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Thursday, April 25, 2019


Existing-home sales in March were 5.4% lower than March 2018, and 4.9% lower than February, as reported by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
 “Home sales in February experienced their second – strongest monthly gain ever.  The spurt in February was most likely due to mortgage rates coming back in line after rates for 30-year mortgages went from 5% toward the end of last year, down to 4.17% last week “It is not surprising to see a retreat after a powerful surge in sales in the prior month,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “The impact of lower mortgage rates has not yet been fully realized.” 
Although inventory is up slightly, the decline in the volume of existing-home sales is definitely related to the lower number of homes available for sale.  We’ve been tracking inventory levels on the North Fork over the past 20 years.  The number of homes for sale on the North Fork is down 25% compared to what it was then; when you factor in population growth, the decline is even more significant.  
As a buyer, you are facing fewer choices because of the lower inventory, something you cannot control.  But if you delay your planned purchase you may lose an opportunity that you can control - favorable mortgage rates!  The rates are lower now – how much longer rate will be low, no one knows – but they are bound to go up.  Now is a great time to act if you’ve been waiting to make a purchase. Take advantage of lower rates now, make compromises that you can live with on your home purchase - after all, it can be updated or renovated.  Most likely you’ll want to make it your own and if you invest wisely, you will recoup your investment when you decide to sell.
  Call us at Beninati Associates  631-765-5333 – we can help you sort out the trade-offs and select the home you want! At Beninati Associates – we listen, we care, and we get results!

Sources: Existing-Home Sales Declined by 4.9% in March, Laura Kusisto, The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, page A2.  Backtrack for Existing-Homes: Can Lower Rates Revive Them? RIS Media News, April 24, 2019.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Hope SPRINGS Eternal…

This week we celebrate two very important holidays – Passover and Easter.  These religious holidays are celebrations of hope and salvation – Passover commemorates God’s deliverance of the Jews from Egypt and the birth of the Jewish people as a nation.  And Easter celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the birth of Christianity.

The recent fire that has destroyed so much of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris - the crumbing spire falling in flames - has brought us all to tears. Yet hope has brought the whole world together, to support the restoration of this majestic symbol of faith.

Both religious holidays remind us that even in the most trying of circumstances, we must always “hope”.  This lovely verse about HOPE is by Father James Keller, Founder of The Christophers:

Hope opens doors where despair closes them.

Hope discovers what can be done instead of grumbling about what cannot.

Hope regards problems, small or large, as opportunities.

Hope looks for the good in people, instead of harping on the worst.

Hope cherishes no illusions, nor does it yield to cynicism.

Hope sets big goals and is not frustrated by repeated difficulties or setbacks.

Hope pushes ahead when it would be easier to quit.

Hope puts up with modest gains, realizing the “the longest journey starts with one step.”

Hope accepts misunderstandings as the price for serving the greater good of others.

Hope is a good loser because it has the divine assurance of final victory.

Hope draws its power from a deep trust in God and the basic goodness of human nature.

Hope “lights a candle” instead of “cursing the darkness.”

All of us at Beninati Associates wish you a Happy Passover and a Blessed Easter.

Our office will be closed on Easter Sunday, April 21st .

Thursday, April 11, 2019


Mortgage rates tumbled in March, “the biggest one-week fall in a decade. Now – instead of seeing mortgage rates edge closer to 5.25%, as some had predicted- we’re looking at an average 30-year rate near 4.00%.”  Most forecasters were not expecting this to happen.
In mid-November average 30-year mortgage rate was 5.1%, a seven year high, according to Bankrate.com.  As of April 9, the average mortgage rate was 4.125%.
For anyone looking to finance a home purchase or refinance, this may be an opportune time to take action.  This kind of a spread is real dollars in your pocket. A $400,000 30-year fixed loan will have a monthly savings on the mortgage payment of $239 ($2,868) for the year with a current rate of 4.1% versus 5.1% last year.
A lower monthly payment can perhaps allow you to buy a slightly higher priced home today versus last year.  The lower interest rate savings is over $100,000 for the 30 years of the loan, since the lower fixed rate is locked-in.

The spring selling season is upon us.  Inventory is low, that means lots of competition for homes, higher prices and possible bidding wars.  Act now, invest the time and effort, get your pre-approval, and call us.  We know this market, we know the inventory and we understand how to find the right home for you.  We can get you to your goal faster!

Call us at 631 765 5333 or visit our office at the corner of Horton’s Lane  and Main Road in Southold. At Beninati Associates, we truly listen, we really care and we always get results!
 Source: RISMedia, First-Time Homebuyers Get a Break With Lower Mortgage Rates, Susan Tompo, April 9, 2019.

Thursday, April 4, 2019


Two reports came out recently showing the change in home prices since the beginning of the pricing decline in 2006, the precipitous decline in 2008-2011, and the steady recovery to where we are today.

The chart below shows that peak pricing occurred in 2006, had a dramatic decline of about 30% in late 2008 and continued to fall about another 5% until early 2012, when it started to turn upward.

It’s important to note, that home prices recovered fully to the 2006 highest price level, at the beginning of 2017 and continues to increase another 5% by the end of 2018. The report also predicts a 4.7% increase for 2019.

If you are planning to buy a home, in the near term, you can get an idea of whether a house is priced right by taking the 13-year price history and comparing it to the asking price. Be sure to factor-in improvements over the 2006-2018 time period and you will be able to have a level of comfort as to the selling price.

        At Beninati Associates, good analysis and smart-thinking go hand-in-hand when we make deals! Call us at 631 765 5333.


Source: HOME PRICE INDEX HIGHLIGHTS: FEBRUARY 2019,  Molly Boesel, CoreLogic, April 2, 2019.