Long Island NY Home Sales Numbers: Victim of Winter?

Long Island NY home sales have fallen to their slowest pace in nine months, with sales of existing homes tumbling 4.9 percent last month.

Relatively low mortgage rates and steady job growth have not yet spurred the kind of activity from buyers or sellers, raising the possibility of either a spring rush, or another year of slack Long Island NY home sales.

Long Island NY home sales have not picked up so far in 2015 like they were expected to

Nationwide, few properties are being listed for sale, would-be-buyers are holding off, and the harsh winter weather is taking its toll on attempts to hold open houses.

Long Island NY Home Sales Expectations Not Happening

Weaker Long Island NY home sales in 2014 had set up expectations of a strong rebound in 2015, but so far, that resurgence has yet to appear. Even the addition of more new jobs over the past three months has failed to make much of an impact on overall Long Island NY home sales.

Builders haven't started ramping up any new construction either. Confidence among builders in the market for single-family homes in February fell two points to a level of 55 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released recently. Any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good rather than poor.

Average mortgage rates have held well below 4 percent for weeks, which you would think bodes well for a rejuvenated housing market in the spring. But only time will tell.

Long Island NY home sales are not the only area where numbers are down. Sales slid in all four major geographical regions of the country last month: dropping 6 percent in the Northeast, 2.7 percent in the Midwest, 4.6 percent in the South and 7.1 percent in the West.

In the meantime, you can get more information about news that may affect the Long Island NY home sales market in our section on Long Island NY Real Estate to your right under Long Island NY Real Estate Categories.

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Existing Long Island NY Home Sales Increased in December

According to figures from the National Association of Realtors, existing Long Island NY home sales increased in December, reaching an annual pace nationally of more than 5 million sales for the sixth time in seven months. Median home prices for last year reached their highest level since 2007 but the total number of sales dropped 3.1% compared to the previous year.

Existing Long Island NY home sales ended the year strong after a sluggish start.

The total number of existing Long Island NY home sales includes completed transactions for condominiums, co-ops, townhomes and single-family homes. Nationwide, this increased 2.4% to reach a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million last month compared to 4.92 million in November. When compared to a year earlier, sales for last month were 3.5% higher.

In total, there were 4.95 million sales for 2014 which is 3.1% less compared to 2013. The national median home price for existing homes was $208,500, the highest figure seen since 2007 when it reached $219,000. This figure is 5.8% higher than 2013 when the median price was $197,100.

Long Island NY Home Sales Close Strong for the Year

Long Island NY home sales picked up in December, closing out a year that began sluggishly but which showed signs of improvement during the second half. Long Island NY home sales began to improve over last summer as inventory levels increased, prices moderated and economic growth began to accelerate. According to real estate experts, sales were much better during the second half of last year, up by 8% compared to the first six months of the year.

We'll keep you informed on Long Island NY home sales as we move through 2015. In the meantime, you can get more information about news that may affect Long Island NY home sales in our section on Long Island NY Real Estate News to your right under Long Island NY Real Estate Categories.

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Owning a Home Not Among Americans’ Problems

The latest Gallup poll shows that the average American has a lot of problems, but owning a home is not one of the biggies any more.

Right now, more Americans are concerned about healthcare costs, low wages and a lack of jobs.

When it comes to the capital markets, they worry about the cost of college for their children.

But, the most striking result of the Gallup poll, explained in the chart below, is the shift in the attitude towards owning a home.

Owning a home is roughly half as important to Americans today as it was 3 years ago

Owning a Home Half as Important As Three Years Ago

In just three short years, the number of Americans who cite the costs associated with homeownership and renting as one of their biggest financial worries, sliced firmly in half.

In 2012, a full 12% of Americans put this cost at the top of their financial worry. Now it's dropped all the way down to 6%.

Although when broken down by income, the results skew somewhat.

Below the $30k/year bracket, housing is the most important worry for 9% of the respondents. That lowers to 4% in the $30k to $75k range. But then, it jumps up to 6% for Americans making more than that.

Perhaps not surprisingly, lower-income Americans name "lack of money/cash flow" and "not enough money to pay debts" as their top most important money woes.

Find more news articles as they relate to owning a home in the Long Island NY Real Estate News section under Long Island NY Real Estate Categories to your right. And find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for daily updates we post there as well.

FHA Slashing Long Island NY Mortgage Insurance Premiums

In a move expected to bring 250,000 first-time homebuyers into the market, FHA will reduce annual Long Island NY mortgage insurance premiums by half a percentage point, to 0.85 percent. The move is expected to make homeownership more affordable for more than 2 million homeowners in the next three years.

Long Island NY mortgage insurance premiums are being slashed by FHA

After raising Long Island NY mortgage insurance premiums six times during the housing bust, the Obama administration is reversing course and rolling back mortgage insurance premiums charged by the Federal Housing Administration by enough to save homeowners an average of $900 a year.

Upfront Long Island NY Mortgage Insurance Premiums Will Remain Unchanged

FHA's upfront premiums of 1.75 percent will remain unchanged. So a first-time homebuyer taking out a $180,000 mortgage will pay $3,150 upfront and $1,530 a year in premiums for access to FHA mortgage programs that let them purchase a home with as little as 3.5 percent down. Today, the same homeowner pays $2,430 a year in annual premiums.

The National Association of Realtors claims that FHA premium increases priced nearly 400,000 borrowers out of the housing market in 2013, and 234,000 in 2014. In the past four years, NAR said, the share of first-time buyers using FHA-backed loans shrank from 56 percent to 39 percent.

The hope is for the premium rollback to provide greater access to homeownership for entry-level and underrepresented buyers.

We'll keep you informed on this reduction of Long Island NY mortgage insurance rates as it moves forward. In the meantime, you can get more information about Long Island NY mortgage insurance and mortgages in our section on Long Island NY Mortgage Info to your right under Long Island NY Real Estate Categories.

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Long Island NY Household Costs Down For Owners

The burden of Long Island NY household costs fell for the third consecutive year, according to the U.S. Census’ 2013 American Community Survey. Nationwide last year, 39.6 million households spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing, which is a decrease from 40.9 million in 2012 and down from the peak of 42.7 million in 2010.

Long Island NY household costs are mostly dropping among home owners, while they continue to strain renters

Long Island NY household costs are mostly dropping among home owners, while they continue to strain renters, according to a recent analysis by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies of the data. In 2013, 26 percent of home owners were considered burdened by household expenses (i.e.: spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing), compared to half of all renters at 49 percent.

Why Long Island NY Household Costs Are Escalating For Renters

The number of renter households is on the rise, which partially explains why Long Island NY household costs for renters are escalating. But renters are also plagued by rising rents that are not matching incomes. Median renter costs were up about 5 percent in 2013 compared to 2001, even though median incomes were nearly 11 percent lower, according to the report.

This has led to more renters being severely burdened by Long Island NY household costs in 2013, paying more than 50 percent of their incomes toward housing costs. 11.2 million renters were in this category.

The number of home owners burdened with higher Long Island NY household costs is dropping. After surging during the housing bubble, inflation-adjusted owner costs have dropped about 2.5 percent below their 2001 level. Owner burdens are also down due to a significant reduction in the overall number of home owners in 2013 than 2012. This decline in the number of home owners for the third straight year suggests that many burdened owners dropped out of ownership, moving into the costly rental market.

Get more timely information about Long Island NY household costs and news affecting those costs in our section on Long Island NY Real Estate News to the right under Long Island NY Real Estate Categories.

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