Tag Archives: Mt Kisco Homes

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.

read more…

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

Case Shiller home price index up 2% year over year | Mt Kisco Real Estate

July 2019 saw an annual increase of 3.2% for home prices nationwide, matching the previous month’s pace, according to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index from S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic.

The 10-City and 20-City composites reported a 1.6% and 2% year-over-year increase, respectively. During the month, 15 of 20 cities reported increases both before and after seasonal adjustment.  

“Year-over-year home prices continued to gain, but at ever more modest rates,” says Philip Murphy, managing director and global head of index governance at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Charlotte surpassed Tampa to join the top three cities, and Seattle may be turning around from its recent negative streak of YOY price changes, improving from -1.3% in June to -0.06% in July.”

According to the index, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Charlotte reported the highest year-over-year gains among all of the 20 cities.

In July, Phoenix led with a 5.8% year-over-year price increase, followed by Las Vegas with a 4.7% increase and Charlotte with a 4.6% increase. Seven of the 20 cities reported larger price increases in the year ending July 2019 versus the year ending June 2019.

“Overall, leadership remains in the southwest (Phoenix and Las Vegas) and southeast (Charlotte and Tampa),” Murphy said. “Other pockets of relative strength include Minneapolis, which increased its YOY gain to 4.2%, and Detroit, which is closely behind at 4.1% YOY.”

“The 10-City and 20-City Composites both experienced lower YOY price gains than last month, declining to 1.6% and 2.0% respectively. However, the U.S. National Home Price NSA Index remained steady with a YOY price gain of 3.2%, the same as prior month,” Murphy said. “Home price gains remained positive in low single digits in most cities, and other fundamentals indicate renewed housing demand.”

 The graph below highlights the average home prices within the 10-City and 20-City Composites:

Case-Shiller - July

How NYC’s affordable housing crisis affects family homelessness | #MtKisco Real Estate

New York’s housing crisis has taken center stage in the last few months: A bold package of bills was passed in Albany to protect tenants, while the city’s Rent Guidelines Board voted to raise the rent despite clamors from residents of rent stabilized apartments. Something that housing advocates have continuously cited is the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless in the city.

A new study by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness (ICPH), found that on July 1, 2018, there were over 12,000 families with children sleeping in a city-run shelter. The study also explored the biggest factors—family, neighborhood, and shelter dynamics—that lead to homelessness.

Overall, the study says that in fiscal year 2016, the main reasons families entered shelters included domestic violence (30 percent), eviction (25 percent), and overcrowding (17 percent).

In terms of shelter dynamics, the ICPH analysis found that neighborhoods with the highest family shelter capacity include Concourse/Highbridge, East Tremont in the Bronx, and Brownsville in Brooklyn. The report also notes that in 2015, the district with the most families entering shelters was East New York in Brooklyn.

Neighborhood dynamics contributing to homelessness, the study found, include educational attainment, unemployment, rent burden (as well as disappearing affordable units), and poverty.

An interactive map (below) shows the percentage of severely rent-burdened households in each borough—meaning households spending 50 percent or more of their income on rent. The map shows that the Bronx had the most severely rent-burdened households with 33.1 percent, followed by Staten Island at 29.5 percent (those figures are based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey.)

The study lists specific neighborhoods facing the most instability for different reasons. In Borough Park, for instance, 44 percent of households are severely rent burdened, and in Mott Haven, 40 percent of residents have less than a high-school diploma.

“Severely rent burdened households are often just one lost paycheck or medical emergency away from eviction,” the study reads. “As rents continue to rise, the preservation of affordable housing is essential to keeping families on the brink of homelessness stably housed in their communities.”

Also included in the map are the number of disappearing affordable units in each neighborhood. Those with large numbers of lost affordable units include Battery Park/Tribeca, Midtown Business District, Williamsburg/Greenpoint, Fort Greene/Brooklyn Heights, Fresh Meadows/Briarwood, Coney Island, and East Harlem.

Though the ICPH report says the number of families with children in shelters has increased by almost 55 percent between 2011 and 2018, the city’s Department of Homeless Services told Curbed that the overall numbers have gone down.

“Our transformation plan puts people first, offering them the opportunity to get back on their feet in their home boroughs, closer to support networks, including schools,” Isaac McGinn, a city Department of Homeless Services spokesperson told Curbed in a statement.

“As we turn the tide on this citywide challenge, we’ve driven down the number of families experiencing homelessness overall, while also helping hundreds of families in shelter move closer to their children’s schools—and we’ll be taking this progress even further as we continue to implement our five-year plan,” he added.

read more…

https://ny.curbed.com/2019/6/28/19102889/nyc-homeless-shelters-families-affordable-housing

New fixer upper loan out | Mt Kisco Real Estate

House under construction

Freddie Mac is launching a new mortgage product that allows borrowers to buy a fixer-upper and finance the renovation all with one loan. Existing homeowners can use it to repair or improve their properties.

The government-sponsored enterprise announced its new CHOICE Renovation loan product on Wednesday, saying it’s available immediately to all approved lenders. Lenders have two paths for delivering the loan to Freddie. They can either wait until the renovations are complete, or, for approved lenders, they can deliver the loan while work is ongoing if they’re providing oversight for the projects.

“We recognized there’s a significant amount of aging housing stock, both in under served areas and in the broader housing market, and there’s also a need for affordable housing,” Kelly Marrocco, director of credit policy at Freddie Mac said in an interview. “This is a new offering that allows people to purchase a home that needs repair, or allows existing homeowners to renovate without having to do a cash-out refinance.”

The new mortgage product has a unique feature to address the danger of natural disasters and flooding. It allows owners to use the funds to renovate or repair a property that has been damaged in a natural disaster or for changes that will help to prevent damage from a future disaster, such as work on storm surge barriers, foundation retrofitting, or retaining walls. A home’s foundation is a concrete base placed below ground, upon which a home rests. A good foundation is critical to a home’s well-being, as it supports the full load of the structure, preventing a variety of potential damages from occurring. Foundation Repair Company are experts at pier and beam foundation repair, basement crack repair, repair of basement vertical cracks, and in fact, repair of virtual all foundation issues. Make sure to check out Foundation Repair San Antonio offers several types of foundation repair solutions. Our highly trained staff will suggest solutions based on your home’s needs.

The funds “can be used to address housing resiliency items that will either repair damage or improve the homes ability to withstand environmental hazards,” Marrocco said.

The renovation market has grown by more than 50% since the Great Recession ended in 2009, Freddie Mac said in its announcement of the new loan product. Nearly 80% of the nation’s 137 million homes are at least 20 years old and 40% are at least 50 years old.

“Given the increasing age of existing housing stock, the growing number of millennials and other first-time home buyers looking for more affordable home buying options, and the increase in retirees opting to age in place, the Freddie Mac CHOICE Renovation mortgage is a flexible solution to finance or refinance these fixer-uppers,” Danny Gardner, a Freddie Mac senior vice president, said in the announcement.

read more…

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/49371-freddie-mac-announces-fixer-upper-mortgage

European real estate bubble a ‘real possibility’ | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The euro area is at risk of a new real estate bubble as a result of expansionary monetary policy from the European Central Bank (ECB), Commerzbankanalysts have warned.

The ECB council meets on Thursday June 6, and is likely to decide on the details of the third edition of its targeted longer-term refinancing operations (TLTRO-III) program, a series of Eurosystem operations that provide financing to credit institutions for periods of up to four years.

TLTROs offer long-term funding at attractive conditions to banks in order to encourage them to lend capital to the real economy.

The central bank has faced calls from some corners of the market for fresh stimulative measures to aid the anemic European economy, and the third round of TLTROs represent a continuation of its expansionary monetary course.

“With a view to low core inflation, some policies are often passed off as a free lunch,” a note from Commerzbank senior economists Dr Ralph Solveen and Dr Jorg Kramer said in a note Friday.

“Yet the ECB’s expansionary monetary policy has a cost and it comes in the form of higher house prices, which already appear expensive in some countries, and the threat of a property price bubble is a real possibility.”Rising house prices

Commerzbank highlighted that house prices have been rising rapidly in the majority of eurozone economies, including the large economies of Germany, Belgium and France. With an increase of around 4.5% in the course of 2018, Germany was slightly above average in terms of rising house prices, while Slovenia and Latvia saw double-digit rises. Portugal, the Netherlands and Luxembourg all rose at almost 10% rates.

Yet Commerzbank analysts anticipate that ECB interest rates will remain in negative territory for the foreseeable future, further heightening the threat of a real estate bubble.

“The relation between house prices and rents, a frequently used measure for the valuation of real estate, has risen by more than 10% since early 2015. This is less than 5% below its level at the beginning of 2008, when the housing market in some euro area countries had formed considerable bubbles,” the note stated.

Commerzbank expects that if the ECB maintains its monetary policy stance until the end of 2020, average house prices will exceed pre-crisis levels.Falling debt and no building boom

Solveen and Kramer pointed out that the strength of impact of a bursting price bubble on the real economy depends, in part, on the extent to which rising house prices are accompanied by rising debt and a construction boom.

The euro zone as a whole is not yet in this position, the analysts suggested, with private household debt relative to GDP falling steadily across most of Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), although Belgium and France were noted as exceptions.

There is also no question of a construction boom, the economists highlighted, and the share of residential construction investment in eurozone GDP is now significantly lower than at the beginning of 2008.

“The situation is somewhat different in Germany, where the rise in prices in recent years has been accompanied by a sharp rise in construction investment and bottlenecks are increasingly occurring in the construction sector,” the Commerzbank note stated.

“However, the share of residential construction investment in GDP is still lower than at the beginning of the monetary union, and there was certainly no construction boom in Germany at that time.”

read more…

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/31/european-real-estate-bubble-a-real-possibility-commerzbank-says.html

How tariffs increase building costs | Mt Kisco Real Estate

In July 2018, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced its intention to levy tariffs on a series of imports from China. USTR rolled out proposed tariffs in three waves, with the third list (List 3) covering approximately $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. The List 3 goods comprises 5745 items, approximately 450 of which are commonly used in the residential construction industry.

The NAHB economics department examined the imports identified on List 3 and published a special study that estimated the economic effects that the proposed 10-percent tariff would have on the residential construction industry. The value of the 450 building materials included on List 3 is roughly $10 billion. A 10-percent tariff on these goods, therefore, represented a $1 billion tax increase on the housing industry.

One of the questions going into the fourth quarter of 2018 was to what extent the tariffs—even the announcement of intent to levy tariffs in the future—would affect the amount of imports of building materials and construction supplies. As the recently released January 2019 trade data show, the effects of both tariffs levied, as well as announcement of future tariffs, have been substantial.

To analyze these effects, the average monthly change in import value of the 450 items between 2011 and 2017 was compared to monthly changes from January 2018 through January 2019. The “floating” nature of major Chinese holidays affecting capital flows necessitated comparison to the historical average in order to smooth out holiday induced seasonal effects that may occur in different months in different years.

As illustrated in the figure below, the largest disparities between trade flows in 2018 and the 2011-2017 period occurred in April and December 2018.

Although the 2018 study on building materials imports focused on List 3, some goods used in residential construction were affected by the section 232 tariffs (i.e. tariffs levied based on national security concerns) imposed on certain steel and aluminum imports (25 percent and 10 percent, respectively). These tariffs went into effect in March 2018 and clearly had an effect on April 2018 imports from China.

When the USTR announced tariffs to be levied on List 3 beginning September 24th, 2018, the office also announced that the tariff rate would be time sensitive. Although the tariff would initially be set at 10 percent, that rate had a planned increase to 25 percent on January 1st, 2019 in the event that China and the United States could not resolve their differences by the end of the year.

Expectations of a substantial tariff rate increasingly took hold as it was reported that the two countries were not making meaningful progress in negotiations. The data indicate that these expectations brought the timing of imports forward (to December) in order to avoid the increase.

On December 17th, 2018, however, President Trump announced that the rate hike would be delayed to March. Consequently, the data show that imports of building materials declined more than 20 percent in January 2019—in stark contrast to the historical 15-percent increase seen in January.

The President delayed the tariff rate increase indefinitely on February 24, 2019, citing “substantial progress” in trade talks between American and Chinese officials. NAHB will continue to monitor import data releases to examine the possible effects of that announcement.

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Cuomo’s to blame for Westchester’s gas crisis | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Cuomo’s to blame for Westchester’s gas crisis

State officials held hearings last week into Con Ed’s ban on new natural-gas customers in much of Westchester, but it’s the state itself that blocked new gas pipelines. What’d anyone expect?

Now, it turns out, the county’s nightmare may begin sooner than thought: When Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who represents southern Westchester, asked Con Ed if it could delay the ban (set for March 15), the utility was frank: Supply and demand determine whether there’s enough gas, it said. So shortages could occur even beforethen.

Paulin isn’t the only one worried: “A March 15 deadline is just far too soon,” warned County Executive George Latimer. And the ban could choke an economic comeback in Westchester. “A moratorium of no new hookups would create a very chilling effect” on the “revival” in New Rochelle, Yonkers and White Plains.

Yet Con Ed has been warning for a long time now. In 2017, it tried to get the Public Service Commission to let it offer incentives to pipeline developers, who feared being denied permits — but was turned down.

The PSC denies that Con Ed came to it with any “pipeline solution,” Paulin said, but public documents show that’s not so.

Let’s face it: Even if the state forced Con Ed to sign up new customers, the utility still couldn’t deliver gas it doesn’t have.

Yet this disaster is entirely self-inflicted. To suck up to climate-change radicals, who hope to do away with all fossil-fuel-based energy, Gov. Cuomo has been slow to OK new pipelines. In response, pipeline companies have lost interest in New York.

Absent new gas supplies, businesses and residents will shun the county. No one will freeze, but Westchester faces new economic drag.

And New York City’s not far behind.

One hope: a court ruling last month that states can’t use their water-quality certification process to delay federal licensing of hydropower plants. “The scope of the ruling enhances the odds” that the Constitution pipeline will be built, notes Rob Rains of Washington Analysis. Constitution’s sponsors want the court to rule against New York efforts to block the pipeline.

Alas, anti-pipeline foes are gaining steam in New York. Last year, city Comptroller Scott Stringer bucked labor unions to denounce the plan for the Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline, a source of natural gas that’s vital to the city’s growth. At least seven public-advocate wannabes have now joined him.

Maybe they want to send city folks fleeing, much as a dead economy has Upstaters doing. Then again, if everyone leaves, there’ll be no need for natural gas . . 

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Cuomo’s to blame for Westchester’s gas crisis