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Chappaqua NY Homes

Homebuyers are growing weary of the housing market | Chappaqua Real Estate

Fannie Mae’s HPSI sees “good time to buy” sentiment drop to survey low

Homebuyers are feeling pretty discouraged by the housing market these days. The latest Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index shows that just 35% of consumers believe now is a good time to buy a home, down from 47% in April. And those who believe it is a bad time to be a homebuyer increased to 56% from 48%.

“Consumers appear to be acutely aware of higher home prices and the low supply of homes, the two reasons cited most frequently for that particular sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.

“However, despite the challenging buying conditions, consumers do appear more intent to purchase on their next move, a preference that may be supported by the expectation of continued low mortgage rates, as well as the elevated savings rate during the pandemic, which may have allowed many to afford a down payment,” Duncan said.

Though low inventory, bidding wars and high prices have knocked down homebuyer sentiment, other factors, such as a rebounding economy and stable income levels, pushed the overall HSPI index up one point to 80 in May.

In fact, four of the HPSI’s six components measuring market expectations increased month over month. The HPSI is still 12.5 points higher than it was in May 2020, when forbearance and unemployment heavily weighed down consumer sentiment.

Because the housing market feels very much like a zero sum game at this point, sellers again felt good about their position. Just over two-thirds of those surveyed in June said it was a prime time to list a home and tempt the swarms of homebuyers, unchanged from the prior month.

Respondents also remained virtually unaltered on how much homes will actually cost. The percentage of respondents who say home prices will go up in the next 12 months decreased from 49% to 47%, while the percentage who say home prices will go down remained unchanged at 17%. The share who think home prices will stay the same increased from 27% to 29%.

Mortgage rate expectations changed a bit in May for prospective homebuyers and sellers: The percentage who expect mortgage rates to go up decreased from 54% to 49% while the share of those who think mortgage rates will stay the same increased from 33% to 38%. The remaining 6% are hopeful they may slide back down.

Since rates have fallen back below 3% once again, Fannie Mae’s economic and strategic group revised its expectations for purchase and refinance volume. The economic group cut $43 billion from its 2021 purchase volume forecast; it now estimates that purchase mortgages will hit $1.8 trillion by year’s end.

Because record low mortgage rates fueled the refinance wave of 2020’s housing market, Fannie Mae also revised its refi origination volume to $2.2 trillion in 2021, an increase of $125 billion from the previous month’s forecast.

Borrowers who aren’t stuffing their pockets full of refi savings may be making it up on the job market. The percentage of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago increased from 21% to 29%, while the percentage who say their household income is significantly lower decreased from 17% to 13%. To top it off, the percentage of respondents who say they are not concerned about losing their job in the next 12 months increased from 80% to 87%.

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housingwire.com/articles/

Case-Shiller prices up 12% | Chappaqua 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 February 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 https://www.spglobal.com/spdji/.

YEAR-OVER-YEAR

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 12.0% annual gain in February, up from 11.2% in the previous month. The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 11.7%, up from 10.9% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted an 11.9% year-over-year gain, up from 11.1% in the previous month.

Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities in February. Phoenix led the way with a 17.4% year-over-year price increase, followed by San Diego with a 17.0% increase and Seattle with a 15.4% increase. Nineteen of the 20 cities reported higher price increases in the year ending February 2021 versus the year ending January 2021.

MONTH-OVER-MONTH

Before seasonal adjustment, the U.S. National Index posted an 1.1% month-over-month increase, while the 10-City and 20-City Composites both posted increases of 1.1% and 1.2% respectively in February.

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 both posted increases of 1.1% and 1.2% respectively as well. In February, all 20 cities reported increases before and after seasonal adjustments.

ANALYSIS

“Strong home price gains continued in February 2021,” says Craig J. Lazzara, Managing Director and Global Head of Index Investment Strategy at S&P DJI. The National Composite Index marked its ninth month of accelerating prices with a 12.0% gain from year-ago levels, up from 11.2% in January. This acceleration is also reflected in the 10- and 20-City Composites (up 11.7% and 11.9%, respectively). The market’s strength continues to be broadly-based: all 20 cities rose, and 19 cities gained more in the 12 months ended in February than they had gained in the 12 months ended in January.

“More than 30 years of S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data help us to put February’s results into historical context. The National Composite’s 12.0% gain is the highest recorded since February 2006, exactly 15 years ago, and lies comfortably in the top decile of historical performance. Housing’s strength is reflected across all 20 cities; February’s price gains in every city are above that city’s median level, and rank in the top quartile of all reports in 18 cities.

“These data remain consistent with the hypothesis that COVID has encouraged potential buyers to move from urban apartments to suburban homes. This demand may represent buyers who accelerated purchases that would have happened anyway over the next several years. Alternatively, there may have been a secular change in preferences, leading to a permanent shift in the demand curve for housing. Future data will be required to analyze this question.

“Phoenix’s 17.4% increase led all cities for the 21st consecutive month, with San Diego (+17.0%) and Seattle (+15.4%) close behind. Although prices were strongest in the West (+13.0%) and Southwest (+12.9%), every region logged double-digit gains.”

SUPPORTING DATA

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 Peak2012 TroughCurrent
IndexLevelDateLevelDateFrom Peak (%)LevelFrom Trough (%)From Peak (%)
National184.61Jul-06133.99Feb-12-27.4%238.8278.2%29.4%
20-City206.52Jul-06134.07Mar-12-35.1%246.0483.5%19.1%
10-City226.29Jun-06146.45Mar-12-35.3%259.5077.2%14.7%

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

February 2021February/JanuaryJanuary ’21/December ’201-Year
Metropolitan AreaLevelChange (%)Change (%)Change (%)
Atlanta171.440.9%0.8%10.0%
Boston254.420.9%0.7%13.7%
Charlotte187.361.0%0.7%11.7%
Chicago154.760.3%0.3%8.6%
Cleveland142.620.8%0.1%12.5%
Dallas214.381.7%0.8%10.9%
Denver250.391.8%1.0%11.2%
Detroit142.631.0%0.6%11.7%
Las Vegas214.781.0%0.9%9.1%
Los Angeles325.331.3%1.0%11.9%
Miami275.881.0%1.2%11.0%
Minneapolis198.561.0%0.0%10.4%
New York227.360.6%1.0%11.6%
Phoenix236.512.0%1.6%17.4%
Portland270.661.3%1.0%11.4%
San Diego310.622.9%1.5%17.0%
San Francisco298.342.1%0.6%11.0%
Seattle299.952.4%1.5%15.4%
Tampa255.051.3%1.1%12.7%
Washington262.181.0%0.7%11.1%
Composite-10259.501.1%0.9%11.7%
Composite-20246.041.2%0.9%11.9%
U.S. National238.821.1%0.9%12.0%
Sources: S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic
Data through February 2021

Table 3 below shows a summary of the monthly changes using the seasonally adjusted (SA) and non-seasonally 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.

February/January Change (%)January ’21/December ’20 Change (%)
Metropolitan AreaNSASANSASA
Atlanta0.9%0.8%0.8%1.2%
Boston0.9%1.3%0.7%1.3%
Charlotte1.0%1.0%0.7%1.1%
Chicago0.3%0.4%0.3%0.8%
Cleveland0.8%1.2%0.1%0.9%
Dallas1.7%1.4%0.8%1.2%
Denver1.8%1.4%1.0%1.1%
Detroit1.0%1.0%0.6%1.2%
Las Vegas1.0%1.1%0.9%1.3%
Los Angeles1.3%1.3%1.0%1.1%
Miami1.0%1.1%1.2%1.3%
Minneapolis1.0%1.1%0.0%0.8%
New York0.6%1.2%1.0%1.2%
Phoenix2.0%2.1%1.6%2.0%
Portland1.3%1.5%1.0%1.2%
San Diego2.9%2.2%1.5%1.5%
San Francisco2.1%1.5%0.6%1.4%
Seattle2.4%1.6%1.5%1.6%
Tampa1.3%1.3%1.1%1.4%
Washington1.0%1.0%0.7%1.1%
Composite-101.1%1.1%0.9%1.2%
Composite-201.2%1.2%0.9%1.2%
U.S. National1.1%1.1%0.9%1.3%
Sources: S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic
Data through February 2021

read more…

https://www.spglobal.com/spdji/.

Case-shiller home prices up 10.1% | Chappaqua Real Estate

S&P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI) today releases the latest results for the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices. Data released today for December 2020 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 https://www.spglobal.com/spdji/.

Please note that transaction records for October 2020 and November 2020 for Wayne County, MI, are now available. Due to delays at the local recording office caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, S&P DJI and CoreLogic were previously unable to generate valid October 2020 and November 2020 updates for the Detroit S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices.

However, there are still an insufficient number of records from Wayne County for December 2020. Since Wayne County is the most populous county in the Detroit metro area, S&P DJI and CoreLogic are unable to generate a valid Detroit index value for December 2020. When the sale transactions data fully resumes, and sufficient data is collected, the Detroit index values for the month(s) with missing updates will be calculated.

YEAR-OVER-YEAR 

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 10.4% annual gain in December, up from 9.5% in the previous month. The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 9.8%, up from 8.9% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 10.1% year-over-year gain, up from 9.2% in the previous month.

Phoenix, Seattle, and San Diego continued to report the highest year-over-year gains among the 19 cities (excluding Detroit) in December. Phoenix led the way with a 14.4% year-over-year price increase, followed by Seattle with a 13.6% increase and San Diego with a 13.0% increase. Eighteen of the 19 cities reported higher price increases in the year ending December 2020 versus the year ending November 2020. 

MONTH-OVER-MONTH

Before seasonal adjustment, the U.S. National Index posted a 0.9% month-over-month increase, while the 10-City and 20-City Composites both posted increases of 0.9% and 0.8% respectively in December. After seasonal adjustment, the U.S. National Index posted a month-over-month increase of 1.3%, while the 10-City and 20-City Composites both posted increases of 1.2% and 1.3% respectively. In December, 18 cities (excluding Detroit) reported increases before seasonal adjustment, while all 19 cities reported increases after seasonal adjustment.

ANALYSIS

“Home prices finished 2020 with double-digit gains, as the National Composite Index rose by 10.4% compared to year-ago levels,” says Craig J. Lazzara, Managing Director and Global Head of Index Investment Strategy at S&P DJI. “The trend of accelerating prices that began in June 2020 has now reached its seventh month and is also reflected in the 10- and 20-City Composites (up 9.8% and 10.1%, respectively). The market’s strength continues to be broadly-based: 18 of the 19 cities for which we have December data rose, and 18 cities gained more in the 12 months ended in December than they had gained in the 12 months ended in November.

“As COVID-related restrictions began to grip the economy in early 2020, their effect on housing prices was unclear. Price growth decelerated in May and June, and then began a steady climb upward, and   December’s report continues that acceleration in an emphatic manner. 2020’s 10.4% gain marks the best performance of housing prices in a calendar year since 2013. From the perspective of more than 30 years of S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller data, December’s year-over-year change ranks within the top decile of all reports.

“These data are consistent with the view that COVID has encouraged potential buyers to move from urban apartments to suburban homes. This may indicate a secular shift in housing demand, or may simply represent an acceleration of moves that would have taken place over the next several years anyway. Future data will be required to address that question.

“Phoenix’s 14.4% increase led all cities for the 19th consecutive month, with Seattle (+13.6%) and San Diego (+13.0%) close behind. Prices were strongest in the West (+10.8%) and Southwest (+10.5%), but gains were impressive in every region.”

SUPPORTING DATA 

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 Peak2012 TroughCurrent
 Index Level Date Level DateFrom Peak
(%)
 LevelFrom Trough
(%)
From Peak
(%)
National184.61Jul-06134.00Feb-12-27.4%234.4074.9%27.0%
20-City206.52Jul-06134.07Mar-12-35.1%240.7579.6%16.6%
10-City226.29Jun-06146.45Mar-12-35.3%254.1873.6%12.3%

Table 2 below summarizes the results for December 2020. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices are revised for the prior 24 months, based on the receipt of additional source data.

December 2020December/NovemberNovember/October1-Year
Metropolitan AreaLevelChange (%)Change (%)Change (%)
Atlanta168.580.8%1.2%8.9%
Boston250.330.8%1.4%11.4%
Charlotte184.400.7%1.1%10.2%
Chicago154.450.3%0.4%7.7%
Cleveland141.250.9%0.1%11.5%
Dallas209.090.9%0.8%8.4%
Denver243.490.9%1.0%9.2%
Detroit0.7%
Las Vegas210.651.1%0.7%7.9%
Los Angeles317.640.7%0.9%9.9%
Miami269.811.2%1.3%9.2%
Minneapolis196.810.4%0.6%10.2%
New York223.321.2%1.9%9.9%
Phoenix228.241.1%1.3%14.4%
Portland264.510.5%0.7%9.9%
San Diego297.520.6%0.9%13.0%
San Francisco289.880.0%0.9%8.7%
Seattle288.750.9%0.9%13.6%
Tampa248.921.2%1.4%10.7%
Washington259.001.2%1.1%10.3%
Composite-10254.180.9%1.2%9.8%
Composite-20240.750.8%1.1%10.1%
U.S. National234.400.9%1.1%10.4%
Sources: S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic
Data through December 2020

Table 3 below shows a summary of the monthly changes using the seasonally adjusted (SA) and non-seasonally 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.

December/November Change (%)November/October Change (%)
Metropolitan AreaNSASANSASA
Atlanta0.8%1.3%1.2%1.5%
Boston0.8%1.4%1.4%1.7%
Charlotte0.7%1.1%1.1%1.3%
Chicago0.3%1.1%0.4%1.2%
Cleveland0.9%1.5%0.1%0.9%
Dallas0.9%1.2%0.8%1.1%
Denver0.9%1.3%1.0%1.4%
Detroit0.7%1.4%
Las Vegas1.1%1.3%0.7%1.0%
Los Angeles0.7%1.0%0.9%1.2%
Miami1.2%1.5%1.3%1.4%
Minneapolis0.4%1.2%0.6%1.3%
New York1.2%1.4%1.9%2.1%
Phoenix1.1%1.5%1.3%1.6%
Portland0.5%0.9%0.7%1.3%
San Diego0.6%1.2%0.9%1.6%
San Francisco0.0%0.8%0.9%1.0%
Seattle0.9%1.5%0.9%1.7%
Tampa1.2%1.5%1.4%1.3%
Washington1.2%1.5%1.1%1.3%
Composite-100.9%1.2%1.2%1.5%
Composite-200.8%1.3%1.1%1.5%
U.S. National0.9%1.3%1.1%1.5%
Sources: S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic
Data through December 2020

For more information about S&P Dow Jones Indices, please visit https://www.spglobal.com/spdji/.

ABOUT S&P DOW JONES INDICES

S&P Dow Jones Indices is the largest global resource for essential index-based concepts, data and research, and home to iconic financial market indicators, such as the S&P 500® and the Dow Jones Industrial Average®. More assets are invested in products based on our indices than products based on indices from any other provider in the world. Since Charles Dow invented the first index in 1884, S&P DJI has been innovating and developing indices across the spectrum of asset classes helping to define the way investors measure and trade the markets.

S&P Dow Jones Indices is a division of S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI), which provides essential intelligence for individuals, companies, and governments to make decisions with confidence. For more information, visit https://www.spglobal.com/spdji/.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sp-corelogic-case-shiller-index-reports-10-4-annual-home-price-gain-to-end-2020–301233707.html

Insulation in your home | Chappaqua Real Estate

Fiberglass remains the most popular insulation choice among home builders, with better than a 50% market share according to some studies. The advantages are compelling: competitive cost and a ready installer base. But like any fiber insulation, the performance of fiberglass depends on the quality of the installation job. Well-installed fiberglass is as effective as any insulation, R-value being equal, while poorly installed fiberglass underperforms its promised R-value rating. So it’s up to the builder to ensure a quality job.

To insulate effectively, fiberglass batts need to fill the entire stud bay without being compressed. To insulate a wall, start by filling the full-width bays. Insert the batt from the top down, pushing it up against the wall plates. If the sides snag on rough lumber, run a putty knife along the side of the stud.
To insulate effectively, fiberglass batts need to fill the entire stud bay without being compressed. To insulate a wall, start by filling the full-width bays. Insert the batt from the top down, pushing it up against the wall plates. If the sides snag on rough lumber, run a putty knife along the side of the stud.

Fiberglass gets its insulating quality not from the fiberglass itself but from the air that is trapped between the fibers. Wind pressure or even convective air pressures can make that air move, degrading the thermal performance of the batt. So to be effective, fiberglass has to be protected against air pressures. There’s a simple rule that’s not always followed: Align the air pressure boundary of the building with its thermal boundary. In practice, that means that fiberglass batts need to be installed in walls so that the batt is in full contact with the wall sheathing on the outboard side and with the drywall on the inboard side. The batts also have to be in full contact with the studs on either side of the stud cavity.

Housewrap on the wall is critical to the performance of this assembly. Wind blowing into the wall through cracks and crevices can degrade the performance of the insulation by 50% or more. Well-installed housewrap prevents this air intrusion and allows the insulation to perform at its rated value.

In the fast-moving world of the job site, insulation installers are under pressure to make time. The task often is not thought of as a craft where quality matters. But in fact, the insulation installer’s job is significant in the overall performance of the finished house, and there is skill involved. Insulation workers should be trained and supervised to do a quality job.

Batts should be carefully fit to the space. If the stud spacing varies from the standard 16-inch or 2-foot spacing, the batts should be trimmed to fit snugly, rather than jammed into the space. Batts should be cut around obstructions such as outlets or switch boxes. Where wiring interferes with the placement of the batt, the batt should be split and carefully fit around the wires. To make sure the batt is in contact with the wall sheathing, the installer should push the batt back against the sheathing, then pull the face side out from the wall to fluff the material up.

A Complete Air Barrier

To be effective, a home’s air barrier should be continuous and complete. This isn’t too hard to accomplish for most areas of the house, but there are locations in the building envelope where air barrier assemblies are sometimes neglected. These elements are called out in the Energy Star program’s Thermal Bypass Checklist. (See also the EPA’s Thermal Bypass Checklist Guide for detailed instruction on completing the checklist.)

Click to enlarge

Three-dimensional thermal bypass checklist. Many organizations have published lists of areas in a building that are likely to challenge the air barrier. Making a 3D rendering takes the checklist one step further, giving users a visual graphic to better understand and deal with these areas of concern.
Steve BaczekThree-dimensional thermal bypass checklist. Many organizations have published lists of areas in a building that are likely to challenge the air barrier. Making a 3D rendering takes the checklist one step further, giving users a visual graphic to better understand and deal with these areas of concern.

One example is the location where a tub or shower unit is placed against an exterior wall. It’s common for the wall to be insulated, then the tub to be set without the wall being drywalled first. This results in the insulation being exposed to the air behind the tub, rather than protected and supported. To satisfy the Thermal Bypass Checklist, that wall should be drywalled or otherwise covered with a rigid sheet material before the tub is installed.

Fireplaces are similar to tubs and showers: They are often set against an insulated wall that hasn’t been drywalled. Here again, the Thermal Bypass Checklist calls for that wall to be covered with a rigid material that will resist airflow and support the insulation.

Another example is the wall between an unconditioned attached garage and the conditioned part of the house. While the garage wall may be drywalled, it’s often the case that the wall above the garage ceiling is left with exposed insulation. To satisfy the checklist, the interface between the house and the unconditioned space should be covered with a rigid airtight material.

Similarly, builders sometimes attach porch roofs to the main house without first sheathing the exterior wall, potentially leaving insulation exposed to the unconditioned air under the roof. To satisfy the checklist, this juncture must be protected with an air barrier material. The simplest way to accomplish this is just to sheathe the house wall before attaching the porch.

The Importance of the Stack Effect

Air movement through an air barrier requires a pressure difference and a hole for the air to move through. In cold climates, one of the important sources of pressure difference is the stack effect. Heated air in the building has a tendency to rise, creating a negative (outdoor to indoor) pressure at the bottom of the house and a positive (indoor to outdoor) pressure at the top of the house. There’s nothing you can do to prevent stack pressure from occurring. So to address the air leakage, the strategy is to seal up the holes.

Layers of pressure. As warm air rises inside a typical home, the pressure changes from inward pressure (infiltration) at the bottom of the building to outward pressure (exfiltration) at the top, with a neutral pressure plane in the middle. Because the pressure increases with the distance from the neutral plane, the top and bottom of the building are the most critical for establishing an air barrier.
Layers of pressure. As warm air rises inside a typical home, the pressure changes from inward pressure (infiltration) at the bottom of the building to outward pressure (exfiltration) at the top, with a neutral pressure plane in the middle. Because the pressure increases with the distance from the neutral plane, the top and bottom of the building are the most critical for establishing an air barrier.

In practical terms, this means that the priority air leaks in a two-story or higher house are the lowest and the highest holes in the air barrier. Pay special attention to low leak points such as the first-floor band joist area, and to high leak points such as the second-floor ceiling. Time spent sealing up attic locations such as can light penetrations, duct registers, and wall top plates will pay off in performance during cold weather.

read more…

builderonline.com/building/building-science/

Rents drop in NYC | Chappaqua Real Estate

A $500 drop in rents is drawing people back to Manhattan, according to a new report from Douglas Elliman.

With landlords piling on concessions, new leases surged to the highest October total in 12 years after stalling for the past 14 months.

But with over 16,000 empty apartments in the borough, any return to normal is an uphill climb.

Vacancy has climbed to over six percent compared to two percent at the same time last year. It is now at its highest in 14 years after the coronavirus pandemic drove Manhattanites to more suburban and rural areas.

Nevertheless, appraiser Jonathan Miller, who compiled the Douglas Elliman reports, paints a glass half full picture.

JONATHAN MILLER

“While the usual records continued – high inventory and landlord concessions – Manhattan saw a sharp uptick in new leases for the first time since the summer of 2019,” said Miller.

“Falling rents are beginning to pull people back into the market resulting in the most October new leases signed since the financial crisis.”

According to the report, studio, one and two-bedroom apartments saw the biggest rent drop ever recorded in the borough.

5,641 new leases were signed in Manhattan in October – a 33.2 percent increase on the same time last year. They were listed at a discount that was more than double that offered in October 2019.

With just over 60 percent of all leases signed with concessions, the result was a drop in net effective media rent to $2,868 compared to $3,409 at this time last year.

The picture was similar in Brooklyn, where new leases surged to the second-highest October total in 12 years, as falling rents again expanded market activity.

But despite a 15 percent drop in year-on-year rents, the Queens rental market remains in a slump, according to the report.

According to Miller, “Northwest Queens is one subway stop away from Midtown – but it’s not seeing the uptick in new leases yet like Manhattan is. The lack of activity shows that pricing likely has to adjust more before more renters are pulled in.”

Low interest rates, negotiability, and high inventory are also giving first time buyers a chance at the Big Apple lifestyle.

Last month, Elliman reported that first-time buyers drove the new development market in Manhattan as discount there rose to. The average $3.6 million asking price for a new Manhattan condo ultimately closed at $2.37 million.

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Lumber prices have doubled | Chappaqua Real Estate

North American softwood lumber prices correct down while benchmark WSPF 2x4s continue to stay level

Photo: smereka, Depositphotos

The Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend brought a not-surprising further drop in prices of most benchmark construction framing dimension softwood lumber commodities, as the days got increasingly shorter and the weather turned ever more winter-like. Demand across North America was almost entirely for small fill-in orders, while sawmills were preoccupied with locating shipments long-ago sent to customers but still not arrived, according to Madison’s Lumber Reporter.

The big question on the mind of industry players is, “Where is the price bottom and when will that arrive?” No one yet knows the answer for this, except to say it will be much higher and much later than in usual years. The latest lumber production and sawmill capacity utilization rates data release from the Western Wood Products Association — for July — shows a marked downturn in Canada. In the US, softwood lumber production continued to recover. The all-important wood manufacturing volumes in Canada took a significant tumble downward in July 2020, after recovering nicely in May and June from terrible lows of April. This decrease in lumber available for sale after the supply constraints earlier in the year well explains why prices remained so high even until now.

Prices continued to crash down in the Eastern S-P-F market last week. A large contingent of buyers participated, but the focus was on Less-Than-Truckload orders from the distribution network at wildly varying – but resoundingly lower – numbers. Overall sales volumes were strong but individual orders remained small as customers refused to take long positions in a falling market. Prompt wood became more common with each passing day as sawmills began to run into order files on a number of items, while production of bread and butter items were booked at around two weeks.

For the week ending October 9, 2020 the price of Eastern softwood lumber commodity item Eastern S-P-F KD 2×4 #2&Btr dropped once more, to land at US$920 mfbm, said Madison’s Lumber Reporter. This price is now -$85, or -8%, less than it was one month ago. Compared to one year ago, this price is up a remarkable +$465, or +102%.

Compared to one-year-ago, last week’s Eastern S-P-F KD 2×4 #2&Btr price was +$343, or +59%, higher than the 1-year rolling average price of US$577 mfbm and was up +$416, or +83%, compared to the 2-year rolling average price of US$504 mfbm.

The below table is a comparison of recent highs, in June 2018, and current October 2020 benchmark dimension Softwood Lumber 2×4 prices compared to historical highs of 2004/05 and compared to recent lows of September 2015:

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Home construction jumps 22% | Chappaqua Real Estate

Home Construction
Workers toil on a multifamily dwelling Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Winter Park, Colo. The Commerce Department reported Tuesday, Aug. 18, construction of new U.S. homes surged 22.6% last month as homebuilders continued to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction of new U.S. homes surged 22.6% last month as homebuilders bounced back from a lull induced by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that new homes were started an annual pace of nearly 1.5 million in July, highest since February and well above what economists were expecting. Housing starts have now risen three straight months after plunging in March and April as the virus outbreak paralyzed the American economy. Last month’s pace of construction was 23.4% above July 2019’s.

“U.S. housing starts blew the roof off of expectations in July … …. these are the kind of gains seen after storms/hurricanes,” Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a research note. Strong demand and limited supply drove builders to break ground.

The big gains came from the construction of apartments and condominiums, which soared 56.7%. But single-family home construction ticked up, too, by 8.2%.

Construction rose all over — 35.3% in the Northeast, 33.2% in the South, 5.8% in both the Midwest and the West.

Applications for building permits, a good indication of future activity, jumped 18.8% from June to an annual rate of 1.5 million, highest since January and up 9.4% from July 2019.

The National Association of Home Builders reported Monday that builders’ confidence this month matched the record high first reached in December 1998. “Strong demand and a record level of homebuilder confidence will support housing starts in the second half of 2020,” economists Nancy Vanden Houten and Gregory Daco of Oxford Economics wrote.

But they warned that Congress’ failure to approve another rescue package could take a toll on the economy. “The still-widespread coronavirus and an economy struggling to recover without fiscal support may limit the upside” for the housing industry, they wrote.

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https://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-home-construction-surges-22-124508782.html

Westchester county sales down 27% | Chappaqua Real Estate

WHITE PLAINS— The optimism felt by residential real estate practitioners in the first quarter of 2020 when strong sales figures in the lower Hudson Valley region, served by OneKey™ Multiple Listing Service LLC, seemed to be an indication of a robust year ahead for residential real estate sales. This optimism took an abrupt left turn in the second quarter when fears and uncertainty created by COVID -19 took hold, according to the 2020 Second Quarter Residential Real Estate Sales Report Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan Counties, New York released on July 7.

On March 7th, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency and as of March 20th all non-essential businesses were closed. This closure affected the ability of real estate practitioners to show properties, home inspectors to conduct inspections and attorneys to conduct closings in their offices.

Initially stunned, the creativity and resiliency of agents and brokers along with the enhanced use of technology created a slow but sure path forward. Agents began conducting business online, showing homes virtually. New York State permitted notary services online and attorneys conducted business in parking lots going between cars. Although sales figures still took a significant hit, continuing demand could result in a fairly rapid recovery.

Residential sales figures were down anywhere from a high of 39.8% in Bronx County (hardest hit by COVID-19), which translates to a total of 296 total residential sales compared to 492 sales in the second quarter of 2019 to a low of 6.2% in Putnam County, which translates to 258 sales as compared to 275 sales in Q2-2019.

More reflective of how home sales fared was Westchester County where residential sales were down 27.6% or 1,805 sales as compared to 2,493 sales in the second quarter of 2019; Orange County residential sales were down 27.9% or 742 sales as compared to 1,029 sales in Q2-2019; Rockland County sales were down 24.1% or 482 sales compared to 635 sales in Q2-2019 and Sullivan County sales fell 13.7% or 196 sales compared to 227 sales in Q2-2019.

Percentage declines for single-family residential sales, as compared to Q2-2019, closely mirrored the overall drops with Putnam County down 6.6%; Sullivan County 10.6% lower; Westchester County down 21.3%; Rockland County lower by 22.1% and Orange County sales fell 26.5%.

Single-family residential sales prices did not reflect the turmoil wrought by COVID-19 and were, in fact, up in every county covered by OneKey™ MLS with the exception of Putnam County, which experienced a relatively small decrease of 1.1% in median price. The median price in Putnam was $359,900 as compared to $365,000 one year ago. Sales prices increased 17.7% in Sullivan to $175,000; 6.7% in Rockland to $480,000; 12.5% in Orange to $298,000 and 1.2% in Westchester to $711,000. The median sales price is the midpoint price at which 50% of sales were higher and 50% of sales were lower.  

At this juncture it would be difficult, at best, to make any predictions about market conditions going forward. Anecdotally, we know that interest and demand have been high and brokers report that there are multiple offers on properties, many above asking price. It appears that the suburban market, as well as the exurban market, are the beneficiaries of city dwellers who no longer wish to be living in such close proximity to others or who, at least, want a second home to “escape” to. Factually we know that mortgage interest rates are at historic lows, which benefits the market.

Typically, the third quarter registers the highest quarterly sales for the year. It is important to note that those sales are generally a reflection of activity from the prior quarter. That activity, as we know it, simply did not occur and will likely have an impact on third quarter sales. There is, however, a very real demand for housing which, even if not reflected in third quarter sales, may be the catalyst to a full recovery of the market.

OneKey™ MLS is one of the largest Realtor subscriber-based multiple listing service in the country, dedicated to servicing more than 41,000 real estate professionals that serve Manhattan, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. OneKey™ MLS was formed in 2018, following the merger of the Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service and the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island. For more information visit onekeymlsny.com.

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Case-Shiller yearly prices up 4% | Chappaqua Real Estate

With today’s release of the April S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, we learned that seasonally adjusted home prices for the benchmark 20-city index were up 0.33% month over month which is cut to 0.16% with inflation adjustment. The nonseasonally adjusted index was up 4.0% year-over-year.

Investing.com had forecast a 0.5% MoM seasonally adjusted increase and 4.0% YoY nonseasonally adjusted for the 20-city series.

Here is the analysis from today’s Standard & Poor’s press release:

“April’s housing price data continue to be remarkably stable,” says Craig J. Lazzara, Managing Director and Global Head of Index Investment Strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The National Composite Index rose by 4.7% in April 2020, with comparable growth in the 10- and 20-City Composites (up 3.4% and 4.0%, respectively). In all three cases, April’s year-over-year gains were ahead of March’s, continuing a trend of gently accelerating home prices that began last fall. Results in April continued to be broad-based. Prices rose in each of the 19 cities for which we have reported data, and price increases accelerated in 12 cities.

“As was the case in March, we have data from only 19 cities this month, since transactions records for Wayne County, Michigan (in the Detroit metropolitan area) continue to be unavailable. This is, so far, the only directly visible impact of COVID-19 on the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices. The price trend that was in place pre-pandemic seems so far to be undisturbed, at least at the national level. Indeed, prices in 12 of the 20 cities in our survey were at an all-time high in April.

“Among the cities, Phoenix retains the top spot for the 11th consecutive month, with a gain of 8.8% for April. Home prices in Seattle rose by 7.3%, followed by increases in Minneapolis (6.4%) and Cleveland (6.0%). Prices were particularly strong in the West and Southeast, and comparatively weak in the Northeast.” [Read more]

The chart below is an overlay of the Case-Shiller 10- and 20-City Composite Indexes along with the national index since 1987, the first year that the 10-City Composite was tracked. Note that the 20-City, which is probably the most closely watched of the three, dates from 2000. We’ve used the seasonally adjusted data for this illustration.

Home Price Index
Home Price Index

The next chart shows the year-over-year Case-Shiller series, again using the seasonally adjusted data.

Home Price Index

Here is the same year-over-year overlay adjusted for inflation with the Consumer Price Index owners’ equivalent rent of residences.

Home Price Index

For a long-term perspective on home prices, here is a look at the seasonally and inflation-adjusted Case-Shiller price index from 1953, the first year that monthly data is available. Because the CPI owners’ equivalent rent of residences didn’t start until 1983, we’ve used the broader seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index.

Home Price Index since 1953

To get an even better idea of the trend in housing prices over long time periods, we compare the change in the seasonally-adjusted Case-Shiller Home Price Index and the Consumer Price Index since 1953.


For additional perspectives on residential real estate, here is the complete list of our monthly updates:

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https://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/2020/06/30/s-p-case-shiller-home-price-index-april-update

Mid Hudson region in phase II | Chappaqua Real Estate

A revised map of New York State showing the phases each of the 10 regions are currently in. On June 10, Long Island will join the rest of the state when it enters phase two.

WHITE PLAINS—Today is the day real estate brokers and agents have been anxiously waiting for since March 22 when Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued the “New York on Pause” order that virtually shut down the real estate industry and all other “non-essential” businesses in the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this morning (June 9) that the Mid-Hudson region, which includes Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, Sullivan and Ulster counties, entered phase two which lessen restrictions on real estate, offices, essential and phase II in-store retail, vehicle sales, leases, and rentals, retail rental, repair, and cleaning, commercial building management, hair salons and barbershops and now allows outdoor dining at restaurants.

The Mid-Hudson entered phase one of the reopening process on May 26, which loosened restrictions on the construction and manufacturing industries, as well as the wholesale supply chain. In addition, certain retail operations were eligible to be expanded for curbside pickup and drop-off or in-store pickup. The phase one designation also affected the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries, but had no beneficial impact on the real estate industry, with the exception of real estate development construction.

The Mid-Hudson could be eligible for phase three of the four-phased reopening program on Tuesday, June 23, which will lift some restrictions on food service and personal care. The final phase (four) would impact arts/entertainment/recreation and educational sectors.

Gov. Cuomo, who noted that today was day 101 since the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in the state, praised the work of government, health and business leaders for helping facilitate the phase two designation. “The numbers are down because you brought the numbers down,” he said. The governor noted that at the peak of COVID-19 back in April, the Mid-Hudson reported 75 deaths in one day. On June 8, there were no COVID-19 related deaths in the entire Hudson Valley region. Westchester County Executive George Latimer, in a later press conference, noted that there was one COVID-19 related death the previous evening in Westchester County.

Latimer chronicled the great progress the county and the Mid-Hudson region has achieved since the peak of the pandemic in April. He noted that two months ago on April 9, there were 44 COVID-related deaths in Westchester County. Since the pandemic began, there have been 1,396 deaths attributed to the coronavirus in Westchester.

He said that with the onset of phase two the county can “return to a reasonable place in our society, hopefully where we are fighting the contagion effectively, but at the same time we are starting to reopen businesses and really get back to something close to normal.”

Since the shutdown of the economy back in March, real estate professionals have tried to offer services and facilitate sale transactions on a virtual basis. The phase two designation lifts restrictions, but does mandate safety protocols, including social distancing. One key change with the phase two designation is that in-person real estate showings are now permissible as long as safety protocols are adhered to.

“The day we’ve all been yearning for is finally here! Many agents are jumping right in, with appointments already scheduled today. I expect that we are going to be as busy as we’ve ever been, with pent up buyer demand, sellers who’ve been waiting until now to put their homes on the market, and a lot more steps to every showing,” said HGAR President Gail Fattizzi.

She added, “As we begin meeting our clients in-person again, we must stay mindful that COVID-19 is still here, and take every precaution. HGAR intends to continue providing CE classes and holding meetings virtually, along with great free programs via Zoom. We should all expect that ‘re-opening’ is going to be a slow, steady process, not an instant change back to normal.”

HGAR Chief Executive Officer Richard Haggerty noted, “For 11 weeks the Realtor community has done our part, first by ‘pausing’ and then by shifting our business to a remote environment, in order to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19. That goal has been achieved and now it’s time to relaunch real estate, following the ESD guidance and with great concern for safety, and get the state economy relaunched.”

Other county and business leaders hailed the beginning of phase two as a milestone that will hopefully begin to relaunch the regional economy, now that New York City has entered phase one (yesterday).

John Ravitz, executive vice president of the Business Council of Westchester, said that the Westchester economy is still in uncharted waters and praised the business community for its resiliency to date in dealing with the COVID pandemic.

“None of us knew what we were facing when the pandemic hit and so many different businesses in different sectors had to pivot; had to deal with their concerns for their employees, as well as their clients and customers,” Ravitz said. “I think what puts Westchester on the map throughout the country is the ingenuity and the creativity we have seen from our business leaders.”

Government officials talked of the work that has been done and the efforts that will need to be made to get their economies back on track.

“County government is doing everything humanly possible to assist these businesses as they reopen,” said Rockland County Executive Ed Day. “We have been sharing guidance with municipalities, local chambers of commerce and with businesses directly through our Office of Economic Development and Tourism. We have also hosted three business info livestreams to communicate critical information and promote Rockland’s tech sector.”

Day also noted that last week the county’s ROCK GOV – FACE COV program which gave out 25,000 masks to local small businesses and nonprofits which have fewer than 20 employees.

“Bottom line, we are working to ensure that businesses reopen in a way that is responsible and protects the health and safety of both their employees and customers,” he added.

Sullivan County government offices will slowly begin reopening to in-person visits, according to County Manager Josh Potosek. “We are bringing back less than 50% of our employees onsite, and offices will be open to the public by appointment only,” Potosek stated. “This is to ensure that the plan we’ve developed is workable and safe before we bring back more employees and reopen for walk-in customers—likely with the start of phase 3.”

The following is guidance from Empire State Development Corp. on In-Person Showings in Phase Two

Residential In-Person Property Showings and Related Activities

Responsible Parties may conduct in-person property showings while adhering to social distancing and required PPE safety guidelines. The following measures must be followed:

• Showings and open houses will only be allowed in unoccupied (e.g., current owner or lessee is not inside the property) or vacant properties;

• For all showings and open houses, Responsible Parties should limit the number of individuals viewing a property at any one time. If multiple parties (from different households) arrive for a showing at the same time, Responsible Parties should encourage those in line to wait outside until their turn.

• As a best practice, appointments for showings should be scheduled in advance, when possible.

Responsible Parties as well as all individuals (e.g. building inspectors / appraiser or potential buyer/lessee) visiting the property will be required to wear a face covering at all times, and Responsible Parties may choose to require gloves and shoe-covers to be worn;

• Responsible Parties should provide face coverings and gloves to prospective tenants and/or buyers, if necessary;

• Responsible Parties should advise prospective tenants/buyers to only touch essential surfaces (e.g. handrails going up/down stairs if necessary) during their time in the property. Other areas or surfaces such as cabinets, countertops, appliances etc. should not be touched by tenants/buyers.

• Responsible Parties must ensure employees, salespeople, agents and brokers clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces (e.g. handrails, doorknobs etc.) before and after every showing; and

• Responsible Parties must stagger showings in order to avoid the congregation of people outside and inside properties.

• Responsible Parties are encouraged not to show common building amenities in-person (e.g. gym, roof deck, pool).

• If the common areas mentioned above are shown, Responsible Parties must ensure that those areas are frequently cleaned and disinfected and appropriate social distancing of 6 feet is maintained for all parties at all times.

• Responsible Parties should encourage only one party (e.g. building inspector, home appraiser, prospective tenant/buyer, photographer, stager) to be allowed inside the property at a time. If more than one party is inside the property at the same time, 6 feet of distance must be maintained at all times between individuals, and face coverings must be worn.

• Responsible Parties and prospective tenants/buyers are encouraged not to bring young children or extraneous guests to property showings, when possible, or leave attended children outside.

• Responsible Parties should limit salespeople / brokers from driving in the same car with prospective tenants / buyers. If this cannot be avoided, face coverings must be worn by everyone in the vehicle and frequently touched areas of the vehicle should be cleaned and disinfected.

• Open houses must also only allow one party inside the property at a time.

• Responsible Parties are encouraged, but not required, to conduct remote walkthroughs rather than
in-person walkthroughs (e.g. recorded/live video), where possible.

For important information, guidance and forms related to the Reopening of Real Estate in NY during Phase 2 go to HGAR.com COVID-19 Resources or click links below:

New York Forward – Reopening Guidelines and Forms

New York State Safety Plan Template —(This template, or another safety plan template, needs to be completed and made available upon an inspection by the Dept. of Health or local safety dept.)

New York State Guidance for Phase 2 — (At the bottom of this form there is a link to submit that the broker owner has read the form).

Real Estate Guidelines for Employers and Employees