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Posts Tagged ‘mortgage

Bidding Wars Make a Comeback

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Bidding Wars Make a Comeback (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro)

Bidding Wars Make a Comeback (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro)

NEW YORK — Signs of a rebound in the real estate market were plentiful this week, but another element spoke volumes about how real it was: The return of the bidding war.

It was this detail in a Time magazine story, titled “Why This May Be the Ideal Time to Buy Real Estate,” that led me to reblog it almost immediately after reading it.

The blog entry covered much of the same ground I addressed in recent posts.

“If you were thinking about making a move on a piece of property, right now is possibly the best time. You can still take advantage of low prices in most places around the country, and mortgage rates are at once-in-a-lifetime record lows: 30- and 15-year fixed mortgages are around 4% and 3%, respectively,” wrote Martha C. White.

What caught my attention, however, is to see reporting on something that has been happening with increasing regularity.

“Many would-be homebuyers are surprised to find that one fixture of the bubble era is back: the bidding war,” according to White.

In Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, my colleagues and I have been seeing this often enough in condo and co-op sales — so much so that it isn’t surprising anymore.

Sales of investment properties and vacation homes have also been on the rise, which correspond to more affordable mortgage rates and a sense of confidence in the economy.

“For Americans who either have cash to buy or a credit score good enough to obtain a mortgage, there’s still time to get a killer deal on real estate, but that window may be closing,” the article concludes. “If your finances can support it, now appears to be a great time to buy.”

As always, if you’re looking to buy, sell or rent a home in New York, please let me know.


Written by Bruno

2012.05.23 at 23:35

Home Sales Approach Two-Year High

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Existing Home Sales Near Two-Year High (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro)

Existing Home Sales Near Two-Year High (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro)

NEW YORK — It’s not your imagination: The real estate market is hot again.

Sales of existing homes grew almost to the highest rate in two years, while prices saw the biggest increase since 2006.

Last month, existing U.S. home sales increased 3.4 percent to an annual rate of 4.62 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.

That rate was the highest since May 2010.

Anecdotally, sales activity has picked up in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, as previously forecast. I expect the data to show significant gains when it becomes available.

At the same time, home resale prices nationwide soared to a median of $177,400 in April, up 10.1 percent from a year earlier.

“That was the biggest year-over-year increase since January 2006,” according to Reuters.

Mortgage rates, too, continued their downward trend.

The average rate for a 30-year loan dropped to 3.79 percent, a Freddie Mac survey showed.

That was even lower than the record low set earlier this month.

As always, if you’re looking to buy, sell or rent a home in New York, please let me know.

UPDATE: The data gets a boost from federal statistics, which show similar gains among new homes.

The Real Deal writes, “Sales of new single-family homes rose 3.3 percent month-over-month in April 2012 and 9.9 percent year-over-year, according to a release issued by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. April saw new home sales at a seasonally adjusted rate of 343,000 units.”

Written by Bruno

2012.05.22 at 23:09

Mortgage Rates Hit Historic Low 3.84 Percent

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Mortgage Rates Hit Another Historic Low (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro)

Mortgage Rates Hit Another Historic Low  (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro)

NEW YORK — Mortgage rates dropped to another all-time low this week, providing another stimulus to the strengthening housing market.

The average rate on a 30-year mortgage was 3.84 percent, according to survey results released by Freddie Mac.

That’s the lowest rate ever since long-term mortgages were introduced in the 1950s, even below the previous record low set in February.

At that rate, a $100,000 loan would mean monthly payments of about $468 per month.

Meanwhile, sales activity in the past few weeks suggest that the robustness of the condo market in Manhattan and Brooklyn recently predicted was taking hold.

Written by Bruno

2012.05.04 at 11:03

Mortgage Rates Hit All-Time Low — Again

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Mortgage Rates Hit All-Time Low ... Again

Mortgage Rates Hit All-Time Low — Again

NEW YORK — The average rate for 30-year mortgages hit an all-time low today of 3.88 percent, breaking last week’s rock-bottom rate and making home ownership more affordable than ever.

The average rate for a fixed-rate mortgage marked the seventh consecutive week under 4 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

Last week, the average was 3.89 percent.

The average rate on 15-year fixed mortgages rose slightly to 3.17 percent from 3.16 percent, which USA Today called a record low.

It was just September that mortgage rates at 4.12 percent were considered a historic low.

One of the things I love about this trend is that it puts home ownership within reach of more people, a trend that’s even stronger in New York City than elsewhere in the country.

It’s a bit of a perfect storm if you’re able to buy, especially with Manhattan rents within $1 of record highs and vacancy rates below 1 percent.

What that means in real terms, for instance, is that you could own a studio in Chelsea priced at $299,000 for under $1,800 per month. Meanwhile, a comparable apartment in the same neighborhood would cost you $2,332 in rent.

Although I posed the question back in June as to whether it was time to buy, the answer now is much more definitive: Absolutely.

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