Tag Archives: Pound Ridge Real Estate

Pound Ridge Real Estate

How Increased Work-From-Home Opportunities Benefit The Housing Market | Pound Ridge Real Estate

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the significant increase in the ability to work from home is a win for housing and voters.

Adobe Stock/Marina Zlochin

An important consequence of the COVID-19 crisis has been a shift in housing demand preferences, with home buyers and renters favoring lower-density suburbs and exurbs over the core of large metropolitan areas. This suburban shift is seen in construction data, with the NAHB Home Building Geography Index showing that lower-density markets posted relatively greater growth rates for both single-family and multifamily construction during the middle of 2020.

While this shift seems to be a result of individuals responding to the public health crisis, it is in fact an acceleration of housing demand changes due to long-run declines for affordability in overregulated, high-cost urban markets such as New York and San Francisco.

The shift has been greatly facilitated by the increase in working from home. While it’s unlikely that large numbers of people will be able to work in an entirely different metro area than that of their employer, it will be the case that workers will have the increased ability to work at home one or more days per week. Fewer commutes mean households will have a larger area from which to choose a home.

This is an empowering moment for buyers and renters. Consider a common response from policymakers, with entrenched interests in high-cost markets, to the idea of people living elsewhere: “Where are you going to go?” For these implicit proponents of densification, the idea that people might want to live elsewhere, if given the possibility, appears unthinkable. Economists have a word for this kind of assumed power over consumers: monopoly. In a political realm it means less competition, higher taxes, and lower-quality public services.

That is why the shift in buyer/renter preferences, and the ability to actually move, is good for housing and American democracy in general. When people can vote with their feet to fight back against inefficient government, ordinary families gain political power. And the lack of political power in high-cost markets in recent decades has no greater example than ongoing declines for housing affordability.

The U.S. has experienced an affordability crisis for much of the post-Great Recession era. Rent burdens increased and the ability to buy a home declined as supply of single-family and multifamily construction was throttled by regulatory burdens, expansion of NIMBYist policies, and a lack of developable land. For households looking for jobs, resigning themselves to the limited housing options in high-cost markets became part of the process of adjusting to a new city. When I moved from Ohio to Washington, D.C., a fellow economist told me my outrage-threshold over local home prices would decline by about $100,000 per year. She was not far off.

Thus, even partial persistence of work-from-home options will expand buyer purchasing options. NAHB data shows 61% of workers believe they’ll be able to telecommute on at least a partial basis after a vaccine is deployed. And while less than one-third of the workforce has been working at home, any reduction in traffic reduces the commute time/cost for all workers.

In response to where they’ll go, home buyers and renters now have more answers from which to choose. This is good news for them and builders, while representing a threat to policymakers and bureaucrats who have for too long taken their own residents for granted by driving up the cost of housing and limiting housing supply.

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builderonline.com/design/consumer-trends/

Mortgage rates average 2.81% | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 2.81 percent, the lowest rate in our survey’s history which dates back to 1971.

“Low mortgage rates have become a regular occurrence in the current environment,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “As we hit yet another record low, the tenth record this year, many people are benefitting as refinance activity remains strong. However, it’s important to remember that not all people are able to take advantage of low rates given the effects of the pandemic.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.81 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending October 15, 2020, down from last week when it averaged 2.87 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.69 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.35 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.37 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.15 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.90 percent with an average 0.2 point, slightly down from last week when it averaged 2.89 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.35 percent.

The PMMS® is focused on conventional, conforming, fully-amortizing home purchase loans for borrowers who put 20 percent down and have excellent credit. Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

NYC apartments for rent sky rocket | Pound Ridge Real Estate

  • The number of empty rental apartments in Manhattan nearly tripled compared with last year, according to a report from Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel.
  • The inventory of empty units, which rose to 15,000 in August, is the largest ever recorded since data started being collected 14 years ago, the report said. 
  • Hopes for a rebound in the fall or the end of 2020 look increasingly unlikely.
A man enters a building with rental apartments available on August 19, 2020 in New York City.

A man enters a building with rental apartments available on August 19, 2020 in New York City.

The number of empty rental apartments in Manhattan nearly tripled compared with last year, as more New Yorkers fled the city and prices declined.

There were more than 15,000 empty rental apartments in Manhattan in August, up from 5,600 a year ago, according to a report from Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel. The inventory of empty units is the largest ever recorded since data started being collected 14 years ago, the report said. 

Analysts say the rental market is the best barometer of overall strength in Manhattan’s real estate market, since rentals account for 75% of apartments and that market reacts more quickly to demand changing than the sales market.

Experts say the migration from the city to the suburbs during the Covid-19 crisis has been fueled in large part by Manhattan renters leaving the city.

“The rental market is weak and getting weaker,” said Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel. “The first-time buyers in outlying areas are largely coming from the Manhattan rental market.”

Hopes for a rebound in the fall or the end of 2020 look increasingly unlikely. Although rental prices have come down — median rental prices fell 4% in August — the discounts are not steep enough yet to lure new renters back to the city. The average rental price for a two-bedroom in Manhattan is still $4,756 a month.

The fall is generally a slow period in the Manhattan rental market, especially before an election, Miller said.

Landlords are offering ever-larger incentives to try to entice renters, with the largest share of landlords offering concessions in history. On average, landlords were offering 1.9 months of free rent to new renters in August. The weakest segment of the rental market is the lower end, for one bedrooms and studios, partly a result of the pandemic’s greater impact on lower earners.

Average rental prices for studios fell 9%, to $2,574, while the average for one-bedroom apartments fell 5% to $3,445. 

The big question for the Manhattan economy and beyond is how far will the economic ripples from the weak rental market spread. While big landlords like REITs and real estate companies have access to capital, smaller mom and pop landlords with just one or two buildings may have trouble paying their mortgages and property taxes, which could later hit banks and lenders, as well as New York’s tax revenue.

“Where you are already seeing stress on landlords is on the low end of the price spectrum,” Miller said. “You’re clearly seeing weakness in the smaller end of the rental market.”

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https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/10/manhattan-rental-

Mortgage rates average 2.88% | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 2.88 percent, the lowest rate in the survey’s history dating back to 1971.

“The resilience of the housing market continues as mortgage rates hit another all-time low, giving potential buyers more purchasing power and strengthening demand,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “We expect rates to stay low and continue to propel the purchase market forward. However, the main barrier to rising demand remains the lack of inventory, especially for entry-level homes.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.88 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending August 6, 2020, down from last week when it averaged 2.99 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.60 percent.  
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.44 percent with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.51 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.05 percent.  
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.90 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.94 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.36 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Nearly Half of Americans Are Out of Work – Bad for real estate | Pound Ridge Real Estate

"For Sale By Owner" and "Closed Due to Virus" signs are displayed in the window of Images On Mack in Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich., Thursday, April 2, 2020. The coronavirus outbreak has triggered a stunning collapse in the U.S. workforce with 10 million people losing their jobs in the past …
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

A smaller share of American adults were employed in April than ever before in records going back to 1948.

The employment-population ratio, which measures the share of Americans above the age of 16 who are employed, fell to 51.3 percent, the Department of Labor said Friday. A year ago, it was 60.6 percent.

The previous low was 55 percent in the summer of 1954.

In November 2007, the employment-population ratio was 62.9 percent. This rate fell consistently during the subsequent recession and several months beyond, before stabilizing around 58.5 percent in October 2009. Between October 2009 and March 2014, the ratio remained stubbornly low, fluctuating within 0.3 percentage points of 58.5 percent. It began to climb again in 2014, hitting its post-2008 peak of 61.1 in February of 2020.

The labor force participation rate fell by 2.5 percentage points over the month to 60.2 percent, the lowest rate since January 1973 (when it was 60.0 percent).

The unemployment rate jumped to 14.7 percent in April and the economy shed 20.5 million jobs, according to data released by the Department of Labor on Friday.

Over the past seven weeks, more than 33 million Americans have filed claims for unemployment benefits. But the number of claims has been declining for five consecutive weeks.

The Trump administration successfully pushed Congress to authorize direct payments to U.S. households to support incomes and to raise the amount paid by unemployment benefits by $600 a week, making it possible for some Americans to earn more through losing a job than they made working. The federal government is also backing over $600 billion of loans to small businesses that can be forgiven if those businesses avoid layoffs.

The Fed cuts its interest rate target to a range between 0 and 0.25 percent. In addition, it is in the process of launching a number of new lending facilities aimed at providing liquidity to struggling businesses.

But loans and direct payments can only go so far to offset orders that many businesses close their doors entirely or dramatically reduce the number of customers they serve. The customers were told to stay at home and avoid going out except to purchase essential items. Bars, theaters, and gyms were shuttered in much of the country. Restaurants were required to close dining rooms, remaining open only for take-out and delivery. Manufacturers often had to shut down altogether, including the plants of most automakers in the U.S. Health care establishments found themselves bereft of businesses as patients canceled elective procedures and even regular check-ups.

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www.breitbart.com/economy

Trump county homebuilding jumps, Clinton county homebuilding falls | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Does this have anything to do with local taxes? You bet it does.

For the current edition of the Home Building Geography Index (HBGI), NAHB introduces a red vs. blue segmentation of the 3,221 counties of the United States.

“Red counties” are defined as those in which the majority of the population in the 2016 Presidential election voted for President Donald Trump, while “blue counties” are defined as those in which most of the population voted for then-Senator Hillary Clinton1. The data show that the population distribution is 48.7% in red and 51.3% in blue2.

While the population of the country is almost evenly split between red and blue counties, the same is not true for the distribution of single-family and multifamily construction. In fact, 61% of single-family construction is in red counties, while almost 64% of multifamily construction are in the blue counties. Blue counties tend to feature greater population density, hence the divide.

Moreover, the growth rates for home construction differ between red and blue counties. The map above shows the blue and red counties in the U.S. and the four-quarter moving averages of their year-over-year growth rates for single-family construction as of the end of 2019. Red counties posted growth of 1.7% for single-family home building, while blue counties posted a decline of 1.2%. This is likely due to differences in land availability/cost, as well as regulatory differences for construction. Indeed, lower growth rates in blue counties – compared to red – is expected given the relative cost of land in major metropolitan areas, making building a single-family home more expensive in such areas you will need to search for several contacts to find the right one for you and your budget, with https://www.asifoam.com/riverside/ you can get the best materials for your projects.

While there are differences between these two types of counties, both regions’ performances at the end of 2019 were clear improvements to relative periods of decline due to the housing soft patch during 2018, as seen on the figure below.

Although blue county multifamily construction growth was positive in 2019 (7.6%), the relatively smaller share of apartment construction in red counties posted a larger growth rate of 21.4%. This shows that red counties outperformed blue counties in both single- and multifamily development

Additionally, the above chart shows that, until 2019, multifamily growth was lower than single-family expansion for most periods since 2016.

With this edition of the NAHB/HBGI, additional new posts will examine updates for regional trends (large metros vs exurbs vs rural areas, etc.) for single-family and multifamily construction, as well as additional red vs blue analysis from a regional perspective.


  1. We use Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections for election results at the county level. The red vs. blue segmentation cleanly applies to all U.S. states except for Alaska, which, by tradition, has had electoral votes casted in Presidential Elections according to House District. To circumvent this problem, we use a county-equivalent analysis that imputes House District-level election data that was done by RRH Elections (https://rrhelections.com/index.php/2018/02/02/alaska-results-by-county-equivalent-1960-2016/).
  2. Conventional wisdom is that the American population is concentrated in major metropolitan areas, i.e., those that voted for Hillary Clinton, even though the red counties far outnumber the blue, 2,633 over 507, respectively. The near 50-50 population split, as noted above, however, is due to the number of red counties with populations of 1,000 or above.

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Single family rent prices increase 3% | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Price of low-end rentals still outpacing higher-end homes

Single-family rent prices increased 3% in November 2019 over the same time period in the previous year, according to CoreLogic’s Single-Family Rent Index,

In October, low-end rent prices went up 3.6%, while high-end price gains rose 2.9%.

(Image courtesy of CoreLogic. Click to enlarge.)

Overall, year-over-year rent price increases have slowed down since February 2016. During this time, they peaked at 4.2%, and stabilized at around 3% since early last year.

November 2019 was the 67th month in a row that low-end rentals propped up national rent growth, the report said.

Low-end rental prices increased 3.6% year over year in November 2019, down slightly from November 2018’s rent gain of 3.8%.

High-end rentals increased 2.7% in November 2019, and the report says this remains unchanged from the previous year.

For the 12th month in a row, Phoenix has the highest year over year increase in single-family rent prices in November, at 6.9%. Neighboring town Tucson had the second-highest rent price growth, with gains of 5.7%.

Miami had the lowest rent increase in November, at 0.7%. Miami had the lowest amount of rent increase in October as well, at 1%, the same amount of increase it saw in September.

For October, Phoenix was the market that saw the highest uptick in rent, with the highest year over year increase in single-family rents at 6.8%, according to CoreLogic.

“Strong rent growth in the Southwest reflects strong population growth in this part of the U.S.,” said Molly Boesel, principal economist at CoreLogic. “Arizona ranked third for population growth in 2019 by both number and percentage increase, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In contrast, Illinois and Hawaii both had a decrease in population in 2019, which could account for the slower rent growth in these regions.”

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Cement paneling to build low-cost housing units for refugee camps | Pound Ridge Real Estate

These “Just Add Water” Homes Can Be Built in Less Than 24 Hours

View PhotosTINY HOMES + DESIGN NEWS

These “Just Add Water” Homes Can Be Built in Less Than 24 Hours

Paris-based architecture and design firm Cutwork plans to use roll-out cement paneling to build low-cost, durable housing units for refugee camps.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, there are an estimated 25,900,000 refugees worldwide, and that number is growing. As a new housing solution, Cutwork has developed a “just add water” building technology that can be used to construct a tiny home in a day’s time—no building experience or tools required.

The technology has myriad advantages over the flimsy, disposable tents found in many refugee camps. They’re fireproof, waterproof, insulated for harsh climates, and can be washed and cleaned easily. The structures also use 90% less raw material than traditional concrete shelters—and they’re three times stronger. Though they’re designed to provide temporary housing, they’ll endure for at least 30 years.

The shelters are made from an advanced concrete composite that is lightweight, durable, and three times as as strong as traditional concrete. Sheets of the material can be draped over snap-together metal framing, and then hardened in place when water is added.
The shelters are made from an advanced concrete composite that is lightweight, durable, and three times as as strong as traditional concrete. Sheets of the material can be draped over snap-together metal framing, and then hardened in place when water is added.
The Cortex shelters can last for at least 30 years, providing an eco-friendly and resilient new means of housing.
The Cortex shelters can last for at least 30 years, providing an eco-friendly and resilient new means of housing.
The 250-square-foot structures are insulated for comfort in harsh climates, and they have windows for light and ventilation. The interiors can be outfitted with toilets, electric stoves, and living rooms. 
The 250-square-foot structures are insulated for comfort in harsh climates, and they have windows for light and ventilation. The interiors can be outfitted with toilets, electric stoves, and living rooms. 

The Cortex shelters can be prefabricated in pieces near refugee camps and then flat packed and shipped to the build site. Upon arrival, the concrete paneling is rolled out and formed around metallic frames. Once the paneling is in place, water is added in situ to harden the concrete composite.

Each home comes with the basics: a strong locking door, a toilet, a shower, and windows for light and air circulation. Solar panels provide electricity for interior lighting, charging electronics, and cooking atop an electric stove. Additional features can be added depending on the specific needs of a home or an encampment.

With a digital manufacturing method, parts can be created near refugee camps and then trucked to the site for assembly. The materials can be flat packed and pieced together by two people in under 24 hours.
With a digital manufacturing method, parts can be created near refugee camps and then trucked to the site for assembly. The materials can be flat packed and pieced together by two people in under 24 hours.
The modular construction process doesn’t require any tools or building expertise.
The modular construction process doesn’t require any tools or building expertise.

Cutwork CEO and co-founder Kelsea Crawford says, “Our mission is to create stability and security for people who have lost the most—essential safety, a place to call home, and the simple foundations to rebuild communities and hope.”

read more…

https://www.dwell.com/article/cortex-tiny-homes-emergency-housing-cutwork-eb680bd6

California home sales fall again | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Last month, the California Association of Realtors predicted a slow down for the state’s housing market in 2020. 

According to a recent report by CoreLogic, cooling home sales are already here. In fact, August marked the fewest home sales for that month in four years.

“California home sales edged moderately lower in August, marking the twelfth month out of the last 13 in which sales were lower than a year earlier as some would-be buyers remained priced out and others stayed on the sideline, hesitant to buy near a potential price peak,” the report stated. 

CoreLogic estimated that during August about 42,440 new and existing houses and condos sold in California. That number is down 0.2% from the previous month and down 2.8% from August 2018. While the number of sales declined, so did the median home price in comparison to its June 2019 peak of $509,000.

According to CoreLogic, the median price paid for all new and existing houses and condos sold statewide this August was $499,000. While this price is down 0.2% from $500,000 in July 2019, it is up 1% from the previous August, when median prices sat at $494,000. 

The report stated that home sale activity normally edges higher between July and August. As stated earlier, this August was the twelfth month out of the last 13 in which sales were lower than a year earlier. The only annual gain was seen in July this year, and CoreLogic is attributing that gain to lower mortgage rates.

“The significant drop in mortgage rates in recent months has helped stoke sales by enabling many buyers to purchase homes with at least modestly lower payments than they would have faced last year,” the report stated. “While California’s median sale price was up 1% year over year this August, the state’s ‘typical mortgage payment’ – the monthly principal and interest payment on the median-priced home – fell almost 11% because of a roughly 1 percentage point decline in mortgage rates over that 12-month period.”

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California nears statewide rent control | Pound Ridge Real Estate

In the pipeline apartments

California is one step away from enacting statewide rent control after the state’s two legislative bodies both approved the measure.

The bill will cap annual rent increases by 5%, including the rate of inflation. In addition to the rent cap, a bill known as AB-1482, the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, will allow “just cause” eviction policies to qualified housing in California. 

The bill was approved this week by the California State Senate and the California State Assembly. 

The bill now moves to the desk of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

When Newsom signs the bill, the bill would make the state one of the few in the nation with statewide rent control. 

California, one of the nation’s priciest housing markets, is following Oregon’s footsteps in enacting rent control. In March, Oregon approved a law placing an annual limit on rent increases of 7% plus inflation.

The bill appears to have Newsom’s support, as the governor tweeted that “The rent is too damn high — so we’re damn sure doing something about it” and “Because there should be a cap on how much you pay for rent…Because your landlord shouldn’t be able to evict you for no reason.” 

Gavin Newsom@GavinNewsom

CA is about to enact the strongest renter protections in the NATION.

Because there should be a cap on how much you pay for rent.

Because your landlord shouldn’t be able to evict you for no reason.

It’s about time.3,6634:04 PM – Sep 12, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy948 people are talking about this

“In this year’s State of the State address, I asked the Legislature to send me a strong renter protection package. Today, they sent me the strongest package in America,” Newsom said in a statement after the Assembly passed the bill. “These anti-gouging and eviction protections will help families afford to keep a roof over their heads, and they will provide California with important new tools to combat our state’s broader housing and affordability crisis. I would like to thank Assembly Speaker Rendon, Senate President pro Tempore Atkins, Assembly member Chiu and the bill’s co-authors for passing this legislation, as well as the broad coalition of stakeholders whose persistence allowed this bill to move forward.”

The move is a reversal from what happened in the state nearly a year ago. In the November 2018 election, California voters shot down a previous rent control initiative, Proposition 10. The proposal would have to capped annual rent increases to prevent unjust evictions. 

Proposition 10 was aimed to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act. In 1995, California passed the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, limiting the use of rent control and prohibiting local governments from imposing caps on single-family homes and condos. 

According to the California Secretary of State, 61.7% of voters were against repealing the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, while a mere 38.3% voted for it.

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https://www.housingwire.com/articles/50146-california-nears-statewide-rent-control?utm_campaign=Newsletter%20-%20HousingWire%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=76821501&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_X7YcVI-wVJJg16u-4PEDCx6mJcwS6llXGS8ztXGyTzEph50IFiCpbEmYDSGOHjHnc1ffbBJbVBrawLydmENeH7g4_EQ&_hsmi=76821501