Tag Archives: Mt Kisco NY Real Estate

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

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

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

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

ac

Heating Systems

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

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

pumps

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

 

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

New home sales unexpectedly rise in September | Mt Kisco Real Estate

– New U.S. single-family home sales unexpectedly rose in September, pointing to sustained demand for housing even as data for August was revised sharply down.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday new home sales increased 3.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000 units last month, pulling them close to a nine-year high touched in July.

August’s sales pace was revised down to 575,000 units from the previously reported 609,000 units.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast single-family home sales, which account for about 9.8 percent of overall home sales, falling to a rate of 600,000 units last month.

New home sales, which are derived from building permits, are volatile on a month-to-month basis and subject to large revisions.

Sales increased 29.8 percent from a year ago. They rose in the third quarter compared to the April-June period, indicating strong demand for housing.

Residential construction, however, likely remained a drag on gross domestic product in the third quarter.

Despite rising demand for housing, home building has been lagging, with builders complaining about land and labor shortages. Demand is being driven by rising wages as the labor market nears full employment, as well as by very low mortgage rates.

New single-family homes sales surged 33.3 percent in the Northeast and soared 8.6 percent in the Midwest last month.

Sales in the South, which accounts for more than half of new home sales, climbed 3.4 percent.

Sales fell 4.5 percent in the West, which has seen a sharp increase in home prices amid tight inventories.

 

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http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-newhomesales-idUSKCN12Q1VJ?il=0

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

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

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

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

Slide1

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

Slide2

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/09/home-improvements-push-residential-construction-spending-up/

1 Million Rentals on Craigslist | Mt Kisco Real Estate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/09/01/what-more-than-1-million-craigslist-rental-listings-tell-us-about-the-housing-market/

Mortgage applications rise again | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Mortgage Applications in the United States is expected to be 0.98 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Mortgage Applications in the United States to stand at 0.48 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States MBA Mortgage Applications is projected to trend around 0.48 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.

United States MBA Mortgage Applications

 

Some 50,000 more New York City apartments may be eligible for rent regulation | Mt Kisco Real Estate

In late August, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other top New York officials announced an unusual crackdown on landlords. Nearly 200 building owners were collecting big tax breaks under a program to spur housing, officials said, but hadn’t registered their apartments for rent stabilization as the law requires.

Is your rent legal? It might not be. Your landlord might be charging you too much, and we want your help figuring that out.

“We will not tolerate landlords who break the law and deny their tenants rent-regulated leases, plain and simple,” Cuomo said in a statement at the time. With Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the governor announced a new enforcement effort to clean up such abuses.

But an investigation by ProPublica found that in reality, state and New York City officials have tolerated the problem for years—and ignored pleas to investigate. Nor is it limited to the building owners Cuomo and Schneiderman found—landlords have failed to register thousands of buildings for rent regulation, casting doubt on the legality of leases for about 50,000 apartments across the city.

That is the finding of an extensive analysis of government data covering nearly 15,000 rental buildings receiving the tax subsidies as of 2013. About 40%—or 5,500 buildings—weren’t listed as rent-stabilized, yet records show the owners are receiving more than $100 million in property tax reductions.

Stephen Werner, an analyst at the city’s Housing Preservation and Development Department (HPD), has been complaining to higher-ups about the missing registrations for decades. Werner said he first told his bosses 20 years ago they were “perpetrating a fraud” by counting too many apartments as rent-stabilized in the triennial surveys prepared for the City Council and the public.

Briefed on ProPublica’s analysis, Jumaane Williams, a city council member from Brooklyn who chairs the council’s housing and buildings committee, called for a “severe and swift response” to ensure that tenants are getting the rent protections they deserve.

“We have to fight and scrape for every last piece of affordable housing,” Williams said, “and here we are with thousands of units with people we’ve given money to and tax breaks to, and who’ve agreed to keep these units in rent stabilization, blatantly not doing it.”

ProPublica reported yesterday on a related abuse, where landlords do register for rent stabilization then collect bigger rent increases than allowed by the city’s Rent Guidelines Board. They do so in part by exploiting confusion about “preferential” rents and whether newer buildings are rent-stabilized.

Landlords who register properly for rent stabilization must do so annually with the state. Lists of buildings that have done so are published by the Rent Guidelines Board. To determine if a tax-advantaged building was registered, ProPublica cross-checked that data against a listing of properties receiving the tax breaks, known as 421-a and J51, published by the city’s Department of Finance.

Exactly what’s happening to tenants in the buildings is unclear. In some cases, tenants did have rent-stabilized leases because landlords skipped a year but had registered in others. In other cases, buildings had multiple addresses but registered only one. Others had opened only recently.

Despite that, three tenants reached by ProPublica said they had not been given rent-stabilized leases. “I knew that rent stabilization was something that existed, and I looked out for it and it definitely wasn’t present,” said Mark Ellison, a Crown Heights resident who lives in one unregistered building.

In 2013, Ellison said, his landlord proposed raising the rent $800 a month, or 40%. The landlord backed down when Ellison said it was unacceptable.

The implications go beyond rent. Tenants can only properly claim legal rights provided under a rent-stabilized lease—such as eviction protection and the right to timely repairs—if they are not in the dark about their building’s status and if the state has a record of it.

City officials acknowledged there is a problem with registrations but were unable to explain how such a large number of landlords could be out of compliance. They did not respond to a detailed accounting of ProPublica’s findings and methods or questions about why Werner’s complaints hadn’t been addressed.

A spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration said in emails that officials “became cognizant” of the problem after de Blasio took office last year and “took action promptly to address it.” The matter is now the subject of a “multi-stage, multi-agency” enforcement effort, the spokesperson said.

“While we cannot disclose details on an ongoing investigation, we will not stop until every property is brought into compliance,” the de Blasio spokesperson said.

Announcing their August crackdown, Cuomo and Schneiderman said building owners who don’t register as rent-stabilized face serious legal consequences, including loss of their tax breaks, a rent freeze and paying triple the amount of overcharges any tenant might have received.

Instead of taking those steps, they sent owners of the 194 unregistered buildings a “one-time” opportunity to comply and informed tenants that they should expect their landlords to get into compliance sometime soon.

In the past three years, only two landlords have lost their tax breaks for not following the rent-stabilization rules, city officials have said.

The two tax-incentive programs at issue together provide almost $1.4 billion in property tax savings to New York City real estate owners, with most of the money flowing to multifamily apartment buildings.

Landlords who receive the 421-a and J51 tax benefits are supposed to submit all the units in their properties to rent stabilization for the duration of their tax breaks, which can span up to 34 years and significantly lower property tax burdens, in some instances by more than 90%.

The rent stabilization requirements are intended to help preserve affordability in places like Manhattan’s Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, which receive a J51 tax break that subjects all of their 11,000 units to rent stabilization. A 2009 court decision involving Stuyvesant Town confirmed that, as long as such tax breaks are in place, landlords must provide tenants with rent-stabilized leases.

To make sure they are doing so, the state requires landlords to register their rent-stabilized apartments annually and report each unit’s rent. Tenant advocates say registration also creates an important protection for tenants, who are entitled to the rent history and can use it to prove overcharges.

“It’s incredibly important for tenants to be able to know that they’re rent-stabilized and also have the legal record of what the rent increases are,” said Katie Goldstein, executive director of Tenants & Neighbors, a statewide tenants’ rights group.

Landlords who didn’t register used to be ineligible for rent increases. But that changed in 1993, when the New York Legislature eliminated penalties for failing to register. “If they don’t do it, there are no repercussions,” Goldstein said.

Most of the buildings identified by ProPublica were repeat offenders: About 80% that didn’t register units in 2013 also didn’t do so from 2009 to 2012. Some appear to have never registered, according to searches against the state’s master directory of rent-stabilized buildings.

The noncompliant properties were mostly smaller buildings receiving 421-a benefits, including many three-family homes and four-to201310 unit apartment complexes. Among the five boroughs, Brooklyn and Queens had largest numbers of unregistered buildings.

In some corners of city government, the gap in registrations has been an open secret. Werner, the housing department analyst, first took notice in 1995.

Werner, 69 and still working at HPD, helps put together the city’s triennial housing survey. He collects data from the state showing all the apartments that have been registered for rent stabilization. The number never exceeded 800,000, he said, while the housing surveys routinely reported a higher number, now more than 1 million.

“The numbers never matched,” Werner said. He estimated the total shortage—beyond just properties receiving the tax breaks—at 200,000 apartments.

Werner said he raised the issue repeatedly with his superiors, but nothing was ever done about it besides occasional meetings and memos that went nowhere. In 2006, he emailed state regulators to inquire about the tax breaks, but no one there answered him, either.

The city denied ProPublica’s public records request for emails and memos about the registration gap.

Earlier this year, Werner took things into his own hands. Using publicly available data, he spent nights and weekends creating his own website where tenants can type in their address and see their building’s registration status and tax breaks. Then, out of frustration, he contacted ProPublica

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http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20151106/REAL_ESTATE/151109917/some-50000-more-new-york-city-apartments-may-be-eligible-for-rent#utm_medium=email&utm_source=cnyb-realestate&utm_campaign=cnyb-realestate-20151106

Home Affordability Improves | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Buying a home was at the most affordable level in two years in the first quarter of 2015, according to a recent report jointly released by RealtyTrac® and Clear Capital, which shows that home­buying is becoming more affordable, despite the average U.S. home price increasing at more than twice the pace of the average weekly wage nationwide over the past year.

“Although home prices continue to outpace wage growth in the majority of local markets, this analysis somewhat surprisingly shows that affordability is actually improving in most markets thanks to falling interest rates and slowing home price growth, which is allowing wage growth to catch up in some markets,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

“At the national level, buying an average­priced home in the first quarter of 2015 was the most affordable it’s been in two years and nearly twice as affordable as it was in the second quarter of 2006—when affordability was its worst in the past 10 years.

At the local level, we’re seeing several bellwether markets where wage growth matched or even outpaced home price growth over the past year.” For the report, RealtyTrac analyzed recently released Q1 2015 average weekly wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and average prices for single­family homes and condos derived from publicly recorded sales deed data collected by RealtyTrac in 582 U.S. counties with sufficient home price data.

Average interest rates on a 30­year fixed rate mortgage came from the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Clear Capital analyzed data from its Home Data Index to determine counties at highest risk and lowest risk based on affordability and potential for price growth.

Average home price appreciation outpaced average wage growth between the first quarter of 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 in 397 out of 582 (68 percent) U.S. counties analyzed for the report. But during the same time period, the average interest rate on a 30­year fixed rate mortgage dropped 57 basis points (13 percent), from 4.34 percent in the first quarter of 2014 to 3.77 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

The drop in interest rates—along with wage growth outpacing home price appreciation in 32 percent of counties—meant buying a home in the first quarter of 2015 required a smaller share of the average wage compared to a year ago in 339 of the 582 counties (58 percent).

Counties where wage growth outpaced home price growth Major markets where wage growth outpaced home price growth in the first quarter— counter to the national trend—included Cook County, Ill., in the Chicago metro area; Orange County, Calif., in the Los Angeles metro area; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Fairfax County, Va., in the Washington, D.C., metro area; and Riverside County in Southern Calif., where the average weekly wage in the first quarter was up 10 percent from a year ago, double the 5 percent growth in average home prices during the same time period.

Buying a home 48 percent more affordable than during 2006 housing bubble Assuming a 3 percent down payment, monthly payments on an average­priced U.S. home —including property taxes, home insurance and private mortgage insurance (PMI)— required 36.5 percent of the average wage nationwide in the first quarter of 2015, down from 37.6 percent in the previous quarter and down from 37.4 percent in the first quarter of 2014 to the most affordable level since the first quarter of 2013, when affordability was 33.5 percent.

Buying a home nationwide was at the most affordable level in the last 10 years in the first quarter of 2012, when monthly house payments required 32 percent of average wages, while buying a home nationwide was at the least affordable level in the last 10 years in the second quarter of 2006, when monthly house payments required 70.7 percent of average wages.

Home price growth outpacing wage growth 3 to 1 during housing recovery Since bottoming out in the first quarter of 2012, the average U.S. home price has risen 24 percent while the average weekly wage nationwide has risen 7 percent during the same time period. The average interest rate on a 30­year fixed rate mortgage has dropped 5 percent.

 

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http://rismedia.com/2015-10-01/

 

Mortgage Rates at 3.87% | Mount Kisco Real Estate

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained at 3.87% in the week that ended June 4, matching the prior week’s reading, which was the highest since the end of 2014, according to a Thursday report from federally controlled mortgage-buyer Freddie Mac.

A year ago, the 30-year rate was at 4.14%. A record low of 3.31% for the 30-year mortgage was hit in November 2012.

The average rate for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 3.08% in the latest week from 3.11% in the prior week.

Meanwhile, the rate for a 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 2.96% from 2.90%. The rate for a 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM jumped up to 2.59% from 2.50%.

 

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/30-year-mortgage-rate-remains-highest-since-late-2014-2015-06-04

Down Payment Assistance Available to Most Buyers | Mount Kisco Real Estate

A study to make home buyers realize that they could qualify for a free down payment without winning the lottery found that 87 percent U.S. of US homes qualify for down payment help.

“Many homebuyers, especially Millennials, haven’t fully investigated their home financing options because they are pessimistic about qualifying for a mortgage. Our Homeownership Program Index highlights the wide range and availability of down payment programs available to today’s homebuyers. In fact, 91 percent of the 2,290 programs in our registry have funds available to lend to eligible buyers. Plus, income limits vary depending on the market and programs extend beyond just first-time homebuyers,” said Rob Chrane, president and CEO of Down Payment Resource. “It’s important for buyers to research down payment programs as part of their loan shopping process.”

“Historically low homeownership rates across nearly every age demographic have led to a public policy push to lower the barrier to homeownership through down payments as low as 3 percent, but the fact is that the barrier to homeownership is often much lower than even that 3 percent for borrowers who take advantage of one of the myriad down payment help programs available across the country,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Prospective buyers — or their agents — willing to put in a few minutes of time to find out what programs are available to them will put themselves in a much better position to successfully purchase a home.”

RealtyTrac looked at 2,290 down payment programs from Down Payment Resource’s Homeownership Program Index and found that out of more than 78 million U.S. single family homes and condos in 1,792 counties with sufficient home value data, more than 68 million (87 percent) would qualify for a down payment program available in the county where they are located based on the maximum price requirements for those programs and the estimated value of the properties.

 

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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2015/02/down-payment-assistance-available-to-most-buyers/

 

You Know It’s a Tough Market When Ben Bernanke Can’t Refinance | Mt Kisco Real Estate

 


Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Ben S. Bernanke, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Ben S. Bernanke said the mortgage market is so tight that even he is having a hard time refinancing his own home loan.

The former Federal Reserve chairman, speaking at a conference in Chicago yesterday, told moderator Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics Inc. — “just between the two of us” — that “I recently tried to refinance my mortgage and I was unsuccessful in doing so.”

When the audience laughed, Bernanke said, “I’m not making that up.”

“I think it’s entirely possible” that lenders “may have gone a little bit too far on mortgage credit conditions,” he said.

Bernanke, addressing a conference of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care in Chicago yesterday, said that the first-time home buyer market is “not what it should be” as the economy in general strengthens.

“The housing area is one area where regulation has not yet got it right,” Bernanke said. “I think the tightness of mortgage credit, lending is still probably excessive.”

 

 

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-02/you-know-it-s-a-tough-market-when-ben-bernanke-can-t-refinance.html