Tag Archives: waccabuc luxury homes

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/

Secondary Real-Estate Markets Are Moving Up | Waccabuc Real Estate

Move over Houston, make way for Dallas-Fort Worth — and a host of other up-and-coming secondary markets such as Charlotte, N.C., Seattle, Atlanta, Denver, Nashville, Tenn., and Portland, Ore.

That’s the conclusion of real-estate professionals who were asked about their views on the best markets for property investment and development in 2016.

The survey was conducted by the Urban Land Institute and PcW and released this week at the ULI’s fall meeting in San Francisco.

Houston was the No. 1 pick in last year’s survey on markets to watch in 2015, but it sunk to No. 23 in the latest survey for 2016 expectations, amid worries about the impact of prolonged low oil prices on the energy capital’s local economy.

In its decline, Houston was in distinguished company: Also not making the top-10 list were major gateway cities of New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., which have been losing favor with real-estate professionals in recent years.

Sixth-place Denver, also known as an energy market, “is more diversified (than Houston) and seems to be chugging right through” the low-price oil environment, said Ben Breslau, managing director of Americas Research at commercial real-estate firm JLL (NYSE:JLL), during a ULI conference panel. He noted that 5 million to 6 million square feet of commercial space hit the market this year in Houston as rents trended down.

Another panelist, Kenneth Rosen, chairman of Rosen Consulting Group, said the energy belt has a “digestive issue” and warned investors to avoid Houston.

Read More: http://news.investors.com/business-inside-real-estate/100815-774729-secondary-real-estate-markets-emerging.htm#ixzz3o6RKZeaH

US Home Builders Optimistic | Waccabuc Real Estate

U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly more optimistic about the housing market, nudging their confidence this month to a level not seen since the high-flying days of the housing boom nearly 10 years ago.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Wednesday rose this month to 62, up from 61 in August. The last time the reading was higher was October 2005 at 68.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor. The index has been consistently above 50 since July last year.

Builders’ view of current sales conditions and their view of traffic by prospective buyers rose this month. But their outlook for sales over the next six months declined slightly.

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http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/fronts/BUSINESS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME

Sellers are Pocketing their Biggest Profits since the Peak | Waccabuc Real Estate

Single family home and condo sellers in the first half of 2015 sold for more above their purchase price in the first half of this year than any time since prices were at the peak of the boom.

Homes sold for an average of 13 percent above their original purchase prices, the highest average percentage in home price gains realized by sellers since 2007, when it was 30 percent, according to RealtyTrac.

Major markets where sellers in the first half of 2015 realized the biggest average home price gains were San Jose, California (41 percent); San Francisco (37 percent); Denver (29 percent); Portland (25 percent); Los Angeles (25 percent); and Seattle (20 percent).

“Sales activity has been strong this year and the metrics point to a solid foundation for steady growth. Growing boomerang buyer interest and first time buyer participation combined with smarter lending requirements are fostering a sustainable market,” said Mark Hughes, chief operating officer with First Team Real Estate, covering the Southern California market. “Lower investor, cash, and distressed activity are three reliable indicators that peripheral buying and selling activity is settling back down and the traditional owner occupied residential market is back on solid ground and healthy.”

There were six major markets where sellers in the first half of 2015 on average sold below their original purchase price: Chicago (7 percent below); Cleveland (7 percent below); Hartford, Connecticut (3 percent below); Jacksonville, Florida (2 percent below); St. Louis (1 percent below); and Orlando (1 percent below).

Zillow and Case-Shiller both reported strong appreciation in their first quarter reports, Zillow at 5.2 percent year over year for its 20-city composite and Case-Shiller at 5.0 percent.

“Home price appreciation has settled into a nice groove over the past few months, and ought to remain there going forward. This is still more proof that the for-sale market, while certainly not yet fully healed, is continuing to return to normal,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries when the first quarter results were released May 26. “But relative strength in one indicator shouldn’t be confused with full recovery. Inventory is very low and the housing market is still very much out of balance, particularly on the rental side, where rapid rent increases and tepid wage gains are contributing to a deepening rental affordability crisis. This will make it more difficult for current renters to save up and make the transition into homeownership, particularly for younger would-be buyers the market so sorely lacks and needs.”

Single family homes and condos in June sold for an average of $291,450 compared to an average $287,634 estimated market value for those same homes at the time of sale – a 101 percent price-to-value ratio. June was the first time since July 2013 that the national price-to-value ratio exceeded 100 percent.

Major metro areas with the highest price-to-value ratios — where homes sold the most above estimated market value — were San Francisco (106 percent); Hartford, Connecticut (105 percent); Baltimore (105 percent); Rochester, New York (104 percent); and Providence, Rhode Island (103 percent).

 

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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2015/07/sellers-are-pocketing-the-biggest-profits-since-the-peak/