Tag Archives: Mt Kisco Real Estate for Sale

Mt Kisco election upsets | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Longtime Mount Kisco Mayor Michael Cindrich is out.

Cindrich, a Democrat, who had served for 14 years, was defeated by upstart Gina Picincih of 4MountKisco, 52 percent to 48 percent, 1,320 votes to 1,209 votes.

Her running mate, Isi Albanese, was elected to the village board, along with incumbent Democrat Peter Grunthal. Democrat Anthony Markus was defeated.

In Croton, the Croton Democrats took back control of village board. Brian Pugh defeated Mayor Greg Schmidt 58 percent to 42 percent while Democrats Amy Attias and Sherry Horowit were elected to the Town Board.

In Pound Ridge, Democrat Kevin Hansen became the new supervisor, defeating incumbent Dick Lyman, 52 percent to 48 percent.

Yorktown Republican Supervisor Mike Grace fell to challenger Illan Gilbert 51 percent to 49 percent.

In other results:

  •  Catherine Borgia, the Majority Leader of the Board of Legislators who represents District 9, defeated challenger Bob Outhouse, 63 percent to 37 percent, according to unofficial results from the Westchester County Board of Elections.
  •  District 9 covers Ossining, Peekskill, Cortlandt, and Briarcliff.
  •  In District 1, which covers Peekskill, Yorktown and Cortlandt, Legislator John Testa, a Republican, defeated challenger Nancy Vann, a Democrat 56 percent to 44 percent, 7,863 votes to 6,240 votes with 46 percent reporting.Testa won a fifth term.
  •  in District 2, which covers Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers,  Kitley Covill, a Democrat, denied Republican Francis Corcoran his chance at a second term.  Covill won 55 percent to 45 percent.
  •  In District 3, which covers Mount Pleasant, Pleasantville and North Castle, Legislator Margaret Cunzio, a Conservative, defeated Daren Tolz, a Democrat 55 percent to 45 percent, 7,845 votes to 6,377 votes, according to unofficial returns from the Westchester County Board of Elections. Cunzio was running for a second term.
  •  In Bedford, Democrats MaryAnn Carr, an incumbent and Kate Galligan easily defeated Republicans Kyle Carleton and Mary Ellen Devey McLaughlin for two seats on the village board.
  •  In Cortlandt, longtime Supervisor Linda Puglisi, a Democrat, defeated Republican challenger, Liam Carroll 75 percent to 25 percent. Puglisi was running for a 14th term. Democrats Debra Carter-Costello, an incumbent, and James Creighton, were easily elected to the town board.
  •  In Lewisboro, incumbent Democrat Peter Parsons defeated Republican Jason Krellenstein 61 percent to 39 percent, Parsons was running for a fourth term.
  •  In the race for the town board, Tony Goncalves and Jane Crimmins defeated Republican incumbents Frank Kelly and Peter DeLucia with 2,243 votes and 2,242 votes, respectively. DeLucia and Kelly have 1736 votes and 1168 votes.
  •  In Somers, Republican incumbents Anthony Cirieco and William Faulkner defeated Democrats Robert Ondrovic and Thomas Newman.

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Manhattan Renters Seeking Deals Send Leasing to a Record | Mt Kisco Real Estate

In Manhattan, the number of newly signed leases climbed 17 percent in May from a year earlier to 5,969, the biggest total for the month in nine years of record-keeping, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. In Brooklyn, new apartment contracts surged 23 percent to 1,460, also the biggest total for the month in data going back to 2008.

Renters are taking advantage of a market that’s crowded with listings, weighing offers of free rent and other perks from landlords who are working to keep their units filled. Twenty-five percent of all new leases signed last month in Manhattan came with some kind of concession from the owner, about double the share in May 2016, Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman said. In Brooklyn, sweeteners were offered on 15 percent of new agreements, up from 8.8 percent a year earlier.

“They realize, ‘I do have quite a bit of options so let me take a look,’” Hal Gavzie, Douglas Elliman’s executive director of leasing, said of renters’ thinking. “‘Let’s just test the water and see what’s out there.’”

Vacancies Drop

In Manhattan, the surge of renter interest was enough to push down the vacancy rate to the lowest in two years, 1.72 percent, the firms said. It was the first time since 2015 that the figure dipped below 2 percent.

While all that dealmaking helped attract tenants, it kept a lid on rent growth. In Manhattan, net effective rents — calculated after incentives are factored in — were up 0.6 percent in May from a year earlier, to a median of $3,377, the firms said. In Brooklyn, the median rent after concessions dropped 2.1 percent to $2,782.

Some landlords are luring tenants by actually lowering their asking prices — a way to stand out from the crowd where free months of rent and payment of broker’s fees have become commonplace, Gavzie said.


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Home Price Gains Continue | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The Case-Shiller (CS) National Home Price Index, released by S&P Dow Jones Indices, continued to rise in October. The CS Home Price Index rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 10.7%, up from 10.1% last month. Due to tight inventory and high demand, house prices have accelerated since May and reached the pre-recession peak of 2006.

Along with the increases in national home prices, local home prices also increased in varying degrees in October. Figure 2 shows the annual growth rate of home prices for 20 major U.S. metropolitan areas.

All of the 20 metro areas had positive home price appreciation, ranging from 3.5% to 18.3%. Atlanta had the highest home price appreciation at 18.3%, while Chicago had the lowest but still positive growth at 3.5%. Home price appreciation in seven of the 20 metro areas was higher than the national level of 10.7%. Those markets are Atlanta (18.3%), Cleveland (16.7%), Tampa (15.1%), Dallas (12.6%), San Francisco (12.4%), Washington DC (11.4%) and Boston (11.1%).


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Home builder confidence ends the year at highest point since 2005 | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Home builders saw a significant boost in confidence after President-elect Donald Trump won the election, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

This increase brought builder sentiment up seven points to a level of 70, the index’s highest point since July 2005.

Just before the election, builder confidence held steady, holding the HMI level at 63.

“This notable rise in builder sentiment is largely attributable to a post-election bounce, as builders are hopeful that President-elect Trump will follow through on his pledge to cut burdensome regulations that are harming small businesses and housing affordability,” said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady, a home builder and developer.  “This is particularly important, given that a recent NAHB study shows that regulatory costs for home building have increased 29% in the past five years.”

Perhaps this is just the increase the industry needs to boost new home development for first-time buyers, something that First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming said will be a key player in 2017’s housing market.

“Though this significant increase in builder confidence could be considered an outlier, the fact remains that the economic fundamentals continue to look good for housing,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said.

“The rise in the HMI is consistent with recent gains for the stock market and consumer confidence,” Dietz said. “At the same time, builders remain sensitive to rising mortgage rates and continue to deal with shortages of lots and labor.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as good, fair or poor. The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as high to very high, average or low to very low. Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.


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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


Existing Home Sales Weak Despite Good Job Numbers | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Sales of existing homes weakened at the end of 2015, despite ongoing good news for job creation. According to estimates from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the seasonally adjusted volume of home resales declined 10.5% from October to November and were 3.8% lower than a year prior. This marked the first year-over-year decline since September 2014. However, much of this decline was attributable to new mortgage disclosure rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that likely resulted in delays for some sales.

Similarly, the NAR Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator for home sales, declined in November. This was the third decline in the last four months; however, the index remains 2.7% higher than a year ago.

In contrast, new home sales posted a small increase in November, rising 4.3% from a downwardly revised October pace to a 490,000 annual pace. On a year-to-date basis, new home sales were 14.5% higher than for the first 11 months of 2014. Builders are also adding to inventory with rising demand. New home inventories rose to 232,000, the highest since January 2010.

Strengthening job creation should continue to promote home building activity in 2016. And the December Bureau of Labor Statistics report offered positive news. The economy produced 292,000 more jobs for the month, plus an additional 50,000 jobs recorded due to upward revisions for prior months. The unemployment rate held steady at 5%.

The residential construction industry – home builders and remodelers – added 23,100 jobs in December after a cycle-high job gain set in November (31,500). These two months followed a period of lackluster employment gains for the sector. The overall construction industry continues to see elevated levels of unfilled jobs, as does the economy as whole.


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Affordable Housing Victory for Westchester | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Another Affordable Housing Victory for Westchester

Westchester won another victory Thursday in the ongoing affordable housing settlement with the federal government when U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein ruled that the county had provided financing for enough units to meet its 2014 benchmark.

The ruling further states that there was no basis for the county to be held in contempt. Thursday’s decision follows a September victory where a federal appeals court found that the county had not discriminated as it relates to affordable housing.

“This is another win for our residents,” said County Executive Rob Astorino in a statement. “From the beginning, the county has worked hard to comply with the terms of the settlement. But we have also stood firm against overreaching by the federal government to force the county to do things that are not in the agreement. The magistrate’s decision clearly shows that the county has met its obligations and that the federal government’s contention of contempt was wrong and without legal merit or justification.”

From an Astorino press release on the ruling:

The latest ruling centers on 28 units of affordable housing being developed in New Castle under the name Chappaqua Station. The units are part of the 2009 affordable housing settlement reached between the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and the administration of former County Executive Andrew Spano. Under the terms of the agreement, the county must ensure the development of 750 units of affordable housing in 31 mostly white communities by the end of 2016.

The settlement also calls for the county to meet annual benchmarks. By the end of 2014, the county had to have 450 units with financing in place. In November of 2014, the Westchester County Board of Legislators approved financing for the Chappaqua Station project, putting the county over the benchmark by four units. However, the federal monitor assigned to the case, James Johnson, who serves at the pleasure of HUD, and the Department of Justice claimed the units should not count because the financing was “subject to” the development receiving all the necessary approvals. Not counting the units would have left the county 24 units short.

However, U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein dismissed the federal government’s contention, saying the 28 units “should be counted.” “The record is devoid of evidence that the inclusion of this [‘subject to’] provision makes the financing any less available for the Chappaqua Station development,” wrote Judge Gorenstein.

The magistrate also sided with the county on the contempt issue, saying the federal government had failed to meet the standard for showing such a charge was warranted. The county argued successfully that its behavior had to be measured against what the settlement actually says, not what the Monitor claimed it said in his report.

“We cannot conclude on the current record that the Settlement language was clear and unambiguous … such that the County could be held in contempt for not taking the additional actions stated in the Report.”

Astorino said the ruling was critically important for showing once again that the county has been complying with the terms of the settlement. In September, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit gave Westchester a resounding victory when it declared that “there has been no finding, at any point, that Westchester actually engaged in housing discrimination.” That finding by the nation’s second highest court clearly repudiated the allegation that Westchester’s zoning laws are discriminatory and exclusionary.

“The federal government has tremendous power and can do tremendous damage to the reputations of people and institutions simply by throwing out charges like contempt even if they are later found to be baseless,” said Astorino. “The U.S. magistrate’s ruling corrects the false narrative by the federal government that Westchester County has done anything wrong with respect to implementing the housing settlement.”

For 2015, the county has already surpassed its 600-unit benchmark for financing with 635; and has 466 units with building permits, 59 short of the goal with 101 applications pending.

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#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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Student Debt Is a Bigger Barrier to Homeownership than ever | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Student loan debt continues to grow as an obstacle in a consumer’s ability to buy a home, as 57 percent of 2015 respondents who acknowledge having student loans said this debt was either “very much” or “somewhat” of an obstacle, compared to 49 percent of 2014 respondents, according to the third annual America at Home survey from NeighborWorks America.

The survey found that generally levels of student debt among adults have not changed greatly in the past year.  The percent that personally has any student debt stayed the same, at 17 percent of the national sample.  The percentage that worries about their student debt they owe either all of the time or some of the time also stayed constant, at 30 percent.

When it comes to their ability to buy a home, however, the survey found that student debt has grown to be an even greater barrier to homeownership now than it was a year ago.  One out of four participants in the survey (25%) said student is “very much of an obstacle” to buying a home, compared to 20 percent a year ago and 32 percent said it is “somewhat of an obstacle” compared to 29 percent a year ago. The percent of adults who said they who has had to delay the purchase of a home because of their student loan debt increased from 24 to 28 percent over the past 12 months.

Additionally, although mortgage rates remain historically low, a generally steady rise in home prices is outpacing income growth, leading homebuyers — especially first-time buyers — to search for ways to build up a down payment. However, nearly 40 percent of respondents have received “nothing at all” in terms of information about down payment assistance programs for middle-income homebuyers, programs that could provide thousands of dollars to help bridge a savings gap.

Finally, the housing market is being pressured by changing demographics. Of the respondents surveyed, 43 percent planned to purchase a home when they “got married or moved in with a life partner.” This is important for the housing market’s rebound, because the median age at first marriage has increased to 29.3 for men and 27.0 for women, according to the Census Bureau, up from 26.8 and 25.1 years, respectively in 2000.

“It’s clear the housing market is directly affected by many factors, and these forces identified in our survey are putting strong downward pressure on growth,” said Paul Weech, president and CEO of NeighborWorks America. “While NeighborWorks can’t address the demographic shift, we are increasing our efforts to support nonprofits that offer homebuyer education and financial capability coaching.”


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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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