Tag Archives: Mt Kisco Luxury Real Estate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mortgage rates average 3.94% | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the 30-year fixed mortgage rate inching lower for the third consecutive week and setting a new low for the year.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.94 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending June 1, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.95 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.66 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.19 percent with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.92 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.11 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.07 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.88 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.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“In a short week following Memorial Day, the 10-year Treasury yield fell 4 basis points. The 30-year mortgage rate remained relatively flat, falling 1 basis point to 3.94 percent and once again hitting a new 2017 low.”

Price it right and they will come | Mt Kisco Real Estate

No, that’s not a typo: Douglas Elliman’s profits dipped to just $100,000 during the first quarter of 2017, down from $7.1 million during the same period last year, parent company Vector Group reported Friday. The paltry sum was attributed to fewer closings at new development projects, Vector executives said.

Elliman closed sales worth $5.6 billion during the first quarter, compared to last year’s $5.7 billion, the company said. That resulted in $155.5 million in first-quarter revenue, down slightly from $157.6 million last year.

“There were less new development closings. That’s a higher-margin business so that hurt us,” said Douglas Elliman CEO Howard Lorber, during an earnings call Friday.

While the firm’s net income for the quarter was $100,000, its adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) was $1.8 million, compared to $9.1 million in 2016’s first quarter.

Overall, Vector’s first-quarter revenue was $415.2 million, up from $380.8 million in 2016’s first quarter. Vector reported a net loss of $4.2 million compared with net income of $19.3 million during the first quarter of last year.

Lorber told investors that New Valley, the real estate investment vehicle of Vector, would continue to take an “opportunistic” approach. “If there’s something that makes sense, that’s an opportunistic type of investment or a troubled project where we think we can add value, we’re interested,” he said.

In general, he said, the New York market has picked up — a sentiment shared by others in recent weeks.

Real estate conglomerate Realogy Holdings Corp., which reported its first-quarter results on Thursday, generated $1.2 billion in revenue for the quarter, a 6 percent improvement from the prior year, the company said. New Jersey-based Realogy had an adjusted net loss of $23 million compared to an adjusted loss of $17 million in 2016’s first quarter — both attributed to low seasonal transaction volume.

During an earnings call Thursday, Realogy CEO Richard Smith said there are “early signs of stabilization” in the luxury market, with sales in the $2.5 million-and-up segment up 10 percent from this time last year. “New product in New York City continues to be particularly strong,” he said.

NRT — the division that owns the Corcoran Group, Sotheby’s International Realty and Citi Habitats — saw revenue jump seven percent year-over-year to $897 million for the first quarter.

But Smith cautioned that there isn’t enough inventory on the low end of the market, and he described a recent bidding war for a $1 million New York City apartment as an example. Some 200 people showed up at the open house, 25 of them made bids and the apartment sold for 20 percent above the asking price, he said. “Listen, we don’t see that play out in every market,” he said. “The good news is, when something is priced right… it’s selling.”

 

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https://therealdeal.com/2017/05/05/elliman-only-made-100k-in-profits-in-q1/?utm_source=The+Real+Deal+E-Lerts&utm_campaign=5e50cfa7fe-New_York_Weekend_Update_10.18.2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6e806bb87a-5e50cfa7fe-385733629

Case-Shiller up 5.1% | Mt Kisco Real Estate

United States S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index  

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

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

 

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

Shortage of appraisers causing home sales delays | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Housing demand is rising rapidly, but a key cog in the wheel to homeownership is in deep trouble. The people most needed to close the deal are disappearing. Appraisers, the men and women who value homes and whom mortgage lenders depend upon, are shrinking in numbers.

That is causing growing delays in closings, costing buyers and sellers money and in some cases even scuttling deals.

The share of on-time closings has dropped from 77 percent last April to 64 percent today for loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance. Appraisal-related issues in these delays jumped by 50 percent in that time.

“The appraisal shortage is massive. You’re seeing significant delays, you’re seeing cost increases, you’re seeing rate [locks] expire,” said Brian Coester, CEO of Rockville, Maryland-based CoesterVMS, a national appraisal management company.

Since 2007, when the U.S. housing market came crashing down, the number of appraisers has shrunk by 22 percent, according to the Appraisal Institute, an industry association. With so few new cadets, the current population of appraisers is aging. More than 60 percent are over the age of 50.

Ironically, the decline in new appraisers is largely due to new regulations designed to safeguard both banks and borrowers. They were put in place at the end of 2008 by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the FHA, as the entire mortgage banking community was under strict scrutiny after the financial crisis. They changed the rules that would allow appraiser apprentices to do full appraisals and instead require the licensed appraiser to be on-site for the inspection.

The result is that appraisers no longer see a need to pay apprentices, but at the same time, licensing requirements to become an appraiser include 2,500 hours of appraisal experience to be completed in two years as an apprentice.

“The typical appraiser, he’s going to do approximately 10-15 appraisals a week. For him to be able to take a trainee, he needs the ability for the trainee to go ahead and inspect the property for him,” said Coester. “The rules have changed now, and you cannot do what you used to be able to do 10 years ago, which is hire three to four trainees and really have them go and inspect the properties, go and do work for you and really function as an apprentice. That market has been completely eliminated.”

At 1 p.m. on a Monday in Frederick, Maryland, appraiser Joyce Smith has already valued three homes and is walking into the fourth. A 23-year veteran of the business, she said she has never been this busy.

“I get calls five, six, seven, eight times a day. I used to go far away to do appraisals, but there are so many, I don’t have to go very far anymore,” said Smith.

In some of the nation’s hottest housing markets, where sales are up double digits compared to a year ago, the shortage means searching far and wide for an appraiser.

“We’ve been hearing from our agents in Colorado about significant delays in getting appraisals done,” said Alina Ptaszynski, a spokesperson for Redfin. “Our Denver market manager said for one deal, the appraiser came in from Cheyenne, Wyoming. She reported it taking up to seven weeks to get an appraisal done. Valuations aren’t the concern as much as the delays.”

Valuations are, however, becoming increasingly important, as home price gains accelerate, and competition in the market heats up. Prices could change in the course of two months, the delay time it is now taking in some markets to have an appraisal done. Mortgage rates are also starting to move in a wider range, and that makes rate-locks ever more important. It can cost significant cash to extend a rate lock.

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http://www.cnbc.com/2016/09/27/massive-shortage-in-appraisers-causing-home-sales-delays.html?__source=newsletter%7Ceveningbrief

 

New Study Suggests MLS Sold Prices are Inflated in Down Markets | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Transaction prices reported by multiple listing services may differ by an average of 8.75 percent from sold prices reported on HUD-1 settlement statements, possibly because brokers are under pressure to inflate prices in a declining market, according to a new study by three real estate economists at Florida Gulf Coast University published last month by the Appraisal Journal.

In residential appraisal assignments, appraisers often place heavy reliance, at least as a starting point, on multiple listing services (MLS) for property information and transaction prices.Errors will almost inevitably find their way into large databases, and an MLS is certainly no exception. The purpose of this study is to examine the prevalence and magnitude of differences in MLS-reported transaction prices compared to their associated HUD-1 (HUD) Settlement Statements, said the article..

The study found MLS errors are related to market conditions, not property price levels, and are likely to be smaller during a market boom and larger during a market bust.  The study found that MLS-reported prices supplied by brokers on or after the settlement date overstated HUD-reported prices in 6.25% of the sample and understated HUD-reported prices in 2.50%. The data used in the analysis were drawn from the two years before, the year of, and the two years after the market peak between 2004 and 2008.  The study compared HUD-1 and MLS prices from a sample of 670 HUD-1 Settlement Statements obtained from two banks operating in a Southern state.

2016-01-19_9-41-34Source: “Reported Price Errors:A Caveat for Appraisers” in The Appraisal Journal

“This finding is consistent with, but certainly does not prove, the notion that if brokers are motivated to inflate MLS prices, pressure to do so is likely to be greater in declining markets. However, there may be other explanations for the price discrepancies. One such explanation is the possibility that during declining markets, brokers may report initial contract prices that may be subject to downward adjustment between contract and settlement dates. A related possibility is that some prices are renegotiated at the time of closing to accommodate buyers’ cash needs. Regardless of explanation, however, the result is a misstating of price,” the authors concluded.

The study urged appraisers to use other sources in addition to MLS transaction prices to verify reported sale prices, especially when a sale price contradicts sale prices of comparable properties.

 

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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2016/01/new-study-suggests-mls-sold-prices-are-inflated-in-down-markets/

#Expandable #Home Is a Low-Cost Solution to Social Housing Shortage | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Image via Dezeen
Image via Dezeen

What can be done to help those underprivileged groups who cannot afford a home? Mexican female architect, Tatiana Bilbao, gives her answer with a presentation of her latest building prototype at the recent Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Image via Dezeen
Image via Dezeen

The house, about half the cost of a same-sized regular property, consists of a five-meter-high living and dining area, kitchen, bathroom, and two bedrooms. The home has a concrete block core and wooden pallet modules in the surrounding rooms, which allows flexibility to add up to five additional bedrooms. Such a design makes it quick and easy to adapt the house for different layouts to fit into a specific lot. At its smallest, the house takes up an area of 463 square feet, which meets the minimum federal requirement.

Image via Dezeen
Image via Dezeen

The flexible, expandable house was commissioned by the Mexican government to address the country’s social housing shortage for people with low incomes, which has been a worsening yet neglected problem. There has been a housing shortage of as many as nine million homes in Mexico, but few architects have taken the initiative to address the urgent crisis, Bilbao told Dezeen in an interview.

Image via Dezeen
Image via Dezeen

“When we were commissioned to design this model, the first thing in my mind was that I wanted to give more space for the same money,” Bilbao said to Dezeen. Part of the modular system is done with an industrial palette, rather than some expensive strong materials, to save the budget and cut down the price for the customers, she explained.

Image via Dezeen
Image via Dezeen

Bilbao expected to have as many as 3,000 of these homes built per year, to meet the strong need of social housing in Mexico.

 

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http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/projects/

 

NAHB reports home builders confidence at 10 year high | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The National Association of Home Builders’ housing market index increased for the second straight month by 1 point to 62 in September of 2015. It is the highest figure since October of 2005, boosted by an increase in buyer traffic and current sales while the gauge for sales over the next 6 months decreased. Nahb Housing Market Index in the United States averaged 48.63 from 1985 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 78 in December of 1998 and a record low of 8 in January of 2009. Nahb Housing Market Index in the United States is reported by the National Association of Home Builders.

United States Nahb Housing Market Index

 

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
62.00 61.00 78.00 8.00 1985 – 2015 Monthly
SA
NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) is based on a monthly survey of home builders. They are asked to rate current sales of single-family homes and sales expectations for the next six months and to rate traffic of prospective buyers. Scores for responses to each component are used to calculate a seasonally adjusted overall index, where a number over 50 indicates more builders view sales conditions as good than poor. This page provides the latest reported value for – United States Nahb Housing Market Index – plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. Content for – United States Nahb Housing Market Index – was last refreshed on Wednesday, September 16, 2015.

 

Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast (i)
2015-07-16 03:00 PM Jul 60 60(R) 60 57.76
2015-08-17 03:00 PM Aug 61 60 61 59.26
2015-09-16 03:00 PM Sep 62 61 61 61.40
2015-10-16 03:00 PM Oct 62 61.69
2015-11-18 03:00 PM Nov 62.17
2015-12-15 03:00 PM Dec 62.06

 

United States Housing Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Housing Index 0.20 0.50 1.42 -1.72 percent [+]
Building Permits 1130.00 1337.00 2419.00 513.00 Thousand [+]
Housing Starts 1206.00 1204.00 2494.00 478.00 Thousand [+]
New Home Sales 507.00 481.00 1389.00 270.00 Thousand [+]
Pending Home Sales 7.40 8.20 30.00 -24.50 percent [+]
Existing Home Sales 5590.00 5480.00 7250.00 1370.00 Thousand [+]
Construction Spending 0.70 0.10 5.90 -4.80 percent [+]
Nahb Housing Market Index 62.00 61.00 78.00 8.00 [+]
Mortgage Rate 4.09 4.10 10.56 3.47 percent [+]
Mortgage Applications -7.00 -6.20 49.10 -38.80 percent [+]
Case Shiller Home Price Index 180.88 177.08 206.52 100.00 Index Points [+]
Home Ownership Rate 63.40 63.70 69.20 62.90 percent [+]

 

Nahb Housing Market Index Reference Previous Highest Lowest Unit
United States 62.00 Sep/15 61.00 78.00 8.00 [+]

 

 

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http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/nahb-housing-market-index

 

Living in your Garden Shed | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Garden sheds are no longer just for storing tools and other things you’d rather hide away. Home dwellers around the world are finding new uses for their backyard outbuildings and making them fit their lifestyles through a wide range of personalized designs. See how these 11 international sheds and cottages have been reimagined for today’s living — be it lounging, dining, working or beekeeping. Which one would suit your backyard best?

Home Prices Level Out | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Home prices increases may be leveling out, according to one closely-followed real estate report.

In 20 major American cities, home prices this May were about 4.9% higher than May of last year, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, released Tuesday. That’s the same pace of growth as April, and surprised economists when it fell short of expected growth.

Economists predicted a 5.6% year-over-year increase, according to an Econoday survey.

Price increases of single-family homes have settled at a steady pace of 4-5% this year, said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. He said he expects price increases to slow over the next two years, as wages rise to catch up with housing costs.

“First time homebuyers are the weak spot in the market,” said Blitzer, citing research that high down-payments may be putting off first-time home purchases. “Without a boost in first timers, there is less housing market activity, fewer existing homes being put on the market, and more worry about inventory.”

Overall, 10 of the 20 cities surveyed saw housing price increases slow on a seasonally-adjusted basis.  Some real estate markets remain hot, however.

Home prices in Denver are 10% higher than this time last year, and San Francisco and Dallas are also seeing prices increase at almost twice the national pace. New York City and Phoenix have seen prices rise for six consecutive months.

Between April and May, the index slowed 0.2% on a monthly, seasonally adjusted basis. An analyst at Barclays said they were not inclined to “read too much” into the decline.

“This could be a pause for breath in the data after a strong performance for half a year,” wrote Blerina Uruçi in a research note.

 

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http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2015/07/28/home-price-increases-stay-steady/30773195/