in 2016. Year over year growth in the trend in sales was 9.4%. Downward revisions to the July and August figures in no way diminish the upward trend that continues with the September figures.

The inventory of new single family homes for sale was 235 thousand, essentially flat in recent months after modest gains earlier in the year. Prices for new homes rose 3.5% from August and 1.9% from last September. A flat inventory in an environment of rising sales has put upward pressure on prices but expanding inventory has been a challenge given shortages of developed lots and skilled labor (NAHB). Both sales and inventories remain depressed by historical standards but the level of inventory given the pace of sales is in line with historical norms as builders balance caution and available resources in their efforts to meet expanding demand.

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/10/new-home-sales-in-september-continuing-gains-continuing-headwinds/

Features and Colors of Kitchens in New Homes | Cross River Real Estate

What are the features and colors included in kitchens of newly constructed homes? Data from Houzz, combined with information from the 2016 Builder Practices Survey, provides insight.

The 2016 Builder Practices Survey (BPS) is a national survey of homebuilders, conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs, that captures valuable information on the product features included in new residential construction, both single-family and multifamily.

It is a robust survey of 1,381 respondents who built single-family detached units and 199 respondents who built multifamily or single-family attached units (i.e. townhomes). Results are available on national and regional levels.

Analyzing the BPS can uncover interesting trends in the construction of new kitchens, such as countertop material type, cabinet type, and appliances.

Although the BPS covers a broad range of topics, it does not touch upon the color themes of kitchens in new construction. Houzz, an online platform dedicated to home remodeling and design, conducted an online survey on this very topic. Its survey asked recent buyers of newly constructed homes about the colors themes in their kitchens. The survey is national in scope and had 203 respondents.

Combining data from the BPS with the Houzz survey can provide powerful information on what today’s new kitchens look like. The following provides a snapshot of the 2015 product features and color themes included in kitchens of newly constructed single-family homes:

Countertops & Backsplashes
Figure 1 displays the type of countertop material installed in new kitchens. Granite countertops are overwhelmingly the most popular with 64 percent of new homes having this material type. It is no surprise that only 14 percent of new homes have laminate countertops. Based on NAHB’s Consumer Preference Surveyreport, laminate countertops are the least desired kitchen feature and are likely only installed when affordability is a major concern. Besides these material types, 9 percent each of new homes have engineered stone and solid-surface countertops.

Figure 1: Countertop Material Type (1)
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The Houzz survey provides insight on countertop color. Figure 2 displays the countertop color of those who have granite countertops, the most popular countertop material. Three color choices stand out: 30 percent of respondents have multi-colored countertops, 26 percent have white, and 18 percent have black. Twenty-six percent reported some other color, or were not sure about their countertop color.

Figure 2: Countertop Material Color (2)

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In addition to countertop material color, buyers also noted the color of their backsplashes (Figure 3). Twenty-six percent of respondents reported having white backsplashes, 13 percent reported beige, 12 percent reported multi-colored, and 6 percent reported gray. Forty-three percent reported some other color, or were not sure of their backsplash color.

Figure 3: Backsplash Color (3)

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Cabinetry
Figure 4 displays the types of cabinets installed in new homes. Wood-based cabinets are the most common, but there is variation in the panel type of wood cabinets. Sixty percent of new homes have raised panel wood cabinets, compared to 25 percent that have flat panel wood cabinets. Only 5 percent of new homes have laminate cabinets, and the remaining 10 percent consists of various other types, such as glass cabinets.

Figure 4: Cabinet Type (4)

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Figure 5 displays the cabinet colors reported by respondents in the Houzz survey. The most popular color is white (34 percent), followed by wood – medium tone (20 percent), gray (9 percent), wood – dark tone (7 percent), and multi-colored (6 percent).

Figure 5: Cabinet Color (5)

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Appliances
Figure 6 displays the percentage of new homes that have each appliance listed. Cooktops and ranges are almost always provided in new kitchens with 97 percent of new homes having these features. Features that are also commonly installed include dishwashers (92 percent), microwave ovens and garbage disposals (both 84 percent); and refrigerators and freezer (65 percent).

Items less frequently installed in new homes include clothes dryers and washers (36 and 34 percent, respectively), wall ovens (18 percent), hot water recirculation piping (17 percent), water softeners and central vacuum systems (both 13 percent); hot water dispensers and standby generators (both 8 percent); trash compactors (4 percent), and elevators (2 percent).

Figure 6: Percentage of New Homes that Include Appliance (6)

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Figure 7 displays the colors of appliances installed in new kitchens. Most respondents reported that “stainless steel” is the color theme of their appliances, 6 percent reported black, and 4 percent reported white.

Figure 7: Appliance Colors (7)

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The combination of data from the BPS and the Houzz survey provides a sense of what new kitchens look like. New kitchens tend to have granite countertops, raised panel wood cabinets, and come with a standard set of appliances, such as cooktops & ranges, microwaves, dishwashers and garbage disposals. New kitchens also have white, multi-colored, or wood-based color themes, and are complemented by “stainless steel” appliances.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/10/features-and-colors-of-kitchens-in-new-homes/

‘Zombie’ foreclosures decline across the country | Cross River Real Estate

As the foreclosure crisis recedes, some unwanted consequences continue to haunt neighborhoods around the country.

“Zombie” foreclosures — those properties that are currently in the foreclosure process but vacant — fell again in the third quarter, according to Attom Data Solutions. Zombies made up 4.7% of all foreclosures, down 9% from a year ago.

Among the top ten states for zombies, there have been some big declines: zombies are down 28% in Florida, 26% in California, and 14% in Illinois compared to a year ago. But they’re up 6% in New York and 3% in Massachusetts.

Still, as the housing market stays hot, lenders seem to be moving more quickly to take possession of properties where homeowners are having trouble. The number of vacant bank-owned properties jumped 67% in the third quarter compared to a year ago, to 46,604, Attom said.

The states with the biggest number of properties in foreclosure are also the states with the most zombies. They are mostly states that require foreclosures to go through a court process, including New York, New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, and Indiana.

Judicial foreclosures can be a blessing, because they provide protections to homeowners, and a curse, because they take so long to complete. The lengthy and complicated process increases the likelihood that a foreclosure will become a zombie — but the hot housing market increases incentives for struggling homeowners to fight to hold on to their properties.

 

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/zombie-foreclosures-decline-across-the-country-except-in-some-states-where-theyve-built-strongholds-2016-09-08

Luxury Dips While Mid-tier Zips | Cross River Real Estate

Call it poetic justice.  While median home prices continue their upward climb, in the third quarter luxury prices stumbled and fell for the first time in over three years.  Redfin reported prices of luxury homes fell 2.2% on a yearly basis, while prices for the rest of the market rose 3.8 percent in the same period.  (Luxury homes are defined by Redfin as the priciest 5% of all homes.)

The Institute of Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM)  reported a similar dip in July and August in its weekly market report.  But prices picked up in the fall to reach $390 a square foot, only to fall with the advent of Thanksgiving and the holiday season.  Currently ILHM reports the median luxury price to be $1,406,319 and the market definitely favors buyers over sellers. Properties in its survey have been on the market for an average of 156 days, (ILHM’s survey tracks homes listed for at least $500,000 in the top 10 zip codes for 31 major metro markets around the county.)

Though Redfin compared luxury price trends to market medians, Nela Richardson, Redfin’s chief economist, recognized how different the luxury is from the rest of real estate.

“High-end buyers are usually not weighed down by rates, mortgages or competition from other buyers, but they do look for deals,” she said in a news release. “It’s a bellwether of slowing price growth for the rest of the market.”

2015-12-08_15-23-20Redfin reported a dramatic divergence and luxury price trends from the rest of the market in the third quarter.

It’s also the most difficult segment of the market to track due the tendency for as many as a third of all sellers in high cost areas to market through pocket listings that keep their homes off the MLSs and the preponderance of 12 nondisclosure states that limit the disclosure of sales prices.

Redfin said luxury home prices fell at the sharpest rate in Scottsdale, Ariz. and Boca Raton, Fla. Both saw 15% declines on a yearly basis. Fort Lauderdale, Fla., reported a 14% decline. Redfin speculated that the declines in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale were due to a wave of luxury condos hitting the market at the same time. Washington, D.C.; Denver; Delray Beach, Fla.; and Bend, Ore., all saw double-digit increases in luxury home prices in the same third quarter.

2015-12-08_15-37-42ILHM reported prices dipped in the summer but rebounded before Labor Day, and now are down again with the advent of the holidays.

 

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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2015/12/luxury-dips-while-mid-tier-zips/

Mortgage rates average 3.85% | Cross River Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMM®), showing average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged despite ongoing global growth concerns putting downward pressure on Treasury yields.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.85 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending October 1, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 3.86 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.19 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.07 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.08 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.36 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.91 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.06 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.53 percent this week with an average 0.2 point, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.42 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.

“In contrast to the volatility in equity markets, the 10-year Treasury rate — a key driver of mortgage rates — varied just a little more than 10 basis points over the last week. As a result, the 30-year mortgage rate remained virtually unchanged, dropping 1 basis point to 3.85 percent. This marks the tenth consecutive week of a sub-4-percent mortgage rate. Despite persistently low mortgage rates, the pending home sales index dropped 1.4 percent in August, suggesting possible tempering in existing home sales in September.”

Home Prices are now only 6.5 Percent below Peak | Cross River Real Estate

In terms of national averages, the recovery has raised prices within a hair of their highest peaks reached during the boom nearly ten years ago, but on a market-by-market basis, median prices in fewer than half of the nation’s larger markets have fully rebounded from the housing crash.

At $251,000, US home prices are now just 6.5 percent off June 2006 peak of $268,000, and up over 25 percent from the market”s bottom, according to May data released today by Black Knight Financial Services.  Black Knight reported that its HPI index rose 1.1 percent in May over April and 5.1 percent over May 2014.

However, on a market-by-market basis, only 47 percent of the nation’s top 300 markets have met or exceeded their peaks in 2007. Homes.com, which tracks price rebounds by market, reported that in May 139 of the nation’s 300 largest markets had achieved full price recovery.

Homes.com reported that:

  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX (115.17% rebound percentage), Austin-Round Rock, TX (113.15%), and Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO (113.04%) led the nation’s top 100 markets  in rebound percentage in May.  In fact, nine of the top ten leading rebound markets were in the West.
  • Three of the nation’s beste online casino largest markets had at least a 7% increase yearly while seven markets had an annual percentage increase of at least 6%. Five markets are from California which is the most from a single state.
  • The West was home to nine of the top ten markets achieving the greatest year over year price appreciation in May.

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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2015/07/home-prices-only-6-5-percent-below-peak/

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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http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/06/housing-recovery-prices-and-production/

Mortgage rates move higher for third week in a row | Cross River Real Estate

Average fixed mortgage rates followed 10-year Treasury yields higher and rose for the third consecutive week, according to Freddie Mac.

At 3.85%, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is just below the high for 2015.

“Mortgage rates rose for the third consecutive week as 10-year Treasury yields continued to climb,” said Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist for Freddie Mac.

“The labor market continues to improve with U.S. economy adding 223,000 jobs in April, a solid rebound from merely 85,000 job gains in March. Also, the unemployment rate dipped to 5.4% in April as the participation rate ticked up to 62.8% and jobless claims were far less than expected.”

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.85% with an average 0.6 point for the week ending May 14, 2015, up from last week when it averaged 3.80%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.20%.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.07% with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.02%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.29%.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.89% this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.90%. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.01%.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.48% this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.46%. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.43%.

 

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http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33891-mortgage-rates-move-higher-for-third-week-in-a-row

 

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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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-28/home-prices-in-20-u-s-cities-rose-at-faster-pace-in-february

 

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.

 

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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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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2015/03/zillow-index-shows-access-to-credit-halfway-to-recovery/