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North Salem

Investors Have Doubled Purchases Over 2012 | North Salem Real Estate

Though most observers forecast rising home prices would drive investors out of the market for single family rentals, that fact is that to date investors have purchased more homes than they did in all of 2012 or 2011.

Investors have purchased more than 370,000 properties so far in 2013, already more than in either of the previous two full years according to a new investor insight report released today by RealtyTrac.

The report also found that:

  • Investors have purchased more than $1 trillion in US real estate since 2011. Fifty-four percent were all-cash;
  • Fifty-seven percent of investor purchases re-sold, only 1 percent re-sold by 1,000+ purchasers. Investors with 1,000+ purchases bought 36 percent of properties as foreclosures
  • Out of the more than 950,000 purchases totaling more than $1 trillion made by investors since 2011, 54 percent were all-cash purchases. When the data is filtered for just entities that purchased at least 1,000 properties, the all-cash percentage skyrockets to 93 percent.
  • Investors have purchased more than 370,000 properties so far in 2013, already more than in either of the previous two full years.
  • The majority (54 percent) of properties purchased by investors were underwater but not in foreclosure. Meanwhile 24 percent of properties purchased by investors were in foreclosure or bank-owned, and 23 percent were a regular, equity purchases.
  • Among entities that purchased at least 1,000 properties during the three-year period, 36 percent were in some stage of foreclosure (22 percent auction alone), while 37 percent were underwater and 27 percent were regular equity sales.
  • Among all investor purchases during the time period, 57 percent have subsequently been re-sold, but only 25 percent of properties have been re-sold by entities purchasing at least 100 properties, and only 1 percent of properties have been re-sold by entities purchasing at least 1,000 properties.

RealtyTrac’s report, Real Estate Investor Purchase and Finance Patterns: 2011 to 2013, looks at a number of investor habits relating to real estate purchases since 2011, including the volume of properties purchased, breakdown of cash versus financed purchases, property situation (distressed, non-distressed, underwater etc.), investor purchases by property value, and number of investor-purchased properties that have since resold.

“The new investor insight report is the first of its kind and offers customers an exclusive look into investor decision making that has never been done on this scale before,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “We examined in-depth a variety of factors from cash sales to lender financing that impact real estate investing and offers key insight that no one else in the market can deliver.”

This report features purchasing activity of real estate investors across the U.S., identifying key variables by state and quarter within the last three years. The report identifies an investor as any person or entity that purchased three or more properties within a 12-month timeframe and provides key insights into the transactions made by investors over this time period, which was marked by the U.S. housing market moving from full distress mode to full recovery mode including.

Key metrics covered by the Investor Insight report:

  • Transaction by Financing Type identifies by investor name how many properties were purchased with 100 percent cash, 100 percent finance, mixed cash & finance, or unknown along with the amount identified for each category.




Shadow Inventory is a Shadow of Itself | North Salem NY Real Estate

The shadow inventory-the number of homes in the foreclosure pipeline–is down 33 percent from a year ago and now is at its lowest level since August 2008, at least one year before the notion of a foreclosure shadow inventory was recognized.

According to CoreLogic’s August National Foreclosure Report, the overall residential shadow inventory as of July 2013 was 1.9 million homes, accounting for a value of $293 billion and representing a supply of 3.7 months. This was down 22 percent from a year ago, when it was at 2.4 million, and down 38 percent from its peak in 2010, when it reached 3 million homes.

CoreLogic also reported there were 48,000 completed foreclosures in the U.S. in August of 2013, down from 72,000 in August 2012, a year-over-year decrease of 34 percent. On a month-over-month basis, completed foreclosures increased 1.3 percent, from 47,000 in July 2013*.

As a basis of comparison to the 48,000 completed foreclosures reported for August 2013, prior to the decline in the housing market in 2007, completed foreclosures averaged 21,000 per month nationwide between 2000 and 2006. Completed foreclosures are an indication of the total number of homes actually lost to foreclosure.

Since the financial crisis began in September 2008, there have been approximately 4.5 million completed foreclosures across the country. As of August 2013, approximately 939,000 homes in the U.S. were in some stage of foreclosure, known as the foreclosure inventory, compared to 1.4 million in August 2012, a year-over-year decrease of 33 percent. Month over month, the foreclosure inventory was down 3.2 percent from August 2013 to July 2013. The foreclosure inventory as of August 2013 represented 2.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage compared to 3.3 percent in August 2012.

At the end of August 2013, there were approximately 2.1 million mortgages, or 5.3 percent, in serious delinquency (SDQ, defined as 90 days or more past due, including those loans in foreclosure or real estate owned, REO). The rate of seriously delinquent mortgages is at its lowest level since December 2008.

“The foreclosure inventory continues to improve, as exhibited by these recent numbers,” said Dr. Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “A surge in completed foreclosures and a rise in the foreclosure inventory is unlikely given continued house price improvements and shortages of supply in many markets.”




Westchester Senator Cries Foul On $14 Toll For Tappan Zee Bridge | North Salem NY Real Estate

New York State Senator Greg Ball (R – Patterson) announced a bipartisan public-private partnership bill in an effort to keep tolls down on the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

New York State recently learned that the federal loans requested will only cover roughly 33 percent of the bridge’s cost as opposed to the 49 percent that was requested a year ago.  The result would be tolls approaching $14 or more.

“Over $14 is too high,” Ball said in a statement. “Simply raising the toll is not a sustainable solution. We can’t continue to pass the tab onto those that cross the bridge and the tax payers. New York is the capitol of capital and we must unlock the private sector to fund and maintain this vital infrastructure project.”

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger (D- Kenmore), chairman of the Assembly Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry, has joined ball in creating the new legislation.

“This forward-thinking legislation creates a framework that will allow for and encourage investment in the state by private companies in order to advance the development and operation of public infrastructure,” Schimminger said in a statement. “This would be extremely helpful to efforts aimed at boosting Upstate New York’s economy.”

The public-private partnership legislation will help transfer the risks associated with building, financing, operating and maintaining public infrastructure projects from the taxpayers to the private sector. One of the key benefits is that private partners are responsible for project cost overruns eliminating the government’s risk going back to taxpayers for additional funds.







Gorgeous Sagaponack Six-Bedroom is Yours for $10.95M | North Salem Real Estate

This house really is beautiful. We love all the white, which contrasts beautifully with the piano-finish floors (hopefully the new owners will have staff with Swiffers on standby). The kitchen and bathrooms are faultless, the pool and landscaping are perfection. There’s 1.6 acres in a great location, and six bedrooms and 7.5 baths inside. As for the artwork, we’re on record in favor of Damien Hirst dot paintings, but the Beatles? Unless you were actually in the Beatles (and that guy lives in Amagansett, not Sagaponack), come on. Also, photographers gotta be more careful with the wide-angle lenses. Yes, they can make the rooms look bigger, but they can also give a funhouse-mirror effect that’s offputting. Again, minor complaints in a stunning house. · Sagaponack Sanctuary With Style [Saunders]




10 Stylish Options for Shower Enclosures | North Salem Real Estate

A shower is one of the first things you notice when you step into a bathroom, so make sure your enclosure not only matches your style but also accentuates your bathroom.
We’ve all seen or lived in a home with the ever-so-famous enclosure framed in polished brass, but there are tons of other options with which to surround your shower. Whether you go for framed or frameless, or with no enclosure at all, choose your style wisely.

traditional bathroom by Specialty Tile Products

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1. Frameless glass shower enclosure. This is a very popular option right now because of its flexibility; a frameless glass enclosure lends itself to any style, whether it’s a clean, sleek design that appeals to modern tastes or a simple and understated one with an elegant and classic look.
The glass itself is fairly easy to clean and maintain; it’s even more so if you get glass with a finish baked on that repels soap scum and water spots. Overall, frameless glass is a great way to showcase your shower.
modern bathroom by Robert Nebolon Architects

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2. Aluminum and glass shower enclosure. Need a little something more to spruce up your shower? Don’t be afraid to be unique and try a shower surround that has flair. Created with glass panels set into an aluminum frame, this shower enclosure mimics the look of the tile in the back of the shower. The dark metal mixed with the clear glass gives the enclosure an eclectic feel.
traditional bathroom by J Allen Smith Design/Build

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3. Glass block shower enclosure. Eliminate the need for a door with a glass block enclosure. Glass block surrounds are versatile, and there are textured patterns on the blocks themselves. They have strong lines and give your bathroom a clean, cool look.
The options are virtually limitless with glass blocks. You can find different block styles, thicknesses and even colors.

Flood insurance ‘crisis’ may hurt St. Pete Beach real estate market | North Salem Real Estate

City officials are worried that rising federal flood insurance costs for home and business owners will pummel the local real estate market and property tax revenue.

“There is a looming flood insurance crisis that is about to hit us,” Vice Mayor Marvin Shavlan told the City Commission this month.

Evidence of that crisis is already apparent as real estate sales fall through when buyers discover that their flood insurance bills could be as high as $24,000 a year, Shavlan said.

“It will significantly slow down the real estate market. People are scared to buy older homes,” agreed Jake Holehouse, an agent at Holehouse Insurance in St. Petersburg and a longtime St. Pete Beach resident.

“We are all very concerned about the outcome,” said Doug Swain, an agent at Re/Max Preferred in St. Pete Beach. Another agent lost a big sale this month because of the flood insurance rate increase, he said.

Congress, reacting to the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, changed the rules for flood insurance in July 2012 with the goal of collecting enough premiums to cover claims made under the federal program.

As a result, insurance rates are expected to sharply escalate beginning in October to rates that in many cases could be significantly higher than home mortgages.

Many homes in St. Pete Beach are below base flood elevation.

And anyone who purchased such a home after July 2012, absentee homeowners who live elsewhere 80 percent of the time, and any homeowners whose flood insurance policies lapsed or were canceled will feel the effect first, Holehouse said.

He cited an example. A home built in 1960 and 7 feet below base flood elevation was valued at $148,000 when it was purchased in March but will have an annual flood insurance premium of $22,400.

Similarly, Holehouse said, the new owner of a 1956 home 8 feet below flood level is now paying $1,960 but will have to pay $29,100 after Oct. 1.


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British inflation slows but property prices gallop higher | North Salem Homes

Price rises in most parts of Britain’s economy are cooling but a red-hot property market is raising questions about whether the Bank of England will be able to keep rates low for as long as it would like.

Official data on Tuesday showed consumer price inflation slowed to 2.8 percent last month, moving closer to the central bank’s 2 percent target. However, house price inflation – which does not feed directly into the consumer price index – sped up.

A July survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found the fastest growth in house prices since 2006. Official data showed house prices in London, which typically lead the rest of the country, jumped 8.1 percent in June compared with the same month a year ago.

Britain’s central bank pledged last week to keep rates at a record low until unemployment falls to 7 percent – something it does not expect to happen before 2016 – as long as this does not threaten inflation expectations or financial stability.

While the BoE’s new boss, Mark Carney, has played down concerns about rising house prices, signs the market is overheating could force the central bank to raise interest rates from their current 0.5 percent earlier than planned.

“The recovery in the UK housing market and rising house price inflation will simply add to the Bank’s concerns that it might need to nip any impending housing bubble smartly in the bud,” said David Brown at New View Economics.

“It is no surprise that the UK pound is starting to get a better spring in its step versus the dollar. The market is starting to get a strong whiff of an early rate rise.”


Sterling rose after Tuesday’s data as investors increasingly bet that the Bank of England would start raising rates in 2015 – a year before the BoE’s guidance suggests.

How much the other eight members of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee worry about house prices will become clearer on Wednesday, when minutes of this month’s policy meeting are published.

Analysts expect the vote to implement so-called forward guidance was unanimous, but reckon the knockout clauses allowing the Bank to raise rates earlier were included in order to keep the more hawkish members of the committee on board.

“We will look to the minutes to see how concerned some policymakers were about credibility, as well as further signs of controversy over the setting of the threshold level,” said Philip Shaw at Investec.

Britain is one of the few major Western economies facing the problem of above-target inflation but the BoE is confident that price pressures will ease over the next two years – although it has been wrong before. Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, has already returned to 2 percent.

Property inflation, however, could be harder to tame.

The second phase of the government’s Help to Buy scheme – which offers state-backed mortgage guarantees – will come into force from January. Despite criticism from the International Monetary Fund, Britain’s Office for Budget Responsibility and a senior minister, the government has insisted the scheme will last for three years, as planned.


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Florida Luxury real estate market takes off again | North Salem Real Estate

Southwest Florida’s luxury real estate market has awakened from its prolonged hibernation with a vengeance this summer — the season when activity for high-end home deals is usually at its slowest.

From locals seeking an upgrade to European investors and even athletes training at Bradenton’s IMG Academy, an influx of millionaires scouting homes in the region has helped the industry dodge its typical summer lull in a big way.

Some areas are leading the charge, but in all, brokers say luxury real estate is clearly mounting a comeback.

“There’s a slight frenzy going on right now,” said Michael Moulton, an agent with brokerage Michael Saunders & Co.’s Longboat Key office. “Things are selling good across the country right now, and with inventory dwindling, people are trying to take advantage of the market before prices rise like they did below the $1 million mark.”

Buyers in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties snapped up 56 homes priced above $1 million in July, a 51 percent increase from June and a 124 percent jump from the same time last year, property records show.

With another 45 luxury deals pending in Southwest Florida — and the average shelf-life for those listings shrinking — industry analysts believe the luxury home market is beginning to flirt with the same boom-like conditions that have amplified the more intermediate price ranges since late last year.



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Croton Falls Road Bridge closure planned for rehablitation of the span | North Salem Real Estate

Croton Falls Road over the Croton River in North Salem and Somers will be partly closed Wednesday through Nov. 22, and completely closed Sunday. The closure will allow for rehabilitation work on the Croton Falls Road Bridge.

Here’s an announcement from the Westchester County Department of Public Works and Transportation:



Work is part of the Croton Falls Road Bridge Rehabilitation Project

Motorists are advised that the project to rehabilitate the Croton Falls Road Bridge over the Croton River in the towns of North Salem and Somers will start Wednesday, Aug. 14.


Beginning Wednesday Aug. 14, the eastbound lane of Croton Falls Road from Route 100/202 to Route 22 will be closed starting at 8 a.m. and will continue to be closed until Friday, Nov. 22.  A detour will be posted using Route 100/202 and Route 22.

In addition, a one-day full closure is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 18 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in both the eastbound and westbound directions of Croton Falls Road from Route 100/202 to Route 22.  A detour will be posted using Route 100/202 and Route 22.

Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes.  Variable message signs are being used to alert motorists of the upcoming closure.

For additional information, contact Westchester County Department of Public Works and Transportation at 995-2555

Closing Costs Keep Pace with Prices | North Salem Real Estate

Cash-strapped home buyers struggling with soaring home prices have an unpleasant surprise awaiting them at the closing table. Closing costs are rising nearly as quickly as home prices.

On average, mortgage closing costs rose 6 percent over 2012 to $2,402, according to Bankrate.com. Origination fees accounted for the bulk of the increase, rising 8 percent, while third-party fees for services like title and appraisals edged up 1 percent to $672.

Hawaii’s average closing costs of $2,919 are the highest in the nation. Alaska ($2,675), South Carolina ($2,658), California ($2,639) and New Mexico ($2,566) join the Aloha State in the top five.

Wisconsin ($2,119), Missouri ($2,188), Kansas ($2,193), Michigan ($2,203) and Washington State ($2,208) comprise the bottom five.

“It’s unlikely that you will move to Wisconsin solely to pay lower closing costs, but you should shop around and compare fees from different loan originators to make sure you get the best deal in your area,” said Polyana da Costa, senior mortgage analyst, Bankrate.com.

Closing costs

2012 rank


origination fees


Origination plus
third-party fees

36South Carolina$1,935$723$2,658
543New Mexico$1,807$760$2,566
68North Carolina$1,840$718$2,558
718New Jersey$1,804$741$2,545
14*13North Dakota$1,797$663$2,460
1624District of Columbia$1,826$623$2,449
3244South Dakota$1,732$617$2,349
3415Rhode Island$1,686$660$2,347
371New York$1,504$827$2,331
4216West Virginia$1,578$705$2,283
4412New Hampshire$1,576$676$2,252

*Denotes a tie



Closing Costs Keep Pace with Prices | RealEstateEconomyWatch.com.