Tag Archives: Cross River NY Realtor

Single-family home construction starts drop -6.8% | Cross River Real Estate

Single-family housing starts decreased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 722,000 in August, according to new residential construction data released by the Commerce Department Tuesday morning. August’s reading marks a significant -6.0% decrease from July’s upwardly-revised rate of 768,000. After three consecutive months of increases, August’s reading is disappointing. More significantly, August marks the first month in 2016 in which the pace of starts fell below the pace of starts seen a year earlier–compared to August 2015, one-unit starts are down -1.2%.

Single-family starts decreased significantly in the Northeast and South in August, dropping -13.8% and -13.1%, respectively, and bringing down total one-unit starts for the month. The Midwest (6.4%) and West (6.3%) posted gains month-over-month, and were the only regions to post an increase in pace year-over-year, with single family starts up 10.5% and 29.2%, respectively.

Total housing permits, the leading indicator for future starts, decreased -0.4% overall in August, due to a hefty -8.4% decrease in permits for multifamily construction with five units or more. Single-family permits increased 3.7% in August, indicating that the pace of starts will likely rebound in September. The Midwest and South posted the biggest gains in permits for one-unit structures, up 8.4% and 3.6%, respectively.

Total privately-owned housing completions dipped -3.4% month-over-month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,043,000. The decline is primarily due to a large decline in completions of multifamily structures of 5 units or more, which fell -11.0% from July, but one-unit completions also posted a marginal -0.3% decrease month-over-month to 752,000.





Housing Starts down year over year in April | Cross River Real Estate



WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Census Bureau jointly announced the following new residential construction statistics for April 2016:


Privately owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,116,000. This is 3.6 percent (±1.3%) above the revised March rate of 1,077,000, but is 5.3 percent (±1.3%) below the April 2015 estimate of Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 736,000; this is 1.5 percent (±0.8%) above the revised March figure of 725,000.  Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 348,000 in April.


Privately owned housing starts in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,172,000. This is 6.6 percent (±10.2%)* above the revised March estimate of 1,099,000, but is 1.7 percent (±10.1%)* below the April 2015 rate of 1,192,000. Single-family housing starts in April were at a rate of 778,000; this is 3.3 percent (±12.1%)* above the revised March figure of 753,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 373,000.


Privately owned housing completions in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 933,000. This is 11.0 percent (±12.3%)* below the revised March estimate of 1,048,000 and is 7.4 percent (±10.6%)* below the April 2015 rate of 1,008,000. Single-family housing completions in April were at a rate of 691,000; this is 3.6 percent (±12.6%)* below the revised March rate of 717,000. The April rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 232,000

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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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Rotterdam to consider trialling plastic roads | Cross River Real Estate

Dutch city could be first to pave its streets with recycled plastic bottles, a surface claimed to be greener, quicker to lay and more reliable than asphalt

Plans unveiled for recycled plastic roads are being considered by Rotterdam city council.
Plans unveiled for recycled plastic roads are being considered by Rotterdam city council. 


The Netherlands could become the first country to pave its streetswith plastic bottles after Rotterdam city council said it was considering piloting a new type of road surface touted by its creators as a greener alternative to asphalt.

The construction firm VolkerWessels unveiled plans on Friday for a surface made entirely from recycled plastic, which it said required less maintenance than asphalt and could withstand greater extremes of temperature– between -40C and 80C. Roads could be laid in a matter of weeks rather than months and last about three times as long, it claimed.

The company said the environmental argument was also strong as asphalt is responsible for 1.6m tons of CO2 emissions a year globally – 2% of all road transport emissions.

Rolf Mars, the director of VolkerWessels’ roads subdivision, KWS Infra, said: “Plastic offers all kinds of advantages compared to current road construction, both in laying the roads and maintenance.”

The plastic roads are lighter, reducing the load on the ground, and hollow, making it easier to install cables and utility pipelines below the surface.

Sections can be prefabricated in a factory and transported to where they are needed, reducing on-site construction, while the shorter construction time and low maintenance will mean less congestion caused by roadworks. Lighter materials can also be transported more efficiently.

Mars said the PlasticRoad project was still at the conceptual stage, but the company hopes to be able to put down the first fully recycled thoroughfare within three years. Rotterdam, a keen supporter of sustainable technology, has already signalled its interest in running a trial.

Jaap Peters, from the city council’s engineering bureau, said: “We’re very positive towards the developments around PlasticRoad. Rotterdam is a city that is open to experiments and innovative adaptations in practice. We have a ‘street lab’ available where innovations like this can be tested.”



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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Top 10 Cities for Flood Risk from Rising Seas | Cross River Real Estate

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s report, Sea Level Rise and Nuisance Flood Frequency Changes around the United States, identifies the top 10 U.S. cities with the highest increase in nuisance flooding between 1957-1963 and 2007-2013.

According to William Sweet, lead author of the report, “as relative sea level increases [in a city], it no longer takes a strong storm or a hurricane to cause flooding.” Which means that if your city is high on the list, road closures, maxed-out storm drains, and the inevitable damage that accompanies a flood will be coming your way (especially if you live on the East Coast).

Scientists examined data from 45 NOAA water level gauges around the country and compared that to long-term reports of number of days of nuisance floods to identify which metros are most at risk. 

Top 10 U.S. Areas for Nuisance Flooding*

*Averaging more than one flood on average 1957-1963, and for nuisance levels higher than 0.25 meters. “Nuisance level” correlates to the meters above the mean higher high water mark in each location.

1. Annapolis, Md.
Nuisance level: 0.29
Average nuisance flood days (1957 – 1963): 3.8 days
Average nuisance flood days ( 2007 – 2013): 39.3 days

2. Baltimore, Md.
Nuisance level: 0.41
Average nuisance flood days (1957 – 1963): 1.3 days
Average nuisance flood days ( 2007 – 2013): 13.1 days

3. Atlantic City, N.J.
Nuisance level: 0.43
Average nuisance flood days (1957 – 1963): 3.1 days
Average nuisance flood days ( 2007 – 2013): 24.6 days

4. Philadelphia, Pa.
Nuisance level: 0.49
Average nuisance flood days (1957 – 1963): 1.6 days
Average nuisance flood days ( 2007 – 2013): 12.0 days

5. Sandy Hook, N.J.
Nuisance level: 0.45
Average nuisance flood days (1957 – 1963): 3.3 days
Average nuisance flood days ( 2007 – 2013): 23.9 days

6. Port Isabel, Texas
Nuisance level: 0.34
Average nuisance flood days (1957 – 1963): 2.1 days
Average nuisance flood days ( 2007 – 2013): 13.9 days

7. Charleston, S.C.
Nuisance level: 0.38
Average nuisance flood days (1957 – 1963): 4.6 days
Average nuisance flood days ( 2007 – 2013): 23.3 days

8. Washington, D.C.
Nuisance level: 0.31
Average nuisance flood days (1957 – 1963): 6.3 days
Average nuisance flood days ( 2007 – 2013): 29.7 days

9. San Francisco, Calif.
Nuisance level: 0.35
Average nuisance flood days (1957 – 1963): 2.0 days
Average nuisance flood days ( 2007 – 2013): 9.3 days

10. Norfolk, Va.
Nuisance level: 0.53
Average nuisance flood days (1957 – 1963): 1.7 days
Average nuisance flood days ( 2007 – 2013): 7.3 days






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Helocs Jumped 8% in the First Quarter | Cross River Homes


A rebound in house prices and near-record-low interest rates are prompting homeowners to borrow against their properties, marking the return of a practice that was all the rage before the financial crisis.

Home-equity lines of credit, or Helocs, and home-equity loans jumped 8% in the first quarter from a year earlier, industry newsletter Inside Mortgage Finance said Thursday. The $13 billion extended was the most for the start of a year since 2009. Inside Mortgage Finance noted the bulk of the home-equity originations were Helocs.

While that is still far below the peak of $113 billion during the third quarter of 2006, this year’s gains are the latest evidence that the tight credit conditions that have defined mortgage lending in recent years are starting to loosen. Some lenders are even reviving old loan products that haven’t been seen in years in an attempt to gain market share.

In 2013, lenders extended $59 billion of Helocs and home-equity loans. The last pre-boom year near that level was 2000, when lenders extended $53 billion, according to Inside Mortgage Finance.

“We’re seeing much more aggressive marketing campaigns [for Helocs] by banks in locations where home prices have risen,” said Amy Crews Cutts, chief economist at Equifax Inc., a firm that tracks consumer-lending trends. She said Heloc originations picked up in recent months as consumers began home-improvement projects. “We expect to see quite an uptick in Heloc activity” in the spring, she said.

Unlike home-equity loans, in which the borrower receives a lump sum, borrowers can draw on Helocs as needed. They can sometimes take a tax deduction on the interest from the credit line.

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8 great estates for sale | Cross River Real Estate


Pedigree: Encompassing nearly 2,000 acres of Big Sky Country, this postcard-perfect ranch is anchored by a two-story main residence. Porches wrap around much of the home, whose handsome log-cabin aesthetic complements the timber construction of two historic barns on the site.

Property values: The scenic grounds (about 100 miles north of Yellowstone National Park) include a handful of other buildings, chief among them stables for up to seven horses and a refurbished 1889 pioneer schoolhouse.

Talking point: A private airstrip and hangar allow for quick-and-easy arrivals and departures by plane.


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Mortgage applications continue downward heading | Cross River Real Estate


Mortgage applications fell 5.9% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey of mortgage applications for the week ending April 25, 2014.

Applications perked up last week by 4.3%, breaking a four-week streak of declines.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell 5.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.

The Refinance Index decreased 7% from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4% from one week earlier.

“Both purchase and refinance application activity fell last week, and the market composite index is at its lowest level since December 2000,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist. “Purchase applications decreased 4% over the week, and were 21% lower than a year ago. Refinance activity also continued to slide despite a 30-year fixed rate that was unchanged from the previous week. The refinance index dropped 7% to the lowest level since 2008, continuing the declining trend that we have seen since May 2013.”



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Vacation homes are back in vogue | Cross River Homes


Vacation home sales rose strongly in 2013, while investment purchases fell below the elevated levels seen in the previous two years, according to the National Association of Realtors.

NAR’s 2014 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, covering existing- and new-home transactions in 2013, shows vacation-home sales jumped 29.7 percent to an estimated 717,000 last year from 553,000 in 2012.

Investment-home sales fell 8.5 percent to an estimated 1.10 million in 2013 from 1.21 million in 2012.

Owner-occupied purchases rose 13.1 percent to 3.70 million last year from 3.27 million in 2012. The sales estimates are based on responses from households and exclude institutional investment activity.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expected an improvement in the vacation home market. “Growth in the equity markets has greatly benefited high net-worth households, thereby providing the wherewithal and confidence to purchase recreational property,” he said. “However, vacation-home sales are still about one-third below the peak activity seen in 2006.”

Vacation-home sales accounted for 13 percent of all transactions last year, their highest market share since 2006, while the portion of investment sales fell to 20 percent in 2013 from 24 percent in 2012.

Yun said the pullback in investment activity is understandable. “Investment buyers slowed their purchasing in 2013 because prices were rising quickly along with a declining availability of discounted foreclosures over the course of the year,” he said.

“In 2011 and 2012, investment property was a no-brainer because home prices had sharply over corrected during the downturn in many areas, creating great bargains that could be quickly turned into profitable rentals. With a return to more normal market conditions, investors now have to evaluate their purchases more carefully and do their homework,” Yun added.

The typical vacation-home buyer was 43 years old, had a median household income of $85,600 and purchased a property that was a 180 miles from his primary residence.

Buyers plan to own their recreational property for a median of six years, down from 10 years in 2012.