Tag Archives: North Salem NY Real Estate for Sale

North Salem NY Real Estate for Sale

September Housing Starts Decline on Multifamily Weakness | North Salem Real Estate

The September pace of total housing starts decreased 9% due a substantial decline in multifamily production. Single-family construction continues, as expected, along a positive trend.

According to estimates from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, single-family starts increased 8.1% to a 783,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in September. Year-to-date, single-family housing starts are running almost 10% higher than the year-to-date total for September of 2015.

Single-family permit growth points to additional growth. On a year-to-date basis, single-family permits from January to September of 2016 are more than 8% higher than this time in 2015.

Multifamily starts (units in 2+ properties) posted a large decline in September after a few months of strength. Apartment construction starts declined 38% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 264,000. Multifamily permits on a year-to-date basis are about 11% lower than this time in 2015.

Taken together, these trends are consistent with the NAHB forecast, which sees gathering strength for single-family construction and a leveling off of multifamily production as the market finds a balance between housing demand and supply.


Regionally, single-family starts showed strength in the Northeast, increasing 20%% on a monthly basis. Gains for single-family starts were also realized in the South (12%) and Midwest (6%). The West posted a slight drop of 2% after a strong August.

On a year-to-date basis, however, all regions have posted gains. Single-family starts are up 12% in the Northeast, 12% in the Midwest, 8% in the South and 6% in the West when comparing the September 2016 year-to-date total relative to the comparable September 2015 year-to-date totals.


Taking the long view, an examination of the count of homes currently under construction provides the degree of market mix and momentum of the recovery in home construction. As of September, 58% of units under construction in the nation were multifamily (605,000). The count of 605,000 is a 13% gain over a year earlier.


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McMansion home construction rises | North Salem Real Estate

chart1finalNew homes with 5,000 square feet or more of living space increased both as a share of all new construction and in absolute number in 2015, according to the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction. In 2015, the share of new homes this size reached a post-recession peak of 3.9% of new homes started. The total number of 5,000+ square-foot homes started that year was 28,000 units.

chart2finalIn 2012, the number of new homes started with 5,000+ square feet rose to 15,000 units, yet their share remained at only 2.8%. In 2015, while the number of 5,000+ square feet homes started (28,000) was the highest since 2008, their share of the new market (3.9%) was the highest since 2004. A previous postdiscussed the declining trend in the median and average size of new single-family homes due to an expansion in entry-level market wherein home size is expected to trend lower. This is not necessarily a contradiction, because 5,000+ square foot homes are relatively uncommon and represent the extreme upper tail of the distribution. The extreme upper tail can behave differently than the center of the distribution, measured by the average or median.

In the boom year of 2006, 3.0% or 45,000 new homes started were 5,000 square feet or larger. In 2007, the share of new homes this size was 3.6%, yet the total number of 5,000+ square-foot homes started that year fell to 37,000. In 2008, only 20,000 such homes were started or 3.2% of the total. From 2009 to 2011, fewer than 13,000 of these large homes were started every year, accounting for less than 3% of all new construction during this period. The extent to which the 5,000+ square foot homes have recovered, roughly to where they were in 2008, shows a growing trend at the top of the market at least through 2015.

Custom Home Building Steady | North Salem Real Estate

NAHB’s analysis of Census Data from the Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design survey indicates that the number of custom home building starts (homes built on an owner’s land, with either the owner or a builder acting as the general contractor) posted a slight increase on a year-over year basis as of the second quarter of 2016. There were 47,000 total custom starts for the quarter, compared to 45,000 for the second quarter of 2015.

Over the course of the last four quarters, there were 167,000 total custom single-family home construction starts. Note that this definition of custom home building does not include homes intended for sale, so the analysis uses a narrow definition of the sector.

As measured on a one-year moving average, the market share of custom home building in terms of total single-family starts is now 22%, down from a cycle high of 31.5% set during the second quarter of 2009.

custom 2q

The onset of the housing crisis and the Great Recession interrupted a 15-year long trend away from homes built on the eventual owner’s land. As housing production slowed in 2006 and 2007, the market share of this not-for-sale new housing increased as the number of single-family starts declined. The share increased because the credit crunch made it more difficult for builders to obtain AD&C credit, thus producing relatively greater production declines of for-sale single-family housing.

The market share for custom home building will likely experience ups and downs in the quarters ahead as the overall single-family construction market expands. Recent declines in market share are due to an acceleration in overall single-family construction.


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Foreclosures nearing decade low | North Salem Real Estate

The number of homes in some stage of foreclosure and the number of seriously delinquent mortgages continued to decline in May, falling to the lowest level since October 2007, according to the latest data from CoreLogic.

CoreLogic’s May 2016 National Foreclosure Report shows the national foreclosure inventory, which is the total number of homes at some stage of the foreclosure process and completed foreclosures, hovers around 390,000 homes.

In April, the national foreclosure inventory was roughly406,000 homes, and in March, that figure was 427,000 homes.

According CoreLogic’s report, May’s foreclosure inventory hit the lowest level in nearly nine years.

CoreLogic’s report also showed that in May, the foreclosure inventory declined by 24.5% and completed foreclosures declined by 6.9% compared with May 2015.

The number of completed foreclosures nationwide decreased year over year from 41,000 in May 2015 to 38,000 in May 2016, which represents a decline of 67.9% from the peak of 117,813 in September 2010.

CoreLogic’s report also showed the sustained improvement in the number of mortgages in serious delinquency, defined as loans that are 90 days or more past due, and loans in foreclosure or Real Estate Owned.

According to CoreLogic’s report, the number of mortgages in serious delinquency fell by 21.6% from May 2015 to May 2016, with 1.1 million mortgages, or 2.8% of all mortgages, in this category.

The May 2016 serious delinquency rate is also the lowest in nearly nine years, reaching the lowest level since October 2007.

“The foreclosure rate fell to 1% in May, which is twice the long-term average of 0.5%. However, this masks the underlying progress at the state level,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Twenty-nine states had foreclosure rates below the national average, and all but North Dakota experienced declines in their foreclosure rate compared to the prior year.”


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New homes surge in April | North Salem Real Estate

New homes surged in April, a sign that builders are stepping up as demand for housing remains robust.

Sales soared 16.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 619,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was the biggest monthly jump in 24 years and trounced estimates of a 525,000 pace.

The median price also jumped, rising 9.7% from 12 months ago to $321,100.

The big increase in sales took supply sharply lower. At the current pace, it would take 4.7 months to exhaust all inventory.

March numbers were revised up to a 531,000 annual pace. The April figures were 23.8% higher compared to a year ago.

Regional performance was mixed, from a 52.8% surge in the Northeast to a 4.8% decline in the Midwest. The South saw a 15.8% increase, while in the West sales were up 18.8%.

Demand for housing has run much hotter than supply for the past few years, in part because home builders have been reluctant to ramp up to the brisk level of activity they enjoyed before the recession.


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First-Time House Hunters Lose | North Salem Real Estate

Before beginning the hunt for their first house, Tennessee residents Brittany and Craig Murphy pared their student debt, saved for a down payment and got an income boost from her new job. The major hurdle was what came next.

In the last month, the couple lost two bidding wars on Nashville homes to competitors willing to pay more than 10 percent above the asking price.

“I was not expecting the actual finding of the house to be the difficult part,” said Brittany Murphy, a 26-year-old Web designer whose husband, 27, is a software developer.

Steady job growth, low mortgage rates and record apartment rents are turning millennials like the Murphys into homebuyers — if they can find a house. As the key U.S. spring sales season gets under way, robust real estate demand is being outweighed by a persistent lack of lower-priced supply that’s poised to limit transactions and worsen an affordability crunch for young people. They’re faring worse than purchasers at the higher end of the market, where inventory is piling up.

Rising interest in home tours indicates prospective buyers are coming out in droves. An index by Redfin that measures requests for property visits rose in the first two months of the year to the highest level since at least 2012, when the data began.

“As soon as a house hits the market, it will be eaten by the huge demand appetite,” said Nela Richardson, Redfin’s chief economist.

Limited Inventory

Surging homebuying interest won’t necessarily translate into a big jump in sales. Prices will rise while limited inventory will put a cap on transactions, said Doug Duncan, chief economist of Fannie Mae. He estimates that U.S. single-family home prices will climb 5 percent this year, about the same as in 2015, while sales will increase 3 percent. That’s a slowdown from 2015, when existing-home purchases jumped 7 percent.

“Affordability is a challenge this spring,” Duncan said. Prospective buyers “would have gotten their credit in shape and they’ll have a job. But they will be frustrated because, in their market, there simply won’t be affordable homes.”


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Homeowners Still Overvalue their Homes | North Salem Real Estate

Average appraised values in December were 1.8 percent lower than homeowners’ opinion of their home’s value, marking the 11th straight month when appraised values were lower than homeowners expected, although the gap between the two values has narrowed since August.

The Quicken Loans’ national Home Value Index (HVI) – a measure of home values based on recent appraisals used in to refinance mortgages – showed that home values continuing to climb in December. Appraised values increased a modest 0.18 percent from November, but have risen a steady 5.81 percent since December 2014 and 3.8 percent since the beginning of the year.quickenn

Appraised values continued to fall below homeowner estimates in December. On average, appraiser opinions were 1.8 percent lower than the value homeowners expected, according to the national HPPI. Many of the metro areas studied also showed perception moving closer to equal. Appraisals remained higher in Western cities, while homeowner expectations topped appraised values in many of the Northeastern and Midwestern cities examined.

“The narrowing of the perceived vs. appraisal value gap is an excellent way to end the year,” said Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters. “The more homeowners are in line with appraisers, and understand the equity in their home, the easier it will be to refinance their mortgage. In the same vein, if homebuyers understand how the local market is performing, they will be better equipped to come in with a strong offer on the home of their dreams.”


Appraisals remain a significant cause of delay or termination of sales contracts.  Of all contracts settled or terminated, financing, appraisal, and home inspection issues were the major problems: 18 percent had financing issues, 13 percent had home inspection issues, and 11percent had appraisal issues, said the National Association of Realtors in its October Realtor Confidence Index.


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Consumer confidence improved in December | North Salem Real Estate

Consumer confidence improved in December after the previous two months declines. The Consumer Confidence Index, recently released by the Conference Board, rose to 96.5 in December from 92.6 in November. Both subcomponents, the present situation and expectations indices, rebounded in December as well. The present situation index rose to 115.3 in December from 110.9 in November; the expectations index climbed up to 83.9 in December from 80.4 in November.

The figure below shows that the real GDP growth rate and consumer confidence are highly correlated over the past three decades. When GDP growth is negative, consumer confidence declines sharply; when growth resumes, consumer confidence increases as well. During the recent recession, as the real GDP growth rate dropped to -8.2%, consumer confidence fell to the historically lowest level in the early 2009. After that, the real GDP growth rate rebounded back to the positive levels and consumer confidence also slowly recovered. As the recovery from the Great Recession continues, consumer confidence is climbing up toward to the pre-recession levels.

Figure 1 December

The Conference Board also reports the shares of respondents planning to buy a lived-in home within six months. The shares of respondents planning to buy a lived-in home within six months fell to 3.4% in December, from 4.0% in November. The trends in the shares of respondents planning to buy a lived-in home within six months and the growth rate of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index (the dash lines) are very similar. When there is high demand for housing house price appreciation accelerates; when there is lower demand for housing house price appreciation decelerates.


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Build a Zero-Waste Homestead | North Salem Real Estate

In your permaculture design, you want to shoot for a near-zero-waste system. That doesn’t have to happen overnight, but it is definitely a primary goal. If the systems you design are wasteful, they will forever be reliant on large quantities of external inputs to keep them running. Most lawns are like this. Without chemical fertilizers, city water, and gasoline to run the mower, they would very quickly cease to look the way they do.

Many of the external resources we rely on every day are nonrenewable (at least in a human timescale). Once we use them, they’re gone. Relying heavily on these resources for day-to-day operations means we are more susceptible to market fluctuations and supply chains, and thus less resilient. In an emergency the lawn can just grow and become weedy, but what happens when we rely heavily on external inputs for our food, water, and heat?

This chapter focuses on where leaks often appear in systems and how we can minimize them, thus eliminating waste. The idea is to integrate those surpluses (another name for waste considered from a different perspective) back into our systems in some way. For instance, if we produce compost, apples that go bad can’t really go to waste. If we apply the principle of efficient energy planning and the concept of next highest use, we don’t really waste energy. Overall, the goal is to manage the inflows and outflows of our systems. We aren’t going to create completely closed-loop systems (where nothing enters or leaves), but we want to get a lot closer to that than where we are right now. Ultimately, we want to be very conscious of how the outflows of our systems can be used as inflows. Any outflows we do end up with should not harm the environment nor our neighbors.

Types of waste to address in your design include human waste, greywater, food and yard waste, and heat. We have already explored some ways to turn food and yard waste into compost in the earlier chapter on soil fertility. We’ll look more closely at the other topics here.

Human Waste

The topic of managing human waste, also known as humanure, is pretty much considered taboo in Western culture. You don’t talk about it in polite company. However, it is imperative that we begin to take responsibility for the humanure we produce. Unfortunately, the centralized systems upon which many of us rely and conventional home septic systems do not score that well on their ecological report card. In many parts of the world, waste collected by municipal sewer systems is dumped into the ocean or injected into the groundwater. Even the municipal systems that are ecologically kinder often have enormous energy inputs. The amount of fresh, clean water wasted by these systems is staggering. Consider, for example, that the Colorado River no longer reaches the Gulf of Mexico, thanks partly to all the flush toilets in huge desert metropolises like Las Vegas and Phoenix.


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TRID and Title: Is Shopping Really an Option? | North Salem Real Estate

In 2005 five companies controlled about 92 percent of the national market for title insurance.  Ten years later, only four title insurers now control 86.9 percent of the title insurance business.  In all but five states, only five companies account for 80 percent of more of premiums paid.

Despite the introduction of online insurerers a federal policies encouraging consumers to shop around, the $12 billion a year title industry looks pretty much the same as it did decades ago.

Will TRID centralize control of the title industry even more or will it initiate a disruption of the status quo?

A stinging 2007 study by the General Accountability Office led to an effort to encourage real shopping by consumers, but failed miserably.  Beginning in 2010, lenders were required to provide applicants estimates for all closing services costs, including title, when each loan application was received.  They were called Good Faith Estimates because lenders are required by law to be “within range” of the final settlement fees.

The idea was to give consumers time to shop for themselves to see if they could find a title company who do as well for less than the one the lender proposed.  Consumers got interested when a widely publicized February 2011 survey commissioned by Federal Title & Escrow Co. in Washington, D.C., showed homebuyers could save as much as $1,180 by shopping for title services.

Save 35 percent

About the same time, a new breed of title insurance company entered the market, promising discounts on a type of policy many home buyers don’t even realize they need: title insurance. When it launched its web platform for closing services in 2008, Entitle Direct took a page from the Geico model and offered savings of 35 percent by selling title insurance directly to the consumer and cutting out the commission-based title agent.  Other direct insurers include OneTitle is a New-York based company that offers savings of 10% on title insurance and Title Forward, a new entrant from Redfin.

“Many consumers are unaware that they have the right to shop around for a lower insurance premium rate and choose their title insurance company,” said Timothy O’Dwyer, CEO of Entitle Direct at the time. “The Internet provides a good starting point for shopping. Search for title insurance or go to one of the sites designed to help with the process.”

Yet seven years later, Entitle ranks only 14th among the industry’s 27 independent companies who collectively did only 12 percent as much business as the four “families” of companies that dominate the business—Fidelity, First American, Old Republic and Stewart.

After five years, GRE’s seemed to make little difference to the industry or consumers.  Why didn’t consumers shop for title services?

“I think it was simply too intimidating for consumers,” said Holden Lewis, assistant managing editor/mortgage analyst at Bankrate.  He tells the story of his wife doing the research to find a title insurer. “She actually called the title company and got a quote.  But you know, she was in the dark in just making that call and knowing who to ask for.  It’s hard.  She got it done but it wasn’t easy.  It was an intimidating process, so I think that just knowing how to shop is the main roadblock.  The consumer is going to say ‘the lender already did this for and whom I to think I can do any better.  I don’t know who to call anyway.”

Four days to shop

TRID changes the process.  It provides consumers with forms that are easier to understand and an accounting how their closing dollars were actually spent, but it also speeds up the timeline for consumers to act.


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