Category Archives: blog

Housing construction activity declines, mortgage applications fall | Chappaqua Real Estate

Housing starts (chart) for April dipped 0.2% month-over-month (m/m) to an annual pace of 1,724,000 units, below the Bloomberg consensus estimate of a 1,756,000 unit pace, and compared to March’s downwardly-revised pace of 1,728,000 units. Building permits, one of the leading indicators tracked by the Conference Board as it is a gauge of future construction, fell by 3.2% m/m to an annual rate of 1,819,000, slightly above expectations calling for 1,814,000 units, and compared to the downwardly-revised 1,870,000 unit pace in March.

In other housing news, the MBA Mortgage Application Index fell 11.0% last week, following the prior week’s increase of 2.0%. The index snapped a string of two weekly increases as a 9.5% fall in the Refinance Index was met with an 11.9% tumble for the Purchase Index. However, the average 30-year mortgage rate pulled back from a recent spike, declining 4 basis points (bps) to 5.49%, but is up 234 bps versus a year ago.

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Mortgage applications and new home sales drop as rates jump | Bedford Corners Real Estate

The MBA Mortgage Application Index declined 8.1% last week, following the prior week’s decrease of 1.2%. The downward move came as a 14.4% drop in the Refinance Index was accompanied by a 1.5% fall for the Purchase Index. The average 30-year mortgage rate extended its climb, jumping 23 basis points (bps) to 4.50%, and is up 114 bps versus a year ago.

In other housing news, new home sales (chart) fell 2.0% month-over-month (m/m) in February to an annual rate of 772,000 units, shy of the Bloomberg consensus forecast calling for a rate of 810,000 units, and below January’s downwardly-revised 788,000-unit level. The median home price rose 10.7% y/y to $400,600. New home inventory rose to 6.3 months from January’s level of a 6.1-months supply at the current sales pace. Sales jumped m/m in the Northeast, and were higher in the Midwest, while lower in the South and West. Sales in all regions were lower y/y, except for the Northeast which gained ground. New home sales are based on contract signings, offering a timelier read on housing activity compared to the larger contributor of existing home sales, which are based on closings

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Case-Shiller index reports 18.8% annual home price gain | Katonah Real Estate

S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI) today released the latest results for the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices. Data released today for November 2021 show that home prices continue to increase across the U.S. More than 27 years of history are available for the data series and can be accessed in full by going to

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported an 18.8% annual gain in November, down from 19.0% in the previous month. The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 16.8%, down from 17.2% in the previous month. The 20- City Composite posted an 18.3% year-over-year gain, down from 18.5% in the previous month.

Phoenix, Tampa, and Miami reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities in November. Phoenix led the way with a 32.2% year-over-year price increase, followed by Tampa with a 29.0% increase and Miami with a 26.6% increase. Eleven of the 20 cities reported higher price increases in the year ending November 2021 versus the year ending October 2021.

The charts on the following page compare year-over-year returns of different housing price ranges (tiers) for Phoenix and Tampa.

Before seasonal adjustment, the U.S. National Index posted a 0.9% month-over-month increase in November, while the 10-City and 20-City Composites posted increases of 0.9% and 1.0%, respectively. After seasonal adjustment, the U.S. National Index posted a month-over-month increase of 1.1%, and the 10-City and 20-City Composites posted increases of 1.1% and 1.2%, respectively. In November, 19 of the 20 cities reported increases before seasonal adjustments while all 20 cities reported increases after seasonal adjustments.

“For the past several months, home prices have been rising at a very high, but decelerating, rate. That trend continued in November 2021,” says Craig J. Lazzara, Managing Director at S&P DJI. “The National Composite Index rose 18.8% from year-ago levels, and the 10- and 20-City Composites gained 16.8% and 18.3%, respectively. In all three cases, November’s gains were less than October’s.

Despite this deceleration, it’s important to remember that November’s 18.8% gain was the sixth-highest reading in the 34 years covered by our data (the top five were the months immediately preceding November).

“We continue to see very strong growth at the city level. All 20 cities saw price increases in the year ended November 2021, and prices in 19 cities are at their all-time highs. November’s price increase ranked in the top quintile of historical experience for 19 cities, and in the top decile for 16 of them.

“Phoenix’s 32.2% increase led all cities for the 30th consecutive month. Tampa (+29.0%) and Miami (+26.6%) continued in second and third place in November, narrowly edging out Las Vegas, Dallas, and San Diego. Prices were strongest in the South and Southeast (both +25.0%), but every region continued to log impressive gains.

“We have previously suggested that the strength in the U.S. housing market is being driven in part by a change in locational preferences as households react to the COVID pandemic. More data will be required to understand whether this demand surge represents an acceleration of purchases that would have occurred over the next several years or reflects a more permanent secular change. In the short term, meanwhile, we should soon begin to see the impact of increasing mortgage rates on home

The chart below depicts the annual returns of the U.S. National, 10-City Composite and 20-City Composite Home Price Indices. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded an 18.8% annual gain in November 2021.

The 10-City and 20-City Composites reported year-over-year increases of 16.8% and 18.3%, respectively.

The following chart shows the index levels for the U.S. National, 10-City and 20-City Composite Indices. As of November 2021, average home prices for the MSAs within the 10-City and 20-City Composites are exceeding their winter 2007 levels.

Table 1 below shows the housing boom/bust peaks and troughs for the three composites along with the current levels and percentage changes from the peaks and troughs.

2006 Peak 2012 Trough Current
Index Level Date Level Date
From Peak (%) Level
From Trough (%)
From Peak (%)
National 184.61 Jul-06 134.00 Feb-12 -27.4% 276.12 106.1% 49.6%
20-City 206.52 Jul-06 134.07 Mar-12 -35.1% 282.44 110.7% 36.8%
10-City 226.29 Jun-06 146.45 Mar-12 -35.3% 294.45 101.1% 30.1%

Table 2 below summarizes the results for November 2021. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices could be revised for the prior 24 months, based on the receipt of additional source data.

November 2021 November/October October/September 1-Year
Metropolitan Area Level Change (%) Change (%) Change (%)
Atlanta 203.24 1.4% 1.3% 21.6%
Boston 281.81 0.0% 0.1% 13.5%
Charlotte 225.11 1.4% 1.5% 22.9%
Chicago 171.49 0.5% 0.5% 11.6%
Cleveland 159.84 0.6% 0.7% 14.0%
Dallas 259.12 1.2% 1.1% 25.0%
Denver 289.73 0.8% 0.2% 20.1%
Detroit 159.40 0.7% 0.2% 14.4%
Las Vegas 261.81 0.9% 1.4% 25.7%
Los Angeles 375.31 1.2% 1.4% 19.0%
Miami 337.50 2.0% 1.9% 26.6%
Minneapolis 217.95 0.3% -0.1% 11.2%
New York 251.45 1.0% 0.8% 13.8%
Phoenix 298.30 1.2% 1.1% 32.2%
Portland 309.19 0.5% 0.3% 17.4%
San Diego 367.62 1.0% 1.1% 24.4%
San Francisco 342.56 0.6% 0.0% 18.2%
Seattle 352.87 1.4% 0.6% 23.3%
Tampa 317.13 2.1% 1.9% 29.0%
Washington 283.66 0.5% 0.0% 11.1%
Composite-10 294.45 0.9% 0.8% 16.8%
Composite-20 282.44 1.0% 0.8% 18.3%
U.S. National 276.12 0.9% 0.8% 18.8%
Sources: S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic
Data through November 2021

Table 3 below shows a summary of the monthly changes using the seasonally adjusted (SA) and nonseasonally adjusted (NSA) data. Since its launch in early 2006, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices have published, and the markets have followed and reported on, the non-seasonally adjusted data set used in the headline indices. For analytical purposes, S&P Dow Jones Indices publishes a seasonally adjusted data set covered in the headline indices, as well as for the 17 of 20 markets with tiered price
indices and the five condo markets that are tracked.

November/October Change (%) October/September Change (%)
Metropolitan Area NSA SA NSA SA
Atlanta 1.4% 1.5% 1.3% 1.4%
Boston 0.0% 0.1% 0.1% 0.4%
Charlotte 1.4% 1.5% 1.5% 1.6%
Chicago 0.5% 1.2% 0.5% 0.9%
Cleveland 0.6% 1.2% 0.7% 1.3%
Dallas 1.2% 1.3% 1.1% 1.3%
Denver 0.8% 1.2% 0.2% 0.6%
Detroit 0.7% 1.2% 0.2% 0.9%
Las Vegas 0.9% 1.3% 1.4% 1.7%
Los Angeles 1.2% 1.4% 1.4% 1.4%
Miami 2.0% 2.0% 1.9% 1.9%
Minneapolis 0.3% 0.9% -0.1% 0.3%
New York 1.0% 0.8% 0.8% 0.5%
Phoenix 1.2% 1.4% 1.1% 1.3%
Portland 0.5% 0.9% 0.3% 1.1%
San Diego 1.0% 1.5% 1.1% 1.4%
San Francisco 0.6% 0.8% 0.0% 0.4%
Seattle 1.4% 2.1% 0.6% 1.5%
Tampa 2.1% 2.0% 1.9% 1.8%
Washington 0.5% 0.7% 0.0% 0.0%
Composite-10 0.9% 1.1% 0.8% 0.8%
Composite-20 1.0% 1.2% 0.8% 1.0%
U.S. National 0.9% 1.1% 0.8% 1.0%
Sources: S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic
Data through November 2021
For more information about S&P Dow Jones Indices, please visit

Home prices rise 18.6% | Chappaqua Real Estate

41% increase since 2006

  • Home prices rose 18.6% annually in June, up from a 16.8% increase in May, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index.
  • Prices are now 41% higher than their last peak during the housing boom in 2006.
  • Home prices continue to surge due to strong demand and persistent low supply.
Real estate agents Rosa Arrigo, center, and Elisa Rosen, right, work an open house in West Hempstead, New York on April 18, 2021.

Douglas Elliman Real Estate open house

Home prices rose 18.6% annually in June, up from the 16.8% increase in May, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index.

That is the largest annual gain in the history of the index dating back to 1987. Prices nationally are now 41% higher than their last peak during the housing boom in 2006.

Unlike other median price surveys, which can be skewed by the type of homes selling, this measures repeat sales of similar homes over time.

The 10-City composite rose 18.5%, up from 16.6% in the previous month. The 20-City composite was up 19.1%, up from 17.1% in the previous month.

Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle reported the strongest price increases of the 20 cities. Prices in Phoenix increased 29.3% year-over-year. In San Diego they rose 27.1%, and in Seattle they were up 25.0%. All 20 cities reported higher price increases in the year ending June 2021 versus the year ending May 2021.

“The last several months have been extraordinary not only in the level of price gains, but in the consistency of gains across the country,” said Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P DJI. “In June, all 20 cities rose, and all 20 gained more in the 12 months ended in June than they had gained in the 12 months ended in May.”

Prices in just about every city in the 20-city index, except for Chicago, are at all-time highs, he said, as are the national composition and the 10- and 20-city indices.

Home prices continue to surge due to strong demand and persistent low supply. While supply has been increasing month to month, it was still down 12% in July year-over-year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory group, said prices are rising at “a really out of control pace that is unsustainable and unhealthy.”

Home sales, however, have started to cool. Signed contracts on existing homes dropped in July, according to the National Association of Realtors. Prices usually lag sales by about six months, so that could be a sign that price gains will stop accelerating as they have been for over a year.

“According to new Ally Home data, 45% of buyers say they have delayed purchasing a home due to market conditions, with 29% citing high home prices and 20% indicating homes selling too quickly as factors in this delay,” says Glenn Brunker, president of Ally Home.

Low mortgage rates continue to keep prices strong. Rates will rise if the Federal Reserve slows its purchases of mortgage-backed bonds, but so far that is not expected to happen in the near term.

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Northeast new homes sales rise 48% | Waccabuc Real Estate

After notable and expected downward revisions for prior months, May recorded a decline of 5.9% for sales of newly-constructed single family homes, according to estimates from the Census Bureau and HUD. The May seasonally adjusted annual rate (769k) was the lowest in a year, due to builders slowing sales as a consequence of higher material costs and declining availability of labor, material and lots.

Residential demand continues to be supported by low interest rates, a renewed consumer focus on the importance of housing, and solid demand in lower-density markets like suburbs and exurbs. However, higher building costs, longer delivery times, and general unpredictability in the residential construction supply-chain are having measurable impacts on new home prices. In May, the median price of a newly-built home was 18% higher than a year ago, at $374,400. As NAHB has estimated, higher lumber costs alone are increasing new home prices by $36,000 on average.

Higher costs have priced out buyers, particularly at the lower end of the market. A year ago, 44% of new home sales were priced below $300,000. In May 2021, only 26% of new home sales were priced below $300,000.

Looking back to the spring of last year, the April 2020 data (570,000 annualized pace) marks the low point of sales for the 2020 recession. The April 2020 rate was 26% lower than the prior peak, pre-recession rate set in January. Sales then mounted a historic surge from April until July, outpacing gains in actual construction. Sales have been above the pace of the post-Great Recession trend since the second half of last year. However, since January the trend has been declining and has now dipped below the long-run trend (as indicated by the blue dashed line in the graph above).

Sales-adjusted inventory levels remained healthy in May, although they did increase to a 5.1 months’ supply.

Completed ready-to-occupy homes continue to fall as a share of new home inventory. Such homes were just under 24% of inventory a year ago. They are only a little more than 11% of the total in May 2021.

Moreover, to see how sales patterns have changed in a high demand, low supply market — the count of new homes sold that had not started construction is up 76 percent over the last year. The count of new homes sold that are completed and ready to occupy is down 33 percent.

Regionally on a year-to-date basis new home sales rose in all four regions, up 48.7% in the Northeast, 33.5% in the Midwest, 32.3% in the South, and 5.6% in the West. These significant increases are due in part to lower sales volume during the Covid crisis a year ago.

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How to use digital marketing to sell your home!

Alt: Different words that describe how to use digital marketing to sell your home, circled with a red marker.

With the COVID-19 global outbreak seriously hindering the real estate industry, people all over the world are looking for effective ways to advertise and sell their homes. One of the best strategies for now proved to be digital marketing. With that in mind, let’s see how to use digital marketing to sell your home!

Hiring a real estate agent

You must be asking what a real estate agent has to do with digital marketing. Well, they are using websites, right? Advertising your home online is the best way of finding a buyer. And, with mortgage rates going down, buyers will look to hire real estate agents.

Building your own website

A more personal way of using digital marketing to sell your home is to build your own website. Today, you can quickly set up a webpage at affordable prices, and this is a fantastic way to offer potential buyers more personal information. You can attach videos of online house tours, add photos, write notes about the place, and have a 1-on-1 conversation with a potential buyer.

Caption: By using a website and social media platforms, you are easily getting connected with people all around the world.

Alt: A girl standing and holding a laptop, surrounded with icons of different social media platforms.

Even though this website option might seem like too much of an effort for selling a place, there are other advantages to it.

Running a blog

If you start a blog on a real estate topic and post quality content, you will soon get readers. And, if you have well-written articles, the numbers will only go up. Articles are a fantastic way to advertise, and you never know if a reader might be a potential buyer.

Social media campaign

It is a fact that social media changed the world forever. Be it for the better or for worse, that is yet to be decided. Nevertheless, many people run businesses solely on social media. At Cofe Winchester site we will get different blogs to view business marketing tips. Simply, click here for business related useful information.

Since it has a wide reach, you can use various profiles to post ads about selling your place.

Ways that realtors use digital marketing to sell homes

Besides trying to sell a home on your own, which is an admirable feat, by far the best way to sell a home is through hiring a real estate agent. They use many digital marketing strategies to quickly sell a place, so let’s see what is their approach.

Pay-Per-Click advertising

Many professionals use Pay-Per-Click advertising to generate new leads. Many people earn money by clicking on ads, and this is a proven strategy to find potential buyers.

Getting in touch with a real estate agent is the best way to quickly get in touch with a lot of buyers.

Webinars for buyers

Many real estate agents host webinars about real estate. Both buyers and sellers attend these webinars to learn more about the industry and get in touch with potential clients.

You can even search for similar events in a nearby area and attend it. It might just happen you will meet the next owner of your house!

E-mail campaigns

E-mail campaigns are another strong tool that can help you sell your place. If we look at any real estate agency, they have thousands of clients, both looking to sell or buy. Each client has specific needs, but they can be grouped depending on different categories.

For example, all single people will look for smaller apartments, while families with children often look for a house.

Real estate agents can start e-mail campaigns where they can inform targeted groups of buyers if a new home that fits their requirements popped up on the market.

Stages of a digital marketing campaign for selling a home

Now that you familiarized yourself with different digital marketing channels you can use to sell your home, let’s talk about the structural composition of a digital marketing campaign.

Caption: Understanding how digital marketing works will help you to sell your home faster.

Alt: A poster saying INTERNET MARKETING in the middle, surrounded with words that represent various digital marketing components.

If we follow examples of professional digital marketing companies like Digital Dot New York, we can see a pattern of success. The main components of a digital marketing campaign are:

  • identifying your targeted group of clients
  • setting clear goals
  • working only with trusted partners
  • always value the quality of the service over the quantity

Identifying targeted groups of buyers

In order to create a successful digital marketing campaign to sell your home, first identify your potential buyers.

What kind of home do you have? How many rooms? Is it a house, or an apartment? Does it have a garage? If it is in a building, is there an elevator?

There are so many questions you can ask yourself, and each of these questions is important in identifying who your buyers are. As an example, if you live in a building and there is no elevator, you should not target families with babies.

Once you know who your customers are, you can find ways to advertise your place.

Set clear goals

While the main goal is to sell your home, you should think outside of the box when it comes to setting goals. If you have a simplified approach you might lose a lot of buyers.

The real estate market is huge, and there is a lot of competition. If you wish to sell your place quickly, you must find a way to make your home stand out in the crowd. And that’s what your goal should be!

Caption: Have a clearly set structure of goals in front of you, that is the best way to create a good digital advertisement for selling your home.

Alt: A structural tree showing various components of digital marketing.

Outline all the good elements of your place, but do it from a distance. Do not be too pushy, or you might drive clients away.

Work with people you trust

There are many real estate agencies on the market. However, not everyone will create a good offer for you. With that in mind, always look for recommendations and read reviews.

The same applies when looking for professionals to help you start a digital marketing campaign. If you apply this strategy, you will show that you are focusing on the quality and experience, instead of just looking for a cheaper agent.

That’s how to use digital marketing to sell your home As you can see, there are many different approaches if you wish to use digital marketing to sell your home. In the end, it all depends on what strategy will show as the most efficient one. Nevertheless, there is no reason why you should not try multiple strategies at the same time. Only by combining these elements you can find the right buyer quickly, and make a good deal. Good luck!

Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors news

Dear HGAR Members:
Here are today’s Daily Updates – May 8, 2020:
Cuomo Says, ‘We Have the Beast on the Run.’Bolstered by continued statewide data that shows a decline in overall hospitalizations, intubations, new cases and deaths, Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters today at his daily COVID-19 briefing that the state is now in control of its own destiny in dealing with the Coronavirus.
He said that for the first time he believes the state is ahead of the virus. “We have the beast on the run,” Cuomo said.
However, the governor seemed to confirm what many observers have believed, that the re-opening of the downstate economy will not begin once his “New York on Pause” COVID-19 restrictions expire on May 15.
The governor told reporters that it is very likely that he will begin his multi-phased re-opening plan in areas upstate with the construction and manufacturing industries after May 15 and said that the current downstate data does not support the lifting of any restrictions here. A total of 216 people died from COVID-19 in New York State on Thursday, May 7, down from 232 fatalities a day earlier. See Bloomberg News story.
New York State Seeking $60B in Next Fed. Coronavirus Aid PackageNew York officials said on Thursday that the state requires at least an additional $60 billion in direct federal funding along with millions of dollars more from Medicaid and FEMA formula changes in the next Coronavirus aid package.
The state’s request, which is part of the National Governors Association’s bid for $500 billion for all states and territories, would be spread over three fiscal years and could be used for revenue shortfalls, according to the association. See Newsday story.
Senators Propose Bill to Help Local GovernmentsU.S. Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Congressman Antonio Delgado, and U.S. Congressman Lee Zeldin announced new legislation, the “Direct Support for Communities Act,” which provides local governments with direct federal relief that can be used to pay for essential services and offset lost revenues and increased costs from the COVID-19 emergency. The local assistance would complement critical relief that states also require in this crisis, which the representatives are simultaneously aggressively pursuing.
The unspecified funding under the Direct Support for Communities Act would be a critical part of a larger state and local relief package to be considered by Congress.
“Under our proposal, counties, cities, towns, and villages of all sizes could count on direct, guaranteed financial relief, instead of having to layoff vital workers, cut important services, or raise taxes and fees at absolutely the worst time,” Sen. Schumer said. “Local governments deserve nothing less than our strongest federal support, and I am doing everything I can to get significant and flexible federal aid to our states and local governments included in the next legislative package Congress considers.” See announcement at
How are Offices Preparing for the Return of Workers?Offices are preparing their spaces for a post-pandemic world. Companies are bringing in thermal cameras, HVAC systems that can fight bad germs, contactless coffee machines, and more as employees prepare to return to company offices in some areas of the country.
“What’s important about the COVID world is that people still feel comfortable and it feels warm and inviting when they enter the building, especially after being on the trains and buses and walking in their masks,” Craig Deitelzweig, CEO of Marx Realty, told The Real Deal. “Everyone wants a hospitality feel but now they will work together, six feet apart.” See Realtor Magazine story.
Suburban Office Markets Could Get Stronger Post PandemicMoody’s Analytics in a recently released report indicates that suburban office properties may make some gains over their rival central business district spaces post Coronavirus.
The analysis says businesses may be prompted to consider factors expected to affect ensuing demand on office space, particularly with concerns over COVID-19 and communication systems that allow employees to work from home, according to a report at
“For many years, suburban office space fell out of favor because of the resurgence of U.S. cities,” said Ryan Severino, chief economist at Jones Lang LaSalle. “Is this COVID-19 crisis going to spur renewed interest in suburban markets, as households and employers move out of cities? Time will tell.” See story at See full report at .
VIRTUAL REALTORS® LEGISLATIVE MEETINGS WEEK of MAY 11-15thDon’t miss this great opportunity to attend these Live Streamed Events. Click Here for Live Streamed Events Schedule.Full Details on all meetings and to Pre-Register go to
Go to the NYSAR FAQ’s which were updated on May 7th with regards to:How does the COVID-19 pandemic impact Fair Housing? Can I ask a client/customer/consumer if they have been exposed to COVID-19?Can I go to a property where nobody is present (meaning if individuals reside there, everyone has left the property) to view it or take photographs for a listing? (updated 5/7/20)

Please continue to check for updates on COVID-19 Resources.

Stay safe and stay well.
Richard Haggerty, HGAR CEO

Italy cancelling mortgage bills | Bedford Real Estate

Homeowners in Italy are seeing many of their bills suspended – including mortgages – as the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic, and now other European nations are considering similar moves.

Is a “mortgage holiday” coming to America?

The short answer is: probably not. Most American mortgages are packaged into bonds with legal terms that dictate what the servicers who handle the billing can and can’t do. There are ways servicers can offer forbearance – an agreement to let borrowers either pay at a lower interest rate or suspend payments temporarily because of a hardship. But it’s on a case-by-case basis.

“Somebody owns those bonds,” said Mark Vitner, a senior economist with Wells Fargo. “Who is going to make those interest payments?”

Any missed or reduced payments typically have to be repaid, with interest. Sometimes, that means the loan will be re-amortized, so whatever you don’t pay now, you’ll be paying off over the remaining years of your loan, with interest.

America’s mortgage market is much bigger than Italy’s $423 billion of outstanding home-loan debt. The U.S. has about $11 trillion of mortgages on one- to four-family homes, according to Federal Reserve data. More than half of that is contained in bonds compiled and backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees those government-controlled mortgage securitizers, issued a directive last week urging servicers to offer help to people who fall behind on mortgage payments because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“To meet the needs of borrowers who may be impacted by the coronavirus, last week Fannie Mae and FreddieMac reminded mortgage servicers that hardship forbearance is an option for borrowers who are unable to make their monthly mortgage payment,” said FHFA Director Mark Calabria. “For borrowers that may be experiencing a hardship, I encourage you to reach out to your servicer.”

In addition, regulators such as the Federal Reserve on Tuesday urged U.S. banks such as Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase to work “constructively” with borrowers affected by the coronavirus outbreak, promising they won’t get dinged by examiners as long as the measures show good judgment.

Italy has been the nation with the biggest outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, outside of China. Italy has more than 15,000 cases, and more than 1,000 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.

While Italy is the only government to introduce a plan to suspend mortgage payments for people affected by the lockdown – and so far it’s only for the worst-hit areas of the nation – other European countries may follow suit, according to an S&P report.

“New monetary and fiscal stimulus measures are currently being launched daily and the Italian government is contemplating broadening the mortgage payment suspension scheme nationwide,” S&P said.

“Some banks and governments in other countries, including France, Spain, and the U.K., have mooted similar measures, although the potential scale of eligibility and level of uptake among borrowers could vary widely and are not yet known,” the report said.

read more…

Robert Paul 1960 Year of the Rat 2020

The Rat is the first of all zodiac animals. According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived to his party. The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first.

The Rat is also associated with the Earthly Branch (地支—dì zhī) Zi (子) and the midnight hours. In the terms of yin and yang (阴阳—yīn yáng), the Rat is yang and represents the beginning of a new day.

In Chinese culture, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children.

Rats are clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life.

Recent years of the Rat are: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020.

Paired with the Celestial Stems (天干—Tiān gān), there is a 60-year calendrical cycle. Although zi is associated with water, the years also cycle through the five elements of nature (五行—wǔ xíng).

See the table below for the full details of each year.


Personality and characteristics

Optimistic and energetic, people born in the Rat year are likable by all. They are sensitive to other’s emotions but are stubborn with your opinion. Their personality is kind, but due to weak communication skills, their words may seem impolite and rude.

On the financial side, they like saving and can be stingy. However, their love for hoarding will sometimes cause them to waste money on unnecessary things.

Metal1960, 2020These Rats tend to be reliable and live a stable life. They may hold some power and are able to turn unlucky events into fortune.
Water1972, 2032These Rats encounter hardships in the early days. They become successful during their middle ages and create a happy family. However, relatives and close friends may weigh them down.
Wood1924, 1984These Rats are multi-talented. They are strong-willed and always finish what they begin.
Fire1936, 1996These Rats have high IQs and EQs. They are average during youth, develop well in the middle ages and have great fortune later in life.
Metal1948, 2008These Rats are good speakers. They’re the mood makers of a group, but can be slightly possessive. They face difficulties in their youth, but are generally able to withstand them.

Men born in the Rat year are clever and adapt quickly to new environments. They are creative great at taking advantage of opportunities. However, they sometimes lack the courage to do so. Although they have great ideas, they might not be suitable for leadership positions.

Women born in the Rat year are the traditional women. They love keeping things organized and place great value on the family. Everything is taken care of by them and there is no need for their husband to worry. Outside of home, they’re also someone with a sense of responsibility and ability.


Most compatible with Rat: OxDragonMonkey

Rat’s fixed Earthly Branch is water, while Ox is earth. They complement and help one another in both work and life.

Couples that are formed from Rat and Dragon will be able to understand each other well, and enjoy success together.

Similar to Dragons, Monkeys get along great with Rats, and tend to live happily ever after like a fairytale.

Least compatible with Rat: HorseGoat and Rabbit

The Earthly Branches of Rat and Horse clash strongly. No matter what a Rat does, it won’t be enough for the Horse.

Goats are attracted to Rat’s wealth and hope to control it, making it a rocky relationship.

The Rabbit will either purposely or unintentionally go against the Rat’s wishes, while the Rat can only keep silent.

Lucky things for Rats

  • Colors: blue, gold, green
  • Numbers: 2, 3
  • Flowers: lily, African violet, valley lily
  • Directions of auspiciousness: southeast, northeast
  • Directions of wealth: southeast, east
  • Directions of love: west

Unlucky things

  • Colors: yellow, brown
  • Numbers: 5, 9

Careers fit for Rats

Because of their independence and imagination, they are suitable for creative jobs. These include authors, editors and artists. However, if they join a team, their creative outlet may be blocked.

Rats also pay attention to fine detail. They are fit for technical work, such as engineering and architecture.

They are alert, but have a lack of courage. This makes them unsuitable as police officers, entrepreneurs or other leadership and political positions. Although Rats make good financial decisions, they should be careful not to invest with a close friend. It will not only cause money problems, but also affect the friendship.

Health and lifestyle

Since childhood, Rats have frail health. They have energetic personalities, but tire quickly. They catch colds often, but thankfully do not have serious illnesses.

They are sensitive to change in temperature. Not only is cold weather unbearable for them, they also can’t stand hot weather. But despite seeming weak and not being able to perform hard physical work, they enjoy longevity.

Rats can eat anything, whether they are delicacies or plain food. However, they should pay attention to their diet. Many times, they will get too into work and forget to eat. Going long periods without food and suddenly bingeing cause problems in their digestive system. Enemies of their health also include smoking and drinking habits.

For a healthy life, Rats must remember to eat breakfast, do moderate exercise and remain cheerful.


2020 2019

Rats in the Year of the Rat (2020)

Although a zodiac’s year is traditionally the most unfortunate, laden with bad omens and mishaps, 2020 will perform reasonably well for the Rat. Success will come in the form of career; celebrate the fact that your efforts will be rewarded and seen. On the other hand, your health and relationships will prove to be a struggle. Visit your doctor at the first sign of illness, and work toward creating a loving, open environment for all of your relationships. The year will have its issues, but the positive factors can turn it around.


Even though the year will be a challenge in many areas, the Rat’s career will not be among them. Success will flourish in the workplace, yielding benefits of all kinds. Hard work will be rewarded; your clever skills, quick-thinking, and optimism will drive you forward. Exclusive bonuses will come to those born in the first half of the year. Rats born in the following months will have to push a bit harder for their goals.

Finances will be booming for the entirety of the year! Your income might even double. It would do you well to save and invest your hard-earned money. Try to avoid spending it all on luxurious items and vacations. Instead, splurge on little experiences here and there. Take your family to a theme park or your husband on a dinner date. Your girlfriend might enjoy a trip to the fair.

Lucky Months: March, September, and November.

Unlucky Months: April, July, and October.


The Rat will maintain a decent academic standing in their educational studies. Hard work will be valued and necessary. With the right amount of focus on your studies, you will surely meet your goals. Be wary of your well-being; stress over your course schedule might get you down and even cause illness. Avoid sickness by pairing vitamins with at least seven to eight hours of sleep and proper nutrition. Although you might want to enjoy a full social calendar, it would be better to take some downtime to recuperate.


Vulnerable to sicknesses, like colds and fatigue, the Rat will have to be extra careful in 2020. At the first sign of symptoms, head to your general practitioner immediately. The faster you get medicine and the treatment you need, the quicker you will heal. To stay healthy, do your body a favor and eat more proteins and vegetables; boost your immune system by adding vitamins to your diet as well. As a general rule, proper diet, exercise, and sleep keep one healthy.


Luck is also not in your favor this year for love. Romance will be hard to come by for married couples and singles alike. You will face many struggles throughout the year; however, your innate positivity will help you push through hard times. If you’re single, it is best to avoid longing for a partner this year. The likelihood of finding someone long-term is very low. Instead, have fun and enjoy the freedom of not being tied down romantically. Enjoy light conversation, some partying (but not too much) and meet new people. Take this bad news and look for the bright side!

The same misfortune goes for married couples; be on the lookout for challenges in your relationship. Petty arguments, financial battles, or suspicions might plague your love-life. When these issues surface, don’t let them fester. Deal with everything head on to experience a better year. Focus on the love you have for your partner; this person is your home, your safe zone, and your beloved. Keep yourself grounded in love.


Rats will experience both successes and failures in the Year of the Rat. Success will show itself in the workplace and education, while relationships and health will be the areas that suffer. Overall, the year has a far better outlook than one’s typical zodiac year suggests. Rats should rejoice in their good fortune. Their natural ability to create success is a gift, a gift that will prove itself in financial gain. If you are feeling nervous about the year ahead, protect yourself with a Buddha statue. And have hope for good times to come amidst misfortune.

Lower rates will fuel housing in 2020 | South Salem Real Estate

Housing could fuel economic growth for the first part of 2020, a new economic outlook from Fannie Mae shows.

Fannie Mae upgraded its economic outlook to a gross domestic product growth of 1.9% in 2020, according to its latest commentary from the Economic and Strategic Research Group. This is due to expected easing trade tensions, stimulative fiscal policies and continued consumer spending

This year, the third quarter added to GDP growth for the first time in more than 1.5 years, Fannie Mae’s data shows. And this growth is expected to continue into the second quarter of 2020.

Fannie Mae explained housing should also continue to function as a positive contributor to growth in the near term, as indicated by both new and existing single-family home sales advancing in the third quarter, as well as pending home sales, permits, and starts. However, persistent supply and affordability constraints continue to hold back household formation, inhibiting housing market activity.

“As we forecasted, housing supported the larger economy in the third quarter, and we expect it to continue to play a productive role through the first half of 2020,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae senior vice president and chief economist. “Positive contributions from single-family housing construction, home improvements, and brokers fees pushed residential fixed investment growth to a robust 5.1% annualized pace this past quarter, and we forecast continued but moderating strength as construction activity and home sales growth continue at a slower pace.”

“With mortgage rates normalizing, we expect a decline in refinance activity in 2020, with the refinance share of originations dropping from a projected 37% in 2019 to 31%,” Duncan said. “Of course, the housing market as a whole remains constrained by the persistent supply and affordability issues, which is particularly unfortunate given the current strength of consumer demand for reasonably priced homes.”

Housing is contributing to growth, but consumer spending is expected to remain the primary driver of economic growth for the forecast horizon, and business fixed investment will benefit as additional corporate expenditures work to meet consumer demand.

“Even as global uncertainties mount, we continue to expect the domestic economy to produce solid, if not spectacular, growth,” Duncan said. “A stronger-than-expected third quarter contributed to the downward revision to our fourth-quarter forecast, as some of the previously expected weakness in trade and inventories appears likely to have been pushed back into this quarter. Still, consumer spending is likely to continue driving the expansion forward, and with the passage of the budget act and a reprieve in trade tensions we’ve revised upward our forecast for full-year 2020 growth.”

But risks still remain on the horizon. For example, trade talks between the U.S. and China continue to pose negative risks to economic growth. And because of this uncertainty, Fannie Mae predicts we could see one last rate cut from the Federal Reserve in early 2029 before pausing for the rest of the year.

“We also continue to expect the Fed to cut interest rates only one more time in the foreseeable future, in early 2020, as a hedge against the sizeable downside risks and to counteract muted inflation,” Duncan said.

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