The market this week in Prospect Heights

July 30th, 2011









Median Price: $975,000, Active Inventory: 7, Days on Market: 126 and the Price per Sqft: $442

If you  are thinking of buying, selling or just love real estate (who doesn’t?),  this kind of information – all in one place is really invaluable.

Follow this and many other NYC neighborhoods on my Market Statistics tab.  Don’t see your neighborhood?  Contact me and I will post it for you.


Categories: Brooklyn Real Estate, Days on Market, Inventory, Price Trends, Real Estate Trends, Real Time Real Estate data

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Pending Home Sales Rise For 3rd Straight Month

July 29th, 2011

Pending Home Sales 2009-2011Buyers are writing contracts at a furious pace nationwide.

On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the Pending Home Sales Index rose 2 percent last month to reach its highest level since March.

A “pending home sale” is a home under contract to sell, but not yet closed.

The forward-looking Pending Home Sales Index is up 11 percent from its low of the year, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, and well ahead of its rolling 6-month average.

Unfortunately, national data isn’t always helpful for buyers and sellers in Brooklyn and nationwide. To help make data more relevant, therefore, the official Pending Home Sales Index report includes a region-by-region breakdown.

Between May and June 2011, results were mixed:

  • Northeast Region: -0.4%
  • Midwest Region : -3.7%
  • South Region : +4.4%
  • West Region : +6.4%

However, even the value of regional data may be dubious.

The West Region, for example, which showed big gains in June, is comprised of multiple states containing thousands of cities and towns. Some of those areas outperformed the region, and some of them underperformed. The Pending Home Sales Index doesn’t show which towns did which. It can’t.

For everyday buyers and sellers in Park Slope , it’s the local data that matters.

The Pending Home Sales Index shows that more contracts were written in June than in April or May — a good sign for housing overall. And because 80% of all contracts close within 60 days, we can expect the summer’s home resale activity to be high.

This leads home prices higher.

With mortgage rates low and home sales spiking, now may be the best time to buy a home in 2011. Home prices appear to be rising and mortgage rates should, too.

Categories: Housing Analysis

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Is An FHA Mortgage Better Than A Conforming One?

July 26th, 2011

FHA vs Conforming Mortgage Rates 2005-2011

The FHA is insuring a greater percentage of loans than during any time in recent history. In 2006, it insured roughly 5 percent of the purchase mortgage market. Today, it insures one-quarter. “Going FHA” is more common than ever before — but is it better?

The answer — like most things in mortgage — depends on your circumstance.

Like its conforming counterpart, an FHA-insured mortgage is available as a fixed-rate loan and as an adjustable-rate one. Payments are made monthly and come without prepayment penalties.

That’s where the similarities end, however, and decision-making begins. For homeowners and buyers across Brooklyn , FHA mortgages carry a different set rules as compared to conforming loans through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac that can render them more — or less — attractive for financing.

For example:

  • FHA mortgages can be assumed by a subsequent buyer. Conforming loans may not.
  • FHA mortgages require mortgage insurance, regardless of downpayment. Conforming loans do not.
  • FHA mortgages do not have loan-level pricing adjustment. Conforming loans do.

FHA mortgages also require smaller downpayment requirements versus a comparable conforming mortgage. FHA calls for a minimum downpayment of 3.5%. Conforming mortgages often require 5 percent or more.

And, lastly, FHA mortgages are priced differently from conforming ones. Since 2005, the average FHA mortgage rate has been below the average conforming mortgage rate more than 50% of the time, meaning that an FHA mortgage’s principal + interest payment is lower than a comparable Fannie/Freddie loan.

Today, conforming mortgage rates are lower.

So, which is better — FHA loans or conforming ones? Like most things in mortgage, it depends. FHA-insured loans can be big money-savers or money-wasters. To find out which is best for you, ask your loan officer for today’s market interest rates and study the results.

With less than 20% equity, the answer is often clear.

Categories: Mortgage Guidelines

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The market in Prospect Heights this week

July 22nd, 2011

Prospect Heights Lintel


Here is the latest realtime real estate data for Prospect Heights houses on the market:

Median Price: $1,229,462, Active Inventory: 7, Days on Market: 80 and

the Price per Sqft: $368


Follow this and many other NYC neighborhoods on my Market Statistics tab. If you don’t find what you want there, contact me and if I can find it, I will post it for you.

Categories: Days on Market, Housing Market, Inventory, Price Trends, Prospect Heights, Real Estate Trends, Real Time Real Estate data

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Housing Starts Surge 9 Percent; Signal A Strong Fall Season

July 20th, 2011

Single-family housing starts

Builders are busy once again.

According to the Census Bureau, Single-Family Housing Starts rose to 453,000 on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis in June — a 9 percent spike from the month prior and the highest reading in 3 seasons.

A “Housing Start” is defined as a home breaking ground on new construction.

June’s reading is largest one-month jump since June 2009. The reading surprised Wall Street despite that the Homebuilder Confidence survey may have foreshadowed the results.

Monday, the National Association of Homebuilders reported that builders are more confident about the future of the new home sales market, and forecast a large increase in sales over the next 6 months.

For buyers of new construction, the news is mixed. Rising confidence may mean that builders in Brooklyn are less willing to negotiate on upgrades and/or price, but rising construction levels add inventory to an already fragile market.

Adding to the nation’s home supply without a corresponding increase in buyer demand shifts negotiation leverage away from builders.

The Census Bureau also reported on Building Permits.

In June, permits for single-family homes rose by 1,000 units nationwide on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis. This, too, bodes well for housing because 89 percent of homes with permits start construction within 60 days.

Momentum should carry forward into fall.

If you’re buying new construction in New York , ask your real estate agent about local home supply, and how the market is trending. With mortgage rates low and the fall buying season approaching, you may find some of your best deals in the next few weeks.

Categories: Housing Analysis

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The Market In Carroll Gardens and Red Hook

July 19th, 2011

Here is the latest realtime market information for Carroll Gardens and Red Hook:


Median Price: $1,378,846, Active Inventory: 13, Days on Market: 61 and the Price per Sq Ft: $541

If you would like to follow the realtime market changes in this or many other NYC neighborhoods, go to my Market Statistics tab.


Carroll Gardens

Categories: Carroll Gardens, Days on Market, Inventory, Price Trends, Real Time Real Estate data, Red Hook

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There’s 3.7 Million Homes For Sale. Is Yours Standing Out From The Crowd?

July 18th, 2011

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According to the National Association of REALTORS®, there are more than 3.7 million homes for sale this month. If your home is among them, are you doing what it takes to stand apart from the crowd?

This 4-minute piece from NBC’s The Today Show pulls no punches. It’s titled “5 Mistakes Sellers Can’t Afford To Make” and it covers falling home prices, buyer mentality, and the need to be smart when faced with that first offer.

Some of the tips include:

  • Why you should list your home at a price within 5 percent of its “true value”
  • How to turn “low-ball” offers into legitimate ones
  • How to interview and select a real estate agent to sell your home

In addition, based on the truth that “people shop with their eyes” and then review home details, the video includes advice on using great photographs and making the most of an online listing.

It can be tough to find buyers in any market. But if you follow the tips outlined above, you can get more showings, and do more with them.

Categories: Around The Home, Home sellers, Homeselling tips

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The 2Q Brooklyn Market Report Is Released This Morning

July 14th, 2011

PDE has just released “The Douglas Elliman Report: Brooklyn Sales 2Q 2011”, the most comprehensive and timely analysis of the Brooklyn housing market. The first of its kind, this report provides new insights into the residential housing market for the entire borough. These  market reports are produced in conjunction with Miller Samuel to provide the most comprehensive and neutral market insight available.

For the fifth consecutive quarter, Brooklyn housing prices edged higher compared to the same period a year ago, while the sales activity level remained the same as last year. We continue to see the housing market show patterns consistent with long-term historic trends, something we haven’t experienced in the last 3 years. However, properties are taking a little longer to sell, so it is critical to pay attention to your market conditions. Brooklyn still faces some economic challenges including unemployment, tight mortgage lending conditions and distressed sales activity, even as the regional economy continues to gradually improve. We look forward to continued market stability in the months ahead.


I have attached a link to the entire report, which you will find below.

Brooklyn 2Q Market Report

Brooklyn 2Q Market Report

Categories: Brooklyn, Home Buyers, Housing Analysis, Real Estate, Real Estate Trends

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Fed Minutes Hint At New Economic Stimulus

July 13th, 2011

FOMC Minutes June 2011The Federal Reserve released its June 2011 Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes Tuesday. It contained no surprises and, as such, mortgage rates in New York have idled in the hours since.

The Fed Minutes is published 8 times annually, three weeks after each scheduled Federal Open Market Committee meeting. It’s the official log of the meeting’s conversations and debates.

The Fed Minutes is the lengthier companion piece to the FOMC’s more well-known, post-meeting press release. As compared to the brief-and-focused press release,by comparison, the Fed Minutes are long and detailed.

June’s press release was 458 words long. Its minutes totaled 6,889 words.

The June minutes reveal some interesting perspectives from within the Federal Reserve, too.

  • On growth : Economic recovery had been slower than the committee expected
  • On housing : The market remains depressed. Foreclosures are “holding back” construction.
  • On rates : The Fed Funds Rate should remain low for an “extended” period

In addition, the Federal Reserve discussed whether a new round of economic stimulus was necessary. Committee members agreed that a poor outlook for employment in the medium-term would make this move more likely.

There was little that surprised Wall Street in the June Fed Minutes. This is why market reaction has been muted since its release.

The FOMC meets next August 9. If jobs data continues to weaken between now and then, expect the stimulus chatter to continue. It’s unclear, however, how this would impact mortgage rates.

For now, mortgage rates remain near their all-time lows, and they have much more room to rise than to fall. If you’re shopping for a loan, therefore, the timing is right for a lock.

Categories: Federal Reserve

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The Market In Kensington This Week

July 11th, 2011

Here this week’s realtime real estate data for Kensington:










Median Price: $743,223,  Active Inventory: 15, Days on Market: 64 and

the Price per Sqft: $415

See the history of price trends in Kensington over the last year below.



Kensington Price Trends  July 2010-July 2011



To follow the market in this and many other NYC neighborhoods,  go to my Market Statistics tab.  If you don’t see what you want there,  contact me and if I can find your information, I will post it for you.

Categories: Days on Market, Inventory, Kensington, Price Trends, Real Estate Trends, Real Time Real Estate data

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