Tag Archives: #ArmonkNY

Pending #Homes Sales Down Again | Armonk Real Estate

Although the Pending Home Sales Index decreased for the second consecutive month in September to its second lowest reading in 2015, the PHSI has increased year-over-year for 13 consecutive months. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by theNational Association of Realtors (NAR), decreased 2.3% in September to 106.8 from a downwardly revised 109.3 in August. However, the PHSI is up 3.0% from September a year ago.

Pending Home Sales September 2015

The PHSI declined in all four regions in September, ranging from 0.2% in the West to 4.0% in the Northeast. Year- over-year, The West, Midwest and Northeast were up, ranging from 6.6% in the West to 3.9% in the Northeast. The South reported a small 0.1% decline from last September.

Although the PHSI declined the past two months, existing sales increased in September. Coming just three days after a surprisingly weak new home sales report for September, NAR attributed the PHSI decline to the “stubbornly-low inventory.” However, disappointing job creation numbers in August and September suggest the decline is a demand-side issue. Despite these recent reports, builder confidence reached its highest level in ten years, painting the prospect of a good year for builders in 2016.


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Move up Buyers Move the Housing Markets | Armonk Real Estate

Purchases by current homeowners helped bolster home prices in August, according to results from the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey.

“Current homeowner purchases are supporting the housing market,” said Tom Popik, research director for Campbell Surveys. “Metrics such as the sales-to-list price ratio show a strong housing market, particularly in western states. Nonetheless, forward-looking commentary from real estate agents may indicate some softening in the future.”

The market share for current homebuyers surged in the summer while the first-time homebuyer share declined. Current homeowners accounted for 49.3% of purchases in August, based on a three-month moving average after hitting a 12-month low of 44.9% in March.

The first-time homebuyer share was 38.3% in May – a level not seen since 2010. But higher home prices and seasonal patterns combined to push the first-time buyer share down to 36.4% in August. The investor share of home purchases has also fallen from 18.7% in March to 14.4% in August. NAR’s Realtor Confidence Index reported a 32 percent share for first-timers in August, up from 28 percent in July.

2015-09-25_10-10-31Source: NAR’s Realtor Confidence Report, August 2015

The sales-to-list price ratio for non-distressed properties declined modestly in August (to 98.3%) compared with the previous month (98.5%) but remained above the level seen in August 2014 (97.5%). All three states on the west coast maintained sales-to-list price ratios above 100% in August, led by California at 102.2%.

The median existing–home price for all housing types in August was $228,700, which is 4.7 percent above August 2014 ($218,400). August’s price increase marks the 42nd consecutive month of year–over–year gains.

The average time on market for non-distressed properties continued to decline in August, hitting 7.9 weeks compared with an average of 8.2 weeks the previous month and 8.6 weeks in August 2014. Non-distressed properties sold in the Pacific Northwest in August were on the market for an average of 4.5 weeks. NAR reported that properties typically stayed on the market for 47 days in August, an increase from 42 days in July but below the 53 days in August 2014. Forty percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month.


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30 Year Mortgage Rates average 3.91% | Armonk Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s vote on an interest-rate increase for the first time in more than nine years.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.91 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending September 17, 2015, up from last week when it averaged 3.90 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.23 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.11 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.10 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.37 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.92 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.91 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.06 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.56 percent this week with an average 0.2 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.63 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.43 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 links for theRegional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“The Treasury market was relatively quiet this week, and as a result the 30-year mortgage rate barely budged. Inflation fell shy of expectations in August, up 0.2 percent over the past year, but core consumer prices increased 1.8 percent year-over-year. Low mortgage rates help to support housing markets, which continue to bring good news. The National Association of Home Builders’ HMI came in above expectations at 62, which is a ten year high.”

Obama calls Westchester County housing racist | Armonk Real Estate

The Obama administration’s heavy-handed attempts at social engineering just moved to a disturbing new level — right in Westchester.

The Justice Department wants the county held in contempt of court, fined $60,000 a month and forced to set up an escrow account of $1.65 million — in a move growing out of its longstanding claim that the county’s housing policies are racist.

It’s a preposterous claim, of course. And Friday, County Executive Rob Astorino holds a press conference to decry it.

Good for him. Because the move is based on a technicality, and it actually says more about Team Obama’s overreach than about anything the county has or hasn’t done.

The Justice Department’s claim focuses on 28 units of “affordable” housing that are to be built in downtown Chappaqua, home of Hillary Clinton. Under a 2009 consent decree, Westchester agreed to build 750 units in wealthy, largely white towns and to “market them aggressively” to non-whites. Financing for the first 450 units was to have been approved by the end of last year.

Westchester actually met that deadline — but the feds disqualified the Chappaqua project anyway, because the town hadn’t yet issued all required permits by Dec. 31. And because Astorino’s office, the feds say, didn’t ride roughshod over the town and bully it into submission.

Let’s be honest: For years, the administration has been trying to, as one official put it, “remove zip codes in the quality of life in America.” Meaning anyone should be able to live anywhere, even if they can’t afford it.

Its legal case is based on the dubious notion of “disparate impact” — statistical differences by race without any specific proof of actual discrimination.

Want more evidence Justice’s act is politically motivated? Note, then, that it filed its motion despite the fact that the Chappaqua housing project was recently fast-tracked.


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Mortgage Rates at 4.04% survey says | Armonk Real Estate

Freddie Mac  today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed mortgage rates reversing course once again and moving lower amid mixed economic and housing data.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.04 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending July 23, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 4.09 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.13 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.21 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.25 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.26 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.54 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.50 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.39 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 links for theRegional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“U.S. Treasury yields dropped following announcements that many blue chip companies’ earnings failed to meet expectations. This drove the 30-year fixed rate mortgage down 5 basis points to 4.04 percent this week. Housing continues to be the bright spot in the economic recovery. Existing home sales beat market expectations coming in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million homes. This is up 9.6 percent from a year ago and the fastest pace since 2007. Also, housing starts jumped 9.8 percent responding to strong demand in the multifamily market.”

Cleaning Up Armonk | Armonk Real Estate

To The Residents of North Castle…………………….


            On July 3, 2015 I wrote a letter to the Town Board (see below). The issue at hand relates to the irresponsible and hazardous stockpiling of asphalt millings or RAP (Recycled Asphalt Pavement) within the Highway Department’s property off Bedford Road and within its yard on Middle Patent Road.  There is great concern that the stockpiling of asphalt millings can cause serious human health and environmental problems.  Dust particles containing high concentration of pollutants can be wind swept into the air off of stockpiles and rainfall can cause these same pollutants to leach out into the soil and eventually find their way into our water supply.


I am very concerned that the Town maybe stockpiling this material without the proper permits required from the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) nor are they abiding by the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act or SEQR.  To read more information about the SEQR process visit the NYS DEC website atwww.dec.gov.ny/permits/357.html


Last April I fought with the Town unsuccessfully to have stockpiles of asphalt millings removed from the Town yard at Middle Patent Road, an area which is in close proximity to State regulated wetlands. The Middle Patent yard is boarded by the Mianus River watercourse which has tributaries that lead into the Mianus Gorge, which in turn provides drinking water to certain areas of Connecticut.  Also, the yard is located in close proximity to the wells that provide drinking water to the residents of Windmill. Is our town acting environmentally responsible? Does it fully understand the potential problems we face as taxpayers without going through the SEQR process?


I plan on attending tomorrow night’s Town Board meeting to discuss these issues.  The meeting will be held at the North White Plains Community Center, 10 Clove Road, North White Plains, New York 10603 at 7:30 pm.


Michael Fareri



July 3, 2015


Supervisor Michael J. Schiliro & Members of the Town Board

Town of North Castle

Town Hall

15 Bedford Road

Armonk, New York 10504


Re: Town Dump


Dear Supervisor Schiliro & Members of the Town Board:

It is with great displeasure that once again I have to report to you the foolish and irresponsible actions undertaken by the Town Administrator and the Towns Highway General Forman. After all the weeks of aggravation I was put through last April in an effort to have the stockpile of asphalt millings removed from the Towns property across from my office building at 333 Main Street, approximately 4000 cubic yards of milling were once again delivered to the Towns property and stockpiled.
I spoke to the Town Attorney and the Town Engineer and they assured me that they knew nothing about this situation and I believe them because surely, they would not allow the Town to be exposed to such a potentially damaging liability.  As I stated on numerous occasions in the past, not only is this aesthetically unpleasing where located, the stockpiling of asphalt millings has the potential to pose human health and environmental concerns (see links & photos below).  Asphalt millings, also known as RAP (Recycled Asphalt Paving) contain a high concentration of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydocarbons (PAHs) which are compounds specified as pollutants by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).  When rainfall or wind infiltrate these stockpiles, especially in the condition they are in which is one without any form of protection whatsoever, they will leach off contaminates into the soil and from there a potential migration of contaminates into our water supply.
 Has everyone already forgotten Westwood and the $500,000 cost to the taxpayer? Trust me, the stockpiling of these millings could bring about even greater environmental problems.  That is why I am demanding that you have these millings removed from Town property immediately.  If they are not removed immediately I will take whatever legal action necessary to see that it is done while holding this Town Board, the Highway Department and the Town Administrator responsible and accountable. 




Michael E. Fareri

Click on the link below, or copy and paste the URL link into your web browser address box


All About Armonk – Read Michelle Boyle’s article regarding Fareri’s letter and the stockpiling of millings



Leaching Characteristics of Asphalt Road Waste by Timothy G Townsend, June 1998



Asphalt Pavements and the Environment by Dr. Gerhard J.A. Kennepohl, P.Eng.



Life Cycle Environmental and Economic Assessment of Using Recycled Materials for Asphalt Pavements by Arpad Horvath



 Recycled Asphalt Pavement and Asphalt Millings (RAP) Reuse Guide by NJDEP


Middle Patent Yard
Mianus Watercourse
Highway Dept. Property


Pending Sales Continue Momentum | Armonk Real Estate

The Pending Home Sales Index increased for the fifth straight month to the highest level in over nine years. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by theNational Association of Realtors (NAR), increased 0.9% in May to 112.6, and climbed to 10.4% above the May level a year ago.

Pending Home Sales May 2015

Regionally, the May PHSI increased 6.3% in the Northeast and 2.2% in the West. However, the May PHSI declined slightly by 0.6% in the Midwest and 0.8% in the South. Year-over-year, the PHSI was up 13.0% in the West, 10.6% both in the Northeast and South, and 7.8% in the Midwest.


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Sales of Existing Homes to First-Time Buyers Rise | Armonk Real Estate

Existing home sales, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), rose to the highest pace in six years in May. The report was also notable due to an increase in purchases by first-time buyers, which rose to the highest share experienced since September 2012.

The May pace of existing home sales (5.35 million on seasonally adjusted annual basis) was 5.1% higher than the prior month and 9.2% higher than the rate set during May of 2014. Sales of single-family homes were up 5.6% for the month, reaching a 4.73 million annual rate.


The first-time buyer share increased to 32% in May, up from 30% in April. NAR reported that first-time buyer share reached its highest level since September 2012. This increase is consistent with prior analysis of Fannie Mae data illustrating that the share of mortgage originations to first-time home buyers is expected to rise in 2015.

Regionally, existing home sales increased strongly in the Northeast (11.3% for May) and are up 11.3% year-over-year. Midwest sales increased 4.1% for the month and now stand 12.4% higher than May 2014. Sales in the West rose 4.3% in May and are up 9% from a year ago. Finally, sales in the South increased 4.3% compared to April and are 6.9% higher than May 2014.

Total housing inventory, as estimated by NAR, increased 3.2% t0 2.29 million existing housing units. This marks a 5.1 months-supply at the May sales pace.

The median existing home price in May was $228,700. NAR noted that May represented the 39th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains for existing homes.


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Is this a home buyer, seller or #flipper market? | Armonk Real Estate

Pending home sales rose 3.4% in April to the highest level since May 2006. The home builder sentiment bounced back after dipping in March and housing starts jumped 20% in April from March. Home prices also rose more than expected in March; the S&P/Case-Shiller index gained 5% year-over-year in 20 cities.

Housing’s brightening outlook is welcome news, not just for homeowners but also for home flippers, said Nav Athwal, the CEO of Realty Shares, an online real estate investment marketplace. “Markets like Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville and Orlando present opportunities in terms of both available supply for flipping and also large returns…and we’ll see this trend continue,” said Athwal.

According to RealtyTrac, 4% of all single family home sales in this country in the first quarter were flips. Florida dominated the list for top markets for home flipping. But when it came to making a profit, flippers in the Baltimore area saw a whopping 94% return. “Markets like Baltimore have less supply, thus profit margins push up. Another similar market is Memphis, there’s not a lot of supply in the market, so the home flippers that successfully acquire the supply are better able to flip a profit better,” said Athwal.

But with home price appreciation slowing, is this a better time for buy-and-hold investors than flippers? Athwal pointed back to the old adage that what matters most in real estate is location. “The strategy that’s going to lead to the most success, profit, depends on what city, what zip code you’re focused on,” he said. “If you look at markets like Florida and Detroit, because there’s still ability to buy ‘right’, which is key to a successful flip, they’re great markets for flipping but if you turn to other markets, where profit potential for flips isn’t as high but where you can buy a house for cheap and rent it for $1,000, $1,500 and get a double-digit yield, then you have to turn to a buy and hold strategy.”

This formula for flipping makes Florida unique in Athwal’s assessment. “In markets like Tampa, Jacksonville, you can be successful both with the ‘buy and hold’ as well as the flip strategies but it’s really going to depend on the market’s economics to determine what the best strategy is there,” he said.


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Nearly 80 Percent of Top 100 U.S. Housing Markets Improving | #Armonk Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released its updated Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®) showing the U.S. housing market continuing to stabilize with the most improving metro markets seeing stronger demand for home sales this spring homebuying season. Despite strong house price appreciation, low mortgage rates are keeping payment-to-incomes affordable for the typical family in most markets.

News Facts:

  • The national MiMi value stands at 75.4, indicating a weak housing market overall but showing an improvement (+0.69%) from February to March and a three-month improvement of (+1.24%). On a year-over-year basis, the national MiMi value has improved (+3.11%). The nation’s all-time MiMi high of 121.7 was April 2006; its low was 57.4 in October 2010, when the housing market was at its weakest. Since that time, the national MiMi value has made a 31.3 percent rebound.
  • Seventeen of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia have MiMi values in a stable range, with North Dakota (95.8), the District of Columbia (95.6), Hawaii (90.5), Montana (90), and Wyoming (85.7) ranking in the top five.
  • Twenty-five of the 100 metro areas have MiMi values in a stable range, with Honolulu (91.8), Fresno (90.5), Austin (88.8), Los Angeles (86.8) and McAllen, TX (86.4) ranking in the top five.
  • The most improving states month-over-month were Washington (+2.37%), Oregon (+2.26%), Arizona (+1.76%), Tennessee (+1.39%) and Michigan (+1.26%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving states were Nevada (+9.87%), Oregon (+9.86%), Colorado (9.34%), Florida (+8.23%), and Michigan (+7.60%).
  • The most improving metro areas month-over-month were Portland (+2.68%), Riverside (+2.22%), San Jose (+2.13%), Nashville (+2.10%) and Baton Rouge (+1.99%). On a year-over-year basis, the most improving metro areas were Stockton (+12.01%), Detroit (+11.63%), Denver (+11.41%), Las Vegas (+10.73%), and Palm Bay, FL (+10.23%).
  • In March, 36 of the 50 states and 77 of the 100 metros were showing an improving three month trend. The same time last year, 40 states plus the District of Columbia, and 82 of the top 100 metro areas were showing an improving three-month trend.

Quote attributable to Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer:

“The nation’s housing markets are getting back on track. Better employment prospects, rising home values and increased purchase activity are all driving improvements in housing markets across the country. In this month’s MiMi three more states and seven metro areas moved within range of their benchmark level of activity. However, as we’ve mentioned before, we’re likely to see bouts of affordability shock with mortgage rate swings for the remainder of this year as market participants try to anticipate Fed timing around rising short term interest rates and expectations for global growth wax and wane.”

“The West and Southwest areas of the country are showing some of the strongest housing activity, especially markets like Portland, Denver, Dallas, San Jose and Los Angeles. Many markets in the South and Midwest, while improving, are still plagued by high rates of mortgage delinquencies, which are holding back these markets from recovering faster. The exception to this would be the Nashville-area market. It more closely resembles the housing markets in the West, such as those in Utah. These markets are experiencing double-digit annual growth rates in purchase applications and showing some of the strongest homebuying demand in the country.”

The 2015 MiMi release calendar is available online.

MiMi monitors and measures the stability of the nation’s housing market, as well as the housing markets of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the top 100 metro markets. MiMi combines proprietary Freddie Mac data with current local market data to assess where each single-family housing market is relative to its own long-term stable range by looking at home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios (changes in home purchasing power based on house prices, mortgage rates and household income), proportion of on-time mortgage payments in each market, and the local employment picture. The four indicators are combined to create a composite MiMi value for each market. Monthly, MiMi uses this data to show, at a glance, where each market stands relative to its own stable range of housing activity. MiMi also indicates how each market is trending, whether it is moving closer to, or further away from, its stable range. A market can fall outside its stable range by being too weak to generate enough demand for a well-balanced housing market or by overheating to an unsustainable level of activity.