Tag Archives: Westchester Luxury Homes

San Francisco Real Estate is Down | Chappaqua Real Estate

Here’s one sign that the cooling off for housing appreciation has become widespread: The hot San Francisco housing market actually saw home prices drop in July, marking the city’s weakest result since early 2012, according to data released Tuesday morning.

Looking at a broader gauge of prices in 20 cities, July saw overall growth of 0.6% in July, slower than the 1% rise in June, according to S&P/Case-Shiller’s 20-city composite index.

After seasonal adjustments, home prices among the 20 cities fell 0.5% in July — the biggest drop since October 2011 — compared with a 0.3% decline in June.

Slower appreciation could encourage more buyers, though prices are still outpacing inflation. A larger number of homes on the market has helped cool down home-price growth. At the same time, demand has been somewhat curbed by increasingly pricey properties and mortgage loans.

Meanwhile, annual growth slowed down, with year-over-year home prices rising 6.7% in July — the slowest pace since late 2012 — compared with annual growth of 8.1% in June. Among the 20 tracked cities, 19 saw slower annual growth in July.

“The geographic breadth of the pullback in prices is noteworthy,” Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Pierpont Securities, wrote in a research note. “Apologies if you are looking to sell your home, but perhaps a bit of relief on the price side will help to bolster housing demand, which has been disappointing lately.”



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New home sales power higher in August, soar by 18 percent | #SouthSalem #RealEstate

Sales of new U.S. single-family homes surged in August and hit their highest level in more than six years, offering confirmation that the housing recovery remains on course.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday sales jumped 18.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000 units. That was the highest level since May 2008 and marked the second straight month of gains.

July’s sales were revised to show a 1.9 percent gain instead of the previously reported 2.4 percent drop.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales rising to only a 430,000-unit pace last month.

While the new home sales segment accounts for only 9.1 percent of the housing market, the increase last month should allay fears of renewed housing weakness after a surprise decline in home resales last month.

A survey last week showed homebuilder sentiment hit its highest level in nearly nine years in September, with builders reporting a sharp pick-up in buyer traffic.

In August, new home sales soared 50 percent in the West to their highest level since January 2008.

Sales in the populous South increased 7.8 percent to their highest level in 10 months. In the Northeast, sales rose 29.2 percent, but were flat in the Midwest.




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Are mortgage servicers back to their old tricks? | Katonah Real Estate


The housing crisis of 2007-2008 pummeled home prices and tossed millions of people out of their homes because they couldn’t make their mortgage payments. Home prices and sales have rebounded and foreclosures have declined since then, but now there are signs that the recovery may be faltering.

The New York Times reported this week that the same abuses by lenders and mortgage servicers that led to massive foreclosures during the housing crisis are creeping back into the market.

Steven Antonakes, the deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, told an industry meeting of servicers Wednesday that he remains “deeply disappointed by the lack of progress the mortgage servicing industry has made” despite “some improvements,” according to American Banker.

David Stevens, chief executive of the Mortgage Bankers Association, which hosted that meeting, told The Daily Ticker that he can’t speak directly to the Times story but he’s “sure this new set of allegations…will be looked into” and that they reflect “past practice.”





Home Prices Rise Nationwide; Connecticut and New Jersey Lag | South Salem NY Homes


According to recent data released from the Federal Housing Finance Agency [1], seasonally adjusted home prices have surged 8.4% from November 2012 to November 2013, bringing national home prices to 2005 levels. This represents the fastest quarterly pace of price appreciation since 2006. Furthermore, the November 2013 foreclosure report from CoreLogic shows that national foreclosure inventory has fallen 34% over the past 12 months, and the rate of seriously delinquent mortgages is at a five-year low. In aggregate, the data presents a favorable sign that the housing market is continuing to rebound from the financial downturn. Housing market trends not only reflect the overall health of the economy, they also tie directly to the revenue capacity of local governments, which often rely on property tax revenue.


Home prices appreciated year over year in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Leading the nation in year-over-year gains were Nevada, California, Arizona, Florida, and Washington. However, these five states also lag the furthest behind third-quarter 2007 levels. The problem is especially acute in Nevada, where home prices remain over 40% below the prerecession peak. We are also concerned about the housing recovery in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, and New Mexico; prices in these states lag third-quarter 2007 levels by 13%-16% but have grown at the slowest pace in the nation at between 2%-3% over the past 12 months.


Source: Federal Housing Finance Agency


Thirty-eight states still lag third-quarter 2007 levels, though 34 of the 38 lag by only 10% or less. Home prices in resource-rich states North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas are now at all-time highs and exceed prices from 2007 by more than 10%; North Dakota is the leader of the pack, with a 28.9% price increase since third-quarter 2007.





13 Oddball Examples of Reclaimed Soviet Architecture | Armonk NY Real Estate


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Since the fall of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, Russian and former Soviet satellite governments and city planners have been muddling through ways to redefine and reclaim architecture left in the wake of a world power’s dissolution. It’s a question of how to assess and celebrate Soviet buildings, which have gross cultural weight as harbingers of the Space Age and Brutalist aesthetics, while making room for modern needs; sensitively memorializing the past with plenty of airspace for the future. The ways Soviet structures have been rehashed and reconfigured seem innumerable, if incredibly fascinating to unpack. Below, 10 ways governments, artists, and planners have used the spaces:




Drop in New Home Sales | Cross River Real Estate


Monthly data out this morning show sales of new homes fell 7 percent in December, to an annualized rate of 414,000, which was below the estimates of all 75 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Sales are up 35 percent since the bottom of the market in 2011, but as Calculated Risk notes, they are still basically at or below the levels seen during the bottom of every previous recession. New homes sales are just one piece of the market. And as Trulia’s Jed Kolko points out on Twitter (TWTR), they’re a historically small piece right now.

More broadly, there are signs of “remarkable resilience” in the recovery, according to a Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey released last week. It found that nondistressed homes spent an average of 9.7 weeks on the market in December, or 20 percent less time than in December 2012. Also, homes are selling closer to their asking prices. In December, homes sold for 97.1 percent of their list prices, on average, up from 95.5 percent a year earlier.



Sales Climb as U.S. Housing Market Adjusts to Rates: Economy | Bedford Corners NY Homes


Sales of previously owned homes climbed in December for the first time in five months, capping the best year since 2006 and indicating the real-estate market is starting to adjust to higher borrowing costs.

Purchases rose 1 percent to a 4.87 million annual pace, the National Association of Realtors reported today in Washington. Other reports showed claims for jobless benefits held last week near the lowest level in more than a month and the index of leading indicators climbed in December.

Faster employment growth, rising property values and a decline in consumer debt are giving would-be buyers the confidence to take the plunge into homeownership. Growing demand will also spur new construction and home improvements that will boost gross domestic product in 2014.



At $130M, Nation’s ‘Priciest’ Manse is No Longer the Priciest | Pound Ridge NY Homes


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Copper Beech Farm, the 50-acre Greenwich estate that roared onto the market last May with a record-setting $190M price tag, has been mercilessly slashed, first down to $140M and now again down to $130M. At 68 percent of its original ask, the property is no longer home to the priciest mega-mansion in the country, having ceded the throne to Dallas’ Crespi-Hicks estate, which is still holding strong at $135M. (Jackson Land and Cattle, a 1,750-acre estate in Jackson Hole, Wyo., has been asking $175M for a while, but there several homes on that ranch and most people would consider it a working farm with investment potential instead of, say, a single-family home.)

But, please, back to the blockbuster home at hand. Owned by timber mogul John Rudey, the property is stocked with a 12-bedroom mansion, a whopping 4,000—yes, four thousand—feet of water frontage, and not one, but two offshore islands. Rudey originally told the Journal that he was selling the spread, which he bought 31 years ago, because his kids had grown, but that may have been only half of the truth. According to a followup piece in the Times, Rudey’s timber holdings have been decimated by transportation issues, endangered species conservation, water limitations, and the spruce budworm, a tree-burrowing insect. These setbacks might not have impacted the Copper Beech Farm property at all had Rudey not used the sprawling waterfront estate as collateral on a series of huge loans. At one time, according to the Times, the debt attached to the property totaled a whopping $203M. (After the 2006 collapse of one of Rudey’s timber holding companies, the banks came calling. In 2011, Bank of America began foreclosure proceedings on a portion of Copper Beech Farm. The bank later backed off, but Rudey may have been forced to sell off much of his remaining timber holdings, and his $16.5M Fifth Avenue apartment, to keep creditors at bay.)