Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Rand Realty honors its top agents and celebrates the company’s record-breaking achievements in 2019 with over 250 agents receiving sales awards for their accomplishments. Marsha Rand, Rand Realty’s Founder, released a video announcing the top producers in each region and several other special awards.
In Westchester, Excellence in Sales went to Trudi Iglesias, Outstanding Accomplishment to Jeanne Beckley, and Top Producer to Sherry Wiggs.
In Orange County: Excellence in Sales was awarded to Donna Gennaro, Outstanding Accomplishment to Theresa Budich and Top Producer to Marion Bruhns.
From Rockland County, Excellence in Sales went to Terry May, Outstanding Accomplishment to Linda DeFilippo and Number one Top Producer was once again Margo Bohlin.
In New Jersey, Excellence in Sales goes to Joseph Simone, Outstanding Accomplishment to Eugene Lowe and our top honor, the number one in New Jersey Attilio Adamo and his team!
We also recognize the number one Commercial team of RJ Smith for an outstanding year from Rand Commercial.
Our company couldn’t be more proud of all the rookies that have become part of our team at Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty.
Congratulations for your accomplishments in the first year in the business, Wanda Diaferia from Rockland and Olga Dfouni, from New Jersey Orange County our rookies are Theresa Freeman and Tina Cardona and Westchester Patty Anker.
The Legend Award, the highest honor given to a Rand Realty agent, was awarded to two top producers in Rockland this year. These are the agents that have had five consecutive years of excelling and succeeding as real estate professionals, Congratulations Donna Cox from the Nyack office and Linda DeFilippo from the New City office.
“Our agents are what makes us leaders in our industry. We are so proud of their hard work and dedication to client service and in awe of their achievements, Congratulations to all our winners!” -Matt Rand CEO
One of the biggest mistakes sellers make in pricing their home is assuming that they will get at least 100 cents on every dollar they put into that home since they bought it:
“Well, I bought it for $450,000 ten years ago, and I put in a new kitchen for $50,000, so it’s worth at least $500,000.”
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You almost never get 100 cents, or even 75 cents, on every dollar you spend.
Why? Well, for one thing, you did that work according to your own tastes, and hopefully, you got a lot of enjoyment out of it. But maybe your new buyer won’t love the granite countertops you chose or the way you organized your closets. It’s not worth as much to them as it was to you.
For another, many home improvements involve equipment that you put in, which quickly starts to depreciate once you use it. Homes appreciate, but the stuff in them doesn’t. That new washer? It’s used. That new fridge? It’s worth 50% of what you paid for it the minute you plugged it in.
So if you never quite get 100 cents on the dollar for home improvement projects, how much do you get? It’s tough to say. The most bang for the buck is usually in anything that increases square footage or the number of rooms, the least comes from improvements that are based on depreciating equipment.
If you’re looking for a general guide to the return you can get on home improvement projects, Remodeling Magazine puts out a helpful guide every year called the “Cost v. Value Report,
which compares the projected return on different types of projects. It’s not definitive, and its methodology is not based on actual real-life data. But it’s a useful indicator of the relative perceived value of different times of home improvements.
Remodeling Magazine provides a national average and also breaks down the information for different regions of the country. Here is the expected return on projects for mid-Atlantic states:
If you are thinking of doing some major renovations, you should talk to your real estate agent. Why? Because they can help you in making decisions that will preserve or enhance the value of your home, and whether certain improvements are worth making.
NANUET, NY – Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Rand Realty is pleased to announce that their leadership team – Matthew, Joseph, and Daniel Rand have been named to the Swanepoel Power 200, an independent ranking of the most powerful residential real estate leaders in the United States.
The SP200 (Swanepoel Power 200) is the definitive ranking of residential real estate’s top leaders produced by industry visionary Stefan Swanepoel’s T3 Consulting Group and published by the Real Estate Almanac (realestatealmanac.com). To produce the report each year, the T3 team invests over 400 hours of research, countless internal debates, deep analysis of numbers and organizational charts, and candidly question what power actually means.
“We are truly honored that Stefan Swanepoel, Jack Miller and everyone at T3 ranked our leadership team among the most powerful individuals in residential real estate.” said Joe Rand, Chief Creative Officer, “And of course, I would be remiss if I did not give much of the credit to our founder, Marsha Rand, without whom, none of this would have been possible!
Matt Rand, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Rand Realty’s Chief Executive said “It’s an honor to be part of this list of amazingly talented and visionary leaders”.
Dan Rand echoed Matt’s enthusiasm, “It’s very exciting to be recognized as a national force in the residential real estate industry. We’ve worked very hard to expand our market footprint, our market share, and our service offerings. Appearing on this list helps validate that we continue to move in the right direction”
T3’s team evaluates the Top 200 based on the office they hold, their decision-making power, the financial resources at their disposal, their organization’s industry significance and geographical reach, their tenure, and their personal influence in the industry.
About Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, founded in 1984, is the No. 1 real estate brokerage firm in the Greater Hudson Valley, with 28 offices serving Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties in New York, as well as Bergen, Passaic, Hudson and Morris Counties in New Jersey.
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty has more than 1,000 residential real estate sales associates, as well as a commercial real estate company (Rand Commercial) and the Hudson United Group, which provides residential mortgage lending, title services, and commercial and residential insurance.
These companies can be found online at www.RandRealty.com, www.RandCommercial.com, and www.HudsonUnited.com. Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty can also be found and interacted with on Facebook and Twitter.
The housing market in Westchester and the Hudson Valley closed the year with a flourish, with regional sales and prices up modestly but meaningfully. The market overall continued to show signs of recovery from the suppressive effects of the 2018 Tax Reform’s Cap on State and Local Taxes (i.e., the “SALT Cap”). Although we are still seeing more demand in the lower-priced than upper-priced markets, the overall trend suggests continued growth in 2020.
Single-family sales were up regionally and in most of the individual counties. Regional sales rose 2.8%, only the second quarterly increase since the end of 2017 and the inception of the SALT Cap. For the 2019 calendar year, sales were down just a tick, but they picked up steam in the third and fourth quarter, after a weak start to the year. Within the individual counties, quarterly sales were mixed, tending to rise more in the higher-priced counties. Why? Because they were the hardest hit in 2018 by the inception of the SALT Cap, so their 2018 baseline numbers were suppressed more than in the lower-priced counties. As the SALT Cap continues to get priced into the market, we expect that sales will rise throughout the region in the spring.
Similarly, single-family prices were generally up across the region, reflecting some rising strength in the high-end. Regionally, the average price rose 2.8% from last year’s fourth quarter, following a similar increase in the third quarter. Most importantly, Westchester seemed to be recovering from the impact of the SALT Cap, with average prices up almost 3% for the quarter. Indeed, we might be seeing a long-awaited recovery in the high-end Westchester market: sales of super-luxury $3M+ homes rose 37% from last year’s fourth quarter. Westchester pricing tends to drive the rest of the market, so this was a welcome increase for all regional homeowners and sellers.
Inventory was still low, but rising. The lack of inventory throughout the region has held back sales growth, with most counties and property types well below the six-months of inventory level that signifies a balanced market. Inventory was still relatively low as the year ended but was trending up in just about every county market and property type. It might be that sellers are seeing prices go up, and are getting tempted into the market.
Going forward, we believe that the market is poised for a relatively robust 2020. Housing fundamentals are all positive: prices are still at attractive levels compared to the last seller’s market, interest rates are back down to historic lows, the economy is solid, and inventory might be loosening up. Accordingly, we believe that demand will continue to grow and that as the lingering effects of the SALT Cap dissipate, we will see more widespread price appreciation going into the spring market.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, the Westchester housing market continued to recover from the impact of the 2018 Tax Reform cap on state and local taxes (i.e., the “SALT Cap”). Single-family home sales were up almost 4%, the second quarterly increase in a row following seven straight declines after the SALT Cap went into effect. And prices were up as well, rising almost 3% on average and over 2% at the median. For the calendar year, Westchester’s single-family home sales and prices were mostly flat, due to the weak first half to the year. But the trend does seem to show that Westchester buyers are pricing in the SALT Cap after 18 months of doldrums – indeed, the high-end is well into recovery, with sales of $3M-plus homes rising 37% from last year’s fourth quarter. Going forward, we believe that Westchester will experience a robust spring market, responding to strong housing fundamentals like low-interest rates, a growing economy, and pricing still below the heights of the last seller’s market.
Activity in the Rockland housing market surged in the fourth quarter of 2019, even while the 2018 Tax Reform cap on state and local taxes (i.e., the “SALT Cap”) continued to suppress pricing growth. Single-family transactions rose over 7% for the quarter, and almost 6% for the full calendar year, reflecting high levels of demand spurred by strong economic fundamentals. But the SALT Cap has suppressed demand in the higher-ends of the market, which has held back pricing for single-family homes overall. In contrast, 2019 full-year prices in the lower-priced condo market were up over 8% on average and 10% at the median, because buyers at those price points generally don’t itemize their taxes and are mostly unaffected by the SALT Cap. Going forward, we do believe that the SALT Cap will ultimately get priced into the market and that the strong housing fundamentals will drive a relatively robust spring market.
Pricing in the Orange County housing market surged in the fourth quarter of 2019, even while low levels of inventory continued to stifle sales growth. Pricing was up across the board, with single-family home prices rising over 8% on average and almost 9% at the median compared to last year’s fourth quarter. And for the full 2019 year, single-family prices were up 3% on average and almost 5% in the median. Condo prices were also generally up, rising 5% on average and over 6% at the median for the year, even while the quarterly numbers were mixed. We note that sales activity for both single-family and condo homes was down for the quarter, but that was largely based on a lack of inventory rather than a slackening of demand. Orange inventory is way down, finishing the year with under five months of inventory for single-family homes and an unprecedented two months for condos. Going forward, we think that rising prices will tempt more sellers into the spring market, and that buyer demand will stay strong with rates low and the economy growing.
The Dutchess county housing market surged again in the fourth quarter of 2019, closing a robust 2019 with a flourish. Sales activity was way up, with single-family home sales up almost 20% from last year’s fourth quarter, which made up for a lackluster start to 2019 – as you can see, even with the fourth-quarter surge, sales for the full year were basically flat. Quarterly sales were also up almost 13% for condos, finishing the year up almost 7%. Pricing for the quarter was a bit more mixed: single-family homes were down about 3% on average but up almost 4% at the median, while condos were up about 5% on both the average and the median. But for the year, pricing was up meaningfully, with single-family homes up almost 3% on average and over 4% at the median, and condos up over 4% on average and almost 3% at the median. Going forward, we believe that Dutchess is entering 2020 in good shape, and the strong economic fundamentals will drive a relatively robust spring market.
The Putnam housing market corrected a bit in a slow fourth quarter, after surges through much of the year. Single-family home sales were down about 3% for the quarter, with prices falling over 4% on average and almost 7% at the median. For the 2019 calendar year, though, Putnam’s market generally grew, with sales up over 2% from 2018. Full-year prices were more mixed, with the average falling almost 2% and the median rising almost 3%. We believe that this pricing divergence is mostly due to the effects of the 2018 Tax Reform cap on state and local taxes (i.e., the “SALT Cap”), which has had more of an impact on the average price by suppressing some high-end activity. Going forward, we expect a relatively robust spring market, with prices still below their seller-market highs, interest rates near historic lows, and a growing economy.
The Bronx housing market slowed down just a bit in the fourth quarter of 2019, with sales falling slightly and prices topping out after a robust run-up for most of the year. We believe that, like other high-priced markets throughout the region, the Bronx might be feeling the impact of the 2018 Tax Reform’s Cap on State and Local Taxes (i.e., the “SALT Cap”), particularly in the higher end of the market. Even with the suppressive effects of the SALT Cap, though, we believe that the housing fundamentals are strong, and expect a relatively robust 2020.
Pricing. Overall pricing was down slightly compared to the fourth quarter of last year, falling more than 1%. The individual property types were mixed: average prices were down 3% for single-family homes, up almost 2% for multi-families, down 2% for coops, and down 20% for condos. We caution not to read too much into the condo number since the Bronx condo market is a relatively thin slice of data. For the year, though, pricing was up 5% overall, and up for all property types other than condos.
Sales. Sales were down slightly, falling over 2% from last year’s fourth quarter and finishing the year down almost 6%. Previously, we have attributed slow sales to a lack of inventory, which has stifled sales growth by denying the Bronx enough “fuel for the fire.” But the Bronx market might also be hurt by the SALT Cap, which particularly impacts buyers in higher price ranges, who are more likely to itemize their taxes. And while some micro-markets in the Bronx are probably not affected, we note that the average price overall in the borough is about $500,000, which is about where home buyers are more likely to feel the pinch of the SALT Cap limitations on property and state income tax deductibility.
Inventory. Inventory was generally up, rising for all property types and down only slightly for condos. Inventory is still in the 5-6 month range for most property types, a level that usually indicates a seller’s market, but it’s definitely opening up a bit. That might start to push sales up in 2020.
Outlook. Going forward, we believe that Bronx sellers and homeowners continue to have reason to be optimistic about where the market is going. The fundamentals are very strong: the economy is growing, inventory is still low, interest rates are near historic lows, and demand is strong. We expect that even with the challenges of a slowdown in Manhattan and the pinch of the SALT Cap, the Bronx market will continue to see price appreciation and sales growth through the winter and the spring markets.