Tag Archives: Mt Kisco Homes

Existing home sales jump to 14-year high, as prices set another record | Mt Kisco Real Estate

  • Sales of existing homes rose 2.4% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6.0 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • Sales were 10.5% higher compared with August 2019. This is the highest sales pace since December 2006, before the Great Recession. 
  • Tough competition has the market moving very quickly. It took just 22 days to sell a home in August, matching the fastest on record.
A home for sale is seen in Santa Monica, California.

A home for sale is seen in Santa Monica, California.

After a record-setting July, the housing market still shows no sign of cooling off.

Sales of existing homes rose 2.4% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales were 10.5% higher compared with August 2019. This is the highest sales pace since December 2006, before the Great Recession.

Sales were hampered only by lack of supply. There were 1.49 million homes for sale at the end of August, down 18.6% annually to a 3.0-month supply. The number of homes for sale when sales were last this robust, in 2006, was more than double the current supply.

That tight supply pushed the median price of an existing home sold in August to a record high of $310,600. That is up 11.4% annually. In the third quarter of this year the housing wealth will have increased by $1.5 trillion from the second quarter.

“The imbalance of supply and demand will hurt affordability soon. Once that appears it will hinder home ownership rates,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors. 

Tough competition has the market moving very quickly. It took just 22 days to sell a home in August, matching the fastest on record.

Mortgage rates set several record lows in August, which only added to the fierce competition for housing. Low rates also kept the heat on home prices, as they give buyers additional purchasing power.

Regionally, sales were strongest in the Northeast, rising 13.8% month to month. Sales were 1.4% higher in the Midwest and 0.8% higher in both the South and West. The Northeast saw some of the strictest shutdown rules early in the coronavirus pandemic, so the recovery now may be making up for that.  

Sales of newly built homes, which are counted by signed contracts, not closings, jumped 36% annually in July. Builders are benefiting from the tight supply of existing homes for sale, as well as for the new consumer demand for higher-tech homes in suburban and rural locations.

Strong demand is expected to continue into the usually slower fall months, but there may be a brief drop in the numbers because of the various natural disasters across the nation.

“In early September, new housing supply took a hit from the wildfires and hurricanes, and sales activity weakened. But because the impact of natural disasters has been more supply-oriented than demand-oriented, prices are expected to remain high,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at realtor.com. “The combination of high prices and low supply is going to continue to make finding a home an even more difficult task than it already is.”

read more…

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/22/existing-home-sales-jump-to-14-year-high-as-prices-set-another-record.html

Mortgage rates average 3.01% | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.01 percent.

“While housing demand continues to rebound, the month-long swoon in economic activity has caused the 10-year Treasury benchmark to drop. In the short-term, this means the demand will continue on the back of near record low mortgage rates,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “However, the most recent consumer spending data has been pointing to slow growth since mid-June. The concern is that the pause in economic activity will cause unemployment to remain elevated which will lead to longer-term labor market distress.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.01 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending July 23, 2020, up slightly from 2.98 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.75 percent.  
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.54 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.48 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.18 percent.  
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.09 percent with an average 0.3 point, up slightly from last week when it averaged 3.06 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.47 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 link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

New York real estate market sees steep rise in listings | Mt Kisco Real Estate

After a difficult few months, New York City’s real estate market is bouncing back.

This week, after the city entered phase 2 of its reopening, contract activity increased 41%, reaching the highest numbers since the end of March, when the country shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak. New listings also increased 57% since last week, reaching a level not seen since March 2, according to data compiled by UrbanDigs.

Though listings are down 36% from this time last year, brokers are confident the slump in the market is temporary — and on its way out. “This is a remarkable recovery from the entire second quarter,” said Garrett Derderian, the CEO of GS Data Services.

“What we’re seeing is a lot of concern, but also a lot of pent-up demand,” Jason Haber of Warburg Realty told ABC News.

Derderian’s data shows the median list price of $1,395,000 is up 5% from this time last year, while the average price-per-foot is down just 3% to $1,560.

“What this tells us on a high level is the recovery on the listing side has started to take hold and is looking like the V-shape that was anticipated earlier this year,” he said.

The same can be said for the Seattle and Miami markets, the latter which has actually seen an increase in property trades compared to last year, as many in the Northeast — particularly in the hard hit tri-state area — continue to relocate to Florida.

Kolderal/Getty ImagesA residential street is seen in New York City.A residential street is seen in New York City.Kolderal/Getty Images

There have been 217 contracts signed in Manhattan since June 1, a decrease of 71% from this time last year. But this should not come as a surprise, given that the city just opened for in-person showings Monday.

Data sets put together by Derderian and Jesse Kent, the CEO of real estate public relations agency Derring-Do, show that prices have not gone down substantially despite the crisis.

“There has been wide speculation that prices were going to decline 10 to 20%, but as of now, that is simply not the case,” said Derderian. “In fact, there may be a silver lining for the Manhattan housing market as workers may want to rely less on public transit and walk to work. This could bode well for many parts of Manhattan and result in price increases depending on the neighborhood and price point. The same is true for downtown Brooklyn and the immediate surrounding neighborhoods.”

If prices do go down, it will likely be in July, once there is more movement in the market.

Mark Lennihan/AP, FileIn this May 12, 2020 photo, a storefront displays “For Rent” signs in the window in the Red Hook neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York.In this May 12, 2020 photo, a storefront displays “For Rent” signs in the window in the Red Hook neighborhood of the Brooklyn borough of New York.Mark Lennihan/AP, File

Another thing that makes brokers optimistic is that the buyers who are currently looking seem to be fully committed.

“There are two types of people: short-term buyers who will likely not invest during the pandemic, and those who see the near-future potential and are looking to invest in the long term,” Haber said.

“Because there’s so much unknown right now, the profile of the buyer is someone who believes in New York long term,” said Michael J. Franco, from real estate broker Compass.

Even while the market appears to be recovering, Warburg Realty’s Bill Kowalczuk explained that the process of viewing and buying has changed due to the coronavirus.

Not only does a potential buyer have to schedule a viewing 24 hours in advance, but they have to wear personal protective equipment, sign a stack of forms acknowledging the health risks they’re taking and keep from touching any surfaces while inside the property (the agent has to open all cabinets and doors).

The documents potential clients must sign prior to attending a viewing include a limitation of liability form and a health questionnaire screening form. Though they’re not required by law, all Real Estate Board of New York members are asked to give them to their customers to ensure their safety.

Fueled by people’s eagerness to move forward, Kowalczuk said he expects a boom of market activity in the next six weeks.

read more…

abcnews.go.com/business

4 million Americans are now skipping their mortgage payments | Mt Kisco Real Estate

More than 4 million Americans have stopped making mortgage payments because of economic hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Fewer Americans are calling their mortgage servicers to ask for relief from mortgage payments, but the housing industry isn’t out of the woods yet.

More than 4.1 million homeowners are in forbearance plans now, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

While mortgage servicers are still facing stress because of the record deluge of requests for payment relief, signs suggest that homeowners’ prospects have improved as parts of the country have begun to emerge from coronavirus stay-at-home orders.

How bad is it if I stop paying my mortgage during the pandemic?

Overall, 8.16% of all mortgages were in forbearance as of May 10, meaning borrowers can either skip or make reduced payments, the trade group said. That was up from 7.91% as of May 3, which is the smallest increase since March. Forbearance requests dropped from 0.52% of the total mortgage volume to 0.32%.

“There has been a pronounced flattening in loans put into forbearance — despite April’s uniformly negative economic data, remarkably high unemployment, and it now being past May payment due dates,” Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, said in the report.

The potential exception to this trend is the segment of the market for loans backed by Ginnie Mae, including Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) loans. More than 11% of Ginnie Mae loans are in forbearance because of the coronavirus outbreak. These loans tend to go to borrowers who are first-time homeowners with weaker credit — people who could be more exposed to the economic downturn the pandemic has caused.

While the pace of homeowners requesting forbearance has slowed, the end of the mortgage industry’s troubles isn’t necessarily in sight. A recent report from U.K.-based economic forecasting firm Oxford Economics estimates that 15% of homeowners will fall behind on their monthly mortgage payments.

The outlook for homeowners will likely depend on their ability to bounce back, particularly for those who have lost their jobs. The good news for mortgage lenders is that job losses caused by the coronavirus have largely been concentrated in the service sector, according to a report from First American Financial FAF, 3.06% , a title insurance company. Because these jobs are lower skilled and lower paid, it’s less likely that the newly unemployed already owned homes.

read more…

www.marketwatch.com

NYSAR update on NYS phase 2 openings | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Dear NYSAR members,

Below, please find additional frequently asked questions for the Phase 2 regional re-opening of “New York Forward.”  These are questions we have previously answered, however, the answers have been modified to reflect Phase 2 guidance.  For frequently asked questions prior to, and including Phase 1, as well as Phase 2 questions, please visit nysarcovidupdates.com.
 
Q – How does the COVID-19 pandemic impact Fair Housing? Can I ask a client/customer/consumer if they have been exposed to COVID-19?
 
A – Yes, the Interim Guidance Document provided by ESD and DOH includes permissible screening questions relating to COVID-19 exposure that must be asked of every seller/buyer/landlord/tenant.
 
Q – Can a professional photographer and/or videographer take photos or video of a property under Phase 2?
 
A – Yes, if the photographer/videographer is operating in a region open under Phase 2.
 
Q – How do I use the NYSAR COVID-19 Phase 2 Disclosure form?
 
A – Below, please find instructions on how to use the Phase 2 form: The form is OPTIONALYou must have the permission of your broker before utilizing the form.  Your broker may require you to either: a) use the NYSAR form; b) use a form the broker had prepared; or c) not use any form.The form has been provided to local boards, MLS’ and brokers previously and they may have released the form already with their name and/or logo.Licensees should present the form to the seller or buyer in the same manner an agency disclosure form is presented.The COVID-19 Disclosure form notifies the seller and buyer of the risks associated with permitting an individual to enter one’s property or by entering another individual’s property.By signing the form, the seller or buyer acknowledge that by permitting such access or by accessing the property they assume the risk of potential exposure to COVID-19.  Licensees should explain to the seller and/or buyer that the form outlines the risks of COVID-19 exposure and by signing the form they are acknowledging and assuming such risks.Licensees should have the seller and/or buyer sign the form, print their name next to their signature and provide a signed copy to the seller or buyer and retain a signed copy for the broker’s file.The form may be delivered in any manner currently permitted (paper, electronic transmission).A copy of the COVID-19 Phase 2 Disclosure form can be found HERE
Q – If I use the NYSAR COVID-19 Disclosure form can I perform in-person showings in a Phase 2 region?
 
A – Yes, so long as all requirements contained in the Interim Guidance Document are strictly followed.

Q – What is the seller and/or buyer agreeing to when they sign the NYSAR COVID-19 Phase 2 Disclosure form?
 
A – In the event the seller and/or buyer is exposed to COVID-19 as a result of permitting or gaining access to the property, the form acts as a disclosure notice outlining the risks and having the party acknowledge that they are assuming such risk through their actions.  If a licensee and/or broker were named in a lawsuit alleging exposure to COVID-19 by the seller and/or buyer (or a member of their household), the form could be used to show the seller and/or buyer were aware of the risks and assumed the risk of permitting access or gaining access to the property.
 
Q – What if the seller and/or buyer refuse to sign the COVID-19 Phase 2 Disclosure form?
 
A – Licensees should follow the same procedure when a consumer refuses to sign an agency disclosure form.  If the seller and/or buyer refuse to sign the form, the agent shall set forth a written declaration of the facts of the refusal and shall maintain a copy for the broker’s file.
 
Q – If a buyer/tenant refuses to sign the COVID-19 disclosure or answer the screening questions, can the seller/landlord refuse to show the property to that party?
 
A – Yes, the seller/landlord can require compliance with both the COVID-19 Phase 2 Disclosure Form as a prerequisite before the showing.  Consumers are not required to sign the COVID-19 Phase 2 Disclosure or answer the screening questions and if all parties are comfortable with that, a showing may occur.
 
Q – If a seller/buyer/landlord/tenant answers yes to any of the screening questions, what should I do?
 
A – If a seller/buyer/landlord/tenant answers yes to any question, it would be up to the parties as to whether they want to continue with the in-person showing assessing what risks they may be taking.  For instance, a buyer is a health care worker and is exposed to COVID-19 as a result of their occupation.  That would not disqualify them from the in-person showing if the seller is comfortable with the precautions being taken.  If they are not comfortable, a licensee would not be required to conduct an in-person showing if any of the questions were answered “yes”.  This would be a scenario where it would be prudent to utilize the COVID-19 Phase 2 Disclosure Form.
 
Q – Can a licensee perform an in-person open house in a region open under Phase 2?
 
A – Yes, however the Interim Guidance Document only permits one party to be in the property at a time.  As a best practice, licensees should schedule appointments for an open house in order to avoid having multiple parties present at the property and congregating outside waiting to see the property.
 
Q – Can I have in-person contact with a member of the public in a region open under Phase 2?
 
A – Yes.  The Interim Guidance Document permits in-person contact with a member of the public so long as required health and safety measures set forth in the document are followed.
 
Q – Can the purchaser be present during the inspection?
 
A – That would be up to the inspector and their interpretation of the Interim Guidance Document.
 
Q – Can I conduct a final walkthrough with a consumer in a region open under Phase 2?
 
A – Yes, so long as all requirements for a showing contained in the Interim Guidance Document are strictly followed. 
 
Q – Can a licensee perform in-person showings in a region open under Phase 2?
 
A – Yes, so long as all requirements contained in the Interim Guidance Document are strictly followed.
 
Q – Can I attend a closing in a region open under Phase 2?
 
A – Licensees should not be attending closings in-person.
 
Get all of the latest news at www.nysar.com
 
You are receiving this information as a member of the New York State Ass
ociation of REALTORS. NYSAR occasionally sends information regarding association programs and services as well as industry news to its membership.

Manage your NYSAR email subscriptions. | Unsubscribe from ALL NYSAR emails.
 
New York State Association of REALTORS, 130 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12210 

Home Lenders Brace for Up to 15 Million US Mortgage Defaults | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Mortgage lenders are preparing for the biggest wave of delinquencies in history. If the plan to buy time works, they may avert an even worse crisis: Mass foreclosures and mortgage market mayhem.

Borrowers who lost income from the coronavirus — already a skyrocketing number, with a record 10 million new jobless claims — can ask to skip payments for as many as 180 days at a time on federally backed mortgages, and avoid penalties and a hit to their credit scores. But it’s not a payment holiday. Eventually, they’ll have to make it all up.

As many as 30% of Americans with home loans – about 15 million households –- could stop paying if the U.S. economy remains closed through the summer or beyond, according to an estimate by Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics.

“This is an unprecedented event,” said Susan Wachter, professor of real estate and finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “The great financial crisis happened over a number of years. This is happening in a matter of months — a matter of weeks.”

Meanwhile, lenders are operating in the dark, with no way of predicting the scope or duration of the pandemic or the damage it will wreak on the economy. If the virus recedes soon and the economy roars back to life, then the plan will help borrowers get back on track quickly. The greater the fallout, the harder and more expensive it will be to stave off repossessions. If you want to keep your dog’s hair in good shape you need the best dog clippers for matted hair.

‘Press Pause’

“Nobody has any sense of how long this might last,” said Andrew Jakabovics, a former Department of Housing and Urban Development senior policy adviser who is now at Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit affordable housing group. “The forbearance program allows everybody to press pause on their current circumstances and take a deep breath. Then we can look at what the world might look like in six or 12 months from now and plan for that.”

Even if the economic turmoil is long-lasting, the government will have to find a way to prevent foreclosures — which could mean forgiving some debt, said Tendayi Kapfidze, Chief Economist at LendingTree.

The risks of allowing foreclosures are too great because it would damage financial markets and that could reinfect the economy, he said.

“I expect policy makers to do whatever they can to hold the line on a financial crisis,” Kapfidze said. “And that means preventing foreclosures by any means necessary.”

Laura Habberstad, a bar manager in Washington, D.C., got a reprieve from her lender but needs time to catch up. The coronavirus snatched away her income, as it has for millions, and replaced it with uncertainty. The restaurant and beer garden where she works was forced to temporarily shut down.

She has no idea when she’ll get her job back. And how do you search for another hospitality job during a global pandemic? Now she’s living in Oregon with her mother, whose travel agency was forced to close.

‘Financial Hardship’

“I don’t know how I’m going to pay my mortgage and my condo dues and still be able to feed myself,” Habberstad said. “I just hope that, once things open up again, we who are impacted by Covid-19 are given consideration and sufficient time to bring all payments current without penalty and in a manner that does not bring us even more financial hardship.”

Borrowers must contact their lenders to get help and avoid black marks on their credit reports, according to provisions in the stimulus package passed by Congress last week.

Bank of America said it has so far allowed 50,000 mortgage customers to defer payments. That includes loans that are not federally backed, so they aren’t covered by the government’s program.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin convened a task force last week to deal with the potential liquidity shortfall faced by mortgage servicers, which collect payments and are required to compensate bondholders even if homeowners miss them. The group was supposed to make recommendations by March 30.

“If a large percentage of the servicing book — let’s say 20-30% of clients you take care of — don’t have the ability to make a payment for six months, most servicers will not have the capital needed to cover those payments,” Quicken Chief Executive Officer Jay Farner said in an interview.

Mortgage servicers want the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department to use money from the $2.2 trillion stimulus plan to help them avoid a liquidity crisis as fewer borrowers make payments, and the firms are forced to continue paying bondholders.

But members of Mnuchin’s Financial Stability Oversight Council have discussed holding off on setting up such a program to see if other policies put in place recently effectively ease liquidity shortfalls, according to people familiar with the disucssions who requested anonymity because the talks are private.

Triple Workers

Quicken, which serves 1.8 million borrowers, has a strong enough balance sheet to serve its borrowers while paying holders of bonds backed by its mortgages, Farner said.

The company plans to almost triple its call center workers by May to field the expected onslaught of borrowers seeking support, he said.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how quickly everything can change. Just weeks ago, mortgage lenders were predicting the biggest spring in years for home sales and mortgage refinances.

Habberstad, the bar manager, was staffing up for big crowds at the beer garden, which is across from National Park, home of the World Series champions. Then came coronavirus. Now, she’s dependent on her unemployment check of $440 a week.

“Everybody wants to work but we’re being asked not to for the sake of the greater good,” she said.

Read more…

Home Lenders Brace for Up to 15 Million US Mortgage Defaults | Newsmax.com

Spring time in NYC | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Ah, spring. The days get longer, the weather starts to warm up and—in New York City, circa 2020—there are at least these 14 other reasons to get excited.

1.  The spinning wheel has got to go ’round. Coney Island’s amusement parks open on April 4, which will mark an auspicious occasion: 100 years since the Wonder Wheel debuted. Over the past century, millions have sat in one of the Ferris wheel’s enclosed cages and surveyed the rides, boardwalk and ocean from up high. While you’re down in Coney, make sure to enjoy a couple of the Wonder Wheel’s cronies: the wooden Cyclone roller coaster (est. 1927) and hot-dog fave Nathan’s (est. 1916). —Andrew Rosenberg

2.  Hudson Yards is getting an Edge. The City’s latest observation deck, Edge (opening March 11), will also be its highest open-air platform for taking in the vistas.­ Bird’s-eye views of Manhattan’s skyline may be nothing new, but looking down 1,000-plus feet through a glass floor certainly is. Yikes! —Brian Sloan

3.  Our Instagram feeds will be well fed. Yayoi Kusama is coming. In May, the New York Botanical Garden will host Kusama: Cosmic Nature across its 250 acres, sprinkling neon colors, polka-dot sculptures and mirrored installations amidst its already eye-catching spring blooms. —Gillian Osswald

4. The music of the ’90s is having a moment. Two of the decade’s preeminent artists are playing big shows in NYC: Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke brings his solo electronic act to Radio City on March 30 and Hammerstein Ballroom on March 31 and April 1. Also on March 30, Pearl Jam rocks Madison Square Garden. How good will the show be? We have a feeling you’ll give it a 10. —Christina Parrella

5.  We’ve got other decades covered, too. Fans of Carly Simon can anticipate a tribute to her that features Cyndi Lauper, the Indigo Girls, Michael McDonald and many more at Carnegie Hall on March 19. Other big shows include Billie Eilish at Barclays Center (March 20); Blood Orange at Radio City (March 21); Lisa Loeb at Le Poisson Rouge (March 22); Elton John at Madison Square Garden (April 6–7) and Barclays (April 10–11); The Darkness at Webster Hall (May 13); Fetty Wap at Gramercy Theatre (May 18); Madness at Hammerstein Ballroom (May 22); Kesha and Big Freedia at Pier 17 (May 28); and continued residencies from Billy Joel at MSG (March 19, April 10 and May 2) and They Might Be Giants, playing Flood, at Bowery Ballroom (April 11 and May 9). —nycgo.com staff

6.  Plus, it’ll be a vintage season for wine and song. City Winery’s spacious new waterfront venue at Hudson River Park’s Pier 57 promises barrels of fun (and wine and music and views). Who can it be playing the first month? It’s singer-songwriter Colin Hay, the voice behind Men at Work (April 7–8). And nothing compares to the rest of the early lineup, which includes Sinéad O’Connor (April 13, 14 and 16) and Graham Parker (May 19 and 21). —AR

7. There will be bonnets to behold. New Yorkers never pass up an opportunity to dress up, and the Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival (April 12) is no exception. Judging by last year’s looks, we’ll see plenty of floral headpieces, spring-themed ensembles and pastel pageantry on the stroll up Fifth Avenue. —GO

8.  Art is all around. If you’ve ever wondered about Jackson Pollock’s work before he adopted his drip-and-splatter technique, check out Away from the Easel: Jackson Pollock’s Mural at the Guggenheim Museum. The exhibition (opening March 28) displays a giant colorful mural Pollock painted for the entrance of Peggy Guggenheim’s Manhattan townhouse. It’s the piece’s first NYC appearance in more than 20 years. Over at The Met, the Costume Institute presents its spring exhibition, About Time: Fashion and Duration. The exhibition (opening May 7) traces the timeline of fashion from the 1870s to the present. —CP

9.  A Watergate-era thriller will be a topic of conversation. 1974 was a landmark year for film, headlined by Chinatown and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Part II. But a less showy Coppola release of the time, The Conversation, may be more resonant than either thanks to its handling of queasy topics like surveillance, privacy and paranoiaHead to the Film Forum to catch a screening of a restored 35mm print (March 20–April 2). Gene Hackman and John Cazale star; pre-fame Cindy Williams, Harrison Ford and Teri Garr show up too. —AR

10.  Broadway’s going to have Company. A new production of Stephen Sondheim’s ode to singlehood, which took London by storm, comes to New York. Its twist: the main role of bachelor Bobby becomes single lady Bobbie. Katrina Lenk (The Band’s Visit) takes the lead, with Patti LuPone (War Paint) serving up “The Ladies Who Lunch” as Joanne. —BS

11.  We’ll see every side of comedy. Three funny festivals come to NYC, led by the return of the Brooklyn Comedy Festival (March 30–April 5). Its lineup befits the borough’s alt-comedy sensibilities; highlights include NPR’s Ask Me Another, hosted by Ophira Eisenberg, at the Bell House (April 1), and Jo Firestone hosting Friends of Single People at Littlefield (April 2). Chris Gethard spins his Beautiful/Anonymous podcast into Beautiful Cononymous (May 14–17), which opens with Gethard watching the movie Contact and then discussing it with a podcast caller who told him he should see it. The Satire and Humor Festival (March 27–29), at Caveat and The Magnet, focuses on those who elicit laughter through the written word, featuring favorites from The New Yorker and The Onion. Spring also brings Ali Wong’s run at the Beacon Theatre (March 29–April 4), Demetri Martin at the Bell House (April 7–8), Bill Bellamy at Carolines (April 9) and Jim Gaffigan at Radio City (April 9–11). —nycgo.com staff

12.  A rebel and his bike are back. Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure returns to the big screen for a 35th anniversary celebration at the Beacon Theatre (March 25–26). Pee-Wee himself, Paul Reubens, will be on hand for a live presentation and Q&A if you want to ask him if there’s a basement in the Beacon. —BS

13.  This could be the last season of baseball as we know it. Are we being a tiny bit dramatic? Probably. But the existing structure of the minor leagues is precarious, and this could be the last stand for the Staten Island Yankees. The Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets’ New York–Penn League affiliates, may change leagues after this season. If some reports are to be believed, this may be your final chance to see pitchers bat in Mets games—the designated hitter could arrive in the National League as soon as 2021. There may be no major changes evident for the Yankees, save for adding Gerrit Cole to their rotation—but that acquisition could help end their 10-season championship drought (normal for most teams, but not the perennial contenders in the Bronx). —nycgo.com staff

14.  There’s a new Strand location on the Upper West Side. It opens in March. And that’s not all the City has to offer bookworms.—nycgo.com staff

Mortgage rates fall to 3.45% | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate was the lowest in three years.

“As rates fell for the third consecutive week, markets staged a rebound with increases in manufacturing and service sector activity,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “The combination of very low mortgage rates, a strong economy and more positive financial market sentiment all point to home purchase demand continuing to rise over the next few months.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.45 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending February 6, 2020, down from last week when it averaged 3.51 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.41 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.97 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.00 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.84 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.32 percent with an average 0.2 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.24 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.91 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 link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Freddie Mac makes home possible for millions of families and individuals by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Since our creation by Congress in 1970, we’ve made housing more accessible and affordable for homebuyers and renters in communities nationwide. We are building a better housing finance system for homebuyers, renters, lenders, investors and taxpayers. Learn more at FreddieMac.com, Twitter @FreddieMac and Freddie Mac’s blog FreddieMac.com/blog.

California median price jumps 10% | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The median price for a single-family home in California jumped 10% in December, the biggest year-over-year gain in more than four years, as low mortgage rates and a shortage of homes for sale boosted competition for properties.

The state’s median home price was $615,090, more than double the U.S. median, according to the California Association of Realtors. Home sales rose 7.4% compared with December 2018.

“California experienced an unusual jump in its median price at the end of the year when the market is supposed to cool down,” said CAR Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “The surge in price is a byproduct of the imbalance between supply and demand as market competition continues to heat up.”

The supply of homes for sale, measured as the amount of time it would take to sell off existing stock, shrank to 2.5 months from 3.5 months a year earlier.

The Los Angeles metro area saw the biggest jump in home prices, up 10% from a year earlier to a median of $550,000. Sales surged 16%, CAR said.

The next-biggest jump was in the cheapest area of the state. The Central Valley, an inland swath that runs about 450 miles from Bakersfield to Redding, had a median price of $342,000 in December, a jump of 7.7% from a year earlier, according to CAR data. Sales rose 12% in the same period.

The Inland Empire, east of Los Angeles, had a median price of $385,000, up 7.2% from a year ago, and sales were up 13%, the CAR report said.

The San Francisco Bay area, the most expensive region, had a median price of $908,750, up 6.9% from a year ago. Sales jumped 16% in the same period.

The Central Coast, stretching from Los Angeles to San Francisco, had a 2.2% drop in median price to $700,000. Sales surged up 42% as buyers rushed to snap up the lower prices, CAR said.

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Fed cuts rates again | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

The Federal Reserve cut rates for a third time this year today. While the 25 basis point rate cut won’t have a direct impact on fixed-rate mortgages, Fed actions do impact the market which touches lending.

Here’s what the rate cut means for homebuyers and homeowners.

What will happen to long-term fixed mortgages?

The federal funds rate does not directly affect long-term fixed-interest mortgage rates; those rates are pegged to the yield of U.S. Treasuries, which are set by market forces. However, those market forces are influenced by Fed policy, as we saw in July when the 10-year Treasury yields dropped after the Fed cut rates.

While fixed-rate mortgages don’t move in lockstep with the Fed, they’re not immune to Fed policy.

“The Fed does have an effect on rates and consumer sentiment because we look to the Fed for the health of the economy and because policy action does have an impact on the market,” says Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.

Variable-rate loans will get cheaper

Variable-rate loans, such as adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) track with the Fed rate, so those borrowers will come out ahead.

A drop in the federal funds rate by 25 basis points means a 25-basis point drop in variable rates, as well. Usually, borrowers will see a change in their lender statements the month after the Fed lowers rates.

“To quantify this, on a HELOC of $100,000, every change of 0.25 percent in interest rate (either upwards or downwards) will cause a borrower’s interest expenses to rise or fall $250 per year. As this works out to only about $21 per month, it should not have a very significant impact on most borrowers unless they have a very large HELOC,” says Daniel Shlufman, Mortgage Banker at Classic Mortgage LLC.

Those with variable-rate mortgages may have to wait a while to see their payments fall. Such loans typically adjust annually on their anniversary dates. Some don’t adjust at all for the first two, three, five or even seven years.

What borrowers should do

Would-be homebuyers interested in a fixed-rate mortgage or those who want to refinance should take advantage of today’s low interest rates, experts say. There’s no way to time the market to get the best deal on rates, says Kan.

The best course of action for homebuyers is to decide whether they can afford the home they want based on their down payment and current mortgage rates. Today’s mortgage rates are low by historical standards, so waiting for even lower rates can mean missing an opportunity.

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https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/federal-reserve-decision-heloc-arms/