Tag Archives: Mount Kisco Real Estate

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.


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.


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.


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Home Improvements Push Residential Construction Spending Up | Mt Kisco Real Estate

NAHB analysis of Census Construction Spending data shows that total private residential construction spending for July registered a seasonally adjusted rate of $445.5 billion, slightly up from the June downwardly revised estimate.

The monthly gains are largely attributed to the strong growth of private construction spending on home improvements that rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $147.5 billion in July, up by 1.5% since last month. Meanwhile, spending on single-family and multifamily both declined in July. Single-family spending edged down to $238.1 billion in July, down 0.2% over the revised June estimate. After hitting the record-breaking highs earlier this year, multifamily spending decreased to $59.8 billion, down by 0.6% since June. On an annual basis, however, multifamily spending increased by 19.8%. Single-family spending was also 1.7% higher since July 2015.

The NAHB construction spending index, which is shown in the graph below (the base is January 2000), illustrates the strong growth in new multifamily construction since 2010, while new single-family construction and home improvements spending have drifted upward at a more modest pace. NAHB anticipates growth for new single-family spending over the rest of 2016, consistent with the modest rise in single-family starts.


The pace of private nonresidential construction spending rose 1.7% on a monthly basis, and was 7.1% higher than the July 2015 estimate. The largest contribution to this year-over-year nonresidential spending gain was made by the class of office (30.3% increase), followed by lodging (28.0% increase) and commercial (13.5% increase).


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1 Million Rentals on Craigslist | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Craigslist, with its drab gray interface and homemade classifieds, has become the single largest information exchange about the rental housing market in the United States. Its digital bulletin boards have everything: apartment porn for places you’ll never afford, weird fish-eye photos by amateur landlords, queries for every conceivable living space from a spare bunk to a full-sized mansion.

The site touches both the high and low ends of the market — the mom-and-pop operation and the professionally run high-rise — across hundreds of locations. And so Craigslist effectively has more pricing information than commercial providers of rental data do — and offers a more real-time look at the housing market than does the Census Bureau.

“We were looking for something more comprehensive, fresher in time, and smaller in spatial scale,” said Geoff Boeing, a PhD candidate in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California at Berkeley. “Craigslist seemed like an obvious candidate.”

Boeing and Paul Waddell of the Urban Analytics Lab at Berkeley scraped millions of listings off the site from the summer of 2014. The data they sorted, described in new research — and mapped below — reveals some familiar patterns: New York, the Bay Area, Boston and energy-booming North Dakota have the highest median rents on offer in the country (in the map, red is the most expensive per square foot). And many of these same markets have a paltry share of listings at price points that would be affordable to moderate-income households.

But the data also gives a fascinating look at the whole spectrum of offerings in each Craigslist market. In this graph from the research, each line represents a single metropolitan area, with its distribution of listings ranging from the cheapest at the left to the most expensive at right ($4 per square foot would be the equivalent of a 1,000-square-foot rental for $4,000 a month, which is not uncommon in New York). The lines peak at the most common per-square-foot price point in each area. As with the above map, the markets with the highest median rents are red; those with the lowest are blue and purple:

That picture shows that affordable cities have more compressed rental markets on Craigslist, while the distance between high- and low-end units in expensive cities is much wider. Detroit is narrow and spiky. New York is low and stretched out. Detroit’s pricey units are not that pricey, and that segment of the market is much smaller.

Put another way: If you have a little extra money to spend on rent in Detroit, it will get you a lot more than in New York, bumping you from near the bottom to the top of the market more easily.

In the Bay Area (which Craigslist defines much more broadly than just the city of San Francisco, encompassing San Jose, Santa Cruz, Oakland and outlying suburbs), there are hardly any units available at the per-square-foot prices that cover most of the Atlanta-area market:

Across all these places, the correlation is striking between the typical rent in a given market and the degree to which the market is compressed.

“We didn’t know what the pattern would look like,” Boeing said. “We didn’t expect it to be so clear.”

This pattern also illustrates why moderate-income households — and even middle-class ones — have such a hard time finding affordable units in expensive cities. There just isn’t much on offer at cheaper prices. And this pattern implies that a subsidy like housing vouchers in low-cost cities may have a lot more power to lift the poor into higher-quality units and safer neighborhoods.

These pictures are not perfectly representative of the entire rental market in each region. Like census rental data, which lags in time, and commercial data, often drawn from large apartment buildings, Craigslist has its limits as a window into the housing market. It may exclude landlords uncomfortable with the Internet (or who believe their potential tenants might be). It captures only asking prices, not agreed-upon rents, so it doesn’t reveal the effect of bidding wars that might drive up rents in high-cost cities.

And the quality of the data is better in some markets than others. The listings in Seattle and Los Angeles, Boeing and Waddell found, tend to have more complete information. In Chicago and New York, listings are more likely to be posted multiple times. New York’s rental market is alsoheavily influenced by brokers, meaning units are less likely to wind up on Craigslist.

Boeing and Waddell originally scraped about 11 million listings off the site, covering everything posted in all the U.S. sub-domains between May and July of 2014. But by the time they deleted duplicate listings and inevitable Craigslist spam (“Apartment of $1!”), and sorted for only units with clear price and square footage data and geolocation, they were down to about 1.5 million listings nationwide.


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Inventory update | Mt Kisco Real Estate

When we publishedWill Sellers Step up the Plate in 2016? “two weeks ago December market report weren’t in yet and it was clearly too early to blow the bugle over the inventory picture for the coming season

The reports are now in and hands are reaching for the nearest brass instruments.  Too many signals from too many sources are not looking good, especially for the mid to lower tier entry-level homes that Millennials need to escape the Rent Trap.

“Insufficient supply levels” is how NAR’s Lawrence Yun characterized the inventory picture when he released December existing home sales.  The headlines last week.  His careful choice of words masked the very serious possibility that inventories at the outset this year could be worse than last or even 20013 when shortages erupted in bubbles across California.

Here’s a quick review of the latest:


NAR Traffic Report

Seller traffic was broadly “weak” across most states in December, as measured by Sentrilock, the leading lock box system.  Seller traffic was reported to be “strong” only in North Dakota where much residential construction took place as builders anticipated strong housing demand in the wake of the boom in oil production. There was also “very strong” selling activity in Puerto Rico, where significant out-migration is taking place, given the economy’s financial woes.2016-01-25_12-07-38 

NAR Existing Home Sales and Realtor Confidence Index

Total housing inventory at the end of December dropped 12.3 percent to 1.79 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 3.8 percent lower than a year ago (1.86 million). Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 5.1 months in November and the lowest since January 2005 (3.6 months).

Nationally, properties sold in December 2015 were typically on the market 58 days compared to 66 days one year ago.  Fewer days on the market are an indication that inventory remains tight. Short sales were on the market for the longest time at 86 days, while foreclosed properties typically stayed on the market for 68 days. Non-distressed properties were typically on the market for 57 days. Nationally, approximately 32 percent of properties were on the market for less than a month when sold.


Active inventories on Zillow in December fell by 7.7 percent from December 2014.  Listings on the site dropped from 1,6012,255 to 1,477,330 (SAAR).


December median age of inventory was 94 days, which is up 12 percent from November but still down 6 percent year-over-year.


Last month (November) prices spiked due to a dearth of properties on the market. In December, there was a three-month supply of homes for sale, a steep slide from the 4.1 months reported in November. The lack of inventory supported a fast market, where the typical home sold in 41 days, a week faster than a year ago.  December listings fell 10.3 percent from November and 5.4 from December 2014.


Source: Re/Max


The inventory of homes for sale remains very tight in many metros across the country, at a level that is 14.2% lower than December 2014. At the rate of home sales in December, the national Months’ Supply of Inventory was 4.9, down from 5.7 one year ago. A 6.0 months’ supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. The number of homes for sale in December was 12.5% less than in November and 14.2% less than in December last year. The average loss of inventory on a year-over-year basis for 2015 was 12.2%. The highest month supply was seen in Augusta, ME at 14.1 months.  Three metros had a supply less than 2 months, San Francisco with 1.1, Denver, CO 1.8 and Seattle at 1.9 months.


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Americans still reluctant to ramp up mortgage borrowing | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Americans are buying more homes and at higher prices, yet new data shows that mortgage debt is little changed.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Thursday that outstanding U.S. mortgage debt slipped 0.7 percent in the April-June quarter to $8.12 trillion. That is up slightly from a year ago and about the same level as three years ago when the housing market bottomed.

The second quarter’s decline occurred even as Americans took out more new mortgages, either to refinance old loans or purchase homes. New mortgages totaled $466 billion in the second quarter, the most in almost two years.

Those trends suggest Americans are paying down mortgage debt at roughly the same pace as new loans are made, evidence that homeowners remain wary of housing-related debt. Total mortgage debt peaked at $9.29 trillion in the third quarter of 2008.

Overall, the New York Fed’s report indicates that there is little sign of a return to bubble-era excesses in mortgage financing, even as the housing market rebounds. Would-be buyers are bidding up prices on a scarce supply of available homes. Sales of existing houses climbed to an eight-year high in June.

And home prices rose nearly 5 percent in May from a year earlier, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city index. They jumped 10 percent in Denver, 9.7 percent in San Francisco and 8.4 percent in Dallas — big increases that are making homeownership increasingly unaffordable for the typical family.

Yet there are many signs in the New York Fed’s report that housing finance is much healthier than before the recession. Just 95,000 people received new foreclosure notices in the second quarter, the fewest in the 16-year history of the data. And total

And in another sign of caution, total borrowing on home-equity lines of credit fell $11 billion in the second quarter, to $499 billion. That’s far below the peak of $714 billion six years ago.

The amount of new mortgages has risen for four straight quarters, the New York Fed said, after falling to a 14-year low of $286 billion in last year’s second quarter.

Several trends have offset those increases to keep overall mortgage debt mostly unchanged, according to economists at the New York Fed. A wave of refinancing has lowered borrowing rates, allowing homeowners to pay down more principal each month and less interest. Many homebuyers are making larger down payments. And the proportion of investors and other buyers paying cash has been elevated for most of the economic recovery.


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Mount Kisco Named Among Best Places In New York To Start A Business | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Consumer finance site NerdWallet recently named Mount Kisco the ninth best place to start a business in New York.

Rankings were determined by the following criteria:

  • Average revenue of businesses.
  • Percentage of businesses with paid employees.
  • Businesses per 100 people.
  • Median annual income.
  • Median monthly housing costs.
  • Unemployment rate.

Mount Kisco has more than 17 business per 100 people, which is one of the highest ratios on NerdWallet’s list.

To see the full list, visit: www.nerdwallet.com/blog/small-business/places-start-business-york/.

Color can inspire you at home | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Choosing new paint colors for your home offers an exciting opportunity to personalize your space. The abundance of choices means you can surround yourself with a palette you’ll love.

One great way to welcome design color inspiration is to make note of colors that you have chosen for other areas in your life. Your wardrobe, prized works of art, and favorite home accessories are perfect places to look.

Is your closet filled with cool blues and greens? Do you love seascapes and beach scenes? If so, pull similar shades into your home. Start with Sherwin Williams SW 6945 Belize.


Source: Zillow Digs

For a bolder blue statement, go with the deeper tone of SW 6943 Intense Teal.


Source: Zillow Digs

Or try the dusty hue of SW 6515 Leisure Blue, which recalls the color of a stormy sky.

blue cabinets 2

Source: Zillow Digs

If you’re thrilled by the sight of a field of periwinkles, try SW 6529 Scanda. It’s a perfect entrance to this color family.

blue kitchen

Source: Zillow Digs

While it may seem bold, bright and warm walls can really liven up a space. Capture the drama of your special-occasion red dress with SW 6871 Positive Red.

red room sm

Builders increased building activity in April | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Builders increased building activity in April to a level not seen since November 2007. Total starts increased 20.2% from March to April to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.135 million. The increase was broad based with a 16.7% increase in single-family starts to a level of 733,000, the highest since January 2008, and multifamily (2 or more units in the structure) increase of 27.2% to an annual rate of 402,000.

Some of the increase in the total and both sectors was due to poor readings in February and March due to particularly cold and snow-laden weather. But the increases, particularly in the single-family market, are also indicative of the continued healing taking place. Home buyers have been reluctant to buy until there is a clear sign that the economy, and more particularly their own future, is more positive. As employment grows and some wages increase and as home equity improves, some of those households break out of their concerns and are beginning to shop for a new home.

Permits were also up suggesting the positive trend will continue. Total permits rose 10.1% to 1.143 million units, the highest since December 2007. Single-family permits were up 3.7% from March to 666,000 and multifamily permits totaled 477,000 the highest since April 2006. Apartment construction continues to grow as most newly formed households are turning to renting.

Single-family starts increased in all regions and multifamily starts increased in the West and Northeast and were virtually unchanged in the Midwest. Multifamily starts were down 20% in the South. Single-family permits were up in every region and multifamily permits were up in the Northeast and South and virtually unchanged in the West. Multifamily permits were down 6% in the Midwest.


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Flips Flopped in 2014 | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Don’t tell the HGTV producers who find audiences for their endless stream of shows devoted to house flipping, but it’s looking like flipping is losing popularity.

RealtyTrac® reports that last year flips fell to their lowest market share since 2011.  Some 136,269 U.S. single family homes were flipped in 2014, 5.4 percent of all single family home sales during the year.

A total of 32,578 U.S. single family homes were flipped in the fourth quarter, representing 5.3 percent of all single family home sales during the quarter. The 5.3 percent share of flips in the fourth quarter was up 11 percent from the previous quarter but still down 12 percent from a year ago.

Flips are dwindling despite improving returns.  The average gross profit — the difference between the purchase price and flipped price — for completed flips of single family homes in the fourth quarter was $65,993, representing a 37.1 percent gross return. That was up from an average gross profit of $65,285 representing a 36.5 percent gross return in the third quarter, and an average gross profit of $63,017 representing a 36.4 percent gross return in the fourth quarter of 2013.

“Investors have picked much of the low-hanging fruit when it comes to home flipping over the past three years since home prices bottomed out in the first quarter of 2012,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “As home price appreciation slows to single digits in most markets, flippers need to be more selective and creative about the properties and neighborhoods they target.

“In many cases the best neighborhoods for profitable flipping in a slower-appreciating market are those that come with a higher risk because of location and condition of properties, but also have a bigger upside if investors are able to correctly predict the path of progress in the region,” Blomquist added. “It appears that most investors completing flips in the fourth quarter were able to do just that. Even though the share of flips was down from a year ago during the quarter, the average gross return per flip increased.”

Zips with highest share of Q4 flips in Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami
Among zip codes with at least 10 single family home flips completed in the fourth quarter of 2014, there were 10 where flips represented 25 percent or more of all single family home sales during the quarter. Metropolitan statistical areas with top 10 zip codes for share of flips in the fourth quarter were Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Jacksonville, Florida, Tampa and San Diego.


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Here’s the budget of a 27-year-old who owns 2 houses | Mt Kisco Real Estate

After graduating college in 2009, Brian Maida lived with his parents for about two years in order to save the money to buy his first home.

He bought a second one in 2013.

Maida, 27, lives in New Jersey and works in business development and sales. He says it only took about $14,000 to buy that first place, which he now rents out for supplemental income.

“I was able to refinance that loan within a year and show them that I had 20% equity based on their appraisal, and that lowered my payment by almost 20%,” Maida explains. “You can get pretty good deals on real estate if you look hard and negotiate.”

He bought his second place, where he now lives, in  a short sale with  5% down, and he currently pays private mortgage insurance (PMI).

In fact, Maida devotes the bulk of his monthly budget to his properties, and plans to buy a third property in March of this year. “I liquidated my 401(K) and Roth IRA,” he explains. “I no longer believe in investing in the stock market — I follow it too much. I would rather buy real estate and leverage my money. Right now I own about $250,000 in real estate, and I put in maybe $40,000.”

Below, Maida shares his monthly budget based on his $5,656 monthly income ($4,306 from his salary, $1,350 rental income from his investment property). He budgets according to take-home pay from his base salary, plus paycheck withdrawals like medical insurance but excluding taxes. He chooses to list out the withdrawals in case he ever becomes a contractor in the future. “I don’t even put commission on here, because in my role, I could make $100,000 one year and $200,000 the next,” he adds. “All the commission is extra money I’d save.”

All numbers are rounded to the nearest dollar.

View gallery


maida budget

Brian Maida

To simplify the visual, we’ve abbreviated Maida’s primary home, where he lives, as “PH.” We’ve also condensed the costs of his investment property ($1,307) into one category that includes his separate payments for the mortgage, taxes, HOA fee, the landlord/tenant policy, and any other costs.

The “pets” category includes two categories that Maida lists separately for his two dogs and a cat: food/treats/toys/vet ($200) and walking/sitting ($60). His “accident insurance” category includes both his personal death and dismemberment coverage and his enrollment in his employer’s legal plan.

Vegaprocity” includes costs associated with the vegan website Maida runs on the side. In fact, he provides a downloadable budgeting template on his site.

His monthly costs, which he splits into fixed and variable categories, add up to $4,674 a month, leaving a difference of $982. “If stick to this budget, I save about $12,000 a year,” Maida explains. “My tax return is another approximately $3,000 — that’s $15,000 a year.  Next, I’d like to buy a house for $250,000 to $500,000.”


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