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January 14, 2019
Scott Setaro sworn into office by Joan Cusack, Executive Director of Administrative Services, Property Management and Land Use

Scott Setaro, broker/owner of Weichert Realtors® Evolution Group has been inducted as the 57th president of the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) during a ceremony January 10th at the Excelsior Grand.
"I look forward to working with Scott and all the officers and directors of SIBOR and the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service," said Sandy Krueger, CEO of SIBOR. "We are blessed with a fine group of professionals who are giving back to the industry and to their community."

Staten Island Real Estate - December Report

Home prices were consistently up again in most markets in 2018 but at reduced levels compared to recent years. High demand for a few homes for sale fueled price increases, but evidence is mounting that inventory will finally improve in 2019. This may apply some downward pressure on prices for beleaguered home buyers. 

South Shore - North Shore - Heartland
               Greater St. George
Gateway - East Shore - The Lakes - The Hills

New SIBOR Members

Update of Recent Legislative Action
Signage (New York City Firms Only)-In the last issue, we discussed a problem recently imposed upon storefront businesses that install signs. The NYC Administrative Code (Section 28-105.1) requires permits be issued by the NYC Department of Buildings for signs larger than six square feet in total area, in addition to complying with local zoning regulations. We reported that the NYC Department of Buildings was issuing violations against business owners at an alarming rate at fines starting at $6,000.00.

Increase Your Knowledge and Enhance Your Business 

Thursday, February 28, 2019
7.5 Continuing Education credits
Instructor: Craig Grant
Discover the latest technology tools to streamline your business and exceed client expectations. Learn how to be mobile and paperless in your real estate practice with tips on:
- Transaction management tools.
- Internet advertising and syndication.
- E-marketing and social media.
- Automation hardware, software and Apps.
-and much more...

FHA Announces 2019 Loan Limits
On Dec. 14, 2018, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) released its 2019 Loan Limits, effective January 1, 2019. FHA's loan limits are tied to the loan limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency for conventional mortgages. In high-cost areas the FHA national loan limit "ceiling" will increase to $726,525 from $679,650. FHA will also increase its "floor" to $314,827 from $294,515. Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Virgin Islands have a special exception ceiling of $1,089,787 to account for higher costs of construction.

RPAC is Working for You: Take an Active Role
The REALTORS Political Action Committee (RPAC) works for REALTORS in city hall, Albany and Washington, D.C. Your contributions to RPAC support federal, state and local lawmakers who share the REALTOR commitment to promote homeownership and private property rights.
RPAC is administered by an autonomous group of REALTOR trustees representing all regions of New York. Decisions on contributions to candidates are based on an individual's voting record, not party affiliations. It is a candidate's demonstration of support for REALTOR issues that leads to an RPAC contribution.

Broker Involvement Program: Get Alerts to Key REALTOR Issues in Congress
The Broker Involvement Program empowers brokers to alert their agents to key REALTOR issues in Congress such as a proposal to reduce the mortgage interest deduction benefit and the expiration of the National Flood Insurance Program. When there is a federal Call for Action on these and other issues, NAR will send a personal message and the Call for Action to your agents directly on your behalf. When brokers speak, agents listen and respond.

SI's Bay Street Rezoning Rejected by Community Board
Staten Island's Community Board 1 overwhelming voted against a proposal to rezone a stretch of Bay Street on the borough's north shore this week, demanding the plan beef up the area's transportation infrastructure and include additional affordable housing commitments. The board voted 37-3 against the proposal.
Some 250 locals packed into All Saints Episcopal Church on Victory Boulevard Tuesday for a five-hour meeting on the de Blasio administration's rezoning plan.

Rep. Max Rose's Inaugural Bill Urges Red Tape Removal for the East Shore Seawall Construction
Construction of the fully-funded East Shore seawall is expected to begin this year, however, it is dependent on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the city gaining access to Gateway National Park.
Without access, also known as an easement, construction will be delayed indefinitely.
To prevent the delay and ensure construction begins on time, Rep. Max Rose (D-Staten Island/South Brooklyn) will introduce a bill authorizing the easement for state and local government.

What's Coming in NY Real Estate in 2019
More than 20,000 new apartments in New York, both for sale and for rent, will open their doors this year - and likely just a fraction will find residents by year end.
The affordable ones, of course, will attract thousands of applicants, but the bulk of the new units - in gleaming towers, many of them conceived at the height of the last housing boom - will enter a saturated market, where buyers and renters have ample choice and little incentive to rush.  

Better Than the Powerball
Winning a spot in one of New York City's affordable housing lotteries might seem completely out of reach, the stuff of urban legend.
But every day across the five boroughs, tens of thousands of New Yorkers play the odds, and a lucky few check their inboxes to discover they have won an affordable new home. For some, the welcome news may have come just months after they first applied, while for others, it may have taken years.

20 Best Real Estate Memes of 2018
All real estate agents have experienced the stress of making cold calls, organizing open houses, managing overly-demanding clients, conducting negotiations and clawing through closing day.
All of these situations can bring even the most seasoned agents to the edge, so taking a little time to laugh (even if it's just to keep from crying) is a surefire way to relieve stress and remind yourself that you're not the only one struggling to keep the sellers away during the inspection.

7 Tech Trends to Watch in 2019
Two years ago, I picked a "Magnificent 7" list that included Automation, Deep Learning, IoE (Internet of Everything), Intelligent Apps, Security, Digital Twins, and Ghosting.
Here's my list for 2019 of the NextGen and NextLevel tech that have caught my eye and the implications for real estate.

Chinese Buyers Expand Their Reach in US Housing Market
Chinese buyers have been the top foreign buyers in both units and dollar volume of residential housing for six years straight, according to the National Association of Realtors, and now they expanding to new, lower price tiers.
More middle-class Chinese buyers are searching for lower-priced homes and they are using mortgages much more often.

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