Tag Archives: Waccabuc NY

Reducing California homelessness | Waccabuc Real Estate

Ben Carson leaves Union Rescue Mission on skid row

President Trump’s big idea for fixing California’s homelessness crisis should look familiar to many prominent Democrats: Eliminate layers of regulation to make it easier and cheaper to build more housing.

On the eve of a two-day swing through the state this week, Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers released a report blaming “decades of misguided and faulty policies” for putting too many restrictions on development and causing home prices to rise to unaffordable levels. It’s a continuation of a strategy that the president began in June, when he signed an executive order to establish a White House council to “confront the regulatory barriers to affordable housing development.”

“Harmful local government policies in select cities, along with ineffective federal government policies of prior administrations, have exaggerated the homelessness problem,” Tom Philipson, acting chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers,told reporters Monday.

But while the administration’s argument broadly mirrors what some Democratic lawmakers have been trying to do in California, easing rules on development, allowing fourplexes on land currently zoned for single-family homes or cutting some state environmental rules that restrict building, it’s too simple to link Trump’s approach with that of his liberal antagonists, several state lawmakers said.

Instead, they said, the president’s positions on homelessness are more about trolling California than attempting to find actual solutions. Some also argue that the administration’s report takes a common Republican tactic — deregulation — that often benefits the party’s deep-pocketed donors and slaps it on yet another subject — homelessness.

Democratic state Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, who represents skid row and other neighborhoods in downtown Los Angeles,is the author of recently passed legislation that would make it harder to use state environmental laws to block homeless housing and shelters in Los Angeles.

He said it was hard to take Trump’s ideas seriously when the president has also proposed cutting federal housing dollars and clawing back Obama-era rules that aimed to desegregate neighborhoods. Another proposed Trump administration policy would deny federal housing aid to households that include anyone living in the country illegally, even when other members are eligible for such aid as lawful residents or U.S. citizens.

“I think it’s politics at its worst where he is going to pick on a vulnerable community — no different than when he picked on immigrants — and he’s going to target them,” Santiago said. “We’re already hearing it: ‘Here’s West Coast liberals, not able to solve the problem.’ I think it’s a little cynical for someone who has done everything in their right mind to make it worse on the working poor.”

The Trump administration’s report says that the San Francisco and Los Angeles metropolitan areas could see huge reductions in homelessness if they were to unwind restrictions on development, estimating that the population of people living on the streets and in shelters would go down by more than half and 40%, respectively.

The report doesn’t cite any specific regulations that are increasing housing costs, nor recommendations on what regulations should be eliminated.

State Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco, who has made a name for himself arguing for the reduction of local zoning rules, said he disagreed with the Trump administration’s apparent pitch to cut back on all regulations and allow for more building of all types everywhere. Instead, his recently shelved Senate Bill 50 was designed to make it easier to build housing near existing job centers and mass transit specifically for affordability and environmental reasons.

Wiener also pointed to national Democrats, such as presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey, and former President Obama, who have pushed for stripping away some development rules as part of their plans to make housing more affordable.

“I don’t agree with the president’s view that we should be like Arizona because that would lead to sprawl,” Wiener said. “But I do agree with Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Barack Obama that we should move away from restrictive housing policies because restrictive housing policies lead to more homelessness.”

In addition to deregulation, the Trump administration’s report also calls for using law enforcement to deal with homeless people and encampments, arguing that “more tolerable conditions for sleeping on the streets” increased the homeless population.

That argument has largely been panned by experts, who point to more complicated, intertwined causes of homelessness, including poverty, addiction and lack of affordable housing. Therefore, the recommendation to use police is wrongheaded as well, said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“The White House report on homelessness treats this crisis like fodder for a cable news debate,” Garcetti said in a statement. “We don’t have time for that. If the president really cares about solving this crisis, he wouldn’t be talking about criminalization over housing. He’d be making dramatic increases in funding for this country’s housing safety net.”

In the past week, Trump’s advisers have toured homeless encampments and public housing projects in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but offered few solutions.

On Wednesday morning, after meeting with LAPD Chief Michel Moore, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson visited skid row to tour the Union Rescue Mission. He didn’t offer much substance about the administration’s plans, but encouraged a greater focus on public-private partnerships.

Carson also indicated that HUD might start reserving housing grants to local governments that are willing to make changes to local zoning laws.

“We will get preference points to people who are willing to look at these things,” he said. “You know, we have so many archaic rules on the books all over the country.”

Later Wednesday, Carson rejected a request made earlier this week by Gov. Gavin Newsom and other elected officials for additional resources for homelessness, including 50,000 housing vouchers. In his written response, Carson echoed the report from Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers.

“Your letter seeks more federal dollars for California from hardworking American taxpayers, but fails to admit that your state and local policies have played a major role in creating the current crisis,” he wrote. “If California’s homeless population had held in line with overall population trends, America’s homeless rate would have decreased. Instead, the opposite has happened, as California’s unsheltered homelessness population has skyrocketed as a result of the state’s overregulated housing market, its inefficient allocation of resources and its policies that have weakened law enforcement.”

Dan O’Flaherty, a Columbia University economics professor whose work is cited more than a half-dozen times in the Trump administration’s report, said he agreed that loosening local homebuilding rules would decrease costs and lessen homelessness. But he said that the report vastly overstates the potential impact of doing so.

And even if the report is correct that deregulation would reduce Los Angeles’ current homeless population by 40%, it would still take decades for that to happen.

“You do 40% over 40 years?” O’Flaherty said. “Big whoopie.”

Overall, O’Flaherty said the report ignored well-regarded research that shows public subsidies can help homeless people find new homes, and instead asserted without evidence that simply increasing mental health and drug treatment programs without housing assistance would decrease the homeless population.

Margot Kushel, a professor of medicine at UC San Francisco who recently received a $30-million grant from Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and his wife to study solutions to homelessness, panned the Trump administration’s report as being out of line with most research on the subject.

One notable lapse, she said, was that it argued permanent supportive housing, which attempts to house people who are chronically homeless and have disabilities in buildings that also have social services, was ineffectual. Multiple studies, she said, show that 85% or more of those receiving such housing stay there.

The success of permanent supportive housing, she said, “is not controversial and it has had broad bipartisan support because the evidence is so overwhelming.”

Like others, Heidi Marston, chief program officer for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, questioned whether some in the Trump administration, including Carson, really understood the best practices being used to help homeless people.

For example, during his visit to skid row on Wednesday, Carson offered a somewhat muddled answer to a question about “housing first,” the widely accepted national model that prioritizes getting people off the streets and into permanent supportive housing, regardless of their sobriety or health status.

“When we talk about something like housing first, housing first is a good idea because it gets people off the street and it actually costs less money when you get them off the street,” he said. “But you can’t stop with housing first. You have to go with housing second, which means you diagnose the reason that they were there in the first place and housing third, which means you try to fix it.”

Marston would love to see the federal government offer more help on homelessness, and she was among those who met with Trump officials last week.

“We focused on educating them,” she said, “trying to help them understand why we practice a low-barrier approach and what housing first really means.”

read more…

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-09-18/trump-housing-homeless-ben-carson-california-deregulation

Property Taxes by Congressional District | Waccabuc Real Estate

Earlier this year, NAHB released 2017 property taxes by state as a blog post and as a longer special study. However, in light of changes made to the tax code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), further refining the statistics by congressional district is instructive to both members of Congress as well as their constituents.

Property Tax Payments, Effective Tax Rates, and Intrastate Comparisons

The highest average property tax bill was $11,389, paid by home owners residing in New York’s 17th district (Rockland County and portions of Westchester County). The smallest average annual real estate tax bill was $425, paid by home owners in Alabama’s fourth district (Franklin, Colbert, Marion, Lamar, Fayette, Walker, Winston, Cullman, Lawrence, Marshall, Etowah, and DeKalb Counties). The congressional districts in which homeowners pay the 20 largest and 20 smallest annual property tax bills are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1

It is not surprising that many of the districts with the highest property tax rates are in states that impose the highest average property tax rates.  Figure 2 illustrates the geographic concentration of high- and low-tax congressional districts.

Figure 2

For example, 17 of the 20 congressional districts with the highest property tax rates are in three states: New Jersey, New York, and Illinois (Figure 3).

Figure 3

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 American Community Survey

Congressional districts in New York State exhibited the most variability of effective property tax rates – equal to the percentage of the property value paid in taxes each year (see Figure 4). The difference between rates in the 25th and 13th districts was 2.43 percentage points in 2017, the largest such difference within a state. The average property tax rate in the 25th district (2.79%) is more than six times greater than that in the 13th (0.36%). The smallest differential within a state with five or congressional districts was in Washington, where the highest effective property tax rate is 1.04% (WA-10) and the lowest is 0.75% (WA-7).

Figure 4

Property Taxes and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

The state and local tax (SALT) deduction decreases federal tax liability by allowing taxpayers to deduct the total of property tax payments plus either sales or income taxes paid to state and local governments during the year.  Under prior law, this deduction was uncapped but disallowed for taxpayers forced to pay the alternative minimum tax (AMT).  However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) capped home owners’ SALT deduction at $10,000 per year (through 2025).

The value of a tax deduction is determined by the amount deducted from taxable income and the taxpayer’s top marginal tax rate at which the income would have been taxed.  Thus, under prior law, a taxpayer in the top tax bracket (39.6%) who paid $10,000 in state income taxes and $10,000 in property taxes could have decreased their federal tax liability by $7,920 [39.6% x ($10,000+$10,000)].

Until the TCJA-made change expires in 2026, that amount would be reduced to $3,700 (equal to the $10,000 cap multiplied by the new, top marginal tax rate of 37%). The effect of this change on after-tax income is obvious in certain high-tax congressional districts.  For example, the average yearly bill for property taxes alone exceeded $10,000 in six districts in 2017 (NY-17, NY-3, NJ-11, NJ-7, NY-4, and NJ-5).

But as AMT status affects a taxpayer’s possible SALT deduction, one must bear in mind the significant changes made to the AMT by the TCJA.  The most impactful of these changes was the increase of the income threshold at which the AMT exemption begins to phase out.  For a married couple filing jointly, the phaseout threshold went from $160,900 to $1 million in 2018.

As a result, the number of AMT-affected taxpayers is expected to fall 90%–from five million to 500,000—between tax years 2017 and 2018.  The taxpayers who no longer face the AMT may now be able to claim a $10,000 deduction that was previously unavailable to them, lowering their tax liability.

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7 Amazing Products for Every Homeowner | Waccabuc Real Estate

These seven products will make your home a DIY haven. Find out what the Family Handyman editors are falling in love with right now.

1 / 7

stuff we love xtend + climb 770p telescoping ladder

FAMILY HANDYMAN

Easy-to-Store Ladder

Telescoping ladders allow you to reach the same height as standard extension ladders, but they eliminate all ’re lighter and easier to transport and take up far less space in your garage. 
 There are a few different brands, and each has models that extend to various heights. We got our hands on the Xtend + Climb 770P, and we’re big fans. It retracts to just 32 in. tall and extends in 1-ft. increments, up to 12 ft. And it weighs only 27 lbs. You can get one online for about $190.2 / 7

stuff we love Milwaukee measuring tape

FAMILY HANDYMAN

My go-to tape

I use a tape measure nearly every day and rely on them for accuracy in detailed 
woodworking and metalworking projects, and for large-scale carpentry. But I don’t always need to lay out 35-ft.walls, so I prefer this 16-ft. Milwaukee compact tape measure for day-to-day work. It’s easy to carry in my tool belt or clip to my pocket. The strong, nylon-coated blade is printed on both sides, so I can read measurements from any position. The rugged outer case has survived many drops from the top of my ladder to my concrete shop floor. You can find one for about $11 at home centers and online. — April Wilkerson, Contributing Editor3 / 7

stuff we love stubbybit drill bits

FAMILY HANDYMAN

Shorter bits

The bits in this StubbyBit set by Milescraft may look funny, but they’re super practical. They solve the problem of making pilot or dowel holes in confined spaces—for example, to add shelf pin holes in a narrow cabinet.

If you combine one with a right-angle bit, you can drill a pilot hole nearly anywhere. The hex shank makes going from drill bit to driver bit very fast, and the short length means they’re less likely to snap off. Pick up a set for about $14 online. When you need them, you’ll be glad you did.

Click here for 5 more drill bit sets every DIYer should have.4 / 7

stuff we love kohler simplice faucet

FAMILY HANDYMAN

Plate-scraping sprayer

By the time we’d get to the dinner dishes after putting the kids to bed, my wife and I would often find melted cheese and lasagna residue stuck to our plates. But when I remodeled our kitchen, I installed a Kohler faucet with a sweeping sprayer pattern that acts like a scraper to rinse 
off dishes. 
 It doesn’t replace elbow grease in extreme cases of dried-on dinner, but it definitely works better than the faucet we had before. This is the Simplice kitchen faucet, which is available at Home Depot for $180, but Kohler makes several models with this convenient feature. — Mike Berner, Associate Editor

Is it better to hand-wash or use the dishwasher? We can tell you.5 / 7

stuff we love dewalt pliers

FAMILY HANDYMAN

More powerful pliers

If you’ve struggled to get a grip on short wires or to pull cable through an electrical box, compound-motion pliers may provide the extra gripping power you’re looking for. A few brands make them, but I’ve had the DeWalt long nose pliers in my belt for the recent electrical work I’ve been doing. You can find compound-motion pliers at home centers and online. This DeWalt long nose costs $15. It’s also available in a set (less than $40) that includes side cutters and lineman’s pliers.

Find 65 awesome Handy Hints here.6 / 7

stuff we love broadbeam headlamp

FAMILY HANDYMAN

Broad-beam headlamp

Headlamps provide hands-free light that follows your line of vision. That makes them a great tool for DIYers, whether you’re putting away your string trimmer after sunset, navigating a dark attic or crawl space, or working under the hood. The downside is that most headlamps are spotlights that focus their light on what’s in front of you. 
 This OV LED Broadbeam Headlamp gives you 210 degrees of illumination, lighting up your surroundings so you can find your tools in the yard or change that tire in the dark. It’s powered by three “AAA” batteries and has two brightness settings. OV LED headlamps are available online for $15.

Find 15 more camping accessories right here.7 / 7

stuff we love mirrormate upgrade

COURTESY OF MIRRORMATE

Easy mirror upgrade

If you’re thinking about a way to upgrade your bathroom, here’s an easy one. Put a frame around the plain mirror above your vanity. 
MirrorMate simplifies that by cutting a frame to fit for you. After you supply the mirror dimensions on its website, including how much space is around your mirror, it will ship a frame to your home along with special connectors and glue to put it together. Just glue the ends together, pound the connectors in, and stick it on. You can choose from 65 frame styles in different pricing tiers at mirrormate.com.

Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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https://www.familyhandyman.com/stuff-we-love/amazing-products-for-homeowners/?_cmp=diytipshintsnl&_ebid=diytipshintsnl722019&_mid=288813&ehid=f449cac9611e68dd0c85585eeaa25e6e77949131

Case Shiller prices up 2.7% annually | Waccabuc Real Estate

GS: New Home sales house for sale prospective buyers San Rafael Ca.

Real estate agents arrive at a brokers tour showing a house for sale in San Rafael, California.Getty Images

National home prices rose 3.7% annually in March, down from 3.9% in February, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index.

Prices had been seeing double-digit annual gains, but they are gone. The largest annual gain was 8.2% in Las Vegas; one year ago, Seattle had a 13% gain a year ago but has dropped dramatically to just 1.6%. The 20-City Composite dropped from 6.7% to 2.7% annual gains over the last year.

“Given the broader economic picture, housing should be doing better,” David Blitzer, managing director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, wrote in the report. He noted that mortgage rates and unemployment were low, along with low inflation and moderate increases in real incomes.

“Measures of household debt service do not reveal any problems and consumer sentiment surveys are upbeat. The difficulty facing housing may be too-high price increases,” he added.

The 10-City Composite rose 2.3% annually, down from 2.5% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite gained 2.7%, down from 3.0% in the previous month.

Even with today’s smaller gains, prices are still rising almost twice as fast as inflation. In the last 12 months, the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller National Index is up 3.7%, double the 1.9% inflation rate.

Prices are still higher annually in all of the 20 major cities measured by the indices, but some are getting very close to negative territory. Prices in Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, San Diego and San Francisco are just over 1% higher than March 2018.

Las Vegas, Tampa and Phoenix are seeing the biggest gains. These were the markets hit hardest during the housing crash and therefore still have the farthest to go to fully recover.

Other housing indicators are also weaker than expected this year. Existing home sales have been relatively flat all spring, despite falling mortgage rates.

read more…

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/28/home-price-gains-weaken-yet-again-in-march-sp-case-shiller-index.html

Median rent reaches all-time high | Waccabuc Real Estate

Apartment for rent

Median asking rent has reached an all-time high, rising to a record $1,006 in the first quarter of 2019, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Rental properties that were lying vacant remained low at 7% in Q1, a factor that is driving up rental prices.

rent

Meanwhile, homeownership levels across the country were relatively flatfrom last year, the data revealed, reversing a trend of eight consecutive quarters of growth.

Rents rise as increased demand takes a bite out of homeownership

It appears a surge in renters is the cause. The number of renters has changed course, rising in Q1 after falling in six out of seven previous quarters.

Skylar Olsen, Zillow’s director of Economic Research, said the data suggests the younger generation is having trouble overcoming the hurdles they face in the path toward homeownership, including securing a down payment, finding an affordable home and qualifying for a loan.  

“These hurdles – combined with potential shifts in preferences and/or a simple delay in the many ‘adulting’ events like marriage and children that precipitate buying a home – can have the effect of keeping younger, would-be buyers in rental housing for a longer time,” Olsen said.

He added that the sheer size of the 20-and-30-something population is exacerbating the situation by creating competition that drives up rental prices.

read more…

https://www.housingwire.com/articles/48891-median-rent-reaches-all-time-high?id=48891-median-rent-reaches-all-time-high&utm_campaign=Newsletter%20-%20HousingWire%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=72133183&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–UJ10g-blERYQowrIuE0apEhOELqrKPiq6ZfTaoudQUKAjt_2RBRCx8g27bpDIlIGC1c3fYmt44l4iOLOVC7kDeZ8d3g&_hsmi=72133183

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.

 

read more…

 

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

Are Trophy Homes Losing their Lustre? | Waccabuc Real Estate

Are Trophy Homes Losing their Lustre?

With pressure on the homebuilding industry to build fewer trophy homes and concentrate on filling the demand for affordable housing, the data does not bode well for builders.

Median prices of new homes have risen steadily during the recession. In September, the median sold price of a new home hit $313,500, 5.5 percent higher than last year’s median of $296,400 and 25.2 percent higher than the median price for existing homes in September.

Even so, over the past two years super expensive homes priced at one million or more are on the decline, according to data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction.  In 2015, a total of 1,762 homes were started for sale with a price of $1 million or more and new homes started for sale with a price of $1 million or more decreased as a share in absolute number in 2015. That number was significantly lower than in 2013 (3,347 homes) and 2014 (3,019).

 

2016-11-16_14-05-42

In percentage terms, these expensive homes represented 1.06 percent of all new homes started for sale in 2015, from a peak of 1.26 percent in 2014 but about the same as in 2013 (0.99 percent). This represents a much higher percent share compared to other years. For instance, from 2008 to 2012 the percent share of $1 million or more homes started for sale was less than 0.50 percent, while it was at most 0.66 percent during the boom period, reported the National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog.

To put things in perspective, Trulia reported in May that since 2012 the share of all million dollar homes in the United States has increased from 1.6 percent to 3 percent, but many metros and neighborhoods have seen a much larger increase.

read more…

http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2016/11/are-trophy-homes-losing-their-lustre/

Douglas Elliman lead broker in Manhattan | Waccabuc Real Estate

New York brokers love to win, and only the most talented and dedicated hustlers thrive. The firms that employ them are no different, fighting borough-by-borough, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, building-by-building and unit-by-unit in hopes of locking down as many of the listings as possible, and crushing their competition.

The Real Deal compared top brokerages citywide in its May issue, but those results tell only part of story. To get the view from the trenches, TRD drove into active sales listing data — both resales and new development — from On-Line Residential to determine which brokerages were winning which Manhattan neighborhoods.

Douglas Elliman, by far the city’s largest brokerage with over 2,000 agents in Manhattan, fully topped the charts in six of the seven neighborhoods TRD analyzed (those with the largest number of total sales listings). It dominated some – for example Tribeca, where it had a striking 42 percent market share – but just squeaked by in others, such as the Upper East Side, where it beat rival Corcoran Group / Corcoran Sunshine by just five listings of a total 1,150, or about 0.3 percent of the submarket.

The two Corcoran firms, with a combined 1,100 agents in Manhattan — had a strong showing on the Upper West Side – the second largest neighborhood by listings, with 601 – where it had a solid 24 percent market share on 146 total listings, compared to a 17 percent share on 103 listings for Elliman.

brokerages by nabe

Elsewhere though, the Corcoran brokerages were mostly forced to settle for second place. Only in Hell’s Kitchen did a third firm break into the top two slots. River to River Realty, which is based in the neighborhood, had 47 listings, or 19 percent of the submarket.

Still, the firm put up a stiff challenge to Elliman overall, considering its far lower agent count. Corcoran – which does more new development business than its rival, and also has a stronger presence in Brooklyn – also performed better in neighborhoods with more total listings, while Elliman dominated less active areas.

The competition for third place highlighted a more diverse set of players, with seven different firms appearing in each of the seven third place slots. Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property showed in the largest two neighborhoods by listings, the Upper East and Upper West Sides, with market shares of 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

 

read more…

 

http://therealdeal.com/2016/05/12/which-resi-brokerage-rules-which-manhattan-neighborhood/

Credit for Millennials | Waccabuc Real Estate

Millenials are the largest portion of the US population and range between the ages of 19 and 34. From a psychographic perspective, millenials tend to look at the big picture and measure their success based on their ability to make meaningful decisions that will have a positive impact on the world.
But what about their finances?
The average debt for a millennial is $26,485 (excluding the price of a mortgage). From a distance, millenials appear to be in a slightly better financial position than Generation X (age 35 – 49), holding an average debt of $26,670. However, when we dissect the spending and credit habits of each generation, it is apparent that millenials are far more likely to open new accounts to purchase material goods that do not contribute to their financial growth (37% of new accounts opened by millenials go to car loans and retail cards). Further, millenials have a minimal education of the credit industry and often make poor credit choices.
According to an Experian survey conducted earlier this year, nearly 30% of active credit holding millenials admitted to maxing out at least one of their credit cards and 50% of millenials didn’t even know what interest rate was being charged on their credit cards/loans.
Below is a list of suggestions and notable information for millenials that are not familiar with the credit industry:
  • Find out what your credit card limits are and try to keep balances under 50%.  If applying for financing or other credit related tools keep balances under 10% of credit card limits a few months prior to loan application.  This will ensure better credit scores when credit is pulled by lenders.
  • Learn what interest rates are being charged on existing and potential credit cards.  Once credit scores are improved use better score thresholds to apply for cards that offer better terms.
  • When you open a new line of credit, be aware that your scores will drop due to a decrease in your average age of credit.  Having the right timing when you are opening a new line of credit is important.
  • Late Payments on accounts cause dramatic decreases in credit scores and can remain on credit for 7 years.  In order to display a healthy credit profile, it is crucial that you make timely payments.  If you have delinquencies on credit reach out to us for a free credit analysis and we will give you feedback on how your credit profile can be improved.
  • If there is a late payment on an account, expect a late fee charge (usually around $30).  If the creditor agrees to waive this charge it does not mean the delinquency mark on credit will be removed.
It is important to expose millenials to the affects of poor credit choices, educate them on the industry, and show them how they can use credit as a tool to leverage and secure their finances. Getting into the habit of thinking about their future and making good choices will help develop better credit.  Having excellent credit can lead to greater savings on financing down the road and more opportunity.
Tracy A. Becker, President
FICO Certified Professional
Expert Credit Witness Certified
Author “Credit Score Power”
North Shore Advisory Credit Repair
See What Our Clients Are Saying
North Shore Advisory In the Media
Tracy A. Becker, President
FICO Certified Professional
Author “Credit Score Power”
Expert Credit Witness Certified
North Shore Advisory, Inc.
5 West Main Street. Suite 207
Elmsford, NY 10523
P: 914-524-8300
F: 914-524-5014
info@northshoreadvisory.com
www.northshoreadvisory.com
“Great Credit Brings Great Opportunity!”

Miami Market Cools as Foreign Buyers Flee | Waccabuc Real Estate

An aerial view of Miami Beach and South Beach, where the condo market is showing signs of stagnation. Photo by Chris Condon / Getty Images.

There was a time, only two years ago, when Miami’s condo market seemed like an ever-expanding balloon. South Florida was the nation’s biggest real estate comeback story. Miami became a go-to destination for luxury buyers looking to add to their property portfolios.

But like most things filled with hot air, eventually the balloon starts its gradual descent back to earth.

For those who have been waiting for the drop, 2016 may well be the year when softening demand—fueled by stock market volatility in China, low oil prices, currency devaluations in South America, and a heck of a lot of new condo units coming on the market—becomes too much to overcome.

As 2016 begins, signs of a slowdown abound. While prices continue to rise for single-family houses, fewer are selling. The market for condos, which many consider a health indicator of vacationer-heavy Miami Beach, is also showing early signs of stagnation.

The number of single-family home sales that closed dipped by 6.7 percent in November compared to the same month in 2014, while new pending sales fell by 15 percent, making it the fifth straight month of decline, according to the Miami Association of Realtors. Nevertheless, median home prices rose by 12 percent to $274,900—the third straight month of double-digit increases.

The condo market told a slightly different story. Overall, closed sales inched up by 1.9 percent, reversing a two-month slide. New pending sales slid by 16.5 percent, year-over-year, the second highest month of decline in 2015 (October being the highest, at 17.9 percent). Median prices grew by 7 percent to $203,000.

While overall the median days on the market for condos fell by 12 percent, units selling for $300,000 to $999,999 proved particularly sluggish, with homes from $300,000 to $399,999 spending 72 days on the market, a median increase of 50 percent, according to Miami Real Estate Association.

In the condo market especially, there seems to be a growing disconnect between sellers’ expectations and market reality. And local brokers say they are seeing mounting frustration. “We are seeing a lot of sellers calling us saying, ‘What is happening? Nothing is moving,'” said Mark Zilbert, president of Brown Harris Zilbert in Miami.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 4.14.42 AM.pngThe Porsche Design tower reached its full 60-story height in October 2015. Photos courtesy of Porsche Design Tower.

How did this happen? Blame the foreigners. In 2012, developer Gil Dezer publicly said “obrigado” (thank you) to the many Brazilians who were scooping up condos in Miami and Miami Beach. Dezer, who has been developing the 60-story Porsche Design Tower, credited the Brazilians for almost single-handedly turning around the depressed condo market. Other groups followed suit, including Argentines, Venezuelans, Colombians, Russians and other Europeans, and many Canadians.

Today, much of that interest has disappeared. “We are seeing a lower intensity of demand from foreign investors, comprising an estimated one third of the condo market sales” in Miami, said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, a real estate appraisal and consulting firm in New York.

AP_552128137723.jpgThe view from the under-construction Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles. Photo by Joel Auerbach / AP Photo.

Miller cited a stronger U.S. dollar, volatile financial markets, and “sharp declines in GDP in source countries that fed Miami demand” as the biggest reasons for the turnaround.

He added that the “significant volume of new housing stock” that is being added has “provided a lot of information for investors to process and removed the sense of urgency from the market.” Also contributing to the general slowdown has been a decline in distressed sales in 2015, which previously helped skew overall prices higher. Foreclosures and short sales both dipped by double digit percentages in November.

But problems abroad are clearly at the heart of the Miami slowdown. Brazil’s currency, the real, has fallen off by more than half since Dezer gave thanks, and the country’s economy is poised for a second straight year of contraction. Economic sanctions on Russia are finally taking a toll on Miami buying at all but the billionaire oligarch level. “Rubles? We don’t see much of those any more,” Zilbert said.

Falling oil prices have hurt Brazil and Russia as well, and compounded problems even further for Miami’s biggest foreign buying group: Venezuelans. Despite government restrictions on how much money they can pull out of their country, Venezuelans continued to buy in and around Miami in 2015. But the restrictions “have had a huge effect on the flow of business,” Philip Siegelman, a principal at real estate marketer ISG, told me late last year.

Venezuelans and Brazilians, it can be argued, are smart to play the currency game. In a downward economic spiral, waiting can end up costing them more, as inflation rises and currencies continue to decline at home. Brazilians that paid hefty deposits in 2014 for pre-construction Miami condos look brilliant now. Their money has more than doubled in Brazilian currency terms.

But there is too much of that new development coming on line to keep the market surging.

The result is that, while a lot of Americans and foreigners continue to show interest in Miami, “There is a shrinking number of people willing to pull the trigger,” Zilbert said. “And the sellers are starting to notice.”

What is especially troubling to brokers is that the expected surge of buying in the last quarter of 2015 didn’t pan out. The bottom line: Many buyers are no longer accepting the price increases that sellers are pushing for.

“I think we are going to see pricing slip back to 2014 levels in order to attract the buyers,” Zilbert said.

Sales have remained fairly stable at mid-tier properties priced between $350,000 to about $700,000, where condos have not appreciated enough to scare away buyers, brokers say. Units in buildings like the Waverly South Beach and the Yacht Club at Portofino continue to find buyers, Zilbert said.

But lately, resale units at the Icon South Beach, the Floridian South Beach and 900 Biscayne in downtown Miami, have struggled to move, as buyers have balked at higher listing prices.

shutterstock_351668990.jpgConstruction in Miami’s South of Fifth neighborhood. Photo by Felix Mizioznikov / Shutterstock.

In Zilbert’s own South of Fifth neighborhood, he is seeing buyers pass on a number of units for sale in premium buildings like the Murano Grande (where he lives) and the Continuum. Just two years ago, South of Fifth, a once-blighted section of the beach known for crack houses and rampant crime, was considered Miami Beach’s most-expensive and hottest neighborhood, a truly stunning rebirth story. Lately, more and more units are lingering on the market, Zilbert said.

As Miller noted, sellers are “usually the last to recognize a change in the market when it is weakening,” which results in lower sales activity. “It is not that demand is weak, but rather that there is a growing disconnect between what sellers want and what the market can support,” he said.

Not every segment of the Miami market is showing signs of softening. The high end, with prices in excess of $3 million, is still raging. Sales remain brisk at luxury towers like Faena House, the newly announced Eighty Seven Park, and the Surf Club Four Seasons.

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