Tag Archives: pound ridge homes

pound ridge homes

Oil Prices and Mortgages | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Oil is pushing its way down to below $47.50 per barrel as of Monday, and there’s no sign it’s going to change anytime.

Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal says in an interview today that the days of $100 per barrel oil are over.

Some worry the recent plunge in oil prices could cause home prices to slip in the oil-producing markets of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and elsewhere, writes Jed Kolko, the chief economist for Trulia (TRLA).

“But it typically takes two years for oil prices to fully affect home prices in those markets,” Kolko writes. “At the same time, lower oil prices could boost home values in the Northeast and Midwest.”

Paul Diggle, property economist at Capital Economics, says in a client note that any drag on housing in oil-driven markets from drop in demand and from decline in employment in the United States would be offset by increased consumer spending power.

“If production and employment are scaled back, housing markets in some oil-producing States, which have recently been among the most buoyant, could potentially suffer,” Diggle writes. “But any drag that this may generate will be more than offset by the wider boost to household incomes. Combined with looser credit conditions, lower oil prices should therefore give housing a boost.”

He says that the slump in oil prices could have both positive and negative effects on the housing market. The negatives are centered on the shale-oil producing states, where extraction costs over the long-run may be higher than the current $50 per barrel oil price. A dip in oil production and investment would hit jobs and ultimately housing market activity.


read more…



Walking and Biking More Common in New Homes | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Residents of newly built homes are more likely to bike or walk, according to 2013 American Housing Survey (AHS) data recently released by HUD and the Census Bureau.  The data show that nearly 44 percent of households in new construction either bike or walk, compared to about 40 percent of households overall (see the graph immediately below).


In general, walking is more common than biking.  A little under a quarter of households walk but don’t bike, while fewer than 4 percent bike but don’t walk.  The new-overall difference shows up most strongly in the households that both bike and walk: over 16 percent of households in new construction both bike and walk, compared to just under 12 percent of households overall.  This occurs even though, as the next graph shows, many trip  destinations are less often accessible by biking/walking to households in new homes.


For example, a grocery store (the most commonly accessible destination in the chart) is accessible by biking or walking to about one-fifth of households in new construction, compared to more than one-fourth of households overall.  A similar new-overall difference is apparent for every destination down in the graph─down to the least often accessible school or work, accessible to 11.4 percent of households in new construction, and 13.4 percent of households overall.  It’s possible that, in some cases, homes may go up in a new subdivision before stores, banks, etc. in the surrounding area are completely built out.

On the other hand, new homes are more likely to be built in neighborhoods with amenities designed to facilitate walking and biking.  Over 61 percent of households in new homes report that their neighborhoods have sidewalks, compared to 55.7 percent of households overall.  New homes are also more likely to be located in neighborhoods that have well-lit sidewalks and bike lanes (see chart below).


The implication is that, for the sheer number of households walking & biking, neighborhood features like sidewalks and bike lanes are more important than nearness of particular destinations, and these features are somewhat more common in new subdivisions.


read more….




Remodeling Market Index Reclaims All-Time High | Pound Ridge Real Estate


The Remodeling Market Index (RMI) rose one point to 57 in the third quarter of 2014, the sixth consecutive 3-month period the index has been over 50.  An RMI above 50 indicates that more remodelers report market activity is higher (compared to the prior quarter) than report it is lower.

The overall RMI averages ratings of current remodeling activity with indicators of future remodeling activity. The current market conditions index increased one point to 57 this quarter, with all three of its subcomponents (major and minor additions/alterations and maintenance/repair) posting readings of 56 or higher.

The RMI’s future market conditions index rose to 58 from 56 in the previous quarter. All four of its subcomponents—calls for bids, amount of work committed for the next three months, backlog of jobs and appointments for proposals—increased or remained level with the previous quarter’s reading.


read more…



$65M Historic Mansion is Miami’s Most Expensive Listing | Pound Ridge Homes


A 17,000-square-foot historic mansion dating to the 1920s has hit the market in Miami for $65M, making it the city’s priciest listing. Naturally, it’s represented by same real estate agent who listed America’s most expensive property, a $139M spectacle with a 22-carat gold leaf entry gate, also in Florida. This comparatively modest nine-bedroom mansion in the affluent Coconut Grove neighborhood comes with 6.9 acres of “mature landscaping,” a private port that accommodates a 70-foot yacht, and a lot of charming original woodwork, including exposed ceiling beams and wooden balconies.

Gawk away at the 1920s splendor. >>

It’s not Miami’s most expensive listing ever—those honors go to Gianni Versace’s over-the-top Casa Casuarina, listed for $125M before getting a bunch of PriceChops and selling at auction a year later for just $41.5M—but this place does have a guest cottage and a four-car garage in a converted coach house. Oh, and there’s a bit of policy history here: original owner Kirk Munroe, who was deeded the land in 1886, introduced the first animal protection legislation in Florida’s history after an injured manatee washed onto his property. Hopefully the oligarch who buys this will also be an advocate for manatees (or at least be careful when parking the yacht).


read more….






10 Signs You Are Ready to Invest | #PoundRidge Real Estate

When it comes to property investment, timing is everything. Ultimately, choosing the right time to enter the market will have a significant impact on the long-term success of your investment.

But how can you, as an investor, know whether the timing is right? Here are 10 tell-tale signs that now is the time to start building your investment portfolio.

1. You are financially ready. You have saved enough for the down payment and you have also established your emergency fund. You have taken into account home maintenance expenses. Your credit history is good and you are able to meet all the financial obligations.

2. You have set your long-term goals. You have a clear picture in your mind of your investment’s purpose and you are flexible enough to adjust to changing circumstances. You are not hesitant.  When the timing is right, you are able to adapt to the market needs and the development of technologies.

3. You have done your research. You know the neighborhood of your future property well enough to foresee the coming trends and the possible changes in the community. You have researched all the schools in the area as well as the best commuting means.

4. You have chosen a stable economy. The area is financially stable, economic trends are promising and equities are surging. No demographic fluctuation or no irregular variation of population have been recorded in the area.

5. You understand the country’s policies regarding real estate. The policies of the region promote and encourage a positive, innovative environment as well as drive further economic growth. The tax policy in the country is positive for homeowners. Global innovation index is rising in the area.

6. Infrastructure projects are underway and likely to lead to an increase in property values. The infrastructure of the area is being developed with a focus on: transport, energy, solid waste and water management developments.

7. The region is moving toward sustainable development. The region’s awareness of global and local environmental issues is increasing, the demand for eco-friendly homes as well as for sustainable rural and urban development is rising. As more and more people head toward sustainable living, investing in sustainable property will increase its value in the future.

read more….


Housing starts nosedive 14.4% in August | Pound Ridge Real Estate


Privately-owned housing starts plunged 14.4% in August, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Starts were expected to drop after a strong July but not by this much.

Housing starts for July jumped to an annualized pace of 1.093 million units-up from 0.945 million units the prior month. July was up a sharp 15.7%.

Housing starts printed at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 956,000, well below analyst expectations, but 8% above the August 2013 rate of 885,000.

Single-family units remained largely flat as they have for the past 20 months, multifamily starts fell from 396,000 to 343,000, or 13.4% for permits, and an incredible 31.5% for starts.

Single-family housing starts in August were at a rate of 643,000; this is 2.4% below the revised July figure of 659,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 304,000.

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 998,000. This is 5.6% below the revised July rate of 1,057,000, but is 5.3% above the August 2013 estimate of 948,000.

Single-family authorizations in August were at a rate of 626,000; this is 0.8% below the revised July figure of 631,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 343,000 in August.

Privately-owned housing completions in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 892,000. This is 3.2% above the revised July estimate of 864,000 and is 16.9% above the August 2013 rate of 763,000.

Single-family housing completions in August were at a rate of 591,000; this is 8.2% below the revised July rate of 644,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 292,000.



read more….



Meet an Adorable Updated Cape in Springs Asking $1.295M | Pound Rdige Real Estate


We’re crazy in love with this super-cute ivy-covered cape. The plot is a good size, with 1.5 acres, so you get complete privacy, including around the saltwater pool out back; there’s also a spa and outdoor shower. Inside, the house offers four bedrooms and two baths in about 2100sf. The interiors are stylish and updated yet modest and cottagey; we love some of the decorative touches like the vintage Erica Wilson crewel picture in a bedroom. The bathrooms aren’t pictured—we wonder if they’re the original 1957 ones, which we personally would love but many others wouldn’t. Anyway, with a reasonable price, the new owners can afford to put in new bathrooms if they choose.
· Chic Vintage Cape [Halstead]

Why mortgage rates haven’t risen as expected | Pound Ridge Real Estate


By most estimates, mortgage rates were expected to climb this year, with rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage predicted to exceed 5%. Instead, rates are now lower than they were this time in 2013 — much to the advantage of mortgage shoppers.

There are a few reasons why higher rates never came to pass.

Rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.15% for the week ending July 10, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of conforming mortgage rates. A year ago, rates averaged 4.51%.

“In January, we were projecting at the end of the year that the 30-year would be 5.1%,” said Leonard Kiefer, deputy chief economist with Freddie Mac. “We most recently revised that down to 4.4%.

Supply and demand

Economists had largely expected rates to rise once the Federal Reserve indicated it would taper its purchase of mortgage-backed securities through its quantitative easing program, Kiefer said. Rates did, in fact, rise spike upward due to that indication last summer.

But when the Fed actually began purchasing fewer of these securities, mortgage rates began to fall. That’s because the tapering ended up coinciding with a reduction in mortgage originations — which means fewer mortgage-backed securities were being issued, Kiefer said.

read more….