2014 – a Year of Great Promise and Potential
Gay E. Rosen ABR, CBR, CDPE, CRS, GRI, SRES
Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker
2013 New York State Certified Residential Specialist of the Year
2014 NYS CRS Public Relations & Communications Chair Person
Firstly, our Larchmont office continues to excel! Notable numbers: In 2012 we had a $73,400 Million lead over our next competitor. In 2013 that lead grew to $92,658 Million. Our office had 67 more sales in 2013 than 2012. 67! 2012 Office stats 2013 Office stats
While none of us has a crystal ball, if we were to reflect on the stock market at year end, and the real estate growth in sales of 2013, then 2014 is looking quite promising to put it mildly.
Fantastic interest rates influenced many sales in early 2013, with multiple bids in many price points where there was not enough inventory to satisfy the buyers needs. We witnessed multiple bidding in Brooklyn, New York, causing those who were unlucky to search further afield in the River Towns based on their close proximity to the city, and then onto Larchmont and Mamaroneck also. Always favorable and popular, I found buyers were returning to no contingency bids which were the norm back in 2005, and seemingly the norm in 2013. However, there was one small difference. While buyers were bidding well and high, prices were still not as high as they once were… meaning there were still good purchases to be made. Multiple bids, yes… but in some cases multiple bidding resulting in list price sales or just slightly over… Only in a few cases did I see homes selling for substantially more.
What does that tell us?
Each quarterly report showed increases in sales prices over 2012, but perhaps not as many sales as demand showed, due to the lack of inventory. Standard & Poor’s Home Prices cites that based on the Composite Indices, average home prices across the United States are back to their mid 2004 levels..Home sales rose in those 10 and 20 city composites 13.6% in October, 2013 over 2012 in that same time period.
However, real estate is always local, and so it is always good to ask your local real estate professional for their market update. I would rather state that homes in different price points/different areas sold well.
“The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is expected to rise from 4.5 percent to 5 percent in the next year.” Benjamin Weinstock, real estate attorney and partner at the firm Ruskin Moscou Faltischek in Uniondale, N.Y.
Since I sell homes in the Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle and surrounding areas, I have attached some local stats. Larchmont Stats as of December 31st 2013 Mamaroneck Stats 2013 New Rochelle Stats as of December 31st 2013 Rye Neck School District Stats as of December 31st 2013
The Beige Book (Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District ) is citing that retail sales had improved last year, car sales were somewhat slower in December with larger inventories, home sales increased but overall, the economy is looking a touch better. (January 15th, 2014)
I am very optimistic for the spring of 2014. I think it will be a great season in which to sell ones home, and also a good time in which to purchase. Why? As I mentioned above, mortgage rates are still low with a National average upon writing this newsletter of around 4.54%. As Mr. Weinstock mentions, if you just rent at the end of the year you only have the 12 cancelled checks to show that year, but with home ownership, you have the ability to deduct your mortgage interest and home taxes.
Some mortgage brokers have informed me that many affluent buyers who would be seeking a jumbo loan, are looking into 5/1 ARMS simply because the rate is around 2.75 ( Patricia I. Madison, Senior Loan Officer, Thoroughbred Mortgage, 800 Westchester Avenue, S-332, Rye Brook, N.Y. 10573 -Mobile -917-559-3659, firstname.lastname@example.org NMLS #162252 )
New Mortgage rules also take effect on January 20th – Mortgage lenders are being asked to comply with two new requirements: The Ability to Repay rule and Qualified Mortgages.
“Lenders must determine that a borrower has the income and assets to afford to make payments throughout the life of the loan. To do so, the lender may look at your debt-to-income ratio, which is how much you owe divided by how much you earn per month, including the highest mortgage payments you would be required to make under the terms of the loan. To calculate your debt-to-income ratio, add up all your monthly obligations — including student loan, credit card and car payments, housing costs, utilities and other recurring expenses — and divide it by your monthly gross income. ” Les Christie, CNN January 10th, 2014.
FEMA is initiating new rules, and now more than ever, it is imperative any buyer researches the FEMA guidelines for the area and understands the flood risks. Having a good agent who can direct you to the correct insurance companies, and web sites helps also.
I do see buyers being more conservative in their purchases. They are not just buying ‘anything‘ but rather they are seeking newer , renovated homes (new kitchens and baths always sell) and obviously location and school districts sell also. As a real estate professional, I am always asked about school districts. Unfortunately, I cannot advise on schools. Every child has different needs, and you can send your child to THE best school based on stats, only to find that you do not care for the teacher! We always urge parents to interview the various schools, learn about the different programs and become ‘educated’ about the local school districts.
Our local schools
With China becoming such a dominant force in the world, our local schools are recognizing the need to offer Mandarin Chinese to its students!
The Larchmont elementary schools (Murray Avenue, Chatsworth Elementary & Central Elementary) filter into the Mamaroneck Hommocks Middle School and the Mamaroneck High School, where there are so many exemplary study programs. The Mamaroneck High School approximately 23 Honors & AP Classes .
**There is a pioneer dual Spanish/English language program in the Mamaroneck Avenue Elementary School. It started this past September with just 48 students.
** Mandarin is also taught in the 7th Grade onward in the Mamaroneck schools too. It started in the 80’s with just 30 students, and it has now grown to approximately 300 students with the ultimate culture immersion trip to China enabling the students to not only practice their Mandarin, but to be with Host families, travel, and learn firsthand the cultures of China.
The Hommocks Middle School is utilizing the Ipad to both teach and allow the students to explore, research and express themselves via the I-Pad.
Mandarin Chinese is taught in most of New Rochelle’s elementary schools, and offers a dual language program in its Jefferson Elementary School (Italian or Spanish), as well as offering Magnet Schools.
The High School – while the largest in Westchester with approximately 3300 students, has many college based areas of study including Physics B & C AP, Chemistry Honors., A & BC Calculus AP (H), Algebra 11 & Trigonometry (H), Italian 3, French 3, Spanish 3 (all Honor programs) and Mandarin 3. A student can learn business marketing to fashion marketing, and there is always the PAVE program (Performing and Visual Arts Education. The high school touts the only high school in Westchester to feature a planetarium and it also has 2 theaters. The New Rochelle High School offers 40 different AP classes.
Barnard Early Childhood Center Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program
- · Applications are available at the Barnard Early Childhood Center.
* UPK Applications are due by Friday, February 8 at 3:00 PM. They must be hand-delivered to the Barnard Early Childhood Center.
- · Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program Lottery will be held on Friday, March 1, 2013 at 1 PM.
Columbus Elementary School Registration March 11-15, 2013
George M. Davis Jr. Elementary School Registration March 18 – 22, 2013
Jefferson Elementary School Registration March 18 – 22, 2013
Trinity Elementary School Registration March 11 – 15, 2013
William B. Ward Elementary School Registration April 3-12, 2013
Daniel Webster Elementary School Registration April 15-19, 2013
Rye Neck School District
Rye Neck is a school district located in Mamaroneck. Its students consistently score in the top tier of statewide standardized testing. A smaller school district (with approximately 1250 students K- High School), 91% of its students score 3 or above in the 19 AP Programs offered.
It is only January, but I am looking forward to a wonderful year, a year in which I hope to serve all of my clients well, both new and old. I am here for all of your real estate requirements.
Gay Elizabeth Rosen, ABR, CBR, CDPE, CRS, GRI, SRES
Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker
2014 -2010 Top Five Star Agent in Exceptional Service
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