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New York real estate showing symptoms of distress | Waccabuc Real Estate

For Hans Futterman, it was a dream defaulted. 

The developer assembled a vacant plot of land — formerly a Shell gas station and a parking lot — at Frederick Douglass Boulevard and West 122nd Street in Harlem over roughly four years, from 2011 to 2015. He then secured approvals to construct a 12-story, 127-unit residential building on the site, which offers 205,000 buildable square feet.

But in June of last year, Futterman, who declined to comment for this story, defaulted on a $36 million loan from RWN Real Estate Partners, and five months later his development firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The bankruptcy auction is now set for June 21, and sources said the site could sell for as much as $70 million — about $44 million more than Futterman paid for the stretch of land over the years.

A source said Futterman pumped “his life savings” into the project — and that he is still holding out hope to develop it himself.

“This is the reality of the market today,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Bob Knakal, who is handling the bankruptcy auction with colleague Adam Spies. “Transactions are not going the way owners want.”

Indeed, the first signs of distress have emerged in several pockets of New York City’s commercial real estate market in recent months. Retail vacancies, declining hotel revenues and foreclosures on Park Avenue are among a flurry of indications that the market is inching closer to the brink of financial trouble.    

“There’s a lot more stress in the system than most people probably realize,” said Iron Hound Management’s Robert Verrone, who added that his mortgage brokerage is handling more workouts nationally than ever before. 

The influx of troubled loans is a product of the 2007 lending boom, and $90 billion in commercial mortgage backed-securities backed by properties across the country are set to mature this year. Sean Barrie of Trepp, which tracks CMBS, noted that the massive batch of loans was “underwritten pretty liberally,” and now, many of those sponsors may face difficulty refinancing their over-leveraged assets.

Attorney Ray Hannigan, of Herrick Feinstein, who specializes in foreclosures and workouts, said the tri-state area is already seeing a substantial influx of those maturity defaults.

“It’s a long time coming,” he said. “The market needs to work through this latest cycle and weed out the good and the bad.” 

The bad can be found across the five boroughs. In Brooklyn and Staten Island, scheduled foreclosure auctions are making a comeback. There were 90 foreclosure auctions in Brooklyn in March, a 125 percent year-over-year increase. Staten Island — where the real estate market has been less active — had 32 in the same month, a 10 percent increase from the previous year, according to California-based research firm ATTOM Data Solutions data provided to The Real Deal.

ATTOM data also showed that there was a 327 percent increase in New York City multifamily and retail sales to third-party investors in foreclosure auctions in 2017’s first quarter, year-over year. Similarly, the number of bank-owned commercial properties rose 8 percent year-over-year.

No one is suggesting that distress is widespread — yet. More than 25 lawyers, economists, lenders and brokers who spoke to TRD for this story were confident that although a decline is around the corner, it won’t be as severe as it was 2007 or 2008 — when, as attorney Wallace Schwartz of the national law firm Kasowitz put it, “everything fell off the table.”

“Distress is a very macro word,” said Ayush Kapahi of capital advisory firm HKS Capital Partners. “There’s something churning. I don’t know if the word ‘distress’ will apply, or if it will just be a market reset.… There are so many variables that go into a storm.”

To get a better idea of the extent of the trouble in the market, TRD took a temperature check of all the commercial real estate asset classes across the city.

Retail anxieties

When real estate developer Billy Macklowe proclaimed, “I think retail is fucked, plain and simple,” in late April, he was echoing a sentiment widely shared among industry insiders: Of all commercial real estate asset classes, retail is showing the clearest signs of distress.

“Retail is a disaster in New York City,” one source said on the condition of anonymity. While part of that situation is due to the continual rise of online retailers, “another part of it is people are too greedy,” the source added in reference to landlords seeking steep rents.

Indeed, brick-and-mortar stores across the country are collapsing due to high overhead, weak sales and mounting debt, and major U.S. retailers including American Apparel and Aeropostale, among many others, have filed for bankruptcy.

Some retailers are making real estate moves to stay afloat amid falling sales. Department store Lord & Taylor is considering adding a residential tower on top of its flagship at 424 Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus recently met with Related Companies about a potential merger — a deal that Related chair Stephen Ross later said would not happen.

No major retail landlords in the city have defaulted on their loans because of the waning market, but many are seeing increased vacancies. Last year, availability rates on Fifth Avenue between 42nd and 49th streets hit a high of 31 percent, Cushman data show. All in all, eight of Manhattan’s 11 major retail neighborhoods saw availability rates grow between 0.6 and 8.2 percent, according to the commercial brokerage.

“Look anywhere in the city and you see unusually high vacancy,” said real estate attorney Joshua Stein. To be sure, there is more leasing activity taking place on less-glamorous stretches like Ninth Avenue (see related story).

Most recently, Ralph Lauren announced it would be closing its 39,000 square-foot flagship store at the Coca-Cola
Company’s 711 Fifth Avenue. The retailer will continue to pay a whopping $70,000 per day in rent as part of the lease, which expires in 2029, if it can’t get out of the arrangement.

And as leasing volume slows, landlords are wooing new tenants by offering  concessions, including cheaper rents, build-outs and more flexible deal terms.

If any major retail landlord is approaching trouble, it could be Thor Equities’ TRData LogoTINY Joseph Sitt (see related story), whose portfolio has retail vacancies, including nearly 27,000 square feet of vacancies at 530 Fifth, which the firm co-owns with General Growth Properties.

And Sitt certainly isn’t alone.

Jack Terzi’s JTRE Holdings, for example, has reportedly been in contract for nearly a year to pay about $140 million for a vacant six-story retail building at 23 Wall Street. Sources said that over that time, Terzi has had difficulty locking in financing and securing a flagship tenant, though Uniqlo is among the prospective retailers that have negotiated for space there.

Of the $7.53 billion in 200 CMBS notes backed by retail properties in New York City, five, totaling $77 million, are with a special servicer, according to Trepp.

“Retail dynamics and challenges are certainly not unique to New York,” said Sam Chandan, an economist and associate dean at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. “New York has a very unique retail footprint by virtue of it being a dense tourist market and one where most retail is ground floor or street-facing. There will be some difficult adjustments.”

Hotel oversupply 

The hotel industry is also facing an uphill battle to absorb oversupply in the city and combat online home-sharing marketplace Airbnb.  

“The industry’s struggle is really playing out in the room rates, which have declined and are expected to continue to do so,” said Peter Muoio, chief economist and head of research at online real estate marketplace Ten-X. 

Revenue per available room fell to $163 during the first three months of this year — its lowest level of the current cycle and a 2.3 percent drop year-over-year, according to a recent report from hotel-and-data analytics firm STR. 

Transactions are also down, as New York City saw $2 billion in hotel deals in 2016, a sizable drop from $4.8 billion the prior year, according to STR. The 2015 figure, it should be noted, included the blockbuster $1.95 billion sale of the Waldorf Astoria to Anbang Insurance Group. Many of the 2016 deals were for “upper midscale” or “upscale” properties, unlike 2015 when most hotels that sold were “luxury” or “upper upscale,” according to the data firm’s report.

Sources said that so far, hotel owners have been able to largely escape trouble with a “big paydown” through a recapitalization or a sale, but the few hotels that were sold in the last two years have done so at a loss. Thor has been in contract since the fall to purchase PGIM Real Estate’s five-star James New York hotel in Soho for $70 million — a $13 million drop from the property’s previous sale price of $83.4 million in 2013.

While some hotels are simply depreciating in value, at least one is facing foreclosure. The four-star, boutique Mansfield Hotel at 12 West 44th  Street in Midtown has been hemorrhaging cash for more than a year as the owner, Ark Partners, has struggled to sell for $65 million.

Court records show Wells Fargo, the trustee on the hotel’s $20 million loan, is working through foreclosure proceedings with the developers.

A wide range of Manhattan hotels are on the market, though very few have been able to find a buyer quickly. The properties on the hunt include the Park Lane Hotel, the Quin, the Standard High Line and Hotel Wales.

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https://therealdeal.com/issues_articles/distressed-out/?utm_source=The+Real+Deal+E-Lerts&utm_campaign=ddb3f210e9-New_York_Weekend_Update_10.18.2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6e806bb87a-ddb3f210e9-385733629

Real state of housing market | Waccabuc Real Estate

On the third day of Mortgage Bankers Association National Secondary Market Conference and Expo in New York City, three economists took the stage to explain their view of the housing market, and their forecast for 2017.

Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti, Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan and MBA Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni gave their projections over the chance of a recession within the next 12 months.

Becketti emphasized that while the chance of a recession increased, it would need to be driven by a specific event.

“Recessions are event driven, the economy doesn’t just run out of gas and slow down,” Becketti said.

Fratantoni predicted a 15% to 20% chance of a recession over the next 12 months, while Duncan pushed it to a 30% chance. He listed several factors including a peak in consumer credit card usage, auto sales and corporate debt, which could point to a looming recession.

The three economists pointed out that while employment is rising, there are still gaps in the growth.

What we’ve seen has been a polarization of jobs, Becketti said. Jobs have left the mid-skill level and gone to the high-skill level, and low skill jobs have also seen growth. The reason for this shift is that mid-skilled jobs are easier to automate.

But even as jobs polarize, the growth between urban and suburban areas leveled out, becoming more equally distributed between the two areas, Duncan said. However, this leveling out in the location of jobs is creating more problems in the housing market.

“But now urban areas are the most difficult area to build entry-level housing due to cost of land,” he said.

As the year goes on, Fratantoni predicted the market will see two more rate hikes – one in June and one in September, saying the year would finish with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate of 4.5%.

Becketti predicted slightly more, saying the Federal Open Markets Committee could raise rates from two to three times this year, but said the year will end with a 30-year FRM of about 4.4%.

Duncan, who predicted the highest chance of a recession in the next 12 months, agreed the Fed will raise rates twice more this year, however kept it’s rate for the end of 2017 more conservative at 4.2%.

“We’re not convinced that inflationary pressures are enough to make the Fed more aggressive,” he said.

Click to Enlarge

Economic Outlook

(Source: Freddie Mac)

But for now, the housing market continues to boom as home prices hit their previous peak nationally, and even significantly surpassed it in some states.

This map shows the states in relation to their former peak:

Click to Enlarge

Economic Outlook

(Source: MBA)

All three economists were puzzled by the substantial increase in Texas, saying they could only venture to guess that while there is plenty of land to spread out in the state, the jobs are more centered, driving home prices up in key areas, such as Dallas.

And what about the rumored housing bubble? Fratantoni asked: Is San Francisco in a housing bubble? Becketti’s answer, to put it simply, was no. He answered that the city is subject to a tech collapse, but said it will not collapse on account of affordability.

 

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http://www.housingwire.com/articles/40020-heres-the-real-state-of-the-housing-market?eid=311691494&bid=1743085

Pending sales drop | Waccabuc Real Estate

The Pending Home Sales Index decreased 2.5% in November 2016 to its lowest level since January 2016, and is 0.4% below November 2015. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), decreased to 107.3 in November 2016 from 110.0 the previous month.

The PHSI increased 0.6% in the Northeast, but fell 1.2% in the South, 2.5% in the Midwest and 6.7% in the West. Year-over-year, the PHSI increased 5.7% in the Northeast, but decreased 1.0% in the West, 1.3% in the South and 2.4% in the Midwest.

NAR recently reported a decline in confidence among renters who are contemplating the best time to buy a home. The election boosted the U.S. 10-year Treasury note from 1.83% the day before the election to 2.54% on December 28, 2016, and mortgage rates followed quickly. The Freddie Mac Weekly Survey reported a 30-year commitment rate of 3.54% on November 3, which increased to 4.30% for the week ending December 22, 2016. However, November existing sales continued a solid year-end path, and total 2016 existing sales are expected to reach the highest level since 2006. As the economy adds jobs, increased demand among first-time buyers will help fuel existing sales into 2017.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2017/01/pending-sales-retreat-2/

Schiller: Always reason to worry about housing prices | Waccabuc Real Estate

US home price gains slowed slighting in July, as many on Wall Street are speculating that the Federal Reserve will raise rates before the end of the year. The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Index rose 5.0% year-over-year, missing analysts’ expectations of a 5.1% increase but still above the 4.8% pace of the prior two years.

The recent surge in real estate demand has pushed home prices near their pre-crisis peak in 2006, which is making it increasingly difficult for new home buyers to enter the market. Home sales fell 0.9% in August from the previous month, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s the second straight month of declines.

Higher home prices have begged the question by many as to whether the current pace is sustainable, or if there’s reason to fear another massive collapse in real estate.

“There’s always reason to worry [about a coming collapse],” Robert Shiller, Nobel Prize–winning economist and co-creator of the S&P/Case Shiller Index, told Yahoo Finance’s Seana Smith in the video above. But he is quick to point out one stark difference between today’s housing market and that of 2006. “We’re in a holding pattern right now … People are less excited about buying because they themselves don’t believe [home prices] will be going up a lot. Back in 2006, when the homeownership rate was setting records, people had extravagant expectations.”

His comments on Americans’ hesitation to buy echo the findings of a recent study byPulsenomics, which found that just 38% of renters surveyed think now is a good time to buy. Today, home values have reached or surpassed peak levels in about a quarter of US markets.

How rising rates could impact the housing market

While prospective buyers continue to benefit from relatively low borrowing costs, the big question is whether a series of rate hikes will increase mortgage rates and prompt a fallout in the housing sector. Fed funds futures suggests a roughly 57% chance of higher US interest rates by December, according to data from CME Group.

Shiller says it’s very difficult to forecast how the housing market will react to rising rates but is quick to point out that even in an uncertain environment, rate hikes shouldn’t be a factor for potential buyers.

“The Fed raised [rates] in December just a quarter of one percent, and plausibly they’ll raise [rates] by another quarter or a half percent, and it may not be a big deal,” said Shiller. “On the other hand, it might be a big deal because we’re in this strange period of near zero interest rates, and if people see it as a major turning point, it could affect home prices … My opinion is if you want a house, go out and buy it. It’s not an extremely unusual time. There are always risks.

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http://finance.yahoo.com/news/robert-shiller-theres-always-reason-to-worry-about-a-coming-collapse-in-housing-124331739.html

Pending Sales Decline | Waccabuc Real Estate

The Pending Home Sales Index decreased 2.4% in August, declining for the third time in four months, and falling 0.2% below its level for the same month a year ago. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR),decreased to 108.5 in August from a downwardly revised 111.2 in July.

pending-home-sales-august-2016

The PHSI increased 1.3% in the Northeast in August, consistent with the 6.1% increase in existing sales in the Northeast reported last week. But the PHSI decreased in the remaining regions, ranging from 0.9% in the Midwest to 3.2% in the South and 5.3% in the West. Year-over-year, the PHSI was up 5.9% in the Northeast, but fell 0.6% in the West. 1.5% in the South and 1.7% in the Midwest.

NAR attributed the PHSI decline to a lack of inventory. However, builder confidence surged in September along with consumer confidence. Also, August new home sales recorded their second strongest month since the Great Recession. These reports suggest good news for new construction as the housing recovery continues to address demand among first-time buyers and broaden across a wider range of markets during the balance of 2016.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2016/09/pending-sales-decline/

Demand for home loans increasing | Waccabuc Real Estate

Even before Brexit hit, mortgage rates were at historical lows, igniting a surge in demand for home equity loans this year.

According to new results from the American Bankers Association’s Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin, consumers are handling the loan responsibility well, with home-related delinquencies down in two out of three categories compared to the previous quarter.

“As the housing market continues its slow and steady recovery, consumers have more valuable equity at stake, which makes their loan payments even more of a top priority,” said James Chessen, ABA’s chief economist.

“Growing equity also makes new home equity loans a viable option for qualified home owners. The market for home equity loans and lines will likely continue to grow as a larger pool of qualified borrowers looks to take advantage of low rates to make property improvements or pay off higher-interest debt,” he continued.

Home equity line delinquencies dropped 3 basis points to 1.15% of all accounts. Meanwhile, home equity loan delinquencies increased 6 basis points to 2.74% of all accounts after falling 23 basis points in the previous quarter.

It’s important to note that the first quarter marks the first time since 2008 that both home equity loan and line delinquencies are at or below their 15-year averages.

As far as the third category, property improvement loan delinquencies fell 3 basis points to 0.89% of all accounts.

For background, Bankrate explains that there are two types of home equity loans: term, or closed-end loans, and lines of credit.

A home equity loan comes in one-time lump sum that is paid off over a set amount of time, with a fixed interest rate and the same payments each month.

On the other hand, a HELOC is more comparable to a credit card.

At the start of this year, Black Knight reported that HELOCs started to surge in 2015 and was only predicted to maintain its upward trajectory into 2016.

At the time, Black Knight Data and Analytics Senior Vice President Ben Graboske said, “In total, we’re looking at over 37 million borrowers with current CLTVs below 80% that have an average of $112,000 equity available to tap in their homes, an increase of 3.1 million from just a year ago.”

The growing potential of borrowers who could capitalize on low interest rates paired with lenders trying to find new sources of business created a new surge in home equity loans.

After the financial crisis, home equity lines of credit fell to the wayside as lenders scaled back on giving out second liens and many cut existing credit lines to avoid new defaults, an article in The Wall Street Journal by Annamaria Andriotis said.

But this all started to change due to increasing property values, the growing number of homeowners who have equity available for withdrawal and lenders needing to offset faltering mortgage originations.

 

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http://www.housingwire.com/articles/37470-aba-heres-proof-rising-home-equity-levels-are-good-for-consumers?eid=311691494&bid=1454682

Renters Insurance | Waccabuc Real Estate

Look around any rented apartment, condominium or house and you’re likely to find the same things you would see in an owner-occupied home — furniture, clothes, electronics, and other belongings. In other words, you’ll see the same items that play an important role in everyday life.

A standard home insurance policy typically provides a homeowner with some protection for these types of belongings, and similar protection is also available to renters. Unfortunately, renters insurance remains a vastly underused resource. Surveys and studies show that less than half of renters in the U.S. have renters insurance.

You may be a young professional in your first loft or a retiree enjoying more coziness and less yardwork. Either way, if you rent, the best way to help protect your valued belongings is renters insurance.

Two kinds of property: the landlord’s and yours

Why is it so important for renters to get protection for their belongings? It’s a matter of where the landlord’s coverage ends and where your coverage should begin.

Say, for example, that a severe storm tears part of the roof off your apartment building while you’re at work and lets the rain pour in. Just your luck, the hole in the roof is directly above the spot in the kitchen where you keep the coffee maker that brews a perfect cup every time.

You come home, see this dripping disaster and wonder, “Who’s going to pay for this?” Actually, you should rephrase it as a two-part question:

  • “Who pays for the damage to the building?” If your landlord has adequately insured the property, that coverage could help ensure that you’ll have a sound roof over your head again when repairs are complete.
  • “Now that the building is squared away, who pays for my coffee maker?” A standard renters policy could help pay to replace your little morning brewmeister, if your policy covers this type of damage.

The reason for turning one question into two is simple. Your landlord’s policy typically covers the structure of the building and the appliances. Your belongings, however, are more than likely excluded from his or her coverage.

What do renters need protection from?

A renters policy could provide some of the same safeguards as homeowners insurance, which could help protect your belongings from threats including:

  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Water
  • Lightning
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Windstorm
  • Explosion (yes, you read that right.)

Here’s an important point to remember: As with homeowners insurance, your coverage may be subject to limitations. Your agent can help you understand what items may be covered and what kind of threats may not be applicable.

For example, the scenario above could be viable in the case of a rainstorm, in which the water falls from the sky. Floodwaters, on the other hand, typically aren’t covered by standard homeowners or renters policies, and fall under the domain of flood insurance coverage, which is available for purchase through the U.S. government’s FloodSmart program.

The good news is that a renters policy may help protect your property from more common types of water damage, such as damage resulting from a burst pipe.

Protect your wallet along with your stuff

A renters policy could offer a potential safeguard for more than your personal belongings.

You try to be a good host, but some guests just find their way to trouble like a dog finds its way to dropped food. If one of your guests suffers an injury at your rental and tries to hold you responsible, renters insurance could help pay the cost of legal expenses and/or medical treatment.

 

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http://www.zillow.com/blog/renters-insurance-covers-gap-198890/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ZillowBlog+%28Zillow+Blog%29

Mortgage rates average 3.73% | Waccabuc Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing mortgage rates moving higher for the third week in a row.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.73 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending March 17, 2016, up from last week when it averaged 3.68 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.78 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.99 percent with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.96 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.06 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.93 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.92 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.97 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 theDefinitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Treasury yields increased heading into this week’s FOMC meeting, partially in response to modestly higher inflation readings. 30-year mortgage rates kept pace, rising 5 basis points to 3.73 percent. Nonetheless, at the meeting the Fed confirmed what the market had already concluded and made no change to the Federal funds target. The Fed went further and acknowledged that economic signals have been mixed and that the pace of monetary tightening may be slower than had been assumed at the end of 2015.”

US home construction jumps | Waccabuc Real Estate

Construction of new homes rose in February to the highest level in five months, but applications for new construction were weak for a third month.

Housing starts rose 5.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.18 million units, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. Construction had fallen in January in December, declines that had been blamed in part on winter weather.

Applications for building permits, a gauge of future activity, fell 3.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.17 million units after a flat reading in January and a drop in December.

The decline in building permits, unless reversed, could signal future trouble in an industry that was a bright spot for the economy last year.

But Bricklin Dwyer, an economist with BNP Paribas, said the slump in building permit applications should only translate into a brief construction slowdown given the solid fundamentals supporting housing.

“We see a resilient labor market as supportive of a continued slow and steady housing recovery and low housing inventory should continue to bolster residential construction ahead,” Dwyer said.

For February, construction of single-family homes rose 7.2 percent to an annual rate of 822,000 units. Construction in the smaller apartment sector edged up a slight 0.8 percent to a rate of 356,000 units.

Regionally, construction activity plunged 51.3 percent in the Northeast but showed strength in all other regions. Construction rose 19.9 percent in the Midwest, 7.1 percent in the South and 26.1 percent in the West.

The National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index held steady at 58 for March. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor.

Sales of new homes surged 14.5 percent last year to 501,000, marking the strongest year for this segment of the housing market since 2007.

 

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http://www.seattletimes.com/business/us-home-construction-jumps-in-february/

New Single-Family Home Size: Flat Trends | Waccabuc Real Estate

The typical size of newly built single-family homes was effectively unchanged from the second to third quarter of 2015, posting a small quarterly decline. The current data is consistent with the general trend of flat growth for the size of typical newly-built homes, a pattern that took hold during 2014. As first-time buyers return to the market, typical home size is expected to trend somewhat lower.

According to third quarter 2015 data from the Census Quarterly Starts and Completions by Purpose and Design and NAHB analysis, median single-family square floor area fell from 2,478 in the second quarter to 2,445 square feet. Average (mean) square footage for new single-family homes fell from 2,704 to 2,653 for the third quarter.

SF size_3q15

On a less volatile one-year moving average, the recent trend of leveling home size can be see on the graph above, although current sizes remain elevated. Since cycle lows and on a one-year moving average basis, the average size of new single-family homes has increased 13% to 2,693 square feet, while the median size has increased 17% to 2,472 square feet.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/11/