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.
After going 11-5 during the regular season, the New Orleans Saints were looked at as a possible Super Bowl contender. That was, of course, until they hit the brick wall that is the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks. With the season having come to a close the Saints’ head coach, Sean Payton, has turned his attention to a bit of housecleaning. Specifically, he’s selling his sprawling home in Westlake, TX.
Payton is asking $3.45 million for the modernized ranch-style home at the Vaquero Club, an exclusive guard-gated golf course community. According to the astute eye of our friend Candy Evans of Candy’s Dirt, the current ask is exactly what the home last publicly listed for in 2011.
Before moving into the house in March 2012, Payton was renting another home in Westlake, Texas owned by former Texas Ranger and current New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira.
Payton was on the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff from 2003-05, and coached his son’s football team in the nearby Dallas suburb of Argyle during his suspension from the NFL in 2012.
RealtyTrac, released its year-end and fourth quarter 2013 Home Flipping Report, which shows 156,862 single family home flips — where a home is purchased and subsequently sold again within six months — in 2013, up 16% from 2012 and up 114% from 2011.
Profits are strong in flipping right now. The average gross profit for a home flip — the difference between the flipped price and the price the flipper purchased the property for — was $58,081 for all U.S. homes flipped in 2013, up from an average gross profit of $45,759 in 2012. The average gross profit for homes flipped in the fourth quarter was $62,761, up from $52,746 in the fourth quarter of 2012.
It looks like the market for flips is slowing, which could portend ill for housing in general. Flips accounted for 3.8% of all sales in the fourth quarter, down slightly from 3.9% of all sales in the third quarter and down from 7.1% of all sales in the fourth quarter of 2012.
“Strong home price appreciation in many markets boosted profits for flippers in 2013 despite a shrinking inventory of lower-priced foreclosure homes to purchase,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. “For the year 21% of all properties flipped were purchased out of foreclosure, but that is down from 27% in 2012 and 32% in 2011. Meanwhile flipped homes were still purchased at an average discount of 13% below market value in 2013, the same average discount as 2012, indicating that investors are finding discounted buying opportunities outside of the public foreclosure process — particularly in those markets with the biggest increases in flipping for the year.”
Before Rabbi Michael Weissmandl founded the Nitra Yeshiva in Mount Kisco in 1948, he was a hero to hundreds of Slovakian and Hungarian Jews he helped escape, or delay deportation during World War II.
The New York State Legislature plans to present a posthumous state Medal of Honor to Weissmandl for his rescue efforts, which involved paying a ransom to those in charge of deportation, organizing underground bunkers and shelters and writing the “Auschwitz Protocols,” which alerted the international community to the genocide taking place under the Nazi regime
Britain’s house price surge slowed in January after the biggest monthly jump in more than four years in December, mortgage lender Nationwide said on Wednesday, although on an annual basis prices continue to rocket higher.
British house prices rose roughly in line with expectations, up 0.7 percent this month compared with a 1.4 percent increase in December, which was the biggest single-month increase since August 2009.
The increase this month pushed the average price of a British house to 176,491 pounds ($292,700), or 8.8 percent higher on the year in the biggest annual rise since May 2010, when Britain’s coalition government first came to power.
Many economists are concerned that a government scheme launched in October which makes it easier for home buyers to get a mortgage with only a 5 percent deposit is likely to raise prices, rather than boost construction as the government hopes.
On Jan. 1, Bob Costello, an agent with the Brokers Guild brokerage in Denver, launched his “420 Friendly Realty Broker” campaign to capitalize on Colorado’s new 2014 law that allows adults over the age of 21 to purchase recreational marijuana legally in the state.
“I’ve had about 30 calls about this, and for a real estate broker, it’s great — you want a lot of leads,” Costello told the Huffington Post.
Costello offers prospective clients who might want to grow pot insight into what type of homes they should be looking for.
“First of all, you want to be in a marijuana-friendly city like Denver, Edgewater, Wheat Ridge or Pueblo,” Costello told the Post. “You probably also want to get a house that’s not too close to a school, maybe not too close to something controversial.”
Source: Huffington Post
– See more at: http://www.inman.com/wire/colorado-agents-2014-marijuana-friendly-marketing-campaign-seeing-early-returns/?utm_source=20140110&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailyheadlinesam#sthash.CVrTCTBy.dpuf
Midtown East residents, long envious of the lush riverfront parkland their West Side counterparts enjoy, got a sneak peek of the design plans for the East Side waterfront esplanade at last night’s Community Board 6 land use committee meeting. The project is part of a plan to complete the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway (which surrounds the borough) by filling in the undeveloped gap between East 38th Street and East 60th Street along the East River. The esplanade, which is created to appear as if it’s floating on top of the water with 30 feet separating it from the bulkhead, will have two distinct paths: one for bike riding, the other for pedestrian traffic. Cali Kay Gorewitz, Vice President of Development at NYC Economic Development Corporation explained that at certain points, the material used for the ground will allow pedestrians to see through to the water below “raising the uniqueness of the site.”
NYCEDC has been working with community work groups to decide on other design aspects. Together they’ve come up with a plan that divides the esplanade into three sections: one running from East 38th to East 41st Street, the next from East 41st to East 53rd Street, and the third from East 53rd to East 60th Street. Planters and trees will run along the entire length, and there will be three major gathering places called nodes, each having “its own personality” said Ama DuSolier, lead designer for AECOM, the company contracted to design the esplanade.
[53rd Street Node]
The first node scheduled to open in 2015 is a waterside pier, which will be constructed from an old pier Con Edison formerly used for fuel deliveries. It will center on active recreation and include places to eat and socialize. Another section, called the ribbon, will focus on walking, biking, planting and seating. The 48th Street node will facilitate gatherings like outdoor shows and will have amphitheater seating, while the 53rd Street area will focus on environmental education and incorporate places to fish. All of the nodes are designed to be multi-functional.
[Blueprint of the nodes]
In a post-Sandy world, thought also went into ensuring the esplanade will be able to withstand stronger storms. It will be built three feet higher than the 100-year flood line, which is about six and a half feet (Sandy’s storm surge was 13 feet) and six to eight feet above the FDR Drive.
[Looking north on the esplanade]
Community reaction to the design renderings was largely positive, with some residents calling them “wonderful” and “lovely.” Joan Boyle, a 19-year resident of East Midtown, called the plans “gorgeous” and is looking forward to having a place where people could walk a dog, ride a bike, or just walk along the riverfront. But Boyle was concerned that the promises of a beautiful esplanade for the neighborhood would never come to pass. While “it’s wonderful to look at this,” she said, “I expect it won’t ever happen.”
[Cross-section showing the esplanade dimensions]
True enough, considerable hurdles remain. The project is relying on anticipated funding by a United Nations deal. A Memorandum of Understanding between the city and the state allowed for the use of a portion of the Robert Moses Playground for a new UN building. In exchange, the United Nations Development Corporation agreed to pay the city $73 million toward the esplanade. However, Gorewitz estimates the full cost of the project to be about $200 million, so the sale of other property currently leased by the UN will be necessary to complete it.
Next steps for this project include filing permits with Department of Environmental Conservation, Army Corps of Engineers, and the Coast Guard which are expected to take 12-18 months to get approved. In the meantime, as part of the Memorandum of Understanding, Asser Levy Place (the two blocks between East 23rd and East 25th Streets) has closed to traffic and will be turned into a park. It’s expected to open to the public next year.
In July, lenders loosened up their underwriting standards more than they have in yeas as purchase mortgages overtook refinancing as the leading source of mortgage originations according to Ellie Mae’s July Originations report.
“In July, the mix of purchase loans to refinances was 53% versus 47%: the largest percentage of purchase loans since we began tracking the data in August 2011,” said Jonathan Corr, president and chief operating officer of Ellie Mae. “This was a further indication that housing seems to be improving. Just six months ago, 73 percent of all mortgages were refinancings.
“Credit standards continued to ease in July,” said Corr. “The average FICO score fell to 737, from 742 in June 2013, and it is now at the lowest level since we began our tracking in August 2011. Similarly we saw slight increases in both loan-to-value and debt-to-income ratios last month-signs that lenders are willing to accept slightly more risk to maintain volume. Dent to income ratios also have risen to the highest level since Elli Mae began tracking mortgage data in February 012.
To get a meaningful view of lender “pull-through,” Ellie Mae reviewed a sampling of loan applications initiated 90 days prior (i.e., the April 2013 applications) to calculate an overall closing rate of 55.4% in July 2013, up from 54.3% in June 2013.
MONTHLY ORIGINATION OVERVIEW FOR JULY 2013
6 Months Ago (January 2013)*
1 Year Ago (July 2012)*
Days to Close
ARMs vs. Fixed, Length, Rate
15 Year %
30 Year – Note Rate
*All references to months should be read as month ended.