The latest sign of the Apocalypse: In south Florida, where housing speculation is white hot, some entrepreneurs have unveiled a pair of Internet-based exchanges – USCONDEX.com and CondoFlip.com — where individuals can buy or sell condominimums sight unseen. USCONDEX.com, charges condo developers $2,500 a month for each project they want to have listed on the exchange, and then allows prospective buyers to negotiate with the builder via the site. (Later this year, the site will host live auctions.) The other site, CondoFlip, was designed to enable purchasers of as-yet-unbuilt Miami condos find a secondary buyer to whom they can flip the condo for a profit.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.