Tag Archives: Armonk Realtor

Armonk Realtor

The Aging Housing Stock | Armonk Real Estate

The American housing stock continues to age, especially since residential construction grew at a modest pace after the Great Recession. The median age of owner-occupied housing increased to 37 years in 2015 from 31 years a decade ago. This housing stock aging trend signals a growing market for remodelers, as older structures normally require additional remodeling and renovations. It also implies a rising demand for new construction over the long run.

As of 2015, more than half of the US owner-occupied housing stock was built before 1980, with around 38% built before 1970. Owner-occupied homes constructed after 2000 make up 19% of the owner-occupied housing stock, and homes built after 2010 account for only 3% of the owner-occupied housing stock.

The share of housing stock built 45 year ago or earlier increased significantly from 32% in 2005 to 38% in 2015. However, the share of new construction built within past 5 years declined to 3% in 2015, compared to 9% in 2005.

According to the 2015 ACS, homeowners with higher family incomes tend to live in the newer residential units. In 2015, the average household income for owner-occupied homes built after 2010 was $ 121,577, which was higher than $86,328 average family income for those living in homes built before 1969. Moreover, younger homeowners are more likely to live in newer homes. Homes built after 2010 are headed by homeowners with a median age of 44 years, compared to homes built prior to 1969 and owned by householders with a median age of 58. It implies a growing market for renovations allowing older homeowners to age in place.


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House Prices to Median Household Income | Armonk Real Estate

The Census Bureau released the Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2015 this morning. The report showed a significant increase in the real median household income and a decline in poverty.  For an overview, see from Nick Timiraos and Janet Adamy at the WSJ: U.S. Household Incomes Surged 5.2% in 2015, First Gain Since 2007 and from Jason Furman, Sandra Black, and Matt Fiedler at the CEA: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance in the United States in 2015

One of the metrics to follow is a ratio of house prices to incomes.   The following graphs use annual averages of house prices indexes – Case-Shiller and CoreLogic – and the nominal median household income (and the mean for the fourth fifth income) through 2015.

Note: Most reporting today is on the REAL median household income (adjusted for inflation over time).  These graphs use nominal income since we are comparing to nominal house prices.

House Prices and Median Household IncomeClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the ratio of house price indexes divided by the Median Household Income through 2015 (the HPI is first multiplied by 1000).

This uses the annual average CoreLogic and the National Case-Shiller index since 1976.

As of 2015, house prices were above the median historical ratio – but far below the bubble peak.

The second graph is similar but uses the mean of the fourth fifth household income (if we separate households into fifths, this is the second highest income group).

House Prices and WagesThese are key households since they are more likely to be homeowners (and home buyers).

Using this group, prices are well below the bubble peak.

Going forward, I think it would be a positive if incomes outpaced house prices, or at least kept pace with house prices increases for a few years.


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Home Prices in March – Bubbles Anyone? | Armonk Real Estate

The Case-Shiller (CS) National Home Price Index, reported by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a seasonally adjusted annual growth rate of 1.1% in March, down from 3.8% in February. The Home Price Index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 8.4% in March, faster than 6.2% in February.

After the boom and bust, home prices have been recovering from the trough since 2012. As of March 2016, the CS national house price index was at 97% of the February 2007 peak. Nine years after their collapse, house prices are re-approaching their housing bubble peak, but now this level is in line with longer term trend growth.


However, housing markets are local and the pace of price appreciation varied greatly in different markets during the boom, so proximity to earlier peaks may not mean the same thing in different markets.

House prices in Denver and Dallas now exceed their mid-2000s levels but these markets were among the most stable during the boom with the smallest increases and the shallowest declines, so new peaks shouldn’t be seen as warning signs of new bubble conditions.

In contrast several markets have current house prices that are at or near their previous peaks, but these peaks were significantly inflated during the boom, suggesting these markets may have supply and demand imbalances that are re-inflating price bubbles. These markets include San Francisco, Portland OR, and Seattle.

At the same time several markets are at or near peak levels, but the earlier peaks and declines were relatively restrained. This current proximity to earlier peaks suggests price increases reflect house price recovery, not bubbles. These markets include Boston, Charlotte NC, Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York and Chicago.

San Diego and Los Angeles are markets that are not as close to their earlier peaks as some markets, but those peaks reflected some of the most inflated house prices. Even a sizable gap between current and peak prices may reflect some ongoing supply and demand imbalance. The Washington DC and Miami markets share a similar distinction.


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Home Price Index Continued Steady Climb | Armonk Real Estate

Home prices in the United States climbed again at the start of the year, adding to pressure on buyers in a sellers’ market. Americans are feeling more confident this month, another report released on Tuesday showed, as a rebounding stock market brightened their outlook.

In January, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5.7 percent from a year earlier, a slight increase from the 5.6 percent annual increase in December.

“The pace of U.S. home value growth has been picking up bit by bit over the past few months, driven in large part by stubbornly low inventory in most markets that creates competition and drives up prices for those homes that are available,” said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at the real estate firm Zillow.

Home values have risen at a faster pace than average hourly wages, which have improved just 2.2 percent, according to a government report this month. Tight supplies of homes on the market have propelled much of the price growth, as low mortgage rates and steady hiring have increased demand.

Denver, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle each registered double-digit annual price increases. Home values rose in all 20 metro area markets, which account for roughly half of the housing stock in the country.

The index remains more than 11 percent below its mid-2006 peak, when subprime mortgages pushed the market to heights that set off the recession in late 2007.

Existing homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.08 million in February, the National Association of Realtors said this month. Sales dipped 7.1 percent from a relatively healthy pace in January, but an increase in the number of signed contracts to buy houses indicates that purchases should rebound in March.

Despite the demand, listings in February declined 1.1 percent from a year ago. Many homeowners are reluctant to sell, because they lack the equity to cover the down payment for upgrading to a new house.

“The low inventory of homes for sale — currently about a five-month supply — means that would-be sellers seeking to trade up are having a hard time finding a new, larger home,” said David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

In a separate report, the Conference Board said that its consumer confidence index rose to 96.2 this month, after tumbling to a revised 94 in February.

Consumers’ assessment of current economic conditions has dipped. But their outlook for the future has improved modestly.

United States markets got off to a dismal start in 2016, driven by fears of economic weakness overseas and plunging oil prices, but they have since recovered most of those losses. This month, 28.7 percent of consumers said they expected stocks to rise over the next year. That was up from 26.9 percent in February, the lowest share since July 2012.

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Babe Ruth’s NYC apartment for sale | Armonk Real Estate

The home that Ruth built is for sale for just under $1.6 million on the Upper West Side.

Babe Ruth’s former two-bedroom, three-bathroom co-op at 345 W. 88th St. — where he lived at the end of his historic New York career — drew about 50 prospective buyers to its open house Sunday.

“My fondest memories [of the apartment] are of me and Father listening to ‘The Green Hornet’ on the radio and looking out to Riverside Park,’’ the Yankees legend’s daughter, Julia Ruth Stevens, 98, told The Post from her home in Conway, New Hampshire.
“Mom and Dad loved to entertain there,’’ Stevens said. “We had a maid and cook, and Dad would always invite Yankees who had been traded and were in town with other teams. He knew they wanted a home-cooked meal [while on the road].”
The Douglas Elliman listing touts the home’s location and amenities such as a live-in super and storage space. But, amazingly, the fact that Ruth once called it home is the last sentence of the pitch.

“Well run, pet friendly. Has a part-time doorman, live-in super, bike room and storage bins. In a terrific UWS location. Babe Ruth lived in this very apartment,” the listing reads.
But for those thinking that the pad’s $1.595 million price is a complete steal, there is also a $2,864-a-month fee for maintenance and common charges.

A plaque outside the building notes that the Sultan of Swat moved into the apartment in 1929 and resided there “for several years.”

The Bambino, his second wife, Claire Merritt Ruth, and their daughter lived in the home from 1929 to 1940, Stevens said.
Ruth’s 15-season career in New York, from 1920 to 1934, marked the beginning of the Yankee Dynasty. Ruth’s Yankees won the franchises’ first seven American League pennants and four World Series titles.

Ruth, widely regarded as the greatest Yankee ever, was just 53 when he died in 1948.

During their time on 88th Street, the Ruths had the entire 11-room seventh floor before it was divided into two units at some point after they moved to 173 Riverside Drive. The apartment currently up for grabs is one of those units.



Consumer Confidence Up | Armonk Real Estate

Improving job and wage prospects lifted the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment December Index to its most favorable level since its last cyclical peak in January 2007. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index reversed its November retreat based on a more favorable estimate of current business and labor market conditions.

UM & CB three month moving average 12 30 2014

The Consumer Sentiment Index increased to 93.6 in December from 88.8 in November and 82.5 during the same month a year ago. Consumers reported hearing more positive economic developments than any other time in the last thirty years.  The survey reported consumers anticipated a significant increase in their incomes in 2015.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased to 92.6 in December from an upwardly revised 91.0 in November. The Present Situation Index soared to its highest level since February 2008.


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Westchester Travel Remains Slow, Hazardous As Winter Storm Passes | Armonk NY Homes

Westchester County motorists and other commuters are finding the going slow, frigid and hazardous Friday morning as a fast-moving snowstorm swept offshore, leaving blowing and drifting snow and dangerous sub-zero wind chills behind.

The New York State Thruway (I-87), closed to all traffic by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Thursday at midnight, reopened to passenger cars at 5 a.m. but was not opened to commercial traffic until 8 a.m.

Interstate 84 remained closed to all traffic until 8 a.m. before reopening.

Kenneth Jung, who works at Hastings Stationary in Hastings-on-Hudson, traveled from Ridgewood, N.J., to open the store.

“It took 2 1/2 hours to get here,” Jung said. “New Jersey was OK, but the New York Thruway was slow even though there were no trucks. The roads through Hastings and Dobbs Ferry were pretty good.”

Westchester parkways were opened but traffic moved slowly in the morning commute. Many local and secondary were cleared but surfaces remained slippery as temperatures dropped below 10 degrees in most Westchester communities.

State police reported an accident at Exit 15 of I-95 with two lanes closed just before 8 a.m. Two lanes were blocked as emergency vehicles responded.

Westchester County Police reported no significant accidents or incidents but warned motorists to avoid driving if possible.

“Conditions are still very slick and dangerous on the parkways,” County Police spokesperson Kieran O’Leary said on Friday morning. “We are urging people not to drive if they don’t have to do so. We do suggest that motorists monitor the media to stay up to date on any reports of road closings,”

Metro-North commuters were inconvenienced a bit as the train service was on Saturday schedule with fewer trains running than the normal weekday schedule.


Social media catapults an entrepreneur on the world stage | Armonk NY Realtor

I never imagined that writing about my personal life would catch the attention of a global health-care foundation and turn me into a globe-trotting, public speaker at an international medical conference in the Middle East. But in this social media age, getting thrust onto the international business stage is possible—even when you least expect it.

I was born with thalassemia, one of the most common genetic blood disorders in the world. There are three versions of the disease: minor, intermediate and major. Those living with thalassemia minor are typically unaware that they have the illness. While those who have the major form, like me, live with a dysfunctional bone marrow that produces misshapen red blood cells that cannot transport oxygen to cells, thus requiring triweekly transfusions for survival.

Estimates indicate that at least 12 children suffering from thalassemia are born every hour around the world and almost 490 million are carriers of genetic hemoglobin disorders globally. While bone-marrow transplants and new gene therapies have led to the potential cure for some patients, most who inherit the disease will die from complications.

I started blogging and sharing my experience on Facebook and Twitter. In April 2013, one of my Facebook posts inspired a message from Riyad Elbard, president of the Thalassemia Foundation of Canada, asking me to share lessons on emotional wellness, a topic that I write about, at the Thalassemia International Federation World Congress, which took place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in October.

Elbard mentioned that he enjoyed reading my blog posts on Facebook and thought I could offer a much-needed message about how to thrive with medical challenges. Simply put, emotional wellness means embracing, rather than denying emotions, so we learn to cope with stress and anxiety in a way that results in a positive approach to life. Freedom from negative thoughts and behavior patterns leads to emotional wellness.