Tag Archives: South Salem NY

Mortgage Rates average 3.97% this week | South Salem Real Estate

Freddie today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged as analyst expectation turned from world events to the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) October minutes.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.97 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending November 19, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 3.98 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.99 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.18 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.20 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.17 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.98 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.03 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.01 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.64 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, down from 2.65 percent last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.44 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 links for theRegional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

As of January 1, 2016, the PMMS will no longer provide results for the 1-year ARM or the regional breakouts for the 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages, or the 5/1 Hybrid ARM

Housing: A Near-term Pullback in Home Sales Is Likely | South Salem Real Estate

This week’s housing news revealed the latest data on two leading indicators of home sales, both of which point to additional retrenchment in existing home sales in the near-term.

Pending home sales dropped in August, marking the second decline over the past three months. Combined with the second consecutive drop in average monthly purchase applications in August, existing home sales will likely soften further after posting a 4.8 percent drop in August from an expansion-high pace in July.

Our forecast that 2015 total home sales will be the strongest since 2007 remains on target, however. While purchase applications dropped during the final week of September, average applications for the entire month rose for the first time in three months and are about 23 percent and 8 percent higher than during the same period in 2014 and 2013, respectively. Low mortgage rates will remain supportive for the housing market.

The Freddie Mac survey’s average yield on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages ticked down to 3.85 percent, staying below 4.0 percent for the tenth consecutive week. Home price trends continue to be strong.

The S&P/Case-Shiller house price index showed solid year-over-year appreciation in July, albeit at a more moderate pace than other main measures of home prices reported earlier. Strong housing demand during the summer season, lean inventories, and fewer distressed sales helped boost home prices.

The August construction spending report suggests that real residential investment will likely post solid growth this quarter, though not as strong as the 9.4 percent annualized pace recorded for the second quarter.

 The National Association of REALTORS® Pending Home Sales Index, which records contract signings of existing homes and typically leads closings by one to two months, dropped 1.4 percent to 109.4 in August, the lowest level since March. Pending sales are 6.1 percent above the level a year ago, the smallest year-over-year gain since November 2014. Pending sales dropped in the Northeast, Midwest and South, with the largest decline occurring in the Northeast. The West was the only region that saw a rise in pending sales.

 Private residential construction spending advanced 1.3 percent in August from the prior month, according to the Census Bureau. Spending on new single-family homes rose 0.7 percent, compared with a 4.8 percent jump for multifamily spending. Data for the prior two months were revised lower. Spending for home improvement increased 0.7 percent. From a year ago, new single-family and multifamily construction spending increased 14.0 percent and 24.7 percent, respectively.

 The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city Composite Home Price Index (not seasonally adjusted) rose 0.6 percent in July. From a year ago, the index increased 5.0 percent, a slight pickup from 4.9 percent pace of the prior month. Of the 20 cities, San Francisco, Denver, and Dallas posted the largest year-over-year increases, while New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. saw the smallest gains. The pace of increase for the national index also firmed slightly in July, posting a 4.7 percent year-over-year gain, compared with a 4.5 percent gain in June. Other measures of home prices, including the FHFA purchase-only index and the CoreLogic index, also showed a pickup in year-over-year increases in July.


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S&P Case Shiller: House prices beat expectations, gain 1% in March | South Salem Real Estate

S&P Case Shiller’s adjusted 20-city house price index rose a very solid and slightly higher-than-expected 1.0% in March with gains across all cities and well balanced gains across all regions.

These gains, however, were not confirmed by the Federal Housing Finance Agencyhouse price index, which rose a lower-than-expected 0.3% in March. The most optimistic reading for March came from Black Knight Financial Services (BKFS), a Fidelity National Financial (FNF) company.

Black Knight’s index says that home prices were up 1.2% in the month of March and up 4.8% on a year-over-year basis. Those totals represent the largest monthly gain in national home prices since June 2013.

“As we move deeper into the traditional home buying season, the low level of homes for sale in many markets is continuing to push prices higher,” said Quicken Loans Vice President Bill Banfield. “Once more owners realize the opportunity to sell their home, price gains will slow and prices may even dip in response to the greater choice for buyers.”

Year-on-year readings in both the S&P and FHFA reports show an improving trend, at a moderate 5% for Case-Shiller and plus 5.2% for FHFA.

“Home prices have enjoyed year-over-year gains for 35 consecutive months,” says David Blitzer, Managing Director & Chairman of the Index Committee for S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The pattern of consistent gains is national and seen across all 20 cities covered by the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. The longest run of gains is in Detroit at 45 months, the shortest is New York with 27 months. However, the pace has moderated in the last year; from August 2013 to February 2014, the national index gained more than 10% year-over-year, compared to 4.1% in this release.


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Hollywood Founder’s Spectacular Mansion | South Salem Real Estate

The stately, 23 room Mediterranean Revival mansion that Joseph Young, who developed Hollywood in the 1920s, built for himself on Hollywood Boulevard, can be yours for $2.19 million. The over-6,000 square foot house is one of the grandest (if not the grandest) home in the neighborhood, and embodies the dreams that Young had for his city, which in its day was similar to other swanky South Floridian cities like Coral Gables in a lot of ways. That included extensive master planning. Grand thoroughfares, like Hollywood Boulevard, connected elegant public amenities like Young Circle and the Hollywood Beach Resort. Even though Hollywood has certainly proven to be a successful and inviting community, it never quite became as ritzy of a locale as Young envisioned it, which might explain why the house has been on the market since 2012. People looking for this kind of spread don’t tend to look in Hollywood.


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Will Low Down Payments Bring First-timers Home? | South Salem Real Estate

Suddenly More first-time buyers are buying homes.  More are making down payments even as lenders rush to sign up for the new 3 percent down programs launched by Fannie and Freddie in November.  Coincidence or can we connect the dots?

It’s too soon for the new programs to have an impact on sales, but the odds are good that when they do the first-timer spike in sales may turn into a trend.  Loosening standards, improving incomes, soaring rents–whatever the cause, as the New Year begins there’s a refreshing new wind blowing throughout housing markets coast to coast.

According to the National Association of Realtors, first-time homebuyers accounted for 31 percent of existing home sales in November (29 percent in October 2014; 28 percent in November 2013.  Initial December data indicated a pickup of purchases from first-time buyers in November, likely a result of the improving job market and the decline in interest rates to 4 percent.

Zillow predicts that first-time buyers who stayed out of the market – either for demographic reasons or because they just couldn’t find the right entry-level home – will have a breakthrough year in 2015.rding to Zillow.  Zillow’s predictions are based on data showing rents continuing to skyrocket while the for-sale market levels off. That economic reality, increased inventory, and millennials getting married and having children after delaying those choices, will give buyers more negotiating power.  In fact, Zillow predicts the millennial generation will overtake Generation X as the biggest group of home buyers in 2015.

Meanwhile the majority of first-time home buyers making a low down payment appears to be uptrend. Among first-time buyers reported to be obtaining a mortgage in the months of September through November, about 66 percent made a down payment of 6 percent or less.  This is a decline from the 77 percent figure in early 2009, but an improvement from the 61 percent figure at the beginning of 2014.  In 2014 the average down payment for first-time buyers was

On December 8, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced the acceptance of loans originated with a 3 percent down payment under certain qualification guidelines to increase credit availability to first-time buyers meeting eligibility standards. In the case of Freddie Mac, borrowers will be required to participate in a borrower education program. In the case of Fannie Mae, borrowers will still have to meet the standard eligibility underwriting requirements such as those relating to income, employment, and debt, and borrowers will be required to purchase private mortgage insurance. Borrowers making a low down payment may still face higher costs for risk adjustment (called loan level pricing adjustments) in the case of GSE-backed loans.

Within weeks, mortgage lenders—all non-banks—began lining up to announce they were going to participate.

First out of the box to sign up for FHFA program were 360 Mortgage Group and ditech, both with 97% LTV into their product offerings.   Guardian Mortgage Company, Citywide Financial in San Diego, Houston lender AMCAP Mortgage and Michigan-based United Wholesale Mortgage were among of the first to announce they would participate in the GSE programs.

Meanwhile, before the details were even announced, Bank of America came out saying that it does not plan on easing its mortgage standards or offering 3% down mortgages, despite regulators seeking to expand lending.  Wells Fargo said it is currently in the process of examining the new product.


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Icy Concrete Cottage in Slovenia is Surprisingly Ethereal Inside | South Salem Real Estate


k1.jpgPhoto by Janez Marolt via Dezeen

Though inspired by traditional Slovenian cottages, this stony abode near the Slovenian-Italian border is distinctly contemporary. Designed by Ljubljana-based firm Dekleva Gregorič Architects and completed earlier this year, the building dons a six-inch-thick concrete façade that’s been rendered extra rugged with irregular chunks of stone packed in. It’s also blessed with three large windows, surely an upgrade from the “almost windowless” stony houses typical of the region.

Inside, the 990-square-foot looks polished and lightweight, with the interior palette skews towards pale wood and white. Meanwhile, circulation across the second floor, which was created from inserting two wooden bedroom volumes near the gabled roof, is enclosed by breezy ropes and nets. Take a closer look.


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Housing Starts Rise 17.8% Year-Over-Year In September; 6.3% Up From August | South Salem Real Estate

Construction of new homes rose 6.3% in September and permit activity increased, suggesting that the gradual housing recovery is continuing, data released Thursday by the U.S. Commerce Department shows.

September groundbreakings rose to a seasonally adjusted, annual rate of 1.017 million, up from August’s revised 957,000. September’s rate was 17.8% higher than the pace of 863,000 one year earlier, and fell within the range expected by economists surveyed ahead of the release by Bloomberg Bloomberg.

Building permits also bumped up 1.5% in September, to an annual (seasonally adjusted) rate of 1.018 million, over August’s revised 1.003 million level. September’s permit numbers are 2.5% above one year earlier.

Despite the increase in September activity in both permitting and housing starts, builders confidence is down slightly, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo. Yesterday the group released its Housing Market Index, which shows that builder confidence in the market for new, single-family homes fell five points, to a level of 54, in October. Any number over 50 indicates that more builders view the market as favorable than as poor.

“After the HMI posted a nine-year high in September, it’s not surprising to see the number drop in October,” said NAHB’s chief economist David Crowe. “However, historically low mortgage interest rates, steady job gains, and significant pent up demand all point to continued growth of the housing market.”

September’s numbers show that builders are continuing to bet on multi-family housing. While permits issued for single-family homes were relatively flat at 624,000 (0.5% below August’s revised 627,000) in September, permitting rose by 7% for buildings with five or more units, to 369,000 in September from 345,000 in August. Similarly, groundbreakings on single-family homes stood at a rate of 646,000 in September, just 1.1% above August’s revised figure. Starts on buildings with five or more units were at 353,000, up 18.5% from August.


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Live Like a Robber Baron in this $13M Lakeside Tudor Manse | South Salem Real Estate

Location: Lake George, N.Y.
Price: $12,900,000
The Skinny: Built as only Gilded Age captains of industry could build ’em, this magnificent $12.9M Tudor Revival home on New York’s Lake George is a beautifully preserved example of the opulent mansions of the early 20th-century elite. Dubbed Wikiosco after the Algonquin for “Home on Beautiful Waters,” the house was built by Brooklyn Con Edison founder (and excellent name-haver) Royal C. Peabody based on a design by his son, architect Charles S. Peabody, whose firm also designed such landmarks as NYC’s Mercantile Building and portions of Vanderbilt University. The 20,000-square-foot mansion sits on almost seven acres of rolling waterfront land, with 545 feet of lake-frontage, and, per the listing, features original “carved oak doors, decorative carved built-ins, oak beams, stain-glassed windows, crown moldings and wainscoting.”



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When Should You Refinance | South Salem Real Estate

When you take out a mortgage with a fixed interest rate, you expect to be locked into the same monthly payment for the life of the loan. But that’s not necessarily the case — many homeowners can benefit by refinancing their mortgage at a lower interest rate.

Before you can decide whether it’s worth it to refinance, get a handle on the numbers involved. How many more years do you have on your current loan, and what’s your current interest rate? How much do you still owe? Will you be borrowing the same amount, or are you hoping to cash out some equity?

Now, turn your attention to the new loan you’re hoping to get. What kind of interest rate can you expect? Some say it’s not worth it to refinance unless you’re knocking off an entire percentage point (e.g. going from a 5% interest rate to 4%, for example), but that rule can be misleading. If you’re planning on staying in the home for several more years, even a small reduction in your interest rate can make a big difference. If you’re a little hazy on the math, Trulia’s refinance calculator can help demystify things.

Once you know what kind of interest rates are available now, find out how much closing costs are likely to be. That’s right. Closing costs aren’t just an issue when you buy a house. You pay closing costs again when you refinance, although they’ll be lower this time.

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30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Hits Year’s Low | South Salem Real Estate


Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates following bond yields lower. Averaging 4.10 percent for the week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell below its previous 2014 low of 4.12 percent.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.10 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending August 21, 2014, down from last week when it averaged 4.12 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.58 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.23 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.24 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.60 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.95 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.97 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.21 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.38 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.36 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.67 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 links for the Regional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Attributed to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Mortgage rates were down slightly this week, following the decline in 10-year Treasury yields. Meanwhile, housing starts in July jumped 15.7 percent to 1.093 million units after falling 4.0 percent a month earlier. Also, July’s consumer prices increased at a 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted pace, the slowest in five months.”