Tag Archives: Bedford Hills Homes for Sale

Bedford Hills Homes for Sale

Pending Home Sales Dip in June | Bedford Hills Real Estate

After five consecutive months of increases, pending home sales slipped in June but remained near May’s level, which was the highest in over nine years, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Modest gains in the Northeast and West were offset by larger declines in the Midwest and South.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, fell 1.8 percent to 110.3 in June but is still 8.2 percent above June 2014 (101.9). Despite last month’s decline, the index is the third highest reading of 2015 and has now increased year-over-year for ten consecutive months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says although pending sales decreased in June, the overall trend in recent months supports a solid pace of home sales this summer. “Competition for existing houses on the market remained stiff last month, as low inventories in many markets reduced choices and pushed prices above some buyers’ comfort level,” he said. “The demand is there for more sales, but the determining factor will be whether or not some of these buyers decide to hold off even longer until supply improves and price growth slows.”

According to Yun, existing-home sales are up considerably compared to a year ago despite the share of first-time buyers only modestly improving1. The reason is that the boost in sales is mostly coming from pent-up sellers realizing their equity gains from recent years.

“Strong price appreciation and an improving economy is finally giving some homeowners the incentive and financial capability to sell and trade up or down,” adds Yun. “Unfortunately, because nearly all of these sellers are likely buying another home, there isn’t a net increase in inventory. A combination of homebuilders ramping up construction and even more homeowners listing their properties on the market is needed to tame price growth and give all buyers more options.”

The PHSI in the Northeast inched 0.4 percent to 94.3 in June, and is now 12.0 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index declined 3.0 percent to 108.1 in June, but is still 5.0 percent above June 2014.

Pending home sales in the South also decreased 3.0 percent to an index of 123.5 in June but are still 7.8 percent above last June. The index in the West increased 0.5 percent in June to 104.4, and is now 10.4 percent above a year ago.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types in 2015 is expected to increase around 6.5 percent to $221,900, which would match the record high set in 2006. Total existing-home sales this year are forecast to increase 6.6 percent to around 5.27 million, about 25 percent below the prior peak set in 2005 (7.08 million).

 

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http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2015/07/pending-home-sales-dip-in-june

First-time Buyers are Younger and Less Sophisticated | Bedford Hills Real Estate

A working paper just released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) attempts to determine the reasons why mortgages given to first-time homebuyers perform more poorly than those given to repeat buyers.  The Marginal Effect of First-Time Homebuyer Status on Mortgage Default and Prepayment was written by Saty Patrabansh of FHFA’s Office of Policy Analysis and Research.

Given that homeownership is generally considered a societal benefit and that many government policies focus on incentivizing first-time buyers the author says it is important to understand whether first-time buyers as a group are likely to default at higher rates than repeat buyers both in order to anticipate that an increase in the rate of first-time homeownership could lead to increased foreclosures and negatively affect communities and because, if they do not default at higher rates it is important they not be treated as more risky buyers.

Earlier studies that touched on various aspects of first time homeownership and loan performance have generally used data from FHA guaranteed loans and were not designed specifically to study first-time buyers.  The FHFA study developed a modeling approach specifically to discuss first-time buyer loan performance based on data on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) originated mortgages.  The study sought answers to two questions:  (1) do first-time homebuyer mortgages perform worse than those of repeat homebuyers? And (2) do any differences persist when borrower, loan, and property characteristics known at the time of origination are held constant?

 

 

Differences in overall loan performance between first-time and repeat homebuyers could be driven by differences in borrower, loan or property factors.  Each of these can be refined into sub-factors.   Borrower factors can be further classified as sophistication, endurance, and intentions. A sophisticated or experienced borrower may find ways to keep mortgages current when faced with trigger events such as going “underwater” on a loan while a less sophisticated buyer make lack that ability.  Likewise an experienced borrower may have a greater tendency to default strategically when events appear to warrant it.  To the extent first-time buyers are less experienced or sophisticated than repeat buyers they can be expected to default at a higher rate and prepay at a lower rate.

Borrower financial endurance can determine the borrowers’ capacity to withstand a trigger event such as by refinancing.  Borrower intentions may determine if homeowners default strategically without a trigger event or fail to refinance even with the capacity to do so.

Loan factors can further classified as those of the product or the institution, Subprime and non-traditionalproducts could default at a higher rate; mortgages with prepayment penalties are less likely to be refinanced.  Loan institutions such as guarantors and services affect performance by their programs and policies.

Property characteristics can have sub-factors such as property quality (properties in poorer condition can tax borrower financial strength) and property location (economic conditions may affect one location more than others.) To the extent that first-time homebuyers chose certain loan products, property quality, or location to a greater degree than repeat buyers may impact their loan performance as a group.

First-time homebuyers are younger as a group than repeat homebuyers and the difference in median age between the two groups steadily increased from 6 years in 1996 to 10 years in 2012.  First-timers are more likely to borrower as individuals, perhaps because they are unmarried, and earn a median monthly income that was lower by about $700 compared to repeat buyers in 1996 and by around $2,000 less in 2012.  Their median credit scores and the loan-to-value (LTV) ratios of their loans were lower as well.  Their payment to income ratios averaged 2 to 4 points higher than repeat buyers but their debt-to-income (DTI) ratios were comparable.

 

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http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/07102015

Ways to Help Millennials Build Their Credit by Tracy Becker | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Millennials (those aged 18-29) have faced a rough job market and economy as adults, and therefore often have encountered a lot of difficulty building their credit scores. In fact, according to Experian, millennials have an average credit score of 628, the lowest for any age group and 50 points below the national average.  Unfortunately, many of these older millennials are coming to the age point where they want to purchase real estate and/or acquire financing, and have difficulty because of their credit.  As a real estate/financing professional, you can tap into this market, while bringing value and gaining customer loyalty, by sharing these tips and helping millennials with their credit.
Here are some easy ways for millennials to build credit:
● Acquire a credit card
Many millennials are wary of credit cards after seeing others’ debt struggles and unemployment. According to some surveys, over 60% of millennials don’t have a primary credit card.  Opening a primary credit card can be the easiest and quickest way to build credit, and can benefit a huge portion of millennials. Although a first credit card may have a very small balance, even small payments can build a credit history. You can tell millennials to put one low monthly expense on their card.
● Utilize secured credit cards
Even though credit cards are an easy way to build credit, some millennials won’t be able to get approval to open one. Another great option is a secured card, where a cash collateral deposit becomes a credit line for that card. These deposit amounts could be as small as $250-$300. Secured cards are still a great way to build credit if the payments are made on time.
●Keep balances low
When opening credit, millennials have to make sure they charge an amount they can afford every month. High balances can cause higher fees and big credit damage if they aren’t paid off in time. On the other hand, balances can also be used to boost credit scores. The utilization ratio (or balance-to-limit ratio) plays a large part in credit scores. Keeping balances under 10% of credit card limits will result in the highest score possible in this category. This percentage should be used a few months prior to applying for new credit cards or loans to ensure scores are at their best when the lender/creditor is viewing credit applications.
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Tracy Becker, President
155 White Plains Road
Suite 200
Tarrytown, NY 10591
or  (toll free) 866-388-9400
F :(914) 524-5014 ​​

Feb. housing starts plunge 17% | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Builders broke ground on fewer new homes last month as starts plunged 17% from January, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.

Amid of harsh winter weather, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of new home construction fell to 897,000 from 1.08 million the month before, the government said. February was the first month since August when home building fell below an annual rate of 1 million units or better.

January’s rate was revised to 1.08 million from the previously reported figure of 1.06 million, the government said Tuesday.

Economists had expected a small decline in starts for February to an annual rate of 1.045 million units, according to Action Economics’ survey.

Snowstorms in parts of the country were presumed to have slowed construction. Commerce reported starts in the Northeast fell 56.5% and they were down 37% in the Midwest. The South was down 2.5% while starts in the Midwest slumped 9%.

Tuesday’s report shows single-family homes were started at an annual rate of 593,000, down 14.9% from January.

Permits, a gauge of future building activity, rose 3% to a rate of 1.09 million.

Just over 1 million housing units were started last year, the most since the recession. The National Association of Home Builders predicts builders will begin slightly more units this year and that new home starts will pick up this year as the weather and the economy continue to improve.

Home builders’ optimism is flagging slightly as the peak spring home buying season is nearing. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo home builders index for March dropped two points to 53, the NAHB said Monday. It was the third straight monthly decline. The index is seasonally adjusted.

 

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http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/03/17/feb-housing-starts/24890299/

Pending Sales Resume Upward Trend | Bedford Hills Real Estate

The Pending Home Sales increased 1.7% in January, and was up 8.4% from the same period a year ago. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by theNational Association of Realtors (NAR), increased to 104.2 in January, up from an upwardly revised  102.5 in December. The PHSI increased year-over-year for the fifth consecutive month.

Pending Home Sales Janury 2015

The January PHSI increased 3.2% in the South, 2.2% in the West and 0.1% in the Northeast, but decreased 0.7% in the Midwest. Year-over-year, the PHSI increased in all four regions, ranging from 11.4% in the West to 4.2% in the Midwest.

This resumption of an upward trend in the PHSI suggests that, despite a dip in January, existing home saleswill improve over the next couple of months. Improved job growth will sustain the housing recovery and move it to a higher level during 2015.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/02/pending-sales-resume-upward-trend-2/

New U.S. home sales flat at 481,000 annual pace in January | Bedford Hills Real Estate

New U.S. homes sold at an annual rate of 481,000 in January, little changed from December’s revised figure, the government said Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast sales to fall to a seasonally adjusted 467,000 from a revised 482,000 in the final month of 2014.

 

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-us-home-sales-flat-at-481000-annual-pace-in-january-2015-02-25

Housing Starts Top 1 Million for 2014 | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Total housing starts for 2014 reached the 1 million mark for the first time since 2007. Data from the Census Bureau and HUD for December, plus revisions for October and November, pushed total housing construction to a total of 1,005,800 for the year.

Multifamily construction held virtually even at a 361,000 annual rate, down 0.8% from November. For the year, multifamily starts were up 16% to 358,000, the highest tally since 2007.

The pace of December starts was up 4.4% from November to a 1.089 million annualized rate. The late-year push was led by single-family construction, which was up 7.2% in December, reaching the highest monthly rate since March 2008.

The increase for single-family development mirrors continued positive reporting from the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI), a measure of builder confidence. For January, the HMI held steady at a level of 57. Any value above a level of 50 indicates more respondents view market conditions as good rather than poor.

The NAHB Remodeling Market Index (RMI) also suggested attractive market conditions for the home improvement sector. The RMI came in at 60 for the final quarter of 2014 and has been above the key 50 level since the second quarter of 2013.

Home sales showed strength at the end of 2014. The sales pace of newly built, single-family homes increased 11.6% in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000, according to data from HUD and the Census Bureau. This is the highest monthly sales rate since June 2008. The inventory of new homes for sale rose to 219,000 in December, a 5.5-months’ supply at the current sales pace.

The market share of conventional financed purchases for new homes is also growing, with declines seen in the share of FHA-insured purchases. These changes are consistent with a market recovering to more normal conditions.

Also demonstrating improvement for the second half of 2014, the pace of existing home sales increased 2.4% in December, although the share of sales to first-time buyers continued to disappoint at 29%. Existing home sales exceeded a 5 million sales pace for the sixth time in the past seven months and were 3.5% above the same period a year ago.

The momentum gained in the housing market at the end of 2014 should continue in to next year. NAHB is projecting strong growth for single-family production, which is expected to rise to 804,000 units. NAHB is also forecasting 2% growth for multifamily and a 3% increase for remodeling.

Housing prices continue to rise, albeit at slower rates. The Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index rose 5.3% for November, the 34th consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Over the last two and half years, home prices have risen by 19%. At the same time, residential rents have increased. Using Consumer Price Index (CPI) data, NAHB estimates that rent growth has outpaced inflation by 1.7%.

A significant economic story in recent months has been the dramatic decline in gas prices. The CPI’s gasoline index has declined 21% over the last 12 months. On a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis, the overall CPI fell 0.4%. Over the past 12 months, prices on expenditures made by urban consumers have increased by just 0.8% before seasonal adjustments.

While good for the overall economy, the decline in gas prices will likely have little impact on building material prices. In December, data from the government’s Producer Price Index indicated that prices for a number of materials declined in December, including gypsum (-3.8%) and softwood lumber (-1.2%). OSB prices rose 0.2%. Material costs for builders are expected to rise in 2015, particularly for gypsum, as housing production increases.

Muted increases for inflation indicators like the CPI have modified the focus of the Federal Reserve. With economic output expanding, strong job growth and a declining unemployment rate the Fed’s monetary policy committee has shifted its focus to below-target (2%) inflation as the primary threat to the continuing economic recovery. Consensus expectations are for a first increase in the federal funds rate for mid-2015.

In analysis news, NAHB economists explored survey data of Millennial housing preferences. Most prospective home buyers in this generation want to buy a single-family detached home and prefer to live in the suburbs. However, 10% would choose to live in the central city, which is a larger share that reported by Gen Xers and other generations.

While Millennials want to achieve homeownership, downpayments and loan qualification remain an important hurdle. Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York indicates that such finance constraints on mortgage access have a considerably larger impacts on housing demand than do historical changes in mortgage interest rates.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/01/eye-on-the-economy-housing-starts-top-1-million-for-2014/