Tag Archives: Mt Kisco NY Realtor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Cash Sales Fall to Six Year Low; Distressed Sales Plummet | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Only one out of four single family home and condo sales in May–24.6 percent–were all-cash purchases, down from 30.4 percent a year ago to the lowest level since November 2009. Distress sales also fell to a new low of 10.5 percent of all sales in May, down from 18.3 percent a year ago to the lowest level since January 2011, according to RealtyTrac.

The cash sales share in May was close to its long-term average going back to January 2000 of 24.8 percent and well below its recent peak of 42.2 percent in February 2011. The top five metro areas with a population of at least 200,000 with the highest share of cash buyers were all in Florida: Naples-Marco Island (56.0 percent), Sarasota-Bradenton, (54.0 percent), Miami (53.4 percent), Ocala (49.9 percent), and Cape Coral-Fort Myers (49.7 percent).


RT Cash sales

Meanwhile, the median sales price of a distressed residential property was 43 percent below the median sales price of a non-distressed residential property in May, the biggest distressed discount since January 2006 when RealtyTrac first began tracking this metric.

The median sales price of distressed residential properties — those that were in some stage of foreclosure or bank-owned — that sold in May was $116,192, up less than 1 percent from the previous month but down 2 percent from a year ago. May was the first month with a year-over-year decrease in distressed median sale prices following 13 consecutive months with year-over-year increases.

“Distressed sales in May represented a significantly smaller share of a growing home sales pie as an increasing number of non-distressed sellers continued to cash out on the equity they’ve gained over the last three years of rising home prices,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “But those distressed sales are still acting as a drag on home prices, selling at a median price that is 43 percent below the median price of a non-distressed sale — the biggest gap we’ve seen since we began tracking that distressed discount in January 2006.

Metro areas with a population of at least 200,000 with the highest share of distressed sales were Flint, Michigan (26.0 percent), Tallahassee, Florida (24.2 percent), Memphis, Tennessee (24.1 percent), Pensacola, Florida (23.0 percent), and Ocala, Florida (21.7 percent).

Markets with highest share of cash sales and institutional investor sales

The share of institutional investors — entities purchasing at least 10 properties in a calendar year — dropped to 2.4 percent of single family home sales in May, a record low going back to January 2000, the earliest month with data available.

The top five metro areas with a population of at least 200,000 with the highest share of cash buyers were all in Florida: Naples-Marco Island (56.0 percent), Sarasota-Bradenton, (54.0 percent), Miami (53.4 percent), Ocala (49.9 percent), and Cape Coral-Fort Myers (49.7 percent).

The top five metro areas with a population of at least 200,000 with the highest share of institutional investor purchases were Rockford, Illinois (13.4 percent), Tulsa, Oklahoma (12.6 percent), Roanoke, Virginia (12.6 percent), Memphis, Tennessee (10.2 percent), and San Antonio, Texas (8.4 percent).

Bank-owned sales

Bank-owned sales accounted for 3.9 percent of all residential property sales in May, down from 6.9 percent the previous month and down from 9.0 percent a year ago to the lowest level since January 2011.


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GDP Growth in the First Quarter – Stormy Weather? | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported real GDP grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.2% in the first quarter of 2015. Real GDP grew at an annual rate of 2.2% in the fourth quarter of 2014. The slowdown in economic growth was expected but the extent of the slowdown was a surprise. Harsh weather, a strong dollar, stalled trade at west coast ports and falling energy prices all played a role. In the same report the BEA reported that the price index tracking components of GDP, the broadest measure of price movements across the economy, declined by an annualized rate of 0.1% in the first quarter, after rising only 0.1% in the fourth quarter.

A strong dollar and stalled trade combined to shrink exports by an annual rate of 7.2% shaving almost a full percentage point from growth, but the stalled trade likely restrained imports given the rise in the value of the dollar, which would have depressed growth further. The trade dispute has been resolved, but the strong dollar is likely to persist and be a drag on growth in the near term.

Record low temperatures around the country in February can be considered a one-off event with little impact on growth going forward, but falling energy prices have put the brakes on a previously booming energy sector and contributed to an annualized 23.1% decline in the structures component of fixed investment. Investment in equipment, intellectual property and housing (residential fixed investment) all contributed to growth in total fixed investment, but less than in the previous quarter.

Inventory investment increased when it probably should have declined, adding nearly three quarters of a percentage point to growth in the current quarter, but will likely subtract from growth in the next quarter as payback. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) slowed to 1.9% growth from an unsustainable 4.4% last quarter but will need to reaccelerate if the overall growth outlook is to improve.


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Consumer Credit Expands on Auto, Student Loans | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The Federal Reserve Board recently reported that consumer credit outstanding rose by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.2%, $138.7 billion, in January 2015. Consumer credit outstanding now totals $3.3 trillion.

The expansion of total consumer credit outstanding reflected an increase in the outstanding amount of non-revolving consumer credit. Non-revolving consumer credit includes auto loans and student loans. According to the report, non-revolving credit outstanding grew by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.3%, $152.7 billion, in January 2015, 0.5 percentage points faster than the 5.8%, $140.2 billion, growth recorded in December 2014. There is now $2.4 trillion in outstanding non-revolving credit, 73.3% of the total amount of consumer credit outstanding.

The growth in non-revolving credit was partially offset by a contraction in the outstanding amount of revolving credit. Revolving credit outstanding is largely composed of consumer credit card debt. After recording an increase of 8.4%, $74.2 billion, in December 2014, revolving credit outstanding registered a 1.6% decrease, -$13.9 billion, in January 2015. As of January 2015, revolving credit outstanding totals $0.9 trillion, 26.7% of total consumer credit outstanding.


A previous post illustrated that depository institutions are the largest holders of outstanding consumer credit. According to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which collects banking statistics from depository institutions as part of its responsibility to guarantee the safety of depositor’s accounts, the growth in the amount of loans to individuals, which includes credit cards, other revolving credit plans, automobile loans, and other loans to individuals, but excludes loans to individuals that are secured by real estate, has been accelerating since 2012. As a result, the gap between growth in outstanding loans to individuals and growth in total net lending has converged.

According to Figure 2, loans to individuals made by depository institutions fell by 2.9% in 2009, but total net loans and leases fell by 8.4% indicating that the contraction in loans to individuals was not as severe as other lending made by depository institutions in 2009. Total net loans and leases is equal to the total amount of loans and leases less the reserve for debts gone bad. In 2010, loans to individuals rose by 24.4% while total net loans and leases grew by 1.3%, indicating that growth in loans to individuals exceeded the growth of total net loans and leases. However, the 2010 increase in consumer lending of 24.4% reflects financial institutions’ implementation of the FAS 166/167 accounting rules which moved loans from pools of securitized assets to the balance sheets of lenders. Since 2011, the gap between the growth in loans to individuals and total net loans and leases has closed as growth in loans to individuals has accelerated.


In contrast, the gap between growth in single-family and multifamily lending compared to growth in total net loans and leases had steadily widened until 2014. In 2014, the gap between lending secured by single- and multifamily real estate and total net loans and leases converged. Figure 3 illustrates this result. According to the figure, between 2009 and 2013, the widening gap in growth rates occurred during a period in which lending secured my single-family and multifamily residences was declining and overall lending by depository institutions was growing. In 2014, the gap between the growth in single-and multifamily loans outstanding and total net loans and leases closed as loans for single- and multifamily real estate returned to growth.


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U.S. News & World Report Ranks Northern Westchester Hospital Among Best | Mt Kisco Real Estate


Northern Westchester Hospital (NWH) announced that it has been ranked as one of the best hospitals in New York for 2014 – 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.

The annual U.S. News best hospitals rankings, now in their 25th year, recognize hospitals that excel in treating the most challenging patients. In addition to being recognized as a best hospital, Northern Westchester Hospital was recognized regionally for expertise in gynecology, urology, geriatrics, orthopedics and neurosurgery.

For 2014-2015, U.S. News evaluated hospitals in 16 adult specialties and ranked the top 50 in most of the specialties. Just 12 percent of the nearly 5,000 hospitals that were analyzed for best hospitals in 2014-2015 earned a regional ranking in even one specialty. NWH was ranked within five different specialties.

“Providing the highest level of quality, patient-centered care is our priority at Northern Westchester Hospital,” said Joel Seligman, president and CEO of Northern Westchester Hospital. “We have designed and implemented numerous processes that help to ensure that high quality care is consistently delivered to our patients.



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Here Now, 7 Lovely Houses For Sale in World Cup Country | Mt Kisco Real Estate



Today, on the opening day of the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, we celebrate some of the realms Brazil rules: soccer—they’ve got the most World Cup wins, after all—and architecture. (There are other things—string bikinis, coffee, the largest rainforest in the world, for example—but let’s not touch those for now.) There’s a jumble of architectural styles on the luxury market right now in the Cidade Maravilhosa: French Neoclassical, contemporary, and Imperial dwellings, to name a few. The most intriguing of the Rio listings? Well, if one’s discounting the Airbnb offering listed by soccer stall Ronaldinho, it’s just too hard to choose, so, below, find eight mansions in the running.



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Abandoned hospitals look like condos to developers | Mt Kisco NY Real Estate


Demand for housing in New York has developers turning old hospitals — St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Queens, Cabrini Medical Center in Gramercy, and Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital — into condos. Some people would rather “live in the psych ward with high ceilings as opposed to cookie-cutter buildings,” developer Don Peebles tells the New York Post. Source: nypost.com.


– See more at: http://www.inman.com/wire/abandoned-hospitals-look-like-condos-to-developers/?utm_source=20140303&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailyheadlinespm#sthash.BxKmdHyO.dpuf

Mortgage Rates Fall For Fifth Straight Week | Mt Kisco Realtor

The bond rally of 2014 continues to carry over into mortgage rates, which fell for a fifth straight week. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate dropped to 4.23% this week from 4.32% a week ago and 4.53% in the first week of January, according to Freddie Mac’s (FMCC) latest weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey. A year ago that rate stood at 3.53%. The average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rate also fell to 3.33% from 3.40% a week earlier, up from 2.77% a year ago.

A similar 30-year mortgage rate measured by the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest weekly survey fell to 4.47% from 4.52%, a week earlier. That survey also showed mortgage applications increased by 0.4% in the week.



The cure to zombie foreclosures | Mt Kisco Real Estate


From 2008 to 2010, 8.7% of foreclosures filed in Cook County, Illinois, were zombie foreclosures, accruing to more than 5,800 zombie properties in the city of Chicago. But this is just the beginning.

According to a recent report from the Woodstock Institute, if the trend continues, there will be an additional 7,200 zombie properties in Cook County, including nearly 3,200 in the city of Chicago, by 2015.

“Zombie properties will make it harder for Cook County to recover fully from the housing crisis, especially in the neighborhoods where they are concentrated,” Spencer Cowan, vice president of Woodstock Institute, said.

“Zombies introduce an element of uncertainty that poses barriers to returning homes to productive use or finding creative ways to deal with blighted properties,” Cowan said.

When the foreclosure crisis hit Cook County, it reported 217,035 foreclosure filings and 89,327 properties sold at auction between 2008 and 2012.

And the county felt each one.

Since a zombie property is a foreclosure that has not been resolved for more than three years, usually because neither the borrower nor servicer has a strong incentive to assume responsibility, the houses are likely to be poorly maintained or blighted, which in turn threatens the stability of surrounding communities.