Welcome to the latest Houlihan Lawrence Luxury Market Report highlighting 1st Quarter 2013 sales activity for properties priced at $2 million or more in Westchester County and $1 million+ in Putnam and Dutchess counties.
For a detailed analysis of the luxury market click here for the full market report.
Houlihan Lawrence has just released their comprehensive 2nd Quarter 2012 Real Estate Market Report for New York’s Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties. Houlihan Lawrence’s Market Report offers a more detailed look at our market than other area brokers. Our report features a Supply/Demand analysis of our local market that is unique to Houlihan Lawrence.
Stephen Meyers, President and CEO of Houlihan Lawrence, and COO Chris Meyers give us a recap of the local real estate market. Here is highlight from their commentary:
The national media is finally catching on to what we first reported in our Q4-2011 Market Report six months ago – that the housing market has bottomed and we are in the early stages of what could become the next bull market. The market indicators we track are tracing a pattern that has typically marked the bottom of previous housing cycles. Transaction volume is increasing at double-digit rates across most market areas, with lower-end price levels still leading the way. Prices have stabilized at 2003/2004 levels, and we continue to see strong demand across most market areas and price ranges.
To download your copy of our report click on the cover below:
The Town of Yorktown is located in northern Westchester, 35 miles above New York City with 40-square miles of rolling hills, farmland, residential areas and light industry. If you love green initiatives, you’ll find them in Yorktown.
Here are five reasons why you’ll love Yorktown:
Hilltop Hanover Farm is a local working farm and regional education center that offers programs on healthy and sustainable food production. This involves researching and teaching techniques for small-scale suburban and urban farming, and illustrating sustainable living practices such as alternative energy sources. You can visit the farm and view the schedule of events at www.hilltophanoverfarm.org.
The North County Trailway is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while lowering your carbon footprint. This paved pedestrian/bicycle path covers 22.1 miles from Eastview in the Town of Mount Pleasant north to Baldwin Place in the Town of Somers on the Putnam County border.
Greasestock is held yearly in Yorktown Heights on the grounds of Peter Pratt’s Inn, an historic landmark New York. It is one of the largest alternative fuel, renewable energy, and low-energy green vehicle exhibitions in the United States and showcase innovative green technologies such as vegetable oil powered cars, biodeisal cars, solar-powered cars, home-heating alternatives and organic farming exhibits.
Pick your own locally grown apples, pumpkins and Christmas trees at Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm. Wilken’s provides the bags, baskets picking poles and even a hay wagon for this environmentally-friendly excursion. Be sure to arrive dressed for country orchards.
Acclaimed author, teacher and lecturer Ruth Rogers Clausen is a frequent guest speaker at the Yorktown Garden Club. A Westchester resident, Clausen recently lectured on deer-resistant plants and shrubs at the Garden Club. Her tomes include Dreamscaping, and contributions to Perennial Gardening with the New York Botanical Garden; and Trees with the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Visit our Town Guides page to find out more information about Yorktown.
Top New York Metro Real Estate Firms Join Forces to Launch Tri-State Alliance To Better Serve Consumers. Four Brokerages share listings and data to create unique online experience
In an initiative aimed at streamlining the home buying and selling experience in the New York metro area, four top residential brokerage firms have joined forces to create the Tri-State Alliance, a partnership launched today to share exclusive property listings online. The brokerage firms include: Houlihan Lawrence serving Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties in New York; Halstead Property serving New York City, the Hamptons, Fairfield County in Connecticut, Hudson and Essex Counties in New Jersey and Columbia County in New York; Coach Realtors serving Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island; and Turpin Realtors serving Somerset, Morris, Hunterdon, Essex and Union Counties in New Jersey. Each firm’s exclusive listings will be searchable across all four brokerage websites, which collectively receive millions of visitors annually. The Tri-State Alliance brings together 68 office locations, more than 2,900 sales agents and nearly 8,000 exclusive listings.
“By combining our considerable resources, we are increasing the visibility of our exclusive listings which will help both our sellers and buyers,” said Chris Meyers, a Principal of Houlihan Lawrence. “In addition, we are increasing the brand awareness of our individual firms in markets where we might not have a bricks and mortar presence. It’s an extremely smart, efficient and effective way to further promote our companies and showcase our talented agents.”
“This move is unprecedented in our industry, and we are extremely proud of all of our efforts to develop this alliance that will better benefit consumers in a one-stop experience. This unique sharing and collaboration among independently owned and non-franchised brokerages developed from the mutual friendship and respect each brokerage has for one another,” stated Diane Ramirez, President of Halstead Property.
The four owner/brokers of each firm began discussing this unique and forward-thinking collaboration in early 2011. Last August, the four company owners met in the New York City offices of Halstead Property to formally begin the process. “Months of planning and collaboration went into making this happen, each brokerage, technical and marketing departments worked closely towards a single goal,” stated Georgianna Finn, owner of Coach Realtors.
“We are excited to be a part of this wonderfully collaborative effort, the result of which is a comprehensive search tool that will prove invaluable to consumers in the tri-state region. In addition to providing high quality listing data from the various regions we cover, each of our websites offers valuable resources like community profiles, property videos and helpful tips for navigating today’s real estate market,” John Turpin, President of Turpin Realtors.
Front Row: Chris Meyers, Principal – Houlihan Lawrence, Georgianna Finn – Owner, Coach Realtors Back Row: John Turpin –President, Turpin Realtors, Diane Ramirez –President, Halstead Property
It is December 2011, and another year has flown by. As I am sitting here planning for 2012, I must reflect on the year that has passed and all of the changes that have occurred in the mortgage world.
The major influence on our world this year was the passing of the Dodd-Frank Bill. The idea behind the bill was noble – increase transparency to the consumer and to make it a simpler more straight forward process. Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, the opposite has occurred. Today, instead of looking at a one page Good Faith Estimate, the consumer has a THREE page document to review and interpret. From a Bank’s perspective, processing and underwriting has become more laborious and tedious in that banks are far more concerned about adherence to compliance first so that the government will buy the loan from them, while the merits and strength’s of the consumers application has become a distant second.
A consumer applying for a mortgage today will notice the mountain of paper work that needs to be signed upfront, they will also feel the burden of having to supply inordinate amounts of paperwork in order to qualify for financing – that folks, is the “new normal” in the mortgage world. These so called “improvements” to our industry may have helped some politicians gain votes but (not a political statement here) it has certainly NOT helped our industry NOR the consumer. My hope is that in 2012 some common sense will return to the industry, the pendulum that has swung so far to the right may start to return to the middle again, a middle that has a foundation in common sense and allows an underwriter at a bank to look at a borrower’s credit worthiness and not be stuck in the bureaucracy of compliance regulations.
Since the end of 2008, – December 28, 2008, to be exact, interest rates started to dip. As a result of that dip, we have seen three years of heavy refinance activity in the mortgage industry and 2012 isn’t anticipated to be any different. I have been saying for the last two years that rates have to go up – but fortunately, I have been wrong on the timing of the inevitable rise in rates. The majority of economists are predicting that 2012 will be no different than the last three years when it comes to interest rates, and we can expect rates to remain at these amazingly low levels. Additionally, I am seeing signs that the requirements for Jumbo Mortgages – loans above $625,000.00 – are becoming less restrictive. Some lenders have reduced their “post closing reserve” requirements and Jumbo money “ARMS” (adjustable rate mortgages) have interest rates that start in the high 2% range.
I am predicting that in 2012 we will see slight growth in the local housing markets and that the “new normal” of supplying more paperwork in order to get mortgage financing will ease up in the latter half of the year.
Happy Holidays to you and your family and have a healthy and prosperous 2012.
The Houlihan Lawrence Fall 2011 Gallery of Homes magazine has just been published and is available in digital format. Over 2,000 Homes for Sale are featured in the latest edition. Click the cover below to browse our magazine.
The Fox Business Website recently posted an article titled ’3 Reasons Every Homeowner Needs Title Insurance’. The article reinforces the idea that now more than ever, title insurance is necessary. When you have a down market or a market in turmoil with foreclosures and bank owned properties, there is inherently more risk of fraud, deception and just plain mistakes in the closing of real estate deals. While the likelihood that you will ever file a title insurance claim (as opposed to an auto insurance claim for example) is remote, it is still essential that you purchase title insurance to protect your home and your investment.
Click here for the full article that appeared on FoxBusiness.com.
The Town of Somers is located in northeastern Westchester County and rests in an outstanding scenic area that has been long recognized for excellence in quality of life. In this visually appealing haven, single family residences and the extensive Heritage Hills community enjoy the benefits of over 100 acres of parkland.
Reis Park is a main activity center for Somers residents and offers athletic fields, court games, playgrounds, fitness and nature trails, a large picnic pavilion and a performance stage. Somer’s annual Fourth of July celebration at Reis Park is a much anticipated event not only for the fireworks, but for the sense of community it brings to the town.
Stuart’s Fruit Farm is the oldest working farm in Westchester County. Family-owned since 1828, the 6th generation of Stuart farmers tends to 200 acres of apple orchards, pumpkin fields and vegetable crops. In the fall, this attraction is the penultimate for apple pickers, with nine different varieties of apples.
For trivia buffs and historians, Somers holds the distinction as the birthplace of the world famous Barnum and Bailey Circus, which began with one elephant purchased in 1797 by Hachaliah Bailey. Somers Elephant Hotel is a National Historic Landmark.
The Somers video helps to capture the essence of the community:
Here are a few available properties in Somers:
159 Heritage Hills features 1,780 sqft. of living space with 1 car attached garage. Large kitchen with breakfast nook and lots of storage space.
203 Briarwood Drive is a beautifully maintained contemporary raised ranch located in sought after Greenbriar. Set on a quiet cul-de-sac, the property backs up to green space with a very large, private yard.
4 Sutton Pl, Katonah PO is a gorgeously built 5 BR house located next to Angle Fly Preserve an exclusive 654 acres of preserved nature and beauty. The features include hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen, stone fireplace, mahogany porch, in-ground heated pool, home theater, wine cellar and much more.
A global hub for luxury real estate, London is home to one of our premier European affiliates, Mayfair International Realty. Recently I was pleased to attend Mayfair’s annual conference, held at the Royal Air Force Club in fashionable Piccadilly, where over 350 luxury brokers, representing some of the highest priced properties in the UK and Europe, got together to discuss the state of the business in their respective markets.
Outlook 2011: A Stabilized Luxury Market in the UK and Europe
Spurred by reports of several high-end sales in London and Europe, Nick Churton, Managing Director of Mayfair International Realty, reported on the improved outlook for next year especially for properties that are properly priced. Similar to the market conditions we see here in the New York area, European luxury properties priced for today’s marketplace are seeing activity while overpriced properties continue to languish. Whether you are in London or Paris or Bedford or Rye, homebuyers in every price range want a “deal” and pricing will continue to be the driving force in today’s marketplace.
Marketing in the International Domain
It was a valuable experience to hear from these leading international brokers first-hand and a great chance to introduce our important estate properties to this esteemed group. Members particularly enjoyed hearing about Devonshire in Bedford Corners , named for the famed aristocratic clan, the dukes of Devonshire and their ancestral seat, Chatsworth House in Britain. More and more , our international outreach and affiliation with the world’s leading experts in real estate is critical to our success in the marketing of our local estate properties, where buyers can come from anywhere in the world.