Tag Archives: North Salem Real Estate for Sale

NAHB: Builder Confidence increased to 70 in December | North Salem Real Estate


The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported the housing market index (HMI) was at 70 in December, up from 63 in November. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

From the NAHB: Builder Confidence Closes Year on a High Note

Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes jumped seven points to a level of 70 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is the highest reading since July 2005.

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

All three HMI components posted healthy gains in December. The component gauging current sales conditions increased seven points to 76 while the index charting sales expectations in the next six months jumped nine points to 78. Meanwhile, the component measuring buyer traffic rose six points to 53, marking the first time this gauge has topped 50 since October 2005.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast rose six points to 51, the Midwest posted a three-point gain to 61, the South rose one point to 67 and the West registered a two-point gain to 79.

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New Home Sales Nudge Forward | North Salem Real Estate

The number of new homes sold in November increased by 4.3% from a downwardly revised October level to 490,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. On a year to date level, sales are up 14.5% from the eleven month total in 2014. Inventories of new homes also increased to 232,000, the highest since January 2010 even as builders continue to seek workers and lots.

New Home Sales – Monthly and Annual
The increases in sales and inventories signifies continued builder optimism and customer demand growth. However, the levels remain disappointing given the amount of pent up demand and the low level of turnover in existing home sales. Most new home sales are to existing home sellers so the weak sales of existing homes and low inventories of existing homes produces fewer potential new home buyers. On the positive side, home equity is up, employment continues to increase and mortgage rates remain low by historic standards. On the negative side, few first time home buyers are in the market as credit standards remain restrictive and young individuals remain living with their parents. Existing home owners are reluctant to sell when the inventory of existing homes remains low, a double-edged retardant to a more robust new and existing home market.

Regionally, Northeast sales dropped 29% but from a high October and within the smallest region. Midwest sales also fell 8.6%. The South and West increased 4.5% and 20.5% respectively. For the year, the same is true: the Northeast is behind last year’s total to date by 12.3% and the Midwest is virtually unchanged from the same 11 month period in 2014. The South and West are ahead of last year’s 11 month sum by 18.8% and 19.5% respectively.


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Time to break decorating rules | North Salem Real Estate

Go-to design rules can be a huge help when you feel lost with your decor. But sometimes they end up painting you into a corner. If you’re finding your decor a little on the dull side, or you just like shaking up the system, here are seven of the top design rules that you should consider bending, twisting or totally breaking.
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Housing recovery based on age, race, place | North Salem Real Estate

It’s the most profitable time to sell a house since the Great Recession started in late 2007. But first-time buyers are increasingly scarce.

More Americans are qualifying for mortgages, yet minorities still get disproportionately rejected.

Three new industry analyses released Thursday show that the recovering economy has produced a divided U.S. housing market. Where people live, their age and the color of their skin have largely influenced who has benefited as real estate continues to heal from the bursting of a mortgage bubble that triggered the worst economic downturn in nearly 80 years.

Budding sales growth over the past year has overwhelmingly helped existing owners who are seeking an upgrade. But the millennials buying their first home are being priced out of the market because student debt has prevented them from saving. And a major gap exists among who qualifies for a mortgage even as the overall approval rate improves.

Seller’s market

Between July and September, sellers unloaded their homes for an average of $40,658 more than they paid for their properties, according to RealtyTrac, the California-based real estate information company. This was the largest profit recorded since the third quarter of 2007, although it remains below profits averaging in excess of $100,000 during the height of the boom in late 2005.

The financial gains might be enough to coax more people to list their properties for sale, ending a shortage of homes on the market.

The profits are “enough to say, yes, I can leverage this into moving up and buying a bigger home,” said Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac.

But not all markets are equal.

Sellers in San Francisco pocketed $463,505. Manhattanites reaped $385,909. Those in Washington, D.C. made $130,593, while sellers in Los Angeles came away with $115,573.

Meanwhile, housing in other major U.S. counties sold on average at a loss.

This includes the Chicago suburbs outside Cook County, with McHenry County sellers losing an average of $19,849. Sellers tended to unload properties for less than they paid in Baltimore, Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Tampa, Florida.

“In some cases, it may have to do with outlying areas that people were willing to buy into during the housing bubble,” Blomquist said. “They’re not close enough to jobs to make sense for buyers now.”

First-time troubles

Millennials, ages 18 to 34, face a less affordable housing market than their parents, forcing them to put off ownership.

The share of first-time homebuyers has fallen for the third consecutive year to its lowest level since 1987, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors.

First-timers accounted for less than a third of sales that are expected to comfortably exceed 5 million this year. This group has traditionally represented 40 percent of sales.

The Realtors survey indicates that student loans and other debts have delayed down payment savings by a median of three years. A quarter of the first-time buyers identified saving for a down payment as their biggest challenge, with the majority of this group saying that education loans hurt their ability to set aside money.

This problem may only worsen as student debt burdens continue to expand.

College borrowers who graduated in 2014 finished on average with $28,950 in debt, a 31 percent increase over the past decade after adjusting for inflation, according to a report last week by The Institute for College Access and Success.

Mortgage approvals

It’s gotten easier to receive a mortgage, yet black and Hispanic homebuyers continue to lag substantially behind whites and Asians.

The mortgage rejection rate fell last year to 11.2 percent from 12.4 percent in 2013, according to Zillow, the real estate marketplace.

The rejection rate for blacks also fell over the past year, but it remains elevated at 23.5 percent. Just 2.5 percent of approvals for conventional mortgages went to blacks in 2014, even though they represent 12 percent of the U.S. population.

Hispanics face similar obstacles. They composed only 5.5 percent of mortgage approvals, despite being 17.3 percent of the population.

One of the issues is that home values in minority communities have been slower to rebound for the recession.

Zillow found that home prices in primarily white neighborhoods are 4.7 percent below their peak, compared to being 20.3 percent below in neighborhoods that are predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods and 16.7 percent in neighborhoods that are largely black.


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Renters Insurance: Why You Need It and How to Get It | North Salem Real Estate

For many people renting apartments in New York City, renters insurance is in the back of their mind as something they should have but haven’t gotten around to yet. There’s no blanket rule or law requiring that you purchase a policy for your apartment, and many renters assume their stuff will be covered by their landlord’s policy if anything goes wrong in the building. Here’s some bad news: if anything damages your personal property and you don’t have renters insurance, you’ve lost it for good. The good news, though, is that protecting your stuff through renters insurance is fairly easy and not that expensive. “Most people don’t realize it’s inexpensive and widely available,” said Jeff Schneider, president of Gotham Brokerage. Gotham Brokerage specializes in renters and apartment insurance, but Schneider says that every insurance company offers it. Once secured, renters insurance will protect you from three things: coverage for personal possessions, liability protection, and additional living expenses.

The first concern of securing renters insurance tends to be cost. But Schneider insists it’s not that expensive: “You can get minimum coverage for under $200 a year,” he said. Renters coverage starts as low as $125 a year. Essentially, what you pay for a policy is based on the value of your belongings. The higher your property value, the higher your renters insurance, and visa versa.

Standard coverage levels for property damage range from $25,000 to $50,000, although it can go higher. The policy will also come with a deductible, what you’ll pay out-of-pocket before the insurance coverage kicks in. Your policy will offer deductibles of a specific amount, typically from $500 to $2,000. The larger the deductible, the lower the premium charged.

So before you secure a policy, you’ll have to take stock of all your stuff. The easiest way to determine the value of your personal possessions is by creating a home inventory. Track your furniture, clothing, books, electronics, appliances, kitchen utensils—pretty much everything you own that didn’t come with the apartment—and mark its estimated value. Schneider says the best way to to do this is by taking photos of your stuff and keeping track of credit card statements. (Here’s a free home inventory site that will help you out.) Keeping this list up-to-date will also make it easier to file an insurance claim in the future.

Once you’ve taken stock of your personal inventory, you’ll decide what kind of policy you want. There are two kind of coverage: replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage. Actual cash value considers what your items are worth including depreciation, not what you bought them for. A replacement cost policy will pay the cost of replacing your possessions without accounting for depreciation. Schneider recommends the replacement cost policy, despite a slightly higher price uptick of about 10 percent. It’s considered worth the extra expense as the value of most items tends to depreciate quickly. That MacBook you bought two years ago is now worth significantly less than what you paid for it.

Once you’ve secured your policy, your insurance will protect you against losses from fire or smoke, lightning, vandalism, theft, explosion, windstorm, and certain types of water damage. If there’s damage from a burst pipe, you’re covered. But if you live in a flood zone, note that most renters insurance policies do not cover floods. (Flood coverage comes from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program and a few private insurers.) Earthquakes typically aren’t covered. Sometimes jewelry, or electronics used for business purposes, will not be covered. It pays to do your research here to know exactly what your policy accounts for. There’s always the option to add a “floater” to your policy in the case of expensive jewelry, collectables, or equipment. The floater provides additional insurance for valuables and also covers them if they are accidentally lost.

On top of coverage for personal possessions, renters insurance comes with liability coverage usually up to $100,000. Basically, this will cover you against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage done by you, your family members, and even your pets. If you’ve caused a leak that damages your neighbor’s apartment, your neighbor’s damage is covered by your policy. Some policies will refuse to cover dogs, especially certain breeds, not wanting to be liable if your dog bites a stranger. Or, your premium will be higher with certain types of pets. And most policies will not cover anything that happens under a sublet or if someone is renting your place through Airbnb.


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Sept. home prices up 13.3% from year ago | North Salem Real Estate

Home prices continued rising in September, but many cities posted smaller monthly gains, according to a closely-watched barometer of the housing market.

The 20-city Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Index increased 0.7% in September from August and was 13.3% ahead of a year ago, S&P said Tuesday.

While 13 of 20 cities showed higher year-over-year growth rates than in August, 19 cities had lower monthly increases in September than August.

On a month to month basis, Las Vegas and Tampa showed the most weakness — rates fell 1.6 percentage points in both markets from August. Charlotte was the only city in the index to show a decline in prices — 0.2% — its first since November 2012.

Detroit’s 1.5 percentage point monthly gain was the strongest in the 20-city group, but Detroit is also the only market where prices are still below their January 2000 level, according to S&P.

Year over year comparisons show Las Vegas’ prices were up 29.1% in September, the highest percentage. Other cities with gains over 20% were San Francisco, 25.7%; Los Angeles, 21.8%; San Diego, 20.9%.

“Housing continues to emerge from the financial crisis: the proportion of homes in foreclosure is declining and consumers’ balance sheets are strengthening. The longer run question is whether household formation continues to recover and if home ownership will return to the peak levels seen in 2004,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Two other reports on the housing market released Tuesday provided data on building permits and mortgage rate trends in October.





North Salem, developer reach tentative settlement in fair housing case | North Salem Homes

Kearney Realty and Development and the town of North Salem have reached what they termed a conceptual agreement to allow the developer to pursue its application for an affordable senior housing development off Route 22 and settle state and federal legal cases against the town.

Kearney, based in Carmel, had moved to intervene in the fair housing case between Westchester County and the federal government, arguing that the town was not living up to its obligations and should also be brought into the case. North Salem had approved a zoning amendment to the land proposed for development that officials said clarified existing language requiring an assisted living center alongside affordable housing. But the developer argued it added a new and impermissible burden to the construction of the housing required under the settlement.

Kearney had also filed a case in state court challenging the zoning change as a violation of previous legal settlements of  cases challenging North Salem zoning for blocking affordable housing.

In a letter to the judge asking for a postponement of the dates for the parties to serve papers, Kearney’s lawyer, Robert Spolzino of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, said the two sides have made substantial progress in reaching a resolution.

Kearney said he couldn’t talk about the specifics of the agreement.

But “we’re hopeful that it will get done,” he said.



Fiscal cliff worries may turn USD 10yr swap spreads negative | North Salem NY Homes

Worry about the pending fiscal cliff and its implications for the US sovereign rating are weighing on USD 10-year swap spreads and may be the catalyst that tips them into negative territory.

Swap spreads already tightened to zero following the Federal Reserve’s third round of quantitative easing launched in September before moving back into low single digits.

But it’s the fisal cliff, the pending tax increases and spending cuts that will automatically kick in in 2013 if Congress fails to agree on measures to avert them, that are now spooking investors.

“There are salient concerns over the sovereign credit rating, however I fail to see how an investor would take on the credit of a financial institution (via swaps) over that of the US Treasury (bonds) which negative rates would suggest,” said one swaps trader.

The swap spread is the difference between the swap rate, or the fixed rate of an interest rate swap, and the corresponding Treasury yield. An interest rate swap exchanges a fixed payment for a floating payment and is tied to the London Interbank Offer Rate, or Libor.

In normal conditions, the Treasury yield should be lower than its corresponding swap rate, as government debt is considered to be less risky than bank debt. When Treasury yields are higher than swap rates, swap spreads invert.

The typical catalysts for swap spreads are Treasuries, mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and bond supply. That relationship was demonstrated by the Fed’s QE3, as convexity selling occurred between Treasuries, swap spreads and MBS.

Fixed-rate mortgages are tied to the 10-year Treasury yield. When yields fall, mortgage rates drop in sympathy. However, MBS have negative convexity, which means they cannot rise in price rapidly enough to accommodate the drop in interest rates.

Negative convexity is due to the fact that borrowers have the option to prepay their loan and refinance at a better rate. That increased prepayment risk reduces the price gains and causes the convexity selling.

To smooth out duration, an MBS investor will purchase a longer-dated asset, such as a Treasury or swap rate, facilitating the tightening in swap spreads.


The decline in mortgage rates sparked by QE3 led to heavy selling in swap spreads. That pulled the 10-year spread to zero, although it moved back up by the end of September as MBS repriced.

The 10-year spread has plumbed briefly into negative terrain in 2009 and 2010. Other swap spreads, both USD and in other currencies have also inverted.

In fact, the 30-year swap spread went negative following pronounced selling in 30s in reaction to the Lehman collapse in 2008. The trade was not expected to persist for the long term, but four years later, it remains negative and is considered the “new normal.”

The 10-year swap spread is now expected to track a similar pattern as old worries resurface.

This week, Fitch reiterated its negative outlook on the US AAA rating and urged the government to quickly resolve the fiscal cliff, lift the debt ceiling and put a credible deficit reduction plan into place now that the presidential election is over.

“Failure to reach even a temporary arrangement to prevent the full range of tax increases and spending cuts implied by the fiscal cliff and a repeat of the August 2011 debt ceiling episode would mean that the general election had not resolved the political gridlock in Washington and likely result in a sovereign rating downgrade,” the ratings agency said.

Before the presidential election, the 10-year Treasury yield stood at 1.72% and the 10-year swap rate stood at 1.71%, according to the Federal Reserve website. That saw the 10-year swap spread briefly flirt with negativity.

That in turn suggests the market is pricing in a risk premium to Treasury debt over that of the interbank market.

Supply and demand are other factors affecting swap spreads.

“There has been a reasonably robust issuance calendar, therefore there is demand from hedgers,” the trader said. “I believe that a lot of the movement in spreads is attributable to this element.”

The Bank for International Settlements pegged the size of the interest rate swap market at around $442 trillion in aggregate outstanding in its June 2011 survey.

In the intermediate term, swap spreads will take their direction from the fiscal cliff scenario. If there is no resolution to the event risk, they will move wider as Treasury supply will be reduced.

However, many believe some compromise will be met which will result in some fiscal tightening.

North Salem NY Weekend Real Estate Report | RobReportBlog – Robert Paul’s blog

North Salem NY Weekend Real Estate Report | RobReportBlog

North salem by robert paul  

North Salem NY Real Estate Report    |    RobReportBlog

49   homes on the market

$899,900   median price

$24,900,000   high price

$239,000    low price

$422   average price per foot

144   everage DOM

4086   average size

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