Tag Archives: Mount Kisco Real Estate

Cladding used in many U.K. high-rises ‘combustible’ | Mt Kisco Real Estate

LONDON — Tests on the exterior cladding of tower blocks across Britain that use similar material found outside the building in west London where at least 79 people died in a fire have shown that some of them are “combustible,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said Thursday.

May said the tests were being carried out so that “all possible steps to ensure buildings are safe” were taken. Investigators believe that the type of exterior cladding used on the Grenfell Tower after a refurbishment last year may have caused the fire to spread more rapidly than if a different material was used. It had a plastic core.

The fire’s cause has not been established, although investigators suspect it may have started when a refrigerator exploded on one of the block’s lower floors.

There are thought to be approximately 4,000 tower blocks in Britain similar to the 24-storey residential complex in Kensington that went up in flames last week.

May said in an address to Parliament that authorities have been checking about 100 buildings a day and that the results come back within hours. Her office estimated that there are about 600 buildings in Britain that have the same type or similar cladding to that used in Grenfell Tower. However, May said it was still too early to draw conclusions about what caused the fire or why it appeared to spread so quickly.

“I urge any landlord who owns a building of this kind to send samples for testing as soon as possible. Any results will be communicated immediately to local authorities and local fire services. Landlords have a legal obligation to provide safe buildings and where they cannot do that we expect alternative accommodation to be provided. We cannot and will not ask people to live in unsafe homes,” she said.

May’s address came as the chief administrator of the neighborhood where the fire took place resigned Thursday, effectively marking the disaster’s first formal departure of a high-level official in the wake of Britain’s worst blaze in decades.

Nicholas Holgate, chief executive of the Kensington and Chelsea council, said he was asked to leave by May’s government. The initial days after the June 14 inferno were marked by chaos as authorities struggled to deal with the scope of the aftermath.

Residents who survived the tower blaze lost everything, only to get little help or information on how to secure shelter or vital supplies. Of the 600 people who lived in the tower block, many were low-income workers, recent immigrants and refugees.

Researchers at the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium believe the Grenfell Tower disaster is now the deadliest fire in mainland Britain since they started keeping close records at the start of the 20th century. A fire at Bradford City Stadium in northern England on May 11, 1985, killed 56 people.

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https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/06/22/london-fire-grenfell-tower/103097418/

Developers are chasing the lower end of the condo market | Mt Kisco Real Estate

New condominiums coming to market are getting cheaper, as developers work to capture buyers in the popular sub-$5 million market.

In Manhattan, the average unit price on condos approved for market by the New York Attorney General’s office has been steadily trending down over the past two years. Back in 2015, developers were shooting for an average unit price of just under $5 million, according to The Real Deal’s analysis of accepted offering plans for the borough. In 2016, that average had dropped 24 percent to just below $3.8 million. And it looks like the trend is here to stay. In the first four months of 2017, the analysis showed, the average accepted unit price in the borough was $3.1 million, down 18 percent from 2016’s average accepted price.

It’s more evidence developers are shifting gears to provide product for the lower end of the market.

“We’re trying to make sure apartments aren’t too big or too expensive, given where the market is,” said Steven Rutter, the director of new development at Stribling Associates. “It’s a larger strategy to design stuff that is more affordable. We know the under $5 million market is stronger.” Stribling is handling sales at Gluck + and Cogswell Lee Development’s 150 Rivington Street, a project that was approved for sale last year with apartments starting at $995,000. Rutter said many developers are now planning buildings with a different mix of unit sizes than two or three years ago. “Buyers are looking for value right now. There’s a lot for them to choose from.”

At Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, president Kelly Kennedy Mack said in some cases they are telling their developer clients to adjust their unit mixes to remain below certain prices — although it’s not a blanket approach.

“There’s been an intelligent and necessary response to supply and demand dynamics,” she said. Corcoran tracks when buildings open for sale, which the firm define’s as when a sales office opens, rather than when the AG approves the offering plan. Mack said five of the seven Manhattan developments that have become publicly available this year are targeting a mid-market price of between $1,800 and $2,400 per square foot. It’s now been a year since a development with an average asking price of $4,000 per square foot and above has opened, with Related Companies’ 70 Vestry the most recent last big-ticket item, according to Mack.

The shift towards cheaper new development product has also broadened the buyer pool, developers said. “We’ve introduced the new development market to people who haven’t been able to afford it it before,” said Dan Hollander, managing principal of DHA Capital. Its project at 75 Kenmare Street in Nolita, approved earlier this year, has an average unit price of $3.7 million, according to the AG’s office. The company opted for lower prices following the success of its previous project at 50 Clinton Street, according Hollander, which launched in 2015 offering one-bedrooms for under $1 million and two-bedrooms for under $2 million. All but four of the 37 units are in contract at 50 Clinton, according to StreetEasy data. Hollander said targeting the lower price points and building more efficient-sized apartments was “experimental” at the time, but paid off because there’s so much demand in the sub $5-million market. “A lot of people want to get into a new condo… It’s a very appealing prospect, but there’s been little out there in their price range,” he said.

For other developers, the lower part of the Manhattan market has always been a safe bet. “We’ve been working like this for years,” said Gaia Real Estate’s Danny Fishman. “We always said we don’t care about the top 5 or 10 percent.” The company is joining with Acro Group to develop the Vantage, at 97-unit condo conversion at 308 East 38th Street where 30 percent of the units are priced under $1 million. Fishman said their business plan is to keep the unit cost down, and to design buildings with fewer amenities so there are lower common charges. The Vantage, approved earlier this year, has a gym but no swimming pool. The firm took a similar approach at its Hell’s Kitchen condo conversion at 416 West 52nd Street, where Gaia launched sales last year with the sub-$3 million buyers as the target.  “I’m giving up the market of the billionaire, but how many are there?” said Fishman.

CORE’s Emily Beare agreed that more new development product is becoming available for buyers who would normally only be able to buy resales. “For a few years the new development was geared towards the ultra-luxury, $10 million and above, and much larger units…. I think developers have switched direction a little for people who were priced out,” she said. The strategy shift may benefit buyers seeking new apartments with multiple bedrooms at a lower price point, she added.

 

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https://therealdeal.com/2017/05/25/de-luxed-developers-are-chasing-the-lower-end-of-the-condo-market/?utm_source=The+Real+Deal+E-Lerts&utm_campaign=eb04985cb1-New_York_Weekend_Update_10.18.2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6e806bb87a-eb04985cb1-385733629

Home Price Gains Continue | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The Case-Shiller (CS) National Home Price Index, released by S&P Dow Jones Indices, continued to rise in October. The CS Home Price Index rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 10.7%, up from 10.1% last month. Due to tight inventory and high demand, house prices have accelerated since May and reached the pre-recession peak of 2006.

Along with the increases in national home prices, local home prices also increased in varying degrees in October. Figure 2 shows the annual growth rate of home prices for 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas.

All of the 20 metro areas had positive home price appreciation, ranging from 3.5% to 18.3%. Atlanta had the highest home price appreciation at 18.3%, while Chicago had the lowest but still positive growth at 3.5%. Home price appreciation in seven of the 20 metro areas was higher than the national level of 10.7%. Those markets are Atlanta (18.3%), Cleveland (16.7%), Tampa (15.1%), Dallas (12.6%), San Francisco (12.4%), Washington DC (11.4%) and Boston (11.1%).

 

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Holiday Credit Tips from North Shore Advisory | Mt Kisco Real Estate

 
  The Christmas & Holiday season is a time full of joy, laughter, and time spent with loved ones.

But, if you have ever stepped into a department store this time of year, you know that it’s also a hectic and stressful time. It’s easy to get caught up in all the parties and shopping, the last thing on your mind are account due dates and closing dates.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Double-check that credit card bill/payment alerts are activated.
  2. Auto-pay – a great way to make sure bills are paid on time. (Get a confirmation number!)
  3. Avoid paying late, it had the power to drop FICO score’s 100’s of points depending on your scores prior to the delinquency.
  • For instance, if John has a 780 FICO score he is a very low risk borrower. Let’s say he forgets to pay his bill on time this month, his score can drop down to 650, which is far from excellent. If John had delinquencies already appearing with a score of 660 prior to a new late payment he may experience a drop of 30-50 points. Since he is already a higher risk borrower his score does not have to drop much to show his new risk level.

Safeguard your credit score this Holiday season, especially if you are planning to go for a mortgage or loan within the next year or two – with the new trending credit data, lenders are looking at your revolving payment history dating back two year in order to assess the borrowers risk level.

If you have any questions or would like us to review reports, reach out to our Expert Credit Team!

Happy Holidays!

 
 
 
Tracy A. Becker, President

FICO Certified Professional

Expert Credit Witness Certified

Author “Credit Score Power”

 
North Shore Advisory Credit Repair
 
See What Our Clients Are Saying
 
North Shore Advisory In the Media
 
  Credit Resoration & Education
FICO Certified Professional

Author “Credit Score Power”
Expert Credit Witness Certified
North Shore Advisory, Inc.
5 West Main Street. Suite 207
Elmsford, NY 10523
P: 914-524-8300
F: 914-524-5014
info@northshoreadvisory.com
www.northshoreadvisory.com

 

Rates Steady as Increases Expected | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Nationally, the contract interest rate on conventional mortgages for home purchase held steady in October 2016. Over the month, the rate on conventional mortgages for home purchase was unchanged at 3.60%, according to data released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Rates on the purchase of previously occupied homes ticked up 1 basis point to 3.62% while rates on new homes fell 2 basis points to 3.54%.

presentation3

The lack of change in mortgage rates overall reported by the FHFA does contrast with the increase in mortgage rates over the month of October in the Mortgage Bankers’ Association’s Mortgage Applications Survey (MAS). This Survey indicates that the contract rate on conventional mortgages rose 5 basis points to 3.72% over the month*. However, the FHFA release more closely parallels results from Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS). The commitment rate on conventional mortgages ticked up 1 basis point to 3.47% over the month of October*.

Despite some divergence, over the longer term, these 3 series track each other fairly closely. Between 1990 and 2000, the trend in the 3 series matched, although the rates reported by MBA’s MAS and Freddie Mac’s PMMS were more similar while FHFA’s MIRS was often a bit lower. Since 2000, the three series have been in near unison both in its point estimate and the overall trend.

presentation4

The monthly data covers the month of October, but the weekly mortgage rate data for November indicates that rates have clearly begun to rise. As shown by the figure below, between October 28th and November 25th, the contract mortgage rate calculated by the PMMS rose from 3.47% to 4.03%. Over the same period, the MAS increased from 3.75% to 4.23%. Further, mortgage rates are expected to continue climbing in the near term. In its most recent forecast, dated October 28th, NAHB expects the rate on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage to climb in each of 2017 and 2018.

The increase in mortgage rates follows the increase in the 10-year Treasury note. A rising rate on the 10-year partly reflects the desire to make progress on monetary policy normalization, which has been impeded by a series of unrelated surprises over the course of the year. However, momentum has been building and expectations of an impending increase in the federal funds rate has pushed interest rates modestly higher in the second half of the year.

A more seismic impact from a different set of rate expectations has been set in motion by the surprise outcome of the November election. Proposals for fiscal stimulus via tax cuts, government spending and regulatory reform have led to expectations of stronger economic growth, higher inflation and higher interest rates. The yield on 10-year Treasury securities has moved up over 50 basis points since November 8.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/12/rates-steady-in-october-as-increases-expected/

Home buyer sentiment index weakens | Mt Kisco Real Estate

A home-buying sentiment index from Fannie Mae weakened for the third straight month in October, a sign the market’s momentum may be faltering.

Fannie’s home purchase sentiment index fell 1.1 percentage points to 81.7. After climbing as high as 86.5 in July, the index has fallen every month since then. It’s now 1.5 percentage points below its level from a year ago.

“Since July, more consumers, on net, have steadily expected mortgage rates to rise and home price appreciation to moderate,” said Fannie chief economist Doug Duncan in a statement. “Furthermore, consumers’ perception of their income over the past year deteriorated sharply in October to the worst showing since early 2013.”

The index includes six components from a monthly survey the mortgage buyer FNMA, +0.80%   conducts of 1,000 Americans on owning and renting a home, home and rental price changes, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence.

Slightly more respondents said mortgage rates would rise in the next 12 months – 50% versus 49% in September. While most economists expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at its December meeting, it’s not clear how much of an impact that will have on mortgage rates, which remain near all-time lows.

And while the share of respondents expecting home prices to increase fell to 41% in October from 43%, prices seem to be defying gravity.

Respondents in Fannie’s survey expect home purchase prices to appreciate 1.9% over the next 12 months. Data provider CoreLogic forecasts home prices will rise 5.2% over the next 12 years, and many analysts and industry participants believe prices are increasing too quickly for most would-be buyers to keep up.

 

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/housing-market-becoming-more-pessimistic-fannie-mae-survey-finds-2016-11-07?siteid=yhoof2&yptr=yahoo

Fifth Avenue has record empty space as rents seen too high | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Landlords on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue are sitting on a record amount of open space as retailers balk at committing to expensive new leases in one of the world’s most prestigious shopping districts.

The availability rate on the famed strip, home to Saks Fifth Avenue and Tiffany & Co.’s flagship store, jumped to 15.9% in the third quarter, up from about 10% a year earlier, according to Cushman & Wakefield. The rate has climbed steadily this year, surpassing the prior peak of 11.3%, set in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The rise of empty storefronts isn’t limited to Fifth Avenue. It’s part of a Manhattan-wide space glut as retailers—buffeted by e-commerce, tepid demand for luxury goods and a strong dollar that’s eroded tourist spending—push back against rents that have soared to records. Leasing costs have increased in tandem with property values in the past five years, outpacing gains in merchandise sales and making it impossible for retailers to run profitable stores at many locations, according to Richard Hodos, a vice chairman at brokerage CBRE Group.

“Property trades are being based on achieving ever-higher rents, and nobody ever really looks at what retailers can afford to pay,” Hodos said. “In some cases, rents need to come down 30% or more for rents to be at levels where retailers are able to make sense of them again.”

Retailers are being squeezed across the U.S. In 2016, malls and other types of shopping venues have been hit by 280 major-brand store closures, totaling 12.8 million square feet (1.2 million square meters), data from Reis show. Another real estate research firm, Green Street Advisors, estimates that several hundred malls around the country will cease operations over the next decade.

Shoppers continue to shift their spending from stores to computers and smartphones. Online sales in the U.S. are expected to reach $398 billion this year, up 16% from 2015, according to research firm eMarketer.

Highest rents

On the stretch of Fifth Avenue from 49th to 60th streets, which commands the world’s highest rents, landlords are asking an average of $3,213 a square foot, up from $2,075 a square foot in 2011, Cushman data show. In the tourist-heavy Times Square area, rents stand at $2,104 a square foot after tripling over a four-year period.

The brokerage’s retail availability rate takes into account vacancies as well as stores occupied by merchants that plan to leave when their leases expire. Retailers that signed leases at high prices in the past several years and are seeking a tenant to sublease their space are also included, according to Steve Soutendijk, an executive director at Cushman.

“Tenants that signed at the absolute top of the market are looking to mitigate their exposure,” he said.

Michael Kors

At 667 Madison Ave., a 24-story tower two blocks from Central Park, Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. is looking to sublease about 5,000 square feet of retail space at the base of the building, according to a person familiar with the plans. The store, with 22-foot (7-meter) ceilings, was the company’s largest when it opened in 2012, the New York Times reported at the time.

Four years later, the London-based fashion house is struggling to pay the rent, said the person, who asked not to be identified because negotiations aren’t public. Michael Kors is seeking a tenant to take over the space on a lease that runs through 2023, the person said.

For a Bloomberg Intelligence primer on the apparel industry, click here.

A spokeswoman for Michael Kors declined to comment. Representatives for the company’s landlord, Hartz Group, didn’t respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Lowering expectations

Property owners with space to fill are starting to lower their expectations, according to Cushman’s Soutendijk. Asking rents in some of Manhattan’s prime shopping districts, including Soho and Times Square, have declined over the course of 2016, Cushman data show.

“I think a lot of landlords are ready to make deals,” Soutendijk said. “Everybody understands there is too much space in the market. We are not in a state of equilibrium.”

Buyers of real estate during the recent boom years may not have much room to maneuver. To justify paying record prices for buildings—and the debt that financed the acquisitions—owners are under pressure to get the highest rents possible, according to Patrick Smith, a vice chairman of the retail brokerage at Jones Lang LaSalle.

“Typically, a building that has been capitalized over the past three years is very rent-sensitive,” he said.

General growth

Landlords who hold out for the right tenant can be left hanging on to empty space for years. A partnership of developer Thor Equities and General Growth Properties, the second-largest owner of U.S. malls, bought 530 Fifth Ave. in 2014. During a conference call with analysts that year, General Growth Chief Executive Officer  Sandeep Mathrani highlighted the property’s large, vacant block as an opportunity to attract new retailers.

No new retail leases have been signed at the property since the acquisition, though three tenants are close to agreements, according to a person with knowledge of the plans. The prospective occupants are in the health-and-beauty and sporting-goods businesses, and will likely pay less in rent than what the building owners had originally aimed for, said the person, who asked not to be identified because negotiations are ongoing.

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http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20161026/REAL_ESTATE/161029898/fifth-avenue-has-record-empty-space-as-rents-seen-too-high#utm_medium=email&utm_source=cnyb-realestate&utm_campaign=cnyb-realestate-20161026

Air Conditioning and Heating Systems in New Homes | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The US Census Bureau publishes information on characteristics of new homes started, including air conditioning and heating systems.

In 2015, approximately 93 percent of new homes started in the US had central AC. Central AC has been a common feature in new homes for some time, but its share did grow some between 2000 and 2015, going from 86 percent to 93 percent.

The share of new homes with central AC differs by Census Division (Figure 1). The New England and Pacific divisions, which have more temperate climates, have lower rates of central AC installed (73 percent and 69 percent in 2015, respectively). In contrast, in regions that are hotter and more humid, all or nearly all of the new homes started have central AC: for example, in the South Atlantic (100 percent), East South Central (100 percent), and the West South Central Divisions (99 percent).

ac

Heating Systems

The majority of new homes started in 2015 have either a forced air system (55 percent) or an air or ground source heat pump system (42 percent). The share of new homes that have a heat pump has grown over time, going from 23 percent in 2000 to 42 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, the share with a forced air system has declined, going from 71 percent in 2000 to 55 percent in 2015.

Heat pumps are more prevalent in Southern regions where air and ground temperatures don’t fall as much (Figure 2): East South Central (75 percent), South Atlantic (74 percent), and West South Central (45 percent). They are less so in the West North Central (29 percent), Pacific (14 percent), Middle Atlantic (13 percent), Mountain (12 percent), East North Central (11) percent, and New England divisions (4 percent).

pumps

The majority of new homes started had their heating systems powered by either electricity (40 percent) or natural gas (55 percent) in 2015. In regions such as the Middle Atlantic and New England, where electricity tends to be more expensive, the share of new homes with systems powered by electricity is low (13 and 5 percent, respectively). On the other hand, systems powered by electricity are more common in the south: for example, the South Atlantic (72 percent), the East South Central (71 percent), and the West South Central (41 percent).

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/10/air-conditioning-and-heating-systems-in-new-homes/

Case-Shiller up 5.1% | Mt Kisco Real Estate

United States S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index  

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index rose 5.1 percent year-on-year in August of 2016, following a 5 percent increase in July and above market expectations of 5 percent. Portland, Seattle and Denver reported the highest annual gains over each of the last seven months with prices up by 11.7 percent, 11.4 percent and 8.8 percent respectively in August. On a monthly basis, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index increased 0.4 percent, easing from a 0.6 percent rise in July. Case Shiller Home Price Index in the United States averaged 157.24 Index Points from 2000 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 206.52 Index Points in July of 2006 and a record low of 100 Index Points in January of 2000. Case Shiller Home Price Index in the United States is reported by the Standard & Poor’s.

United States S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index
Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast (i)
2016-09-27 01:00 PM Jul 5% 5.1% 5.1% 5.1%
2016-10-25 01:00 PM Aug 5.1% 5% 5% 5%
2016-10-25 01:00 PM Aug 0.4% 0.6% 0.4% 0.5%
2016-11-24 02:00 PM Sep 0.4%
2016-11-24 02:00 PM Sep 5.1%
2016-12-29 02:00 PM Oct

 

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http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/case-shiller-home-price-index

Construction Job Openings Decline in August | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The count of unfilled jobs in the overall construction sector fell in August, as residential construction employment hiring accelerated in August and September.

According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs (on a seasonally adjusted basis) fell to 184,000 in August, after establishing a cycle high of 225,000 in July (post-data revisions). The July estimate represents the highest monthly count of open, unfilled jobs since February 2007.

The open position rate (job openings as a percent of total employment) for August was 2.7%. On a smoothed twelve-month moving average basis, the open position rate for the construction sector held steady at 2.9%, near a cycle high.

The overall trend for open construction jobs has been increasing since the end of the Great Recession. This is consistent with survey data indicating that access to labor remains a top business challenge for builders.

constr-jolts

The construction sector hiring rate, as measured on a twelve-month moving average basis, ticked up to 4.7% in August.

Monthly employment data for September 2016 (the employment count data from the BLS establishment survey are published one month ahead of the JOLTS data) indicate that home builder and remodeler net hiring continued to rebound, as sector employment increased by 15,700 after posting a 14,400 gain in August. These gains come after a recent period of hiring weakness, which has reduced the 6-month moving average of jobs gains for residential construction to just under 4,000.

Residential construction employment now stands at 2.617 million, broken down as 738,000 builders and 1.879 million residential specialty trade contractors.

res-constr-employment

Over the last 12 months home builders and remodelers have added 146,000 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point of industry employment following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 631,000 positions.

 

real estate…

 

http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/10/construction-job-openings-decline-in-august/