Buoyed by a strong economy and continued low mortgage rates, the New York State housing market showed an upward climb in sales and listings in September, according to the housing market report released today by the New York State Association of REALTORS®.
Closed sales in New York totaled 11,467 units in the month of September, a 1.6-percent increase from this time last year. New listings and pending sales rose substantially in September – up 7.5-percent to 18,161 homes and 7.6-percent to 11,182 respectively.
For the third quarter, closed sales were down marginally, 0.8-percent to 38,722 homes but both new listings and pending sales trended upward. There were 56,361 new listings this quarter, a 1.2-percent increase, while pending sales rose 4.9-percent to 37,766 homes.
Interest rates remained low, down 0.1-percent to 3.61 percent on a 30-year fixed mortgage, according to Freddie Mac. This is the fourth consecutive month that interest rates were below 4.0-percent.
Median sales prices once again climbed in September, up 5.7-percent to $280,000. Quarterly prices surged upwards as well, rising 5.5-percent to $290,000. Inventory levels were down for September, 2.9-percent to 71,737 homes for sale.
To buy a house in the once-elegant Miramar neighborhood of Havana, the average Cuban must have saved all of his salary since British troops captured the city in 1762.
That house would cost about 100,000 Cuban convertible pesos, or CUCs — the equivalent of $1.13 U.S. What isn’t even close to equivalent is the pay scale. The average Cuban earns 370 CUCs per year as a computer programmer, state shop administrator, policeman, postman or teacher.
That disparity alone isn’t startling. Almost every city in the world has elegant homes that only the elite can afford, while average residents live in moderately priced homes. But in Cuba, the price for even a modest home far outstrips local wages.
According to official figures, the 5,000 CUC asking price for a dilapidated residence in less-desirable Havana neighborhoods like Alamar Jesús María, Luyanó and Párraga equals 13.5 years of salary for an average worker. A modest 20,000 CUC apartment in Vedado amounts to 54 years of average earnings.
Successful business owners, medical personnel who have worked abroad, artists and others may be able to afford the high prices. But its people living abroad – some of them Cubans, some not – who are often buyers.
Making the situation more difficult for island-based Cubans is the financial structure. Cubans cannot access mortgages or bank loans. Real estate purchases in Cuba are generally made in cash — although sometimes the buyers throw in a car, another property, television sets, air conditioners, water pumps and even furniture.
The largest transactions are often discreetly sealed outside Cuba, many of them in Miami.
Since the Cuban government legalized the sale of private residences in 2011, thousands of houses and apartments have changed hands each year.
It was a time of change throughout the island, noted Emilio Morales, director of The Havana Consulting Group, a Miami company that monitors the Cuban economy. “The authorization for selling homes arrived at the same time as self-employment and the elimination of the ‘White Card’ permit to travel abroad. People started selling their homes to invest in a business or to finance their move abroad.”
Today more than 8,000 properties are available for sale in Cuba at any one time. Four out of five are in Havana, home to one in four Cubans.
The island’s complex real estate market is plagued by a lack of information, funding shortages and legislative gaps. Sellers don’t trust real estate agents, who are not officially organized. There are no independent inspectors or appraisers, no property insurance or transparent documents.
But perhaps the heaviest cloud over the real estate market is the well-founded fear that the laws allowing the sale of private homes can be recalled at any time.
“The current trend toward limiting the private sector, from restaurants to home rentals that were proving so successful, will soon bring with it a contraction of the real estate market,” said Morales. “That was the real aim, because the private sector was winning the competition against the inefficient state sector at all levels, from shoe manufacturing to hostels in private homes.”
A lot of factors play into the cost of a home painting project. The type of paint, the number of rooms, the siding material and the height of the house all have an impact. According to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide, homeowners pay an average of $1,500 to $4,000 to have their home exteriors painted and $1,000 to $3,000 to have their entire home interior painted. So, how much will your project cost? And what factors do you have to consider?
When to Paint
Interior Beyond apparent fading and wear, or simply changing up your style, there are a few parameters for how often interiors should be painted – and how frequently you should factor painting into your annual home improvement budget.
How Often to Paint Interior Rooms
Exterior Climate and maintenance practices will determine how often you’ll need to paint your home. But the type of siding you have plays a major role.
The best time of year to paint exteriors is in the late spring and during the summer—when the weather is warmer and dryer, for optimum application conditions.
DIY vs Hiring A Pro
If it’s within your budget, you’ll get the most out of your investment by hiring an expert for your painting project. Experienced painters can do the work in better time. Plus, they’ll have the equipment and training to perform the best preparation and application.
If you do hire a pro, be wary of low quotes. “The wording they’ll use a lot of times is: ‘We guarantee coverage,’” says Nick May, owner of Walls By Design in Denver, Colo. “And that just means they’re going to do one coat and touchups. So, really be sure the contractor spells out: ‘How many coats am I doing? How am I applying it?’”
If you’d prefer to save money and paint your home yourself, keep in mind that it’s easier and safer to paint your home interior yourself than it is to paint the exterior. There are many dangers associated with exterior work — especially on homes with multiple stories.
Interior Painting Costs The typical cost of supplies is $200-$300 for one room, which includes tarps, ladders, tools and paint. If you hire an expert, you’re likely to pay $400-$800 per room or $1,000-$3,000 for the whole home.
Exterior Painting Costs An average-sized house calls for 12 gallons of paint, which averages $400-$900. With supplies like extender poles and ladders, you’ll pay roughly $600 to $1,200 to paint your home’s exterior yourself. If you hire a painter or painting company, you’ll pay around $1,500 to $4,000. This price fluctuates according to the number of stories and the type of surface being painted. Painting a three-story home could cost over $5,000. And painting concrete or vinyl siding tends to cost less than painting wood or stucco.
“Paint is the least expensive thing you can get the biggest bang for in your house. You can spend $5,000 on a dining room set, or you can spend $5,000 on paint and redo your whole entire house.”– Nick May, Owner of Walls by Design in Denver, Colo.
The quality and type of paint you choose can make all the difference in extending the life of your paint job. “Really understand your options,” says May. “Most paint companies make a good paint, but they also can sell a crappy paint. Some paints hide better; some paints perform better; some paints will touch up better.”
Interior Color and Finishes Bedrooms are best in soothing colors like blue and green. Living rooms can be done in energizing colors like red or purple, but blue and beige are also good tones. And kitchens and bathrooms should be painted clean blues, grays, whites and neutrals. If you can’t decide, you can consult with an interior designer for advice. As far as finishes, semi-gloss has the best moisture resistance and is easy to clean — perfect for kitchens and bathrooms. And satin and eggshell are top sheens for bedrooms and living rooms.
Exterior Color and Materials Beige comes out on top as the most popular and best color for exteriors, followed by similar neutrals, blues and grays. Mute and forest greens, as well as brick reds, are also good choices. Stay away from obnoxious yellows, oranges, and too-bright greens, blues and pinks. For finishes, satin is most commonly used on the entirety of the exterior. And a glossy finish works best on details like doors and window sashes.
If you’re struggling to choose a color for your painting project, look for a pro who offers color consulting among their services. “We know that’s one of the biggest barriers to entry for a homeowner when they’re painting their house,” says May. “So, we just made a decision, almost since the beginning, to have trained color designers that go out and work with customers.”
Yardi: U.S. Multifamily Rents Fall to $1,419 in November
Year-over-year rent growth cools to 3.1%; growth remains strongest in the West and South.
U.S. multifamily rents fell by $2 in November, down to a national average of $1,419, according to the latest Matrix Monthly report by Yardi Matrix. Year-over-year (YOY) rent growth fell by 10 basis points (bps) at the same time, down to 3.1%.
Yardi attributes this shallow decline to normal seasonal fluctuation. Both multifamily rents and rent growth peaked in September, at $1,422 and 3.3%, respectively, or $3 and 20 bps above current rates. The year’s rent growth matches November’s, at 3.1%, slightly above Yardi’s estimates at the start of the year.
Deliveries have plateaued, at nearly 300,000 per year, in each of the past three years, and occupancy remains at or above 95% in most markets. New household formation is running at 1.5 million new households per year.
Of the nation’s largest metro markets, Las Vegas has the highest rent-growth rate, at 7.4%, propelled by strong job growth outpacing new unit supply. Yardi predicts this market will remain under supplied, as units under construction and planned in Las Vegas represent only 4.0% of the metro’s total stock. Phoenix comes in second, at 6.6%, followed by California’s Inland Empire, at 5.4%.
Despite out migration and high costs of living, five of the top 10 markets for YOY rent growth are in California, including San Jose (5.0%), Los Angeles (4.2%), and San Francisco and San Diego (both at 4.0%). All of these markets are in the bottom seven in deliveries as a percentage of stock—Sacramento and the Inland Empire are growing at a rate of less than 1% per year.
Rent growth was flat at the national level on a trailing three-month (T-3) basis, which compares the past three months with the previous three months. A few under supplied, warm-climate markets experienced growth, including Las Vegas (0.6%) and Phoenix (0.3%), while rents declined at the metro level in most major markets. Seattle and San Jose experienced the largest rent drops on a T-3 basis, at -0.6%.
Again, Yardi attributes this slowdown to the seasonality of most of these markets and notes that these figures represent normalcy and stability in the multifamily sector, as rents have historically cooled in November and December.
Despite some worries about the state of the economy, Yardi expects multifamily capital to remain readily available through 2019, especially because multifamily assets are considered less risky than other property types. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, multifamily (and industrial) lending rose by 19% YOY in the third quarter, despite an overall 7% drop in commercial mortgage origination. Life companies and the GSEs posted slight increases in lending, while CMBS lending fell 53% YOY, and commercial bank lending dropped 22%.
An NAHB study shows that, on average, regulations imposed by government at all levels account for 24.3 percent of the final price of a new single-family home built for sale. Three-fifths of this—14.6 percent of the final house price—is due to a higher price for a finished lot resulting from regulations imposed during the lot’s development. The other two-fifths—9.7 percent of the house price—is the result of costs incurred by the builder after purchasing the finished lot.
NAHB’s previous 2011 estimates were fairly similar, showing that regulation on average accounted for a quarter of a home’s price. However, the price of new homes increased substantially in the interim. Applying percentages from NAHB’s studies to Census data on new home prices produces an estimate that regulatory costs in an average home built for sale went from $65,224 to $84,671—a 29.8 percent increase during the roughly five-year span between NAHB’s 2011 and 2016 estimates.
In comparison, during that time, disposable income per capita in the U.S. increased by 14.4 percent. In other words, the cost of regulation in the price of a new home is rising more than twice as fast as the average American’s ability to pay for it.
The above estimates are based largely on questions included in the survey for the March 2016 NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, combined with long-run assumptions about average construction times, interest rates, profit margins, etc. The survey questionnaire and an appendix describing each additional assumption and the data on which it’s based can be found in the full study. The full study also contains substantial additional detail on the different types of regulatory costs and where and how they impact the development-construction process.
Sales of new single-family houses in the United States fell 7.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 609,000 in August of 2016, better than market expectations of an 8.8 percent decline. Figures for the previous month were revised up by 5,000 to 659,000, the highest since 2007. New Home Sales in the United States averaged 652.45 Thousand from 1963 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 1389 Thousand in July of 2005 and a record low of 270 Thousand in February of 2011. New Home Sales in the United States is reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.
On May 2016 Total housing units starts were at seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,164,000 units, an decrease of 8,000 units or -0.68 % from 1,172,000 units April 2016 and an increase of 12.36 % from 1,036,000 units May 2015.
New Housing Units Started (Seasonally adj. at Annual Rate, in % Y/Y)
Housing Starts in the United States is expected to be 1163.61 Thousand by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Housing Starts in the United States to stand at 1193.24 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States Housing Starts is projected to trend around 1213.00 Thousand in 2020, according to our econometric models.
United States Housing Starts Forecasts are projected using an autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model calibrated using our analysts expectations. We model the past behaviour of United States Housing Starts using vast amounts of historical data and we adjust the coefficients of the econometric model by taking into account our analysts assessments and future expectations. The forecast for – United States Housing Starts – was last predicted on Friday, June 17, 2016.
The number of homes nationwide gaining value on a monthly basis increased during the third quarter from 56.80 percent in July to 59.37 percent of all homes in September and the appreciation rate increased for the third straight month. However, the percentage of homes gaining value still trails the rate of 66.31 percent in September 2014, Allan Weiss, CEO of Weiss Analytics, reported
As more homes moved out of price stagnation (with annual value change within plus 1.5% to -1.5% per year) houses both appreciating and decreasing both increased. The percentage of homes losing value rose during the quarter, from 23.40 percent in July to 26.37 percent in September.
Unlike reports based on listings or sales prices that cover only the 3 to 4 percent of homes that are sold every year, Weiss Analytics tracks actual values for all homes, using repeat sales indexes for nearly 45 million individual properties. The Weiss index database makes it possible to provide highly accurate value trends for specific addresses and measure trends in change values on a hyper local level. Weiss home value forecasts are widely used to determine owners’ equity, help home buyers make decisions and provide accurate forecasts of future value for lenders and investors.
“It’s too soon to know if the gain over the past three months will become a significant trend. We are still seven points below the appreciation rate last year and the gap in depreciating homes has grown to more than 12 points—a cause for concern in many markets. Moreover, trends in appreciation are reflecting significant regional differences. Hotter markets in the West and Pacific States reflect rising prices and impact affordability in some markets. Levels of appreciation found in markets like Trenton, Worcester and Allentown are falling at double digit rates,” said Allan Weiss, CEO of Weiss Analytics and former CEO of Case Shiller Weiss.
National Percentages of Appreciating and Depreciating Homes
The selected markets below illustrate the regional nature of appreciation trends today. Markets that enjoyed high rates of participation in rising values like San Francisco, Miami, Los Angeles and Denver have seen their participation rates drop dramatically. Among these markers, only Phoenix has a higher rate than it did a year ago.
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
Top Performing Markets
In September Flint, MI led the nation in percentage of appreciating homes, reaching 100 percent of the properties in the Weiss Analytics database, a 39.3 percent improvement over a year ago. Second was Reno, NV with 92.9 percent of homes appreciating. Portland was third with 96.3 percent. Six of the ten markets are Western.
Make this root cellar by burying a new concrete septic tank into a hillside.
Illustration by Len Churchill
The cool, moist and dark conditions of a root cellar make it the perfect place to keep many fruits and vegetables crisp and delicious for weeks — even months — of storage. And while there are myriad ways to store vegetables, our innovative root cellar plans show you how to build a root cellar by modifying a new, precast concrete septic tank. By following the plans, you’ll cut an entrance, install a door, add a pair of vent pipes and cover the tank with soil to bring an old-fashioned, walk-in cellar into your modern life.
Choose a Concrete Septic Tank
You’ll want to buy an unused septic tank for this root cellar design, but look for a deal to avoid paying full price. A percentage of all precast concrete septic tanks end up with small manufacturing defects that prohibit them from being used for sewage treatment. Suppliers sometimes offer discounts on these flawed tanks. As long as the tank is solid and sound, a chipped edge or a patchable hole won’t prevent it from being a root cellar. You won’t need the plastic fittings or effluent filter found inside most septic tanks, so ask the supplier to remove these before delivery.
Tank size is another detail you’ll need to consider when planning how to build a root cellar from a septic tank. The capacity of septic tanks is measured in gallons, with different models being taller or shorter. While you might be tempted to buy a 1,000- or 1,200-gallon tank because they’re common, you’ll get more food storage space and headroom with a tank that’s 1,500 gallons or larger. Standard 1,500-gallon tanks typically measure about 5 1/2 feet wide by 5 1/2 feet tall by 10 feet long, while a 2,500-gallon tank provides more than 6 feet of interior headroom. Don’t choose a low-profile tank because it will be much too short to work in. Prices for new, undamaged 1,500-gallon tanks start at about $1,100, and 2,500-gallon models can be found for as low as $1,600. Discounts for damaged tanks may be as much as 50 percent.
Most septic tanks have an internal partition that must be opened or removed to build from these root cellar plans. Try to find a tank without a partition, or ask your supplier to remove it before delivery. You can also punch through the partition yourself as part of the doorway-cutting process.