Setting a Budget This Year

Are you one of the many people who set New Year's resolutions each year, only to find that you've strayed away from that goal by the end of January?

If you've resolved to setting a budget this year, here are three things you MUST do in order to achieve your budget goals for the year…

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We have more tips and articles for you when it comes to setting a budget and coping with the Long Island NY Economy by looking at that section under the Long Island NY Real Estate Categories to your right.

And don't forget, we also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook, sometimes pertaining to setting a budget, the Long Island NY economy, or the economy in general. Find us there as well.

December Deals and Duds

As the year is winding down, some December deals are starting to heat up. But not everything is a bargain. Some things you should definitely avoid buying in December, and some things, depending on when you buy during the month, can be a real bargain…

We have more tips for you at the link to your right under Long Island NY Real Estate Categories. And don't forget, Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook!

Long Island NY Economy Mirrors the Nation

With a growing labor market and suffering housing sector, the Long Island NY economy seems to mirror the national economic news.

The Long Island NY economy tends to mirror the nation

The labor market in the U.S. is constantly improving with jobless claims remaining below 300,000. Consumers are also more eager to spend as retail sales were up 0.6 percent in  August. Motor vehicles sales went up by 1.5 percent, as well as sales of building materials and garden equipment. Growth in sales of building materials may be an indicator of some improvement in the housing market.

Nationally, the housing market has a lot of room for improvement. New home starts fell by 14.4 percent and existing home sales declined by 1.8 percent in August and 5.3 percent year-over-year.

Long Island NY Economy

Similar to other parts of the country, the Long Island NY economy shows some signs of growth with 4,000 private-sector jobs added in August. The typical gain for our local market is 500 jobs. The retail sector is also doing great with 1,500 jobs added, compared to the typical increase of 300 jobs.

Rents for retail spaces on Long Island has been on the rise for eight consecutive quarters. Vacancy rates amount to 5 percent which is lower than the Northeast Census Region (8.6 percent) and nationally (9.6 percent). All of this may be an indicator of a strong holiday season.

However, housing numbers don’t look too good for our local real estate market. Just as in other parts of the country, home sales in August declined by 15 percent year-over-year, from 1,346 units to 1,144 units in Nassau County. In Suffolk County home prices fell by 10.5 percent which is a drop from 1,358 to 1,215 units. A year-over-year comparison will become less optimistic in the upcoming months since home sales grew rapidly in both Nassau and Suffolk counties last fall.

For more updates on Long Island NY economy, check back often and follow Best Buyer’s Broker Realty on Facebook!

Follow Ira Freireich on Twitter for daily posts and updates as well.

Long Island Unemployment Tumbles

The Long Island unemployment rate figures for seasonally unadjusted unemployment tumbled to 5.1 percent in August, plunging 1 percent from a year ago and tying the lowest unemployment rate for the region in that month since 2008.

Long Island Unemployment figures for August were near record lows for the month

Nassau County’s rate decreased by 0.9 percentage points to 4.9 percent, while Suffolk County’s rate decreased by 1.0 percentage point to 5.3 percent.

New York State’s seasonally unadjusted rate was 6.1 percent, down from 7.5 percent, while the national rate fell from 7.3 percent to 6.3 percent.

The number of private sector jobs on Long Island rose 2.1 percent year-over-year to 1.12 million as of August – a new high since 1990 when this data was first compiled.

Long Island Unemployment Numbers Near Record Lows for August

The Long Island unemployment numbers continue to see record levels of new jobs every month. The job growth is pretty broad-based. Construction continues to grow at a strong rate. Healthcare’s another big gainer, as well as some growth in professional and business services.

But even if the basic numbers were good, some said that they only tell part of the story for the local economy, where lower wage positions have driven at least some of the growth.

The Long Island unemployment rate and the labor market have been improving gradually for a long time,” according to John Rizzo, chief economist at the Long Island Association, based in Melville. “But there’s still slack in the labor market.”

Rizzo said underemployment and sluggish wage growth remain issues due to a large pool of unemployed people. With the high levels of unemployment, many people took jobs that didn’t use their full potential.

The Long Island unemployment rate continues to recover from the recession in 2008. And we’ve seen some real strength in the construction sector.

Southampton Town and Huntington Town had the lowest rates in Suffolk at 4.3 percent, while Lindenhurst had the highest, at 6.1 percent.

Rockville Centre Village had the lowest unemployment rate in Nassau at 4.1 percent, while Hempstead Village had the highest, at 6.5 percent.

New York City’s rate was 6.9 percent with roughly 3.8 million employed and 283,800 unemployed, down from 8.8 percent a year ago.

For continuous updates on the Long Island unemployment picture, as well as trends that affect Long Island real estate, check back often with Best Buyer’s Broker Realty here and by following Best Buyer’s Broker Realty on Facebook! 

Follow Ira Freireich on Twitter for daily posts and updates as well.

Long Island Construction Jobs Increase

The number of Long Island construction jobs increased 6 percent in July, as compared with a year ago, according to the latest report from the Associated General Contractors of America.

Long Island construction jobs were on the upswing in July.

4,200 New Long Island Construction Jobs

Between July 2013 and July 2014, Nassau and Suffolk counties combined to add about 4,200 Long Island construction jobs, reaching 74,300 people employed in construction – a peak for the year.

Nationwide, construction employment expanded in 223 metro areas, declined in 72 and was stagnant in 44 between July 2013 and July 2014, the AGCA reports. The contracting trade group said that construction firms were so busy that 25 percent reported labor shortages that have been forcing them to turn down work.

“Many construction firms looking to expand their payrolls are finding a surprisingly tight labor market,” Ken Simonson, AGCA’s chief economist said in a statement. “These expanding labor shortages threaten to impact construction schedules as firms struggle to find enough qualified workers.”

Areas seeing the largest increase in construction jobs in the past year include the Dallas area, which added 9,400 jobs, a rise of 8 percent, followed by Houston, which added 8,900 jobs, a 5-percent gain, and Philadelphia, which added 8,500 jobs, a 12-percent rise.

Locally, New York City saw a 2-percent increase in construction employment, adding 3,000 jobs in the last year. Construction employment in the Putnam-Rockland-Westchester area declined by 2 percent, with a loss of about 600 jobs since July 2013.

Other Numbers Related to Long Island Construction Jobs

Numbers that are also tied to Long Island construction jobs is in the sales numbers of new homes. The Commerce Department said this week that new-home sales fell 2.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 412,000. The report also revised up the June sales rate to 422,000 from 406,000.

The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo’s index of builder sentiment rose in August to 55, up two points from a revised 53 for July. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as improving.

At the same time, price gains have started to slow and mortgage rates have dropped since the start of 2014. That could eventually help boost sales.

And the average rate for a 30-year mortgage fell to 4.1 percent this week, the lowest level this year, according to Freddie Mac. At the beginning of the year, the average rate was 4.53 percent.

For continuous updates on Long Island construction jobs, as well as the overall unemployment picture and trends that affect Long Island real estate, check back often with Best Buyer’s Broker Realty here and by following Best Buyer’s Broker Realty on Facebook! 

Follow Ira Freireich on Twitter for daily posts and updates as well.