Tag Archives: Westchester Real Estate for Sale

#Hamptons real estate prices up, sales slow | #Waccabuc Real Estate

Real estate prices continued to climb in the third quarter of 2015, but sales pace slowed and inventory is more difficult to come by, when compared with the third quarter of 2014, which was a banner season for real estate on the East End.

According to The Corcoran Group’s quarterly Corcoran Report, “the volatility of financial markets world-wide resulted in fewer closed transactions this quarter.”

On the South Fork, according to Corcoran, sales activity and sales volume declined by 16 percent and 13 percent, respectively, compared to the third quarter of 2014. Only East Hampton Village, Southampton and Shelter Island reported more sales than last year.

The Corcoran Group reported that the average sale price on the South Fork increased 3 percent, while the median price rose 6 percent, versus the same quarter a year ago.

Nine sales over $5 million in East Hampton Village skewed the median price there up 70 percent over the third quarter of 2014.

Though recent quarters have shown a good deal of activity in the under-$500,000 range, where such properties can even be found on the South Fork, that share of the market shrank in the third quarter both east and west of the Shinnecock Canal.

East of the canal, under-$500,000 sales shrunk to just 8 percent of the market, from 14 percent in the third quarter of 2014, while the market share of houses under $500,000 west of the canal shrank from 41 percent in the third quarter of 2014 to 38 percent in the third quarter of this year.

On the North Fork, the Corcoran Group reported the number of sales and sales volume decreased 11 percent and 17 percent, respectively, over the third quarter of 2014. They reported the median sales price increased 1 percent, but the average sales price decreased 8 percent.

On the North Fork, they reported the $500,000 to $750,000 market range grew from 23 percent to 31 percent of sales, while market shares above and below those ranges declined by 4 percent.

The Corcoran Group also reported that the total inventory of residential properties for sale on both forks declined by 383 housing units from the third quarter of 2014.

With a limited amount of vacant land available for sale on the East End, the number of vacant land sales decreased quarter-over-quarter by 32 percent on the South Fork and 29 percent on the North Fork.

In commercial markets however, The Corcoran Group saw quite a bit of activity on the North Fork, with the number of sales increasing 67 percent. The number of South Fork commercial sales declined 37 percent over the same period.

Douglas Elliman Real Estate’s Elliman Report also showed a market slow-down on the South Fork when compared with the same quarter in 2014, though they did report greater gains in prices.

Douglas Elliman reported 507 sales on the South Fork in the third quarter, 20 percent below the same quarter in 2014 but 11 percent above the decade quarterly average of 457 sales.

The market share of sales below $12 million fell to 49.5 percent, its lowest point in the past four years, with 44 percent of sales between $1 million and $5 million.

According to Douglas Elliman, listing inventory on the South Fork was unchanged over the third quarter of 2015, with 1,710 houses on the market this quarter. The listing discount, or the difference between the last listing price and the sales price, declined to 10.2 percent from 12 percent in the same quarter last year.

Median sales price rose to $950,000, up 9.8 percent over the same quarter last year, the fourth highest level reported in the past decade.  The average number of days on the market fell 6.4 percent to 161.

Douglas Elliman reported that North Fork housing prices also skewed higher, with the median sales price jumping 16.1 percent to $516,250, the second highest median price in the past seven years. Only the second quarter of 2015 saw higher prices on the North Fork, and the year-over-year increase was the sixth consecutive quarterly increase.


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More shakeups at StreetEasy as public face Sofia Song departs | North Salem NY Real Estate

Major shifts continue at StreetEasy since the company was acquired by listings giant Zillow. On Friday, the company’s longtime head of research and communications, Sofia Song, left the firm.

She is the third high-level executive to be pushed aside or leave in the four months since Zillow paid $50 million for the city’s leading residential listings website.

Before Song, the real estate community was shocked when Michael Smith, company co-founder and CEO, was replaced in September with Susan Daimler, the general manager of Zillow New York, which includes StreetEasy; and around the same time Robin Allstadt, company chief operating officer, departed the firm. In addition, Zillow shuttered StreetEasy’s expansion websites in South Florida, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.

It was not clear where Song would end up. She did not respond to a request for comment. Two sources close to Song said she was not immediately joining another company.

Song was a popular voice for the firm, and for many in the public relations, journalism and real estate industries, she was the public face of the company. She joined StreetEasy in 2007.

“Sofia was on the front line of StreetEasy’s efforts to win over the [New York City] real estate market,” Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal and analysis firm Miller Samuel, said. “She was a data maven. I’ve long appreciated her efforts and her expertise will be missed, and she will be successful wherever she ends up.”

While Zillow has executed successful acquisitions in the past, the changeover period is often rocky, as with any merger, Miller said.

“When a big firm — Zillow — takes over a little firm — StreetEasy — the highest brand risk is the transition period they are going through right now,” he said.

Last week, Song notified reporters through emails and conversations at the firm’s holiday party Dec. 11 at Umami Burger in the West Village that Lauren Riefflin would replace her in public relations matters, but did not divulge that she intended to leave the company.

A spokesperson for Zillow said the firm does not comment on employee matters, but added, “Sofia’s contributions to StreetEasy over the past six years have been instrumental in building the company into the real estate powerhouse that it is today. We wish her all the best.”

All eyes are now on the developers behind StreetEasy, insiders said, as programmers are in high demand in New York City.




Armonk, Bedford Corners lead in Average Ask Price | #RobReportBlog

Armonk,   Bedford Corners lead in Average Ask Price | #RobReportBlog
Pound   Ridge$1,394,316.00
South   Salem$1,078,984.00
Mt Kisco$972,195.00
North   Salem$1,670,172.00
Bedford   Village$2,013,776.00
Bedford   Hills$1,733,887.00
Bedford   Corners$2,614,154.00

Happy Birthday, Westchester! County Turns 330 Friday | Westchester Real Estate

Friday marks the 330th anniversary of the founding of Westchester County, and at the Westchester County Historical Society in Elmsford, staffers Katie Hite and Patrick Raftery are dedicated to preserving the county’s rich historical significance.

The county was first formed on Nov. 1, 1683. With the British still in charge, the county government was established as a way of organizing the region. Most towns weren’t established until after the Revolutionary War. What is now the Bronx was originally part of Westchester before being annexed into New York City in the 1870s.

The major population centers of Westchester were Bedford and White Plains, where the two courthouses were located. There were some small towns, but most of the land was divided into manors, land bestowed upon wealthy individuals who let farmers work their land in an almost feudal society.

When the Revolutionary War broke out, Westchester played an important role, acting as a buffer zone between land owned by British and American forces.

“It was as much a civil war as the Civil War was,” Hite said. “People within families, within communities took different sides.”

Many historical sites still survive from the Revolution, such as the Bedford Courthouse and the Purdy House in White Plains, which served as Washington’s headquarters. The Odell House in Hartsdale was where Washington and Count de Rochambeau devised their strategy to attack the British in Yorktown, VA.

Many of the owners of the manors sided with the British, and were forced to give up their land after the war. The land was sold at affordable rates to the farmers who worked the land, and towns began to be established.

“Nowadays, people tend to think of the county as a suburb of New York City, and really the railroads made that possible,” Raftery said. “Someone could wake up, hop on a train and head into the city for work, where before they couldn’t do that.”

A lot of the population lived and worked in the county, operating stores, farming, working in manufacturing. Once the railroads came in, more people started moving out to Westchester.

“They began moving out for the fresh air,” Hite said. “They didn’t want to live in an overcrowding, teeming place. They wanted peace and quiet. And that trend accelerated when the care was invented and became something that everyone had.”

The Westchester Historical Society was first established in 1874 and is one of the oldest historical societies in the country. Located in the same building as the county’s records department, its library contains more than 100,000 private and public documents from the county.

The books, letters, photos, diaries and maps are carefully preserved in a temperature and humidity controlled vault. Visitors researching their family, home or other aspect of Westchester history can visit and receive help finding the records and information they need.




Considering a Fixer-Upper? 15 Questions to Ask First | Chappaqua Real Estate

Many of us share the same dream: find an adorable fixer-upper in a great location and set out to make it swoonworthy. But when the budget isn’t limitless, it becomes even more important to know what to look for before purchasing a house that needs a lot of work. Older homes often have underlying safety and construction issues, and you can save a lot of time and money by planning for them.
Here we’ll also discuss how to recognize what is valuable in your period home, and how you can preserve its charm in your remodel.

Before you dive in, look carefully at the inspection report, talk with your contractor and study the history of the home and the neighborhood. Wade Palmer of WIN Home Inspection Services and general contractor Greg Blea gave me the lowdown on the 15 most important questions to ask.
1. What is your budget? For some remodels of historic homes, there’s a large budget and the admirable goal of preserving an architectural gem, no matter the cost. I’ll be focusing more on projects with modest budgets in this ideabook. Many of the questions are still the same, but the decisions about how to move forward are different when the budget is limited.
2. Is it in a historic district? If so, the design and permit processes can be lengthier and more expensive, and using the required historically correct materials can add significantly to the cost. But a historically protected neighborhood and architecturally unique homes often mean more consistent — and rising — property values.
3. What is the weather in the area and the intended use of the building? A home for a family of four in a wintry climate will require a different and costlier approach than a vacation cottage that is used only in the summer months. To keep costs down, plan for construction during the best weather.
4. Does the house have beautiful bones? Some things are irreplaceable or would cost a fortune to re-create. Older wood floors, for example, have greater color and character than newly milled floors. Solid wood paneling, trim and doors are expensive to replace. Elaborate millwork may be impossible to find or replace.
5. Is there lead-based paint? Most states now require protective actions for dealing with lead-based paint.  These actions require training and certification by the state, and the time-consuming process can increase the cost of even a small renovation.
6. What about asbestos? Asbestos was commonly used in older homes, often in insulation, siding, flooring and other components. It must be removed by a certified abatement crew, or in some cases it can be encapsulated. But it is not something to tackle yourself. Professionals advise taking care of asbestos in the proper way, as it will increase the value and sales potential of your home, as well as its safety.

Brooklyn home prices hit 10-year record high | Pound Ridge Realtor

Brooklyn is no longer the place to buy a home when you can’t afford Manhattan.

Homes in the Borough of Kings are selling at record-high prices, thanks to surging demand and low-but-rising mortgage rates, according to new real-estate figures.

Before the economic meltdown, the average price of a Brooklyn home hit $603,428 in 2007 — then sank to $494,720 in 2009 — but has rebounded to a stunning $694,777, according to the Elliman Report.

“It isn’t a discount neighborhood anymore,” said Pam Liebman, CEO of The Corcoran Group.

Pricey Manhattan homes are helping to drive buyers across the Brooklyn Bridge, but many are attracted to the hipster borough because it’s become an attractive place to live.

“Brooklyn is commanding record sales because it is truly a destination. People no longer view it as an alternative to living in Manhattan,” said Dottie Herman, president and CEO of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Liebman concurs.

“People are choosing to go to Brooklyn for the lifestyle. It’s not your father’s Brooklyn anymore,” she said.

“It’s percolating in every neighborhood,” Herman said. But some percolate more than others.

For example, in Carroll Gardens/Boerum Hill/Red Hook, co-op sales average $937,000, up 41 percent from the same quarter last year.

Condos in Williamsburg/Greenpoint now average $914,000, up 21 percent over the year, according to Cor­coran.

Upper-end luxury homes jumped to a median sales price of $1.7 million borough-wide, an increase of 18 percent.

Brooklyn is “hot because of all the restaurant openings, Barclays Center,” said Frank Percesepe, regional senior vice president, Brooklyn for Corcoran. “So many commercial neighborhoods are getting new buildings, and they are getting turned around into beautiful neighborhoods.”

Meanwhile, even if you can afford a Brooklyn home, it’s harder to find one. Inventory is at its lowest third-quarter level in five years. And what’s available is relatively new.




Fixed Mortgage Rates Little Changed | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates changing little for the week amid the federal debt impasse in Washington, D.C. and a light week of economic data releases.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.23 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending October 10, 2013, up from last week when it averaged 4.22 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.39 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.31 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.29 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.70 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.05 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.03 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.73 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.64 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.63 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.59 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 the Regional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quotes Attributed to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Mortgage rates were little changed amid the federal debt impasse in Washington, D.C. and a light week of economic data releases. Of the few releases, the private sector added an estimated 166,000 jobs in September, which were fewer than the market consensus and followed a downward revision of 17,000 workers in August, according to the ADP Research Institute. The Institute for Supply Management reported a greater slowing in growth in the nonmanufacturing industry in September than the market consensus forecast.”

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation’s residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Today Freddie Mac is making home possible for one in four home borrowers and is one of the largest sources of financing for multifamily housing. For more information please visit www.FreddieMac.com and Twitter: @FreddieMac.

Mortgage applications shoot up 11.2% | Katonah NY Real Estate

Mortgage applications shifted gears, increasing 11.2% from a week earlier, the Mortgage Bankers Association said this week.

Meanwhile, the refinance index grew 18% from the prior week, while the purchase index rose 3%.

As a whole, the refinance share of mortgage activity inched back up to 61% of total applications, up from 57% a week earlier.

The average contract interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a conforming loan limit dropped to 4.75% from 4.80%.

Furthermore, the 30-year, FRM jumbo edged down to 4.83% from 4.84%.

The average 30-year, FRM backed by the FHA fell to 4.50% from 4.56%, and the 15-year, FRM declined to 3.81% from 3.83%.

Meanwhile, the 5/1 ARM plummeted to 3.54% from 3.59% a week earlier.




Kerry Kennedy’s Lawyer Reportedly Trying To Move Trial From Armonk | Armonk Homes

Lawyers on both sides of Bedford resident Kerry Kennedy’s impaired driving trial are apparently looking beyond the North Castle Courthouse in Armonk for a bigger space, according to a report by the Associated Press via the Wall Street Journal.

Defense attorney Gerald Lefcourt has reportedly said that Armonk’s 60-seat courtroom won’t be able to hold the expected numbers of reporters, interested residents and a jury for Kennedy’s trial, the report said.

Other venues are being scouted, although no trial date has been set, according to the AP.

Kennedy was arrested in July 2012 after she swerved her Lexus into a tractor-trailer on Interstate 684 in Armonk.  She was charged with driving under the influence of an unknown substance, for which she pleaded not guilty, saying she accidently took a sleeping pill.

She tried to have her case dismissed this past May but was denied.

Kennedy is the daughter of Sen. Robert Kennedy and the niece of President John F. Kennedy.  She is also the ex-wife of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.





Better schools equal pricier homes | Bedford Hills Real Estate

When it comes to purchasing a new home, school districts play a significant factor in the final decision. In light of this, a new study revealed that home prices escalated significantly in highly favored school zones. Per Redfin Blog:

Everyone assumes that better school districts tend to have bigger homes, higher quality homes, larger lots, or a more prime location (views, quiet streets, etc). We’ve debunked that assumption. When accounting for size, on average, people pay $50 more per square foot for homes in top-ranked school zones compared with homes served by average-ranked schools. This means that the price differences for similar homes located near each other but served by different schools can range from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

                    Source: Redfin Blog