Home sales declined in February with the combined effects of severe winter weather and the decline in affordability due to higher mortgage rates and prices than those seen in the previous year. Sales have also been hindered at the beginning of this year by new mortgage and flood insurance regulations that recently took effect. The flood insurance regulations are currently set to be reviewed, and buyers and sellers in flood-prone areas may want to become informed on how these regulations and potential changes are affecting their market. Home prices however, rose slightly from January to February even as inventory levels loosened slightly and home sales slowed. In addition, prices are still well above those seen at this time last year. Buyers willing to brave the cold may be able to take advantage of some of the short-term price breaks seen early this year. With prices still showing an upward year-over-year trend and inventory levels still tight, sellers remain well positioned in the Queens real estate market.
Month’s Supply: 7 Months
Mortgage rates have remained relatively flat from last month. The upward pressure on rates generated by the Federal Reserve’s winding down of quantitative easing has been counterbalanced by downward pressure on Treasury yields being generated by turmoil in emerging markets. Currently, Freddie Mac reports the following figures: 30-year fixed rate, 4.33%; 15-year fixed rate, 3.35%; 5/1-year adjustable rate, 3.08%.
Queens NY Home Sales
The annual pace of home sales was 547 homes in February. This was down 19.1% from January and down 3% from the same month of the previous year. Severe winter weather likely affected home sales in many parts of the county in February; however, higher mortgage rates and prices, combined with new regulations, have also had a significant dampening effect on home sales. February also saw more severe weather than usual and this will likely be reflected in next month’s numbers. As we move out of the winter months, and lenders and consumers adjust to the changes in affordability and regulation, we should see sales begin to pick back up.
Queens NY Home Prices
The median home price rose 1.3% from January to February regardless of a slight increase in inventory and a fall in the pace of sales. Median prices are not seasonally adjusted so some decline at this time of year is considered normal. Prices remain almost 16% above those seen at this time last year, and many sellers continue to benefit from equity gains accrued in last year’s substantial price recovery.
Queens NY Housing Inventory
Inventory levels recovered slightly in February after taking a bit of a dip in December. The total number of homes that were available for sale remained the same from January to February, a total of 5,338 homes for sale. This represents 7 months of inventory at the current sales pace, which is up 6.1% from the previous month. As we move further into the year, we should continue to see inventory loosen across the borough, giving buyers more choices.
|March 11, 2014||Injured At Work? Workers Compensation Law 101||no comments|
Injuries at the workplace are any employed person’s nightmare. They can incapacitate you and make it impossible for you to work. In the worst case scenario, they can cause you to lose your job and therefore your source of income. Many workers then find themselves in a big struggle when and injury occurs at work.
Unfortunately, most employees are completely unaware of what their workplace policy on employee compensation for workplace injuries is. They never bother to find out what rules and mechanisms are in place until they find themselves in a dire situation. Therefore, if you are anything like majority of employed people it may be time to learn more about your personal workplace injury compensation policies. It is important to acquaint yourself with what policies your employer has in place and prepare yourself for any future injuries or accidents. In the event you do get injured at work here is what you need to do:
1. Notify your employer of your injury
The next step is to get with your employer. Depending on the size of the company, this can be your supervisor or the human resource department at the company. Keep in mind that all of this should be done before going to a workers compensation lawyer. This is a very common mistake for many employees. Going to a lawyer can turn the entire process adversarial and in many cases, companies will be able to delay the process or even have it defeated due to their deeper pockets and access to better lawyers.
Many employers have become quite compliant in the face of government sanctions and regulations for non-compliance with compensation rules. Where they are non-compliant or become unresponsive, it is time to look for a workers compensation lawyer.
2. Seek Medical Attention
After you have notified your company or employer about your work-place injury it is time to see a doctor as soon as possible. Any delay in seeking medical attention can jeopardize the validity of your claim and hurt you down the line.
3. Find a good workers compensation lawyer
You need to do research on how to get a good lawyer who deals with labor matters specifically. Labor matters are a highly technical area that needs special expertise from a specialist who has the relevant experience as well as the experience. Labor matters are quite delicate and challenging to take up and successfully litigate so the last thing you want to do is get a greenhorn attorney. Furthermore, having an experienced partner will also allow you to trade on his reputation which can get you a settlement without ever having to go to court.
4. Should we negotiate a settlement or seek to litigate?
Ideally, your workers compensation lawyer would be best placed to advise you on the way forward in your specific claim. The legal professional will take into account every relevant factor in the case and clearly lay our your options for you. This is provided you have selected a good work-place attorney by using recommendations from former clients as well as internet research. However, it is important to know that for every workers compensation case that gets a multimillion dollar settlement, there are a dozen that are stuck in litigation for years. Therefore, if a good settlement is offered to the worker it may be a good idea to take it.
This article has been contributed by The Shulman Law Firm of Brooklyn to the Queens Ledger local newspaper on 03/11/2014 by the Alex Shulman Staff. They can be contacted for a free consultation at: The Shulman Law Firm 44 Court St, suite 808 Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 852-4700 http://www.shulmanwc.com