More Homes Sold, Fewer Available

2017-03-02_11-47-28via The New York Times – According to data from the National Association of Realtors, the number of existing homes sold in 2016 was the highest in a decade: 5.45 million single-family houses, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops were sold, up 3.8 percent from 5.25 million in 2015. The previous high, in 2006, was 6.48 million.

All but the least expensive homes (those priced up to $100,000) showed an increase in sales, with the greatest gains for homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000.

Not surprisingly, by the end of 2016 the number of existing homes for sale had dropped 6.3 percent compared with a year earlier, to 1.65 million — the lowest number since the National Association of Realtors began tracking that figure in 1999. Coupled with rising interest rates, that could make buying a home more challenging in 2017.

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New Jersey’s Real Estate ICONS

The Garden States commercial real estate business has a long and vast history and an even brighter future.

Neither, however, would be possible without the efforts of individuals who helped shape—and continue to influence—the market. Here’s a look at some of the people who have become regional household names in the industry.

 By Sarah Wolfe/ Real Estate FORUM

 

CARL GOLDBERG

CARL J. GOLDBERG

As managing partner of Roseland Proerty Co., Carl Goldberg is quickly becoming identified with Morristown, where Roseland has opened three new properties in recent years, including the luxury 40 Park building off the town’s historic Green. Last summer, Hartz Mountain Industries bought a stake in Roseland – a move that locals consider a testament to Goldberg’s knowledge of multifamily real estate. Before founding the firm in 1994, he spent his entire real estate career with Bertram Associates, a prominent regional homebuilder he joined in 1979. Goldberg is part president of the Community Builders’ Association and, until January, was chariman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, focusing on the redeveloment of the Meadowlands.

Award-winning 40 Park Helping Transform Downtown Morristown

via Multi-Housing News Online/Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

40 Park

Morristown, N.J.—Four years ago, the former Epstein’s Department Store in downtown Morristown, N.J., was given new life as 40 Park, an upscale, mixed-use development featuring more than 200 luxury condominiums and rental residences, 66,000 square feet of retail space and an 800-space public parking garage.

In the years since, 40 Park has exerted a transformative impact on Morristown, helping deliver an energetic new vibe to the venerable central business district. The result? Recently, 40 Park was recognized as one of New Jersey’s best downtown location projects, when it captured the coveted Silver Award at Downtown New Jersey’s annual award ceremony.

It was only the most recent in a string of awards the development has snagged since its spring, 2008 unveiling. The Community Builders and Remodelers Association of New Jersey, the New Jersey Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) have all conferred awards upon 40 Park. Among them was the NAHB’s “Community of the Year” designation, which the organization presented to 40 Park in 2010.

Sited steps from mass transit and other shopping and entertainment venues, this dynamic live-shop-dine destination was conceived and executed by a public-private partnership made up of Roseland Property Company, Woodmont Properties, the Morristown Partnership and the Morristown Parking Authority.

“We are honored to have 40 Park recognized by Downtown New Jersey because it reflects positively on Morristown as a whole, and the livable, walkable, business-friendly environment we’ve created here,” says Michael Fabrizio, executive director of the Morristown Partnership.

He adds 40 Park was not only among the vanguard of new luxury residential buildings in downtown Morristown, but helped attract an assortment of regional and national retailers.

“The new shops and restaurants have successfully attracted patrons from all over the area, bringing more visitors to Morristown and contributing to the overall success and appeal of the downtown district,” he says.

The development’s seven-story, 130-unit rental component, The Metropolitan at 40 Park, has remained 100 percent leased ever since it debuted. Part of the reason is that its level of amenities, service and conveniences had not before been available to renters in Morristown. Experiencing comparable success has been the project’s 76-home luxury condominium building, 40 Park, which overlooks Morristown Green and has attracted buyers with large and spectacular residences, luxury amenities and upscale services.

The effort to conceptualize and bring to fruition the development resulted from a team effort involving myriad public and private entities, notes Debra Tantleff, vice president of development at Roseland Property Company. “As a development partnership with deep roots in Morristown through some of our other successful developments in town, we have a sincere appreciation for this cherished neighborhood. We are thrilled to have worked alongside the various municipal agencies and officials who have helped make our collective vision a reality.”

Plan for population growth in our cities rather than suburban, rural towns

Written by Peter Kasabach | New Jersey Future/ Daily Record

40 Park, the seven-story mixed-use development that replaced Epstein's Department Store on the Green, is part of the downtown living renaissance in Morristown.

When it comes to planning and redevelopment, New Jersey is friendlier to the environment than many states.

After decades of uninterrupted suburban sprawl, we have come to recognize that our small, densely populated state cannot sustain this sort of growth any longer without doing grave damage to our environment, our economy and our quality of life.

We have created unique regional planning entities in the Meadowlands, Pinelands and Highlands to preserve and protect fragile ecosystems from over-development.

We have adopted a State Development and Redevelopment Plan that, while not mandatory, encourages growth in areas where infrastructure already exists and discourages it elsewhere.

We are blessed with an extensive transit network that offers a convenient alternative to automobile use for hundreds of thousands of daily commuters.
All levels of government — state, county and local — have purchased large parcels of open space and protected them from development.

Our air and water are measurably cleaner than they were a generation ago, many of the unsightly and odiferous landfills that once dotted the New Jersey landscape have been closed, capped and sealed and some of the nation’s worst toxic waste sites have been cleaned up and put to productive re-use.

Part of being environmentally friendly is figuring out the best way to accommodate the constant population growth that is experienced in New Jersey. Scores of communities, large and small, have adopted smart-growth principles and plans, revitalizing their downtowns, converting abandoned industrial properties into thriving mixed-use developments and taking advantage of their location along one of New Jersey’s commuter rail lines to catch the new wave of transit-oriented development.

Some of these activities have been hampered in recent years by the financial crisis and its unfortunate aftermath. The ailing economy has stalled building activity, including many redevelopment plans that have been proposed or approved but now sit in abeyance for lack of funding. READ MORE >>>

WSJ: Mortgage Rates Fall, Extend Record Lows

By NATHAN BECKER
Mortgage rates fell in the past week, with the average rates on 30- and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages further extending record lows, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey.

Rates have been at or near record lows as the Treasury market has rallied amid stock-market volatility, pushing yields lower. Mortgage rates generally track Treasury yields.

The decline over the past few weeks also “echoes the recent signs of weakening confidence in the strength of the economy, particularly the housing and consumer sectors,” said Freddie Chief Economist Frank Nothaft.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.56% for the week ended Thursday, down from the prior week’s 4.57% average and 5.2% a year ago. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were 4.03%, down from 4.06% and 4.68%, respectively.

Both the 30- and 15-year mortgage rates are at the lowest point since Freddie started tracking them, 1971 and 1991, respectively.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 3.79%, lower than the prior week’s 3.85% and 4.74% a year earlier. One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs hit a fresh low of 3.7%, down from 3.74% and 4.77%, respectively. That loan type has been followed by Freddie since 1984.

To obtain the rates, the five-year fixed-rate mortgages required payment of an average 0.6 point and the others required an average 0.7 point. A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, charged as prepaid interest.