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Lewisboro NY Homes

Freddie Mac: Brexit to push housing market forward in 2016 | Waccabuc Real Estate

International concerns such as slowing growth in Chinaand the Brexit vote in the U.K. played a major role in driving down mortgage rates in the U.S., according toFreddie Mac’s monthly Outlook for July.

In fact, after the U.K’s vote to leave the European Union, mortgage rates continue to lower, closing the gap even more to all-time lows at 3.41%.

This is likely to result in a boost in housing activity, particularly refinance, as homeowners take advantage of the current low rates, according to Freddie Mac’s report.

“With the U.K.’s decision to exit from the European Union, global risks increased substantially leading us to revise our views for the remainder of 2016 and all of 2017,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti said.

“Nonetheless, the turbulence abroad should continue to create demand for U.S. Treasuries and keep mortgage rates near historic lows,” Becketti said. “Thereby, allowing home sales to have their best year in a decade, along with a boost in refinance activity.”

The remaining quarters of 2016 should show an increase in Gross Domestic Product at 1.9% and 2.2% in 2016 and 2017.

Due to these recent global pressures, Freddie Mac revised the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage forecast down by 30 basis points for 2016 and by 50 basis points for 2017 to 3.6% and 4% respectively.

With this new drop in mortgage rates, the refinance share of originations will rise by 49% in 2016, an increase of 8% from last month’s forecast. That will be an increase of $100 billion in originations, bringing the total to $1,825 billion.

 

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http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37499-freddie-mac-brexit-to-push-housing-market-forward-in-2016?eid=311691494&bid=1460292

Why are new home sales slumping? | South Salem Real Estate

The rising cost of residential real estate and a slowdown in the U.S. economy is making it harder to sell a house.

10445Sales of new homes plunged in September to the slowest pace in 10 months, the U.S. Commerce Department said Monday, a sign that higher prices and sliding economic growth weigh on the housing market. New-home sales slumped 11.5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000, the lowest level since November of 2014.

September’s drop ended a two-month streak of accelerating sales.

Monthly sales of new home often fluctuate sharply, and some forecasters cautioned against reading too much into the latest figures. Pointing to other indicators that show the sector continuing to rebound, such as the National Association of Home Builders’ housing activity index, economist Stephen Brown of Capital Economics said in a note that “we are confident that new home sales will rebound strongly in the coming months.”

Americans’ zeal for newly built homes took off this year, yet now appears close to having topped out. Solid hiring over the past three years has improved many family balance sheets, while rising home prices has returned equity to current homeowners now seeking to upgrade to new residential developments. Sales of new homes have soared 17.6 percent during the first nine months of 2015.

The median sales price of a new home rose 2.7 percent last month to $296,900, the highest price level this year, according to Oxford Economics.

But global pressures began to exert a downward pull on economic growth in recent months. Those pressures could be spread to the housing market if the drop in sales of new homes leads to a decline in construction.

“A stronger pace of sales will need to be seen for the recent stronger pace of single-family housing starts to be sustained,” said Ted Wieseman, an economist at Morgan Stanley.

Job gains slowed in September, while profit margins for many of the largest U.S. businesses with a global footprint stopped growing. The stronger dollar has punished exports abroad and cheaper oil prices have forced energy firms to cut workers and slash orders for pipeline and equipment.

The slowdown has yet to hit sales of existing homes as drastically, but the September pullback in newly built properties was severe.

Purchases of new homes slid in the Midwest, South and West, but plummeted a stiff 61.8 percent in the Northeast.

Prices have climbed sharply as well, making new construction less affordable for would-be buyers. The median new-home sales price has jumped 13.5 percent from a year ago to $296,900.

 

 

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http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-are-new-home-sales-slumping/

30 Year Mortgage Rates Average 4.08% | Katonah Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates reaching new 2015 highs heading into the holiday weekend and ahead of the June jobs report.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.08 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending July 2, 2015, up from last week when it averaged 4.02 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.12 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.24 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.21 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.22 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.99 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.98 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.98 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.52 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.50 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.38 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.

“Overseas events are generating significant day-to-day volatility in interest rates. Nonetheless, the week-to-week impact on most rates was modest — the 30-year mortgage rate increased just 6 bps, to 4.08 percent. The MBA composite index of mortgage applications fell 4.7 percent in response to what is now three consecutive weeks of mortgage rates over 4 percent. Other measures, however, confirmed continued strength in housing — pending home sales rose 0.9 percent, exceeding expectations, and the Case-Shiller house price index recorded another solid increase.”

Manhattan Studios Rentals Set Record | Katonah Real Estate

Manhattan’s smallest apartments are fueling big gains in rents.

The median rent in the borough jumped 8.9 percent last month to $3,375, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Costs for studio apartments climbed 10 percent to a median $2,351, while rents for one-bedrooms rose 9.4 percent to $3,400, both the highest in more than seven years of record-keeping.

New York’s smaller apartments are luring new tenants entering an improving job market in the city, as well as those who can’t afford bigger homes. Would-be buyers who have been shut out of owning because of high prices and tight credit are also lingering as renters.

“The studio and one-bedroom market is the more common jumping-off point for first-time buyers,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel and a Bloomberg View contributor. Rents are rising “because of the logjam that has been created by people who have either been priced out of the purchase market or don’t qualify for a mortgage.”

Manhattan apartment prices jumped to the highest since their 2008 peak in the fourth quarter as buyers competed for a limited supply of homes. Demand was greatest for one-bedroom apartments, which accounted for 38 percent of all sales last quarter, Miller said.

A strengthening job market is also fueling housing demand. New York City’s private sector added 112,300 jobs in the 12 months through January, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.1 percent that month from 8.3 percent a year earlier, the New York State Labor Department said Tuesday.

More Affordable

While employment is improving, incomes aren’t rising as fast as Manhattan rents, leading tenants to seek affordability by finding smaller spaces, Gary Malin, president of brokerage Citi Habitats, said in an interview.

“Smaller apartments are drawing more attention because there’s more of an appetite for those price points if there’s only a certain amount of money you can afford to spend,” Malin said.

Citi Habitats, which also released a report today on the Manhattan rental market, said the average rent for a studio increased 5 percent in February from a year earlier to $2,150. Rents for one-bedroom units climbed 3 percent to $2,893.

Rents declined at the higher end of the market. Two-bedroom units fell 2 percent to $3,957, and three-bedrooms dropped 1 percent to $5,133, Citi Habitats said.

 

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-12/manhattan-studios-set-rent-record-as-tenants-go-small

Alternatives to Putting 20% Down on a Home | Katonah Real Estate

 

It’s a mantra often repeated in the real estate industry: If you want to buy a house, you need a 20 percent down payment. But with the average house in the U.S. costing $311,400 as of December 2013, according to the Census Bureau, all one has to do is the math to get a coronary. Raising a 20 percent down payment isn’t an easy thing to do.

Fortunately, you don’t have to. “It’s a myth that all homebuyers must have a 20 percent down payment to buy a home,” says Nancy Herrera-Siples, a Riverside, Calif., branch manager at Primary Residential Mortgage.

“Putting less than 20 percent is OK with most banks,” agrees Christopher Pepe, president of Pepe Real Estate in Brooklyn, N.Y. So why do you constantly hear that you need to put 20 percent down? Because if you don’t, it usually means you’ll have to shell out money for either private mortgage insurance or government insurance, which is usually financed by the Federal Housing Administration. Mortgage insurance protects the lender in case you can’t make your payments and the house is foreclosed on. But PMI payments don’t last forever. When your loan-to-value ratio is 80 percent, you can ask the lender if you can stop paying PMI; at 78 percent, the lender is required to cancel it.

Still, PMI can easily cost a couple hundred dollars a month, assuming your house is valued in the neighborhood of $200,000. Pepe says the average he sees is $700 a month just for PMI. But keep in mind that he’s based in New York City, which boasts one of the highest costs of living in the country.

So if you really want a house and you’re looking for alternatives to putting 20 percent down, here’s what you need to know.

Figure out financing before looking for a house. There are numerous programs that will help you buy a home without 20 percent down, says Dan Smith, president of Private Mortgage Solutions, a mortgage bank in Atlanta.

 

 

http://news.yahoo.com/alternatives-putting-20-down-home-124500838.html

The best real estate plays in 25 years | Katonah Real Estate

 

The global real estate market in 2039 will be city-centric, with an increased focus on Asia and other emerging markets, and more investment by the public, according to senior executives at some of the world’s largest investment firms.

The big money sees China, India and other Asian markets as drivers of real estate growth—and investment opportunities.

“Asia will be the future of real estate over the next 25 years,” said Jonathan Gray, who manages about $79 billion for clients as global head of real estate for the Blackstone Group. “The largest investment markets will be in China, India and other countries in the region given their rate of growth. Both public and private real estate markets will be much, much bigger.”

A common criticism of Asian economic growth is the relative disregard for the environment. That concern could be a long term investment opportunity, such as taking advantage of high pollution in China, according to LaSalle Investment Management, a $47.6 billion real estate investment firm.

“Although China will be switching over to renewables by 2039, concerns about unhealthy air will be so intense after two decades of respiratory diseases that they could likely pioneer buildings with filtered air, oxygen supplements and artificial light to replace lost sunlight,” said Jacques Gordon, LaSalle’s head of global research and strategy.

Key to Asia’s rise in real estate will be the increasing importance of its urban centers, a global theme.

 

 

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101473257?__source=yahoo%7Cfinance%7Cheadline%7Cheadline%7Cstory&par=yahoo&doc=101473257%7CThe%20best%20real%20estate%20play

London House-Price Surge Drives U.K. Values in Spring Bounce | Katonah NY Real Estate

 

London house prices surged this month, helping national values post their best annual increase since before the financial crisis, Rightmove Plc said.

Asking prices in the U.K. capital jumped 5.2 percent to an average 541,313 pounds ($905,500) from January, the operator of Britain’s biggest property website said in a report today. On the year, they rose 11.2 percent. Nationally, values rose 3.3 percent from the previous month and 6.9 percent on the year, the best annual performance since November 2007.

“This month’s large rise is exacerbated by being a rebound from the festive-season lull,” said Miles Shipside, a director at Rightmove. “The spring moving season is traditionally the busiest time of the year, so that means agents are likely to advise new sellers to aim high, with the best-selling months ahead of them and strong buyer demand in many areas.”

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-17/london-house-price-surge-drives-u-k-values-in-spring-bounce.html?cmpid=yhoo

Lawn Care Tips for Busy People | Katonah NY Homes

 

A beautiful home is not only achieved through stylish interior design, but also through smart lawn care. Your lawn is the first thing that people notice about your home. Keeping a clean and healthy-looking lawn demands a lot of time and maintenance that may seem like a full-time job.

To achieve a lush green lawn, you need to commit to mowing it on a weekly basis to prevent the grass from turning yellow and dry. Lawn mowing also keeps your grass from growing too high and thwarts pests (e.g. weeds and animals such snakes and other vermin) from invading your yard.

Professionals barely have enough time to maintain even just a healthy lawn. Although we can’t add time to our busy schedules, we certainly can make smart changes to common lawn maintenance practices through these tips:

  • Know when to feed your lawn and stick to the seasonal feeding schedule. Do not feed your lawn daily so the grass will stop growing faster.
  • Don’t overuse your lawn mover. Allow a healthy growth of herbs in your lawn and use an effective lawn weed killer.
  • When mowing the lawn, try to cut them a little longer and allow herbs such as thyme to grow. This makes the lawn look greener, especially during dry spells.
  • Remove hard-to-mow areas or those areas that can’t be accessed by the mower. If you want to easily maintain your lawn, especially these tricky areas, consider using gravel to give your lawn more dimensions.
  • Get a high-powered mower that can do heavier tasks for you. Look for a machine that does most of the work in a single press of a button.
  • Leave some of the cuttings, but not all of them. These will provide enough nutrients in the soil and will help the grass to grow stronger and greener.

If you are a beginner, a gardener or an individual who does not have much time taking care of your lawn, at least prioritize these three maintenance tasks:

 

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/lawn-care-tips-busy-people-204228333.html