Archive for Economic Reports

Mar
12

In the News

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3/5/12 Pre-K Guide:  Everything You Need to Know to Get Your Child a Seat:  Thousands of families apply to pre-Kindergarten each year, seeking an experience for their child that is more educational than daycare but not as expensive as private school. But demand is so high that there aren’t enough seats to go around, which means that the most sought-after programs remain harder to get into than an Ivy League college.  Read the artlicle at DNAinfo.com

3/6/12 NYC sees biggest building permit rise since crash:   Number of permits for demolition work soars nearly 37% in the first two months of year, while the number of permits to put up new buildings jumps almost 43%. Levels are still well below pre-2008 peaks.  Read more about it at Crain’s New York.

3//8/12  Apartment bargains melted away in warm Feb.:  Unseasonable temperatures bring out more customers and landlords respond by cutting concessions and even hiking some rents. A “disappointi9ng season” for tenants seen.  Read the full article at Crain’s New York

3/8/12  Stunning gains for city economy:  The city economy grew nearly twice as fast in 2011 as initially thought, according to data released Thursday, and jobs boomed in January.  Read the article at Crain’s New York.

3/9/12  Crumbling East 81st Street Pedestrian Bridge Set for Makeover:  Months after cutting the ribbon on a stainless steel pedestrian bridge at East 78th Street, the city is moving forward with tackling the next decaying walkway connecting the neighborhood to the East River waterfront.  Read the article at DNAinfo.com 

Dec
02

Federal Reserve Releases Beige Book For New York

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New York-Federal Reserve Beige Book 12-2-2009

On Wednesday December 2nd the Federal Reserve released the Beige Book for the Second District–New York. Below are the report’s highlights regarding New York City.

  • The Second District’s economy has shown further signs of improvement since the last report, though the labor market remains soft.
  • Residential real estate markets have been mixed since the last report, but generally weaker, especially at the high end of the market; New York City’s sales and rental markets have been particularly weak.
  • New York City’s housing market has continued to weaken: while sales activity for existing apartments has rebounded from depressed levels, sales of new units remain very sluggish. Selling prices for existing units are reported to be down roughly 25 percent from a year earlier, with even steeper declines at the high end
  • New York City’s rental market also continues to weaken, with contract rents in Manhattan falling roughly 10 percent over the past 12 months; moreover, when concessions are factored in, the decline in effective rents has been a good deal steeper.
  • There are signs of a pickup in tourism activity in New York City.
  • Consumer confidence among New York State residents edged down in both September and October, after reaching its highest level in more than a year in August.
  • Tourism activity in New York City has picked up since the last report
  • Manhattan hotels report that occupancy rates exceeded year-earlier levels in both September and October, for the first time in more than a year
  • Hotel room rates climbed by substantially more than the seasonal norm in September and October, though they are still down 15-20 percent from last year.
  • Broadway theaters report a pronounced pickup in attendance as well as revenue

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New York State Department of LaborManhattan’s October 2009 unemployment rate remained at 9.2% from September but has has increased  3.7% from October 2008.

New York City’s October unemployment rate as a whole ticked up .1% from last month’s 10.2% rate but up 4% from 6.3% reported in October of 2008.

Worst hit was the Bronx at 13.4% (+.2%), followed by Brooklyn 11.1% (+.1), Queens 9.2% (+.1%) while Staten Island remained the same at 8.9%.

The New York State Department of Labor reported the state’s rate of unemployment is the highest since April of 1983.

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1-Manhattan 2-Brooklyn 3-Queens 4-Bronx 5-Staten Island

1-Manhattan 2-Brooklyn 3-Queens 4-Bronx 5-Staten Island

Today, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) released its July newsletter. The Economic Snapshot highlights the most recent information about New York City employment, consumer spending and real estate.
A continued decline in New York City employment rates will continue to put downward pressure on apartment prices in the near future. It also has a negative effect on consumer confidence, a leading indicator of housing prices in NYC.

On the other side of the equation, the large decrease in construction and building starts will help keep inventory moderated in the near to midterm. This may help increase the absorption rate and decrease the days on market for existing apartment sales.

Highlights of the full report include:

• Private Employment fell by 4,500 in June, after a decrease of 3,700 jobs in May.
• The unemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent in June from 8.9 percent in May.
• The Manhattan hotel occupancy rate in June 2009 was 86.9 percent, down from 89.5 percent in June 2008.
• Building projects (including new, additions and alterations) that started construction in NYC declined by 20.4 percent and infrastructure (non-building) project starts increased by 22.3 percent from the four months ending June 2008.
• Planned space for building project starts decreased 73.6 percent from the same period in 2008
• 729 residential buildings with 1,949 units of housing started construction, decreases of 37.7 and 82.5 percent respectively from the previous year
• Passengers in NYC area airports totaled 8.7 million in May 2009, down 8.3 percent from May 2008.
• Hotel occupancy was 86.9 percent in June 2009,down from 89.5 percent in June 2008
• The average daily hotel room rate declined the most in lower-priced hotels (charging between $125 and $175 per night).
• There were approximately 882,000 tickets sold during the four weeks ending July 26, 2009, a 10.7 percent decrease from the same period last year
• Broadway revenue during this period was roughly $78.7 million, a 4.4 percent increase from last year

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Aug
10

Mortgage Trends for August 10, 2009

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One_Year_Mortgage_Rate_08-10-09

Additional evidence appeared last week that we may be very close to the bottom of this recession. While it is the nineteenth straight month of job losses, July saw only 247.000 jobs lost with a tiny improvement in the unemployment rate. The ISM Manufacturing Index also revealed greater signs of life than expected. Mortgage rates did end the week with some upward pressure that may continue into this week, especially if the positive economic news continues.Freddie_Mac_08-10-09

While this week is packed with important economic data, the most influential news of the week could be the policy announcement that accompanies the Fed’s rate decision the Fed is expected to leave rates unchanged, but analysts are seeking hints on how the Fed will unwind itself from financial markets. This year, the Fed has purchased nearly every mortgage-backed security on the market. If the Fed hints it will begin slowing those purchases, we could see rates rise. However, if the Fed offers no hints, we may see some flattening pressure on rates, even with good economic news.Top_Economic_Reports_08-10-09

Data provided by Fred Ashe, Senior Loan Officer at Preferred Empire Mortgage Company, a sister company to Prudential Douglas Elliman.

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Aug
03

Mortgage Trends for August 3, 2009

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Last week held some good news for the economy. GDP for the second quarter of this year came in at a higher-than-expected – 1.0%. While there are a number of revisions to come before that One_Year_Mortgage_Rate_08-02-09number is finalized, it is a solid sign that the recession is beginning to fade.  However, all the news last week was not positive.  Consumer Confidence continues to slide downward, most likely due to continued challenges in the labor market.  While mortgage rates bounced around, they did not stray too far.Freddie_Mac_08-02-09

This week has two very important pieces of economic data that could help set a trend for mortgage rates over the next few weeks. The lSM Manufacturing Survey is due with expectations of another small tic upwards. If it comes in at or above expectations, we’re likely to see mortgage rates trying to nose upward as the week progresses. The week’s most influential report likely will be Friday’s employment data. After last week’s stronger-than-expected GDP numbers, an unexpected dip in unemployment would very likely power mortgage rates upward on Friday and well into next week.

Auction Results Push Mortgage Rates Lower

Mortgage investors were more focused on this week’s Treasury auctions than on the economic data. Overall, demand remained healthy for US Treasury securities, and mortgage rates ended the week a little lower. Major economic reports on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Durable Orders, and Chicago PMI manufacturing contained mixed results and were roughly neutral for mortgage rates.

Top_Economic_Reports_08-02-09While recent Treasury auctions have seen stronger than average demand, investors remained cautious ahead of this week’s record supply of government debt. The auctions got off to a rocky start, with demand falling back to average levels for the 2-yr and 5-yr auctions. Strong foreign demand for the 7-yr Treasuries eased investor concerns, however, and mortgage rates improved after the auction. China, in particular, holds about $800 billion in US Treasury securities and is an enormous buyer. Chinese officials were in Washington this week meeting with US economic leaders, and the Chinese expressed concern that US budget deficits would reduce the value of its US Treasuries. Analysts believe that reduced buying from China caused the weaker than expected demand for the 2-yr and 5-yr auctions, but they fully participated in the 7-yr auction. With the US government issuing record amounts of new debt, investors will be closely watching for changes in China’s purchasing policy. Any perceived reduction in China’s demand would likely push long-term interest rates, including mortgage rates, higher.

This week’s housing market data was generally positive. June New Home Sales jumped 11%, the third straight month of increases. Inventories of unsold new homes fell to an 8.8-month supply from a 10.2-month supply in May. The May Case-Shiller index of home prices in 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.5% from April, following 34 straight months of declines. While the results varied greatly in different parts of the country, the increase in average prices provided support for the analysts who believe that the housing market has bottomed.

Week Ahead

Next week, the important Employment report will come out on Friday.  As usual, this data on the number of jobs, the Unemployment Rate, and wage inflation will be the most highly anticipated economic data of the month.  Early estimates are for a loss of about 333K jobs in July. Before the Employment data, the ISM national manufacturing index will come out on Monday. Pending Home Sales, a leading indicator for the housing market, will be released on Tuesday. Personal Income, ISM Services, Construction Spending, and Factory Orders will round out the schedule. Also notable, the Treasury will announce the size of upcoming Treasury auctions on Wednesday.

Data provided by Larry Weinstein and Fred Ashe, Senior Loan Officers at Preferred Empire Mortgage Company, a sister company to Prudential Douglas Elliman.

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Jul
27

Mortgage Trends July 27, 2009

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Mortgage rates ticked slightly upward last week with the Fed Chair providing some comfort to nervous markets.  Ben Bernanke was busy last week with testimony in both houses of Congress and an op-ed piece published in the Mortgage_Rate_Watcher_7-26-09Wall Street Journal.  According to the Fed Chair’s assessment, the Fed needs to stay focused on stimulating the economy and exiting this recession.  As importantly, Bernanke sought to reassure both houses of Congress and the public that the Fed has the tools at its disposal to bring rates higher and reduce the flood of money the Fed has introduced to the market.  He believes all of this can he accomplished with limited long-term inflationary consequences.Freddie_Mac_07-2609

Mortgage rates start this week with some upward pressure that could stretch into coming weeks.  The Fed’s Beige Book which combines and synthesizes regional report is due this wee. along with the first reading of the 2nd quarter’s GDP. If these show a continued moderation in the severity of this recession, mortgage rates will likely move upward, albeit at a relatively slow pace.

Top_Economic_Reports_07-26-09

Mortgage Fraud on the Other Side
When you think of mortgage fraud, images of inflated incomes, false appraisals, and undocumented assets may come to mind.  Authorities are now investigating more and more cases of fraud on the other side of the coin.  A surprising number of people are trying to hide income and assets, while trying to get their homes appraised below market value. The goal of these cases is to falsely qualify for various mortgage relief programs. How times have changed!

Data provided by Larry Weinstein and Fred Ashe, Senior Loan Officers at Preferred Empire Mortgage Company, a sister company to Prudential Douglas Elliman.

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Jun
16

NYC Economic Development Corp Releases Economic Snapshot

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FactsFiguresThumb12Below are highlights from the June newsletter published by the NYCEDC.

  • Private Employment fell by 600 in April after a decrease of 13,400 jobs in March.
  • The unemployment rate fell to 8.0% in April from 8.1% in March.
  • The Manhattan hotel occupancy rate in April 2009 as 85.4%, down from 87.2% in April 2008.
  • Passengers in NYC area airports totaled 8.2 million in March 2009, down 12.2 percent from March 2008.

Real Estate and Construction (for the four months ending April 2009)

  • Building projects (including new, additions and alterations) that started construction in NYC declined by 33.3% and infrastructure (non building) project decreased by 38.2% from the four months ending 2008.
  • Planned space for building project starts decreased 84.8% from the same period in 2008.
  • 609 residential buildings with 1940 units of housing started construction, decreases of 43.1 and 77.2 percent respectively from the previous year

Broadway Ticket Sales

  • There were approximately 1.0 million tickets sold during the four months ending May 31, 2009, a 2.2 percent decrease from the same period last year.
  • Broadway revenue during this period was roughly $78.1 million, a 0.8 percent increase from last year.

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