Sunday, January 31, 2010

Housing Ecnomic Update from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor



This graph shows monthly new home sales (NSA - Not Seasonally Adjusted).

Note the Red columns for 2009. In December 2009, a record low 23 thousand new homes were sold (NSA); this ties the previous record low set in December 1966.

Sales in December 2008 were at 26 thousand.





The second graph shows New Home Sales vs. recessions for the last 45 years. New Home sales fell off a cliff, but after increasing slightly, are now only 4% above the low in January.
Sales of new one-family houses in December 2009 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 342,000 ... This is 7.6 percent (±14.6%)* below the revised November rate of 370,000 and is 8.6 percent (±15.2%)* below the December 2008 estimate of 374,000.

This graph shows existing home sales, on a Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) basis since 1993.

Sales in Dec 2009 (5.45 million SAAR) were 16.7% lower than last month, and were 15% higher than Dec 2008 (4.74 million SAAR).



In Las Vegas, house prices have declined 56.2% from the peak. At the other end of the spectrum, prices in Dallas are only off about 4.6% from the peak. Several cities are showing price increases in 2009 including San Diego, San Francisco, Denver and Dallar. Prices have declined by double digits from the peak in 18 of the 20 Case-Shiller cities.

Here is the monthly Freddie Mac hockey stick graph ...



Click on graph for larger image in new window.

Freddie Mac reported that the rate of serious delinquencies - at least 90 days behind - for conventional loans in its single-family guarantee business increased to 3.87% in December 2009, up from 3.72% in November - and up from 1.72% in December 2008.

"Single-family delinquencies are based on the number of mortgages 90 days or more delinquent or in foreclosure as of period end ..."

Just more evidence of the growing delinquency problem, although some of these loans may be in the trial modification programs and are still included as delinquent until they become permanent.

Friday, January 29, 2010

State Mortgage Regulators Announce Launch of “NMLS Consumer Access”



State Mortgage Regulators Announce Launch of “NMLS Consumer Access”

January 28, 2010 - Today the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS)—a mortgage licensing system operated by state financial regulators, including Idaho—is launching “NMLS Consumer Access.” NMLS Consumer Access is a fully searchable website that allows the public to view information concerning state-licensed mortgage companies, branches, and individuals currently licensed through NMLS.

The goal of NMLS Consumer Access is to provide homebuyers and the general public with greater information regarding state licensed companies and professionals in the mortgage industry. NMLS Consumer Access will benefit consumers by providing consumers a single location to access standardized information regarding their mortgage provider, regardless of the state in which they operate.

“The launch of NMLS Consumer Access shows, once again, the commitment of state financial regulators to protect consumers,” said Gavin Gee, Director of the Idaho Department of Finance. Gee continued, “States have long been regarded as leaders in the consumer protection arena. NMLS Consumer Access provides an innovative method for consumers to research prospective mortgage companies or providers.” Currently, the Idaho Department of Finance has licensed 953 mortgage company offices and 3,684 individual mortgage loan originators.

State regulators, through the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators, launched NMLS in January 2008. To date, 45 states and territories—including Idaho—license mortgage companies, branches and individuals through the system. All 54 states and territories are expected to be on NMLS by the end of 2010.

“During development of NMLS,” Gee continued, “one of the goals put forth by state regulators was to provide a central source of information that promotes transparency throughout the states. I see NMLS Consumer Access as a critical tool to protecting the consumers in Idaho.”

In addition, Title V of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the SAFE Act, mandates that NMLS provide consumers with easily accessible information, offered at no charge, regarding the employment history of state licensed and federally registered mortgage loan originators.

“NMLS is successfully combining the objectives of state regulators with the mandates of the SAFE Act by launching NMLS Consumer Access,” Gee concluded.

NMLS Consumer Access can be accessed here: www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org.


10 Real Estate Facts for 2010
January 15, 2010
by NJAR

Category: Press Releases || Marketing & Statistics | 1 Comment

Edison, NJ - January 15, 2010 - (RealEstateRama) — The turn of a new year comes with both question and promise regarding New Jersey real estate. To prepare for the year ahead, the New Jersey Association of REALTORS® (NJAR®) has assembled a list of ten facts regarding the current state of real estate to offer some perspective on what to expect in 2010. ”NJAR®’s quarterly housing statistics over the past year have generally indicated home sales rising and prices stabilizing throughout the state,” said NJAR® 2010 President Judy Appleby. “These increases in buyer activity should spur further confidence in Garden State housing. Plus, expiration of the federal home buyer tax credit in April should spark a dramatic spring buying season that will hopefully set the tone for the remainder of the year in many of New Jersey’s various markets.”

1) First-time buyers are taking action, and for good reason. In 2009, first-time buyers made up 52 percent of the New Jersey real estate market, compared to 49 percent in 2008 and 36 percent in 2007. First-timers were spurred by high affordability, low rates, and the $8,000 federal tax credit, which has been extended to April 30, 2010. An estimated 45,700 first-time buyers took advantage of the credit last year, and it is expected to be a strong incentive for first-time buyers early this year.
Source: 2009 Profile of NJ Buyers and Sellers

2) Homes in the Garden State are a good investment. The seven-year home appreciation rate in New Jersey is 37.1 percent, more than five times the national rate of 7.1 percent. Likely due to the inherent advantages that the Garden State has to offer (great schools, unique neighborhoods, proximity to New York and Philadelphia, and access to the shore), New Jersey outperforms the national average in home appreciation.
Source: NJ Market Summary, June 2009

3) It’s a great time to trade up. The 2009 federal tax credit for first-time buyers has been expanded to include repeat buyers. That means that existing homeowners can qualify for up to $6,500 (or $3,200 for those filing separately) when they buy a home - a significant incentive to trade up to that dream home.

4) Waiting for prices to drop could cost you. A buyer obtaining a 30-year mortgage of $300,000 today at a 5 percent interest rate will pay approximately $1,610 each month in principal and interest. If that same buyer waits until sale prices drop five percent, he/she runs the risk of interest rates going up. A 30-year mortgage of $285,000 at a 6 percent interest rate will cost the buyer $1,708 per month in principal and interest. Those few percentage points can equate to thousands of dollars over the course of a mortgage.

5) Owning a home in New Jersey builds long-term wealth. New Jersey home buyers who purchased their homes seven years ago accumulated an average of $81,100 in home equity. Over the last decade (1998-2008), the median prices of homes in almost every metropolitan statistical area that covers the state have more than doubled.
Source: The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS®(NAR)

6) It’s a prime time to buy a second home. Especially in a state like New Jersey, with a great second home market in shore towns and other vacation destinations, now is a great time to purchase a second home. The 2009 median price of a second home in New Jersey was $246,300. Because of the relatively high amount of inventory, there are plenty of affordable options that, when paired with low interest rates, could be once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Who wouldn’t want their investment to double as a vacation getaway and a foundation to build lasting memories?
Source: 2009 Profile of New Jersey Buyers and Sellers

7) There is still time to take advantage of historically low interest rates. Many experts agree that the rates won’t stay too low for long, but there is still time in early 2010 to take advantage of rates that have dropped significantly. Consider that in the third quarter of 2008 the average Northeast rate was 6.27. For the third quarter of 2009, the rate was 5.22.
Source: Federal Housing Finance Board

8) Good news for sellers: New Jersey consumers are “buying in” to real estate. The vast majority of New Jersey buyers (86 percent) saw their purchase as a good financial investment, with 57 percent saying it is a better financial investment than stocks. Also, when asked about the primary reason for the timing of their home purchase, 46 percent of first-time buyers said it was just the right time.
Source: 2009 Profile of NJ Buyers and Sellers

9) Lower prices make homes more affordable. The median price of a single family New Jersey home in the 3rd quarter of 2009 is 11 percent lower than in the 3rd quarter of 2008. The housing affordability index during the same time period increased by 22 percent. NAR’s housing affordability index measures whether or not a typical family could qualify for a mortgage loan on a median-priced, existing single-family home. Increasing levels of affordability mean a home purchase is within reach for more New Jerseyans than the same time the year before.
Source: New Jersey Home Sales Report, 3rd quarter 2009

Great 1 Bedroom, with Backyard and Deck, Great for Dog Lovers.

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Description
Centrally located 1 bedroom with private backyard and deck - great for pet owners! This first floor apartment has been recently renovated with hard wood floors, a dishwasher, oven, fridge, and a new bathroom. Located at Park & 5th this apartment is conveniently located near Church Square Park and Washington St. It is convenient to both the uptown and downtown ferry as well as PATH, NJ TRANSIT, and Light Rail.


Features
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Located on Floor #: 1
Floors in Bldg: 3
Square Footage: 529
Pets Allowed: Dogs

Location
Powered by vFlyer.comvFlyer Id: 2970157
Prudential Castle Point Realty 201-216-0909

Case -Shiller Home Price Index


Case Shiller Index Shows Continued Improvement




Here's an excerpt from the recent Case-Shiller Home Price Index

Case-Shiller released the November house price index this morning and most news reports focused on the small decrease, not seasonally adjusted (NSA), from October to November. As I noted earlier, the seasonally adjusted (SA) data showed a small price increase from October to November.

House price data has a clear seasonal pattern, and I think the headlines for this data should be the Seasonally Adjusted number.

The following graph shows the month-to-month change of the Case-Shiller Composite 10 index for both the NSA and SA data (annualized). Note that Case-Shiller uses a three-month moving average to smooth the data.

Case-Shiller House Prices Seasonal Adjustment Click on graph for larger image in new window.

The Blue line is the NSA data. There is a clear seasonal pattern for house prices.

The red line is the SA data as provided by Case-Shiller.

The seasonal adjustment appears pretty good in the '90s, however it appears insufficient now. Still the SA data is probably a better indicator than the NSA data - and to be consistent I've kept reporting the SA data.

The second graph compares the Case-Shiller Composite 10 SA index with the Stress Test scenarios from the Treasury (stress test data is estimated from quarterly forecasts).

NOTE: This is using the Seasonally Adjusted (SA) composite 10 series.

Case-Shiller Stress Test Comparison The Stress Test scenarios use the Composite 10 index and starts in December. Here are the numbers:

Case-Shiller Composite 10 Index, November: 157.66

Stress Test Baseline Scenario, November: 140.86

Stress Test More Adverse Scenario, November: 128.54

This puts house prices 12% above the baseline scenario and 22% above the more adverse scenario.

Weekly Hoboken Market Stats from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor



Use the weekly statistics to track the market. Bid on your new home with confidence!

Weekly Statistics by Quadrant

Thursday, January 28, 2010

National Mortgage Rates as of January 28th



Mortgage Rates 1-27-10


Mortgage rates are still in the low 5% range and are lower than the months before. Take advantage of low rates and the Home Buyers Credit while you still can. The homebuyers credit expires in April. See my previous article.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Open House Map from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor updated January 27, 2010

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Open House Map Open houses are picking up again as the weather warms and the real estate season opens. The Map is a great tool for starting the real estate purchase process. Walk around Hoboken on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, looking at real estate. Get an idea of what your dollar can buy, in what part of town, with what amenity level. The map is refreshed through Thursday afternoon so be sure to stop by again before your weekend search. Sort by price, number of bedrooms or day of week! By subscribing, you will be able to not only get the basics - price, number of bedrooms, and street location but will get the unit number, and the full Multiple Listing Service listing with photos, square footage and more. . . .

Sunday, January 24, 2010

First Time Homebuyer Credit Changes



First Time Homebuyer Credit Extended as of November 2009 both in terms of the deadline for use and the purchase price of a home. See the grid to the left and the IRS instructions and forms below. You can download them here.


Homebuyer Tax Credit Word


Form 5405 - 1st Time Homebuyer Cr.

Hoboken's Industrial Age





The beginning of last century saw an industrial renaissance that brought more than 250 companies to Hoboken, companies that were major industrial giants. As the 19th century became the 20th, Hoboken was a hotbed of industrial activity. This was due in large part to the planning of Hoboken's "founding family," the Stevens family.

In the early 19th century, Hoboken was essentially a weekend playground for wealthy New Yorkers to get away from the bustle. But in the second half of the century, the Stevens family, through the Hoboken Land and Improvement Company, began hearty development, building most of the city's characteristic brownstones. At this time, the family also began selling land to industrialists, forever changing the face of the city.

The primary industry during Hoboken's days as an industrial capital was shipbuilding, but at various times the city was home to industries that created a variety of other products that have since become household names. Such as the Maxwell House of Coffee Plant which is directly abutting Union Dry Docks on the eastern waterfront. The Bauhaus-style Maxwell House, which opened in 1939, was the largest coffee plant of the world. This oversized symbol of Hoboken closed down in 1992.

Since its closing, the former industrial building has been home to local artists, a brewery, and even local law firms and other professionals. Local developers also gained approvals to raze the old factory and build 832 units of housing.

Other prominent companies that had their factories in Hoboken was Lipton Tea Company and The Tootsie Roll Factory. In 1896, Austrian immigrant Leo Hirshfield brought his chewy candy recipe to New York City and gave it his daughter's nickname, "Tootsie." As the popularity of confection grew, the company outgrew its New York digs, and after the depression, it moved from its 35,000 square-foot space in New York City to a 120,000 square-foot plant in Hoboken. Keeping on the topic of the sweet-tooth, no more than a couple feet away from the former Tootsie Roll factory used to be a huge Hostess Cupcake factory, but that factory closed long ago.

Across the street from Park on Park, between Park and Willow avenues near the central part of the city's northern boarder, there are still several industrial survivors. One of note is the Stahl Soap factory, which is open and still produces custom soaps for hotels and large-scale businesses.

Since Hoboken’s industrial days have died down in the 21st century Hoboken has ventured into using a method to incorporate all the industrial building into its 21st ambiance which is adaptive reuse. Adaptive Reuse is a process that adapts buildings for new uses while retaining their historic features. The trend of Adaptive Reuse can be seen throughout Hoboken's west side, where developers continue to look for innovative ways to develop formerly industrial areas. An example of Adaptive Reuse is the former U.S. Testing Co. building on Park Avenue and 15th Street, which has been converted into a multi-level parking garage called Park on Park.

Today, Hoboken has evolved into a prominent professional community whose skyrocketing real estate prices and lack of open space for expansion have forced the city's historic industrial employers to disappear one by one. The blighted and unused factories have given way to popular luxury condos with high ceilings, awesome views and urban charm.

If you would like to know what resided on the property where your building stands today, give me a call. It's always good to know what types of products and materials were produced on your property. The EPA has to certify property that was used for industrial use and any developer converting a factor or building on old factory land is responsible for remediation, but it's still good to know if your home is built of a light bulb factory (which were made with mercury) or if your building was an old bread factory.

Donna
201-240-6832

Friday, January 22, 2010

Use the weekly statistics to track the market. Bid on your new home with confidence!



Use the weekly statistics to track the market. Bid on your new home with confidence!

Weekly Statistics by Quadrant

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Open House Map from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Open House Map Open houses are picking up again as the weather warms and the real estate season opens. The Map is a great tool for starting the real estate purchase process. Walk around Hoboken on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, looking at real estate. Get an idea of what your dollar can buy, in what part of town, with what amenity level. The map is refreshed through Thursday afternoon so be sure to stop by again before your weekend search. Sort by price, number of bedrooms or day of week! By subscribing, you will be able to not only get the basics - price, number of bedrooms, and street location but will get the unit number, and the full Multiple Listing Service listing with photos, square footage and more. . . .

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Open House Map from Hoboken Real Estate Monitor

Hoboken Real Estate Monitor's Open House Map





Open houses are picking up again as the weather warms and the real estate season opens. The Map is a great tool for starting the real estate purchase process. Walk around Hoboken on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, looking at real estate. Get an idea of what your dollar can buy, in what part of town, with what amenity level.

The map is refreshed through Thursday afternoon so be sure to stop by again before your weekend search.

Sort by price, number of bedrooms or day of week!

By subscribing, you will be able to not only get the basics - price, number of bedrooms, and street location but will get the unit number, and the full Multiple Listing Service listing with photos, square footage and more. . . .

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How much are your windows costing you in Heating Expenses?



The historic buildings in Hoboken tend to be older and have heat problems due to their age. A variety of factors affect how well the buildings retain heat during the cold seasons, but one of the major ones in the windows. The windows in modern buildings tend to be built into a wall with insulation surrounding it. The few inches of insulation in the wall provides better heat retention in apartments and homes alike. When a window is surrounded by glass block or lacks heat, which is the case in many Hoboken Apartments, heat is not retained very well.

John Estees from Regional Home Inspection was hired by the Hoboken Plaza Condominium Association to make an assessment of all of the windows the associations buildings to determine if there replacement would stop heat loss and reduce heating costs. The Association pays for heat and hot water so by reducing heat loss, the association is holding down heating costs and by extension monthly condo dues. Replacing the windows is an option and may be essential in some buildings. John was hired to inspect apartments to see if the windows are the true cause of the problem. With his crew, John analyzed a variety of factors to see if the windows were efficient or to see if they needed replacement. The assessments needed to be conducted during the evening as temperatures tend to vary more during daytime hours.

The first factor looked at was insulation in the walls. Using infrared cameras to measure the temperature of the window and surroundings areas, John was able to see if there was insulation in the walls around the window. Insulation in walls is essential to keep heat in apartments. Older buildings tend to lack insulation which causes apartments to be cooler. With the device, John was able to see if there was a consistency in wall temperatures, which shows that the wall is properly insulated, or an inconsistency, which shows a lack of insulation. The areas measured were the wall space above, below, and to the sides of the windows.




The window seal, which was the second factor looked at, was an important factor as well because minor drafts allow cold air to come in and heat to flow out. A smoke pen was used to see how well the window was sealed in the wall. The smoke pen, which is a device that is pen like device that is lit with a match, shows where drafts come in around the edges of the window and in the window were the pains touch. John explained that when the smoke drafts off the window fairly quickly for six to eight inches, there is a poor seal. Some people may not notice that they have drafts in their apartment because they just up the thermostat and heating system output, but the smoke pen shows how air is coming in from outside and how people are unaware of it.


The combination of these two factors allowed John to make an accurate assessment of how the well an apartment would retain heat. With a lack of insulation and in the walls and poor seals, heat is able to leak in fairly easy. If a wall does have a proper seal and insulation in the walls, an apartment will stay fairly warm. Windows with a temperature that is around 6 degrees cooler than the wall is average and appropriate. Window temperatures that are more than 8 degrees cooler than the surrounding wall show that apartments lack insulation and proper heat retention.

Many art deco and even modern buildings in Hoboken use glass blocks as an accent surrounding a window which does offer better lighting but it may be at a high cost. Often, the glass does not provide enough insulation and do not retain heat in apartments well. Glass blocks tend to be 10-12 degrees cooler than the window pain, causing apartments to be colder during the winter. Glass blocks are not thermal effective. John can see this by looking at the R value of the product surrounding a window. A normal wall with insulation has an Rvalue of around 16-24. In some of the old buildings in Hoboken, walls that lack insulation have an R value of 10-12. Glass blocks have an R value of around 2-4, which is very low and demonstrates that there isn’t proper heat insulation. As a result the Association will be looking for an efficient replacement.

Many of these buildings are considered historic so simply eliminating the block may not be allowed by the Historic Preservation Board. There are many efficient products on the market that look very similar to the historic glass block but have a much better Rvalue.

At the time of the assessment John could not determine if the windows in a whole building needed to be replaced. Some apartments have been renovated, while windows have been replaced and insulation has been added. He did come to the conclusion that it may be possible to change some factors in the apartment without replacing the glass blocks and the windows. Making sure radiators are working properly, sealing windows, and adding insulation to walls may be most cost effective that replacing windows, which runs about $400 per window.

My having a study done by an outside party, it will be easier to convince condo owners to change their windows. In this building, the condo owner is responsible for their windows which explains why some apartments had new windows than others. Being able to quantify the impact of old windows makes the argument for investment easier.

The Associations gas broker determined that it cost the Association on average $150 a month over the winter months for every unit that left an air conditioner in a window. Window air conditioners sit in an open window and never fit perfectly in the window leaving gaps for air to come in just as when a window has a poor seal (likely worse).

Using this information from both the engineering firm and their gas broker, the Association can plan for remediation.

Do you have drafty windows? How much have you spent on heat loss? When looking at buying use your inspector to figure out the general condition of the windows. Use your realtor to find out if the unit owner or Association is responsible for window repair or replacement. If the unit owner is responsible, use that information to negotiate on price.

Donna


Use the weekly statistics to track the market. Bid on your new home with confidence!

Weekly Statistics by Quadrant

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Great 1 Bedroom with a backyard! $1800. Pets welcome

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Description
Centrally located 1 bedroom with private backyard and deck - great for pet owners! This first floor apartment has been recently renovated with hard wood floors, a dishwasher, oven, fridge, and a new bathroom. Located at Park & 5th this apartment is conveniently located near Church Square Park and Washington St. It is convenient to both the uptown and downtown ferry as well as PATH, NJ TRANSIT, and Light Rail.


Features
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Located on Floor #: 1
Floors in Bldg: 3
Square Footage: 529
Pets Allowed: Dogs

Location
Powered by vFlyer.comvFlyer Id: 2970157
Prudential Castle Point Realty 201-216-0909