Tag Archives: Waccabuc Real Estate

U.S. housing starts fall 9% | Waccabuc Real Estate

Housing starts in the United States tumbled 9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 1047 thousand in September from August of 2016, below market expectations of 1175 thousand. It is the lowest figure since March of 2015, due to a fall in construction of multifamily homes. In contrast, building permits rose 6.3 percent to 1225 thousand, beating expectations of 1165 thousand. Housing Starts in the United States averaged 1439.56 Thousand from 1959 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 2494 Thousand in January of 1972 and a record low of 478 Thousand in April of 2009. Housing Starts in the United States is reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.

United States Housing Starts



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Home prices rise slightly less than forecast | Waccabuc Real Estate

U.S. single-family home prices rose slightly less than expected on an annual basis in July, and the year-over-year gain was smaller than in the prior month, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 5 percent in July on a year-over-year basis, retreating from the 5.1 percent climb in June and short of the estimate calling for a 5.1 percent increase from a Reuters poll of economists.

“Both the housing sector and the economy continue to expand with home prices continuing to rise at about a 5 percent annual rate,” said David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

“There is no reason to fear that another massive collapse is around the corner.”

Prices in the 20 cities were flat in July from June on a seasonally adjusted basis, the survey showed, matching expectations.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, prices increased 0.6 percent from June.

Home prices in three U.S. cities, Denver, Seattle and Portland, Oregon, showed the highest year-over-year gains, the survey showed.


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Home building group unveils tiny home designer series | Waccabuc Real Estate

Architect Jeffrey Dungan said it was important to keep the tiny home's dimensions between 12-feet-tall and 12 ½-feet-wide so that it could be transported by road and under bridges. The "Low Country" model pictured here at Cashiers Designer Showcase in Cashiers, North Carolina in August, is the first in a series of tiny homes that Dungan designed for Clayton Homes. (Submitted/Special to the Knoxville News Sentinel)

Architect Jeffrey Dungan said it was important to keep the tiny home’s dimensions between 12-feet-tall and 12 ½-feet-wide so that it could be transported by road and under bridges. The “Low Country” model pictured here at Cashiers Designer Showcase in Cashiers, North Carolina in August, is the first in a series of tiny homes that Dungan designed for Clayton Homes.

Vaulted ceilings give the impression of spaciousness and offer additional wall space for mounting storage and lofted sleeping areas, according to architect Jeffrey Dungan. Pictured here is the interior of the "Low Country" model designed as part of Jeffrey Dungan Collection for Clayton Homes. (Submitted/Special to the Knoxville News Sentinel)

Vaulted ceilings give the impression of spaciousness and offer additional wall space for mounting storage and lofted sleeping areas, according to architect Jeffrey Dungan. Pictured here is the interior of the “Low Country” model designed as part of Jeffrey Dungan Collection for Clayton Homes. (Submitted/Special to the Knoxville News Sentinel)

"It's more about designing much more meticulously, design by the cubic inch instead of by the square foot," said Jeffrey Dungan of his thoughtful use of the limited space in a tiny home. (Submitted/Special to the Knoxville News Sentinel)

“It’s more about designing much more meticulously, design by the cubic inch instead of by the square foot,” said Jeffrey Dungan of his thoughtful use of the limited space in a tiny home. (Submitted/Special to the Knoxville News Sentinel)

Lofty 12-foot ceilings leave plenty of space for bunk beds in the "Low Country" tiny home model, built by Clayton Homes. (Submitted/Special to the Knoxville News Sentinel)

Lofty 12-foot ceilings leave plenty of space for bunk beds in the “Low Country” tiny home model, built by Clayton Homes. (Submitted/Special to the Knoxville News Sentinel)

Every square inch of Clayton Homes Designer Series Tiny Homes has been carefully considered to accommodate high-end amenities, such as this full bathroom in the "Low Country" model home. (Supplied/Special to the Knoxville News Sentinel)

Every square inch of Clayton Homes Designer Series Tiny Homes has been carefully considered to accommodate high-end amenities, such as this full bathroom in the “Low Country” model home. (Supplied/Special to the Knoxville News Sentinel)

Last week, the Clayton home building group took their “Low Country” tiny home prototype to the Cashiers Designer Showcase in North Carolina. The event attracted interior designers and builders from around the region to explore new trends.

“People were very excited,” said Jeffrey Dungan, whose company designed the prototype. “It was almost like a childlike response, even with people who are 70 years old. I don’t know quite what it is, there’s this youthful exuberance when you talk about tiny homes and when they get to actually stand in one.”

Most people were surprised it did not feel like a “playhouse” and that it was actually really comfortable, said Dungan

“I could have sold it 15 times. People pulled out their checkbooks and offered money on the spot,” said Dungan of the response to the low country-inspired tiny house.

Dungan, a renowned Birmingham, Ala.-based architect, has partnered with Clayton building group, a division of Clayton Homes and one of America’s largest homebuilders, to bring luxury tiny homes to the housing market that the architect would not ordinarily reach.

The “Low Country” model tiny home, which was showcased in Cashiers, is 396 square feet and retails for $96,000.

“Clayton approached us to design a series of five homes and this is the first one that they’ve actually constructed,” he said. “Instead of me designing all of them, I have a talented crew that works with me, so everybody took a day to sit around and sketch, look at inspiration and share ideas. We took the best of the bunch and pursued those.”

In addition to the “Low Country” there are four different models in the series: Adirondak, Saltbox, Marseille and Cloudbreak. They range in size from 386-399 square feet.

The designers looked at different styles of architecture across the country and in Europe. “We looked at the low country in South Carolina, the Saltbox in New England, the Adirondacks in upstate New York, the French countryside, and beach huts in the Bahamas, Cape Cod or Malibu.”

“We really loved the whole attitude of being at the beach and escaping and that’s what little houses are about,” said Dungan. “Cloudbreak was inspired by beach style, surf shacks and places that sell beer and Jerk chicken in the Bahamas.”

“It’s more about designing much more meticulously, designing by the cubic inch rather than by the square foot,” said Dungan, who is more accustomed to designing high-end residences with a minimum of 7,000-8,000 square feet.

Planning and then manufacturing a small home off-site comes with its unique set of challenges according to Dungan. “Everything was a little different,” he said. “There were the restraints of working within 400 square feet — it couldn’t be more than 12 ½ feet wide to get them down the road or more than 12 feet tall to go under bridges.” This led to the modification of roof pitch in some cases.

Dungan admits to never watching shows like “Tiny House Nation”.

“When I started this study, what I reacted to was how DIY they looked,” he said. “There was a lack of overall elegance and sophistication in a lot of what I saw.”

Dungan hoped to bring the elegance and sophistication of his firm’s work into a tiny place. “I wanted the quality of the Faberge egg with details and wonderful materials,” he said. “Because you are doing something small you can afford to work with better materials. I was very impressed with Clayton’s joinery, the craftsmanship and just the materials themselves I didn’t feel like I was in a less nice space than I was accustomed to.”

Inside the prototype they opted for reclaimed materials such as the ceiling beams and the hardwood floors, and used for wood for the ceilings and vertical ship lap for the walls so there is no Sheetrock at all.

The exterior is clad in poplar bark siding with cedar shake on the roof.

Dungan said it is economical to heat and cool and the windows have the highest insulation value.

“In all of the designs we were very mindful of the 3-D space,” said Dungan. “The vaulted ceiling created wall space for additional storage and sleeping space. It can sleep up to six or eight people and that totally blows my mind.”

They may be small in stature, but do not lack for amenities. The “Low Country” accommodates eight — two in the bedroom, two in the loft area, two on a fold-out couch and two bunks. There are large French doors that open out onto a covered front porch, a full-height pantry, as well as a dishwasher and stack washer and dryer.

The architect likened the production of the “Low Country” prototype to making pancakes.

“When you are cooking your pancakes if you don’t get the heat and batter right for the first one, you adjust it,” he said. “For our first pancake, it was a heck of a good one and I’m hoping that our second and third ones will be even better.”

And Dungan said a website is in the works, where buyers can customize their home. Choosing from a myriad colors, materials and exterior options. “It will give people the flexibility to personalize their tiny home,” he added.


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Mortgage rates average 3.48% | Waccabuc Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates ticking down slightly from last week’s post-Brexit high.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.48 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending September 22, 2016, down from last week when it averaged 3.50 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.86 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.76 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.77 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 2.80 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.82 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.91 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.

Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“The 10-year Treasury yield declined after last week’s post-Brexit high in anticipation of the Fed’s September policy meeting. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage followed Treasury yields, falling 2 basis points and settling at 3.48 percent. Despite the decrease in rates, the Refinance Index plunged 8 percent to its lowest level since June.

Texas real estate market sizzles | Waccabuc Real Estate

1122 Gunter St 78702 East Austin house front 2015

The median home price in Texas grew to $215,000, an all-time high for the state’s housing market. 

The housing market in Texas is as hot as this summer heat. The latest quarterly housing report from Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) shows home sales have continued to increase across the Lone Star State for the hottest season to date.

Looking at the second quarter of 2016, the median home price in Texas grew to $215,000, a 7.5 percent increase from Q2 2015, and an all-time high for the state. In addition, active listings rose by 4.1 percent, while the number of closed sales hit 91,418 (up 4.4 percent) — the highest volume of Texas home sales ever.

“The last few months have been one of the strongest starts to the summer selling season in the history of Texas real estate,” says Leslie Rouda Smith, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, in a release.

“Texas homes of all types and price classes are in high demand. This is especially true for homes priced under $200,000, which are often preferred by first-time homebuyers but also in shortest supply across the state.”

Statewide, 45 percent of homes on the market during Q2 were affordably priced at less than $200,000. Forty-seven percent fell in the $200,000-$499,999 range and 8 percent were $500,000 or more.

In the Austin metro area, the median home price increased by 6.6 percent year-over-year, to $286,700. Active listings grew by 5.1 percent and closed sales grew by 8 percent. While these surges are making sellers happy, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for Austinites to find affordable properties.

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Freddie Mac: Brexit to push housing market forward in 2016 | Waccabuc Real Estate

International concerns such as slowing growth in Chinaand the Brexit vote in the U.K. played a major role in driving down mortgage rates in the U.S., according toFreddie Mac’s monthly Outlook for July.

In fact, after the U.K’s vote to leave the European Union, mortgage rates continue to lower, closing the gap even more to all-time lows at 3.41%.

This is likely to result in a boost in housing activity, particularly refinance, as homeowners take advantage of the current low rates, according to Freddie Mac’s report.

“With the U.K.’s decision to exit from the European Union, global risks increased substantially leading us to revise our views for the remainder of 2016 and all of 2017,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti said.

“Nonetheless, the turbulence abroad should continue to create demand for U.S. Treasuries and keep mortgage rates near historic lows,” Becketti said. “Thereby, allowing home sales to have their best year in a decade, along with a boost in refinance activity.”

The remaining quarters of 2016 should show an increase in Gross Domestic Product at 1.9% and 2.2% in 2016 and 2017.

Due to these recent global pressures, Freddie Mac revised the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage forecast down by 30 basis points for 2016 and by 50 basis points for 2017 to 3.6% and 4% respectively.

With this new drop in mortgage rates, the refinance share of originations will rise by 49% in 2016, an increase of 8% from last month’s forecast. That will be an increase of $100 billion in originations, bringing the total to $1,825 billion.


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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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Used home sales | Waccabuc Real Estate

Existing Home Sales in the United States is expected to be 5569.18 Thousand by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Existing Home Sales in the United States to stand at 5438.60 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States Existing Home Sales is projected to trend around 5182.05 Thousand in 2020, according to our econometric models.

United States Existing Home Sales


Forecast Actual Q2/16 Q3/16 Q4/16 Q1/17 2020 Unit
Existing Home Sales 5530 5569 5472 5453 5439 5182 Thousand
United States Existing Home Sales Forecasts are projected using an autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model calibrated using our analysts expectations. We model the past behaviour of United States Existing Home Sales using vast amounts of historical data and we adjust the coefficients of the econometric model by taking into account our analysts assessments and future expectations. The forecast for – United States Existing Home Sales – was last predicted on Wednesday, June 22, 2016.
United States Housing Last Q2/16 Q3/16 Q4/16 Q1/17 2020
Building Permits 1138 1140 1152 1161 1171 1250
Housing Starts 1164 1164 1175 1184 1193 1213
New Home Sales 619 531 475 517 510 590
Pending Home Sales 4.6 3.38 2.9 2.3 1.99 1.42
Existing Home Sales 5530 5569 5472 5453 5439 5182
Construction Spending -1.8 0.2 0.4 0.3 0.3 -0.9
Housing Index 0.2 0.45 0.43 0.41 0.4 0.31
Nahb Housing Market Index 60 58 59.79 59.1 58.6 53.76
Mortgage Rate 3.76 4.9 5.1 3.85 3.9 6.5
Mortgage Applications 2.9 0.02 0.49 0.5 0.5 0.5
Home Ownership Rate 63.5 63.52 63.53 63.53 63.53 63.53
Case Shiller Home Price Index 184 192 195 196 196 174

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.


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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
“Great Credit Brings Great Opportunity!”