Tag Archives: Waccabuc Luxury Real Estate

Housing starts up 9.4% year over year | Waccabuc Real Estate

United States Housing Starts  1959-2018 

Housing starts in the US jumped 9.2 percent from a month earlier to an annualized rate of 1,282 thousand in August of 2018, recovering  from a 0.3 percent drop in July and beating market expectations of a 5.8 percent rise. Starts increased in the South, the Midwest and the West and were flat in the Northeast. Housing Starts in the United States averaged 1433.04 Thousand units from 1959 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 2494 Thousand units in January of 1972 and a record low of 478 Thousand units in April of 2009.

 

United States Housing Starts

 

US Housing Starts Above Forecasts

Housing starts in the US jumped 9.2 percent from a month earlier to an annualized rate of 1,282 thousand in August of 2018, recovering from a 0.3 percent drop in July and beating market expectations of a 5.8 percent rise. Starts increased in the South, the Midwest and the West and were flat in the Northeast.

Single-family homebuilding, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, increased 1.9 percent to a rate of 876 thousand units in August; and starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment surged 27.3 percent to a rate of 392 thousand. Starts rose in the Midwest (9.1 percent to 191 thousand), the West (19.1 percent to 318 thousand) and the South (6.5 percent to 674 thousand), but were steady in the Northeast (at 99 thousand). Starts for July were revised to 1,174 thousand from 1,168 thousand.
Building permits dropped 5.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,229 thousand, the lowest reading since May of 2017. It compares with market expectations of a 0.1 percent decline to 1,310 thousand and follows a 1.5 percent rise in July. Single-family authorizations fell 6.1 percent to 820 thousand and multi-family permits decreased 4.9 percent to 409 thousand. Declines were seen in all regions: Northeast (-19.2 percent to 101 thousand), the Midwest (-1.7 percent to 178 thousand), the West (-8.4 percent to 304 thousand) and the South (-2.9 percent to 646 thousand).

Year-on-year, housing starts increased 9.4 percent while building permits fell 5.5 percent.

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https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/housing-starts

Marilyn Monroe got married in Westchester | Waccabuc Real Estate

Marilyn Monroe got married in Waccabuc, Westchester.

The actress married playwright Arthur Miller in a short civil ceremony in the White Plains Courthouse in 1956.

It was her third marriage and Miller’s second. Few knew of the impending ceremony.

But their relationship had caused headlines. Miller had divorced his wife to marry Monroe, who had divorced Joe DiMaggio in 1954.

When the news got out of their impending nuptials, the couple held a press conference at Miller’s house in Connecticut on June 29. The local paper had the headline: “Local Resident Will Marry Miss Monroe of Hollywood’, adding, ‘Roxbury Only Spot in World to Greet News Calmly.”

Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller held a wedding reception at this Waccabuc home. Karen Croke, kcroke1@lohud.com

Afterwards, they slipped into Westchester and were married in a quick ceremony at the courthouse, after which, as reported the following day in The New York Times, the Millers  “got into their sports car and disappeared into traffic.”

They weren’t heading far.

On July 1, the couple held a Jewish ceremony and wedding reception for 25 guests in the Westchester County home of Miller’s literary agent, Kay Brown.

The home is for sale, listed for $1,675,000 with Susan Stillman of Houlihan Lawrence.

From the outside, it’s not hard to imagine the party that once took place here.

The French Country-style residence built in 1948 seems untouched from those halcyon days when many stars, including Tallulah Bankhead and Benny Goodman lived nearby and fabulous parties were the norm.

The gated property is set on a quiet road with a wonderful view of the surrounding area, and is just across from the 16th hole of the Waccabuc Country Club.

There are many original details, including parquet and tile floors, French doors, leaded windows, and European-style fireplaces. One of the highlights is the living room with walls of glass and terrace exit, a private master suite, and a first-floor guest suite with its own side entrance.

There are four bedrooms and five bathrooms in the home, which is in the Katonah School district.

Outside, the just over 4 acre property is still private and serene. A crescent-shaped lawn terrace steps down to pool and pool house with summer kitchen and cabana, and all surrounded by light woodlands, specimen landscaping and gardens creating sought-after privacy.

Sadly, the Millers were married for only five years before divorcing in 1961. Monroe tragically died the following the year.

 

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https://www.lohud.com/story/money/real-estate/homes/2018/08/08/marilyn-monroes-westchester-wedding-house-sale-1-69-m/922263002/

Mortgage rates average 4.54% | Waccabuc Real Estate

Mortgage Rates Move Up Again

MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that mortgage rates increased marginally over the past week.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inched higher for the second straight week. “Borrowing costs may be slowly on the rise again in coming weeks, as investors remain optimistic about the underlying strength of the economy,” he said. “It’s important to note that rates are now up three-quarters of a percentage point from last year and home prices – albeit at a slower pace – are still outrunning rising inflation and incomes.”

Added Khater, “This weakening in affordability is hindering many interested buyers this fall, even as the robust economy brings them into the market. The good news is that purchase mortgage applications have recently rebounded to above year ago levels.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.54 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending September 6, 2018, up from last week when it averaged 4.52 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.78 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.99 percent with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.97 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.08 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.93 percent with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it with an average 3.85 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.15 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.

New home sales fall again | Waccabuc Real Estate

Sales of new single-family houses in the United States shrank 0.6 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618 thousand in February of 2018 from an upwardly revised 622 thousand in January. It is the lowest reading in four months and compares with market forecasts of a 4.4 percent rise to 623 thousand. Sales fell in the West and the Midwest. New Home Sales in the United States averaged 650.65 Thousand from 1963 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 1389 Thousand in July of 2005 and a record low of 270 Thousand in February of 2011.

 

US New Home Sales Fall for 3rd Month

Sales of new single-family houses in the United States shrank 0.6 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 618 thousand in February of 2018 from an upwardly revised 622 thousand in January. It is the lowest reading in four months and compares with market forecasts of a 4.4 percent rise to 623 thousand. Sales fell in the West and the Midwest.

Sales fell in the West (-17.6 percent to 164 thousand) and the Midwest (-3.7 percent to 79 thousand) but rose in the South (9 percent to 338 thousand) and the Northeast (19.4 percent to 37 thousand).
The median sales price of new houses sold was $326,800, above $298,000 a year earlier. The average sales price was $376,700, also higher than $370,500 in February of 2017.
The stock of new houses for sale went up 2 percent from the previous month to 305 thousand, the highest level since March of 2009. This represents a supply of 5.9 months at the current sales rate.
Year-on-year, new home sales edged up 0.5 percent.
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https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/new-home-sales

Mortgage rates average 3.93% | Waccabuc Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQBFMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average mortgage rates holding relatively flat across the board.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.93 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending December 14, 2017, down from last week when it averaged 3.94 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.16 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.36 percent with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.37 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.36 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.35 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.19 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.

Quote
Attributed to Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist.
“As widely expected, the Fed increased the federal funds target rate this week for the third time in 2017. The market had already priced in the rate hike so long term interest rates, including mortgage rates hardly moved. Mortgage rates held relatively flat across the board, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate inching down 1 basis point to 3.93 percent in this week’s survey. Mortgage rates have been in a holding pattern for the fourth quarter, remaining within a 10 basis point range since October.”

Senate tax reform bill | Waccabuc Real Estate

Earlier this week the Senate jumped into the fray, releasing its own proposal for tax reform. The Senate’s proposal, much like the House bill, which we looked at last week, creates significant headwinds for homeowners and homebuyers, while providing only a temporary cut for middle class homeowners.

What Stays the Same?

Like the House bill, the Senate chose to change the definition for capital gains so that a home seller must have lived in their home for at least five of the prior 8 years. This change would affect 12% to 22% of home sellers, locking in some inventory and potentially changing the trade-up purchase process.

The Senate also proposed to eliminate personal exemptions as the House did, but they chose to increase the child credit to $2000 per child. This latter change is more generous than the House’s $1,600 credit per child and $300 for each parent.

Pouring SALT in the Wound

Unlike the House bill, the Senate chose to eliminate all state and local taxes (SALT) including state and local income and sales taxes as well as state and local real estate taxes. This change will make it more difficult for homeowners to itemize their mortgage interest and when they do, they will face a much lower benefit from homeownership. In a perverse way, only those who can afford very expensive homes will be able to benefit from the real estate provisions of the tax code.

Tax Reform - Standard Deduction vs Itemize on a Home Purchase in Illinois

The generous $24,000 standard deduction for couples who are renter or owners provides little support for renters who move to ownership nor does it guarantee that tax cuts today will be utilized to boost housing affordability in the future. Worse, when this provision expires in 8 years, both groups will be worse off.

Time Does Not Heal All Wounds

Most forecasts are for home prices and mortgage rates to rise in the coming years. The chart below shows how the proposals from the House and Senate compare with current law. The orange bars depict the difference between the Senate proposal and current law. A home buying family of four with an income of $100,000 or less would see a gain, while upper-middle income buyers would face a tax hike. However, in 5 years1 that tax cut would disappear for nearly all middle-income homebuyers as mortgage rates and prices rise (red bars). Finally, after 8 years, the tax cuts and enhanced standard deduction both expire letting virtually no buyers benefit under the plan (dark blue bars).

Chart Comparing Tax Plans for a Family of Four Over Time: Current vs Proposed

The Senate’s proposal reflects many new changes, but retains many facets of the House proposal. While some changes help middle class homeowners today, it appears that the changes quickly wear out and are worse in the future.

 

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https://www.nar.realtor/washington-report/senate-takes-a-stab-at-tax-reform?om_rid=AAAAAA&om_mid=&om_ntype=NARWeekly&om_rid=AACWMk&om_mid=_BaFb17B9iRicam&om_ntype=NARWeekly

New Canaan mid-century modern | Waccbuc Real Estate

The DeSilver house was designed in 1961 by John Black Lee and Harrison DeSilver.
 All photos by Michael Biondo

Location: New Canaan, CT

Price: $1,700,000 (guide price)

The affluent enclave of New Canaan, Connecticut, is known as a mecca of modern architecture, where during the 1940s and ’50s, a group of architects collectively known as the Harvard Five settled here and built nearly 100 modern homes, 20 of which have since been torn down.

The DeSilver House on Chichester Road is one of them, and it was designed in 1961 by Harrison DeSilver and John Black Lee, who was often considered the sixth member of the Harvard Five. Lee also lived in New Canaan until his death, in a home he built himself.

Offered through a private sale by owner, the incredible home, which has largely been preserved with a few updates, is now on the market. Characterized by a 6-foot-by-6-foot modular prefab system, the 2,048-square-foot residence sits at a lower grade than the driveway and is accessed by a floating wood bridge.

Once inside, an (original) open-tread staircase leads upstairs to spacious bedrooms (four total, with three baths) and downstairs to the main living area and kitchen (with separate pantry room, Miele appliances, and Heath Ceramics tiles). Further below are a study, children’s playroom, and basement.

Floor-to-ceiling windows take in the gorgeous surroundings of the nearly three-acre site, while an open floorplan allows for flexible family-friendly living. An overhanging flat roof provides passive shelter from the sun on the ground floor and provides coverage over the second-floor balconies as well. A large outdoor patio, directly accessible from the kitchen, encourages indoor-outdoor living.

For a lover of midcentury modern design, the DeSilver House would be a treasure trove of endless inspiration. Located on Chichester Road, where many modernists also built homes, the property is offered with a guide price of $1.7 million. It is also available to rent for $7,000 a month.

Courtesy ofNatalie Louw (h/t The Spaces)

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https://www.curbed.com/2017/10/26/16552556/desilver-house-john-black-lee-new-canaan?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Curbed%20Dotcom%2010262017&utm_content=Curbed%20Dotcom%2010262017+CID_ae39ca5a96efdb7456c584298432f99f&utm_source=cm_email&utm_term=Midcentury%20gem%20outside%20NYC%20asks%2017M

Used home sales rise .7% | Waccabuc Real Estate

Sales of previously owned houses in the United States rose 0.7 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in September 2017 from a year low of 5.35 million in August, beating market expectations of a 1 percent fall. Still, ongoing supply shortages and recent hurricanes muted overall activity. Sales of single family houses increased 1.1 percent to 4.79 million after falling 2.1 percent in August, while those of condos fell 1.6 percent to 0.60 million, following a 1.7 percent decline. The median house price fell to $245,100 from $253,100 in August and the months’ worth of supply was steady at 4.2 percent. In addition, the number of houses available in the market rose to 1.90 million from 1.87 million in August. Existing Home Sales in the United States averaged 3912.19 Thousand from 1968 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 7250 Thousand in September of 2005 and a record low of 1370 Thousand in March of 1970.

United States Existing Home Sales
Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2017-08-24 02:00 PM Existing Home Sales 5.44M 5.51M 5.57M 5.55M
2017-09-20 02:00 PM Existing Home Sales 5.35M 5.44M 5.46M 5.45M
2017-10-20 02:00 PM Existing Home Sales 5.39M 5.35M 5.30M 5.29M
2017-11-21 03:00 PM Existing Home Sales 5.39M 5.36M
2017-12-20 03:00 PM Existing Home Sales 5.42M

 

United States Housing Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Building Permits 1215.00 1272.00 2419.00 513.00 Thousand [+]
Housing Starts 1127.00 1183.00 2494.00 478.00 Thousand [+]
New Home Sales 560.00 580.00 1389.00 270.00 Thousand [+]
Pending Home Sales -2.60 -1.30 30.90 -24.30 percent [+]
Existing Home Sales 5390.00 5350.00 7250.00 1370.00 Thousand [+]
Construction Spending 0.50 -1.20 5.90 -4.80 percent [+]
Housing Index 0.20 0.10 1.20 -1.80 percent [+]
Nahb Housing Market Index 68.00 64.00 78.00 8.00 [+]
Mortgage Rate 4.14 4.16 10.56 3.47 percent [+]
Mortgage Applications 3.60 -2.10 49.10 -38.80 percent [+]
Home Ownership Rate 63.70 63.60 69.20 62.90 percent [+]
Case Shiller Home Price Index 201.99 200.53 206.52 100.00 Index Points [+]

 

United States Existing Home Sales

Existing Home Sales occurs when the mortgage is closed. Mortgage closing usually takes place 30-60 days after the sales contract is closed. . This page provides the latest reported value for – United States Existing Home Sales – plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. United States Existing Home Sales – actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases – was last updated on October of 2017.

 

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
5390.00 5350.00 7250.00 1370.00 1968 – 2017 Thousand Monthly

 

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https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/existing-home-sales

Amazon selling shipping container house | Waccabuc Real Estate

A MODS International shipping container house available for sale on Amazon
All photos via Amazon

From Amazon’s potential new headquarters to it’s latest lineup of smart home devices, the roughly $430 billion company is in the headlines and in our households. The Seattle e-commerce company sells almost everything—including, it seems, a shipping container house.

In an effort to recycle the thousands of surplus containers that sit on docks around the world, shipping containers have been used in urban farmsoff-the-grid getaways, and even as all-in-one pools. A fleet of new companies also use the 20- or 40-foot containers to create prefab tiny homes, all available to orderand delivered to your location.

Now, Wisconsin-based MODs International is selling their version on Amazon. The 320-square-foot house uses a new sea container as the structural shell—not a recycled one—and includes a rather plain bedroom, shower, toilet, sink, small kitchenette, appliances, and living area. Large double doors open to the outside, and extra windows were added to increase light.

The price for the home of your shipping container dreams on Amazon: $36,000. Of course, the unit isn’t sold from Amazon itself and is available from MODS as a third party seller under the “See all Buying Options” tab. It also costs $4,500 to ship the 7,500 pound structure to your location, so don’t expect your normal Prime discount.

All photos via Amazon
All photos via Amazon
All photos via Amazon
All photos via Amazon

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https://www.curbed.com/2017/10/5/16432426/shipping-container-house-amazon-for-sale?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Curbed%20Dotcom%2010062017&utm_content=Curbed%20Dotcom%2010062017+CID_8e143a874c7f0365bd8ea5684e714d36&utm_source=cm_email&utm_term=Shipping%20container%20house%20now%20available%20on%20Amazon%20for%2036K

Beautiful floor to ceiling windows | Waccabuc Real Estate

When it comes to creating an indoor/outdoor feeling in your home, a set of floor-to-ceiling windows is the key ingredient to success. Along with being a visual connector to your surroundings, they bring in boatloads of natural light while providing a streamlined backdrop for your interiors. Take a look at our favorite homes of this week that feature expansive floor-to-ceiling windows.

Seclusion

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

From Caroline Wallis: “The challenge, predictably, was preserving the unique facade while both increasing the amount of natural light and adding modern amenities. After collaborating with the client to understand and meet their long-term needs, the remodel successfully bridges the old and the new. Details like reused doors, original skirting boards, and bricks maintain the visual integrity of the original home, while a sleek new kitchen and concrete backyard unfold behind the original facade.”

Photo by Shannon McGrath. Architect: Robson Rak Architects. Landscape Designer: Weller Landscapes. Interior Designer: Made by Cohen.

Brooklyn Brownstone

Location: Brooklyn, New York

From the architect: “Located on a tree-lined street in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, this late-1800s, three-story brownstone had been held within a family for decades-and fell into disrepair and in desperate need of renovation. Windows had decayed, leaving large gaping holes to the elements beyond. The previous ad-hoc renovations in the 1980s and ’90s carved up the kitchen and bathrooms, creating awkward circulation and dated finishes. This gut renovation aimed to sensitively restore historical details, while introducing contemporary architectural elements and finishes.”

 Photo courtesy of Sonya Lee Architect llc.

1st Avenue Residence

Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

From Leibal: “1st Avenue Residence is a minimalist house located in Montreal, Canada, and was designed by Microclimat. As you step through the door, your eye is drawn to the back of the home, where the kitchen and living spaces extend outside, thanks to impressive windows that frame the backyard. A kitchen counter naturally flows onto the terrace, visually and concretely uniting the two spaces. Cantilevered overhangs in white parging shelter the counter from the elements throughout the seasons and offer a signature look to the back of the building.”

 Photo courtesy of Microclimat and Leibal. Architect: Microclimat.

Rudolph House

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

From the architect: “Our work included the redesign of the exterior walls and glazing to include a new wall of 10-foot-high, triple-paneled sliding doors and windows on the main facade. These doors open the home to the adjacent courtyard and provide excellent natural ventilation. The roof and the other three exterior walls, which are largely below grade, received insulation in excess of what code requires. All new energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, including heat-recovery ventilation, was installed to bring the home up to modern standards. The result was a much greater energy efficiency and thermal comfort for the family.”

 Photo: Tony Luong. Architect: Ruhl Walker Architects.

 

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