Archives: August 2005

Housing Starts

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 29

I've cited from Merrill Lynch's housing research on several occasions recently, and that's because the folks there tend to regularly come up with a fresh take on what is a...

Sharp rise in home equity rates?

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 29

Had lunch today with David Hale, the preeminent international economist who was in Atlanta to give a speech. Hale was just back from the Federal Reserve conference in Jackson Hole...

Foreclosures on the rise

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 26

A story on Inman News reports that, according to RealtyTrac, foreclosures grew for the second straight month in July, and have now jumped more than 12% in the last two...

That house is a steal...

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 25

In a housing boom, everyone's favorite parlor game is trying to figure out how much their house is worth this week. My wife loves to drive around and pull the...

There is No Bubble

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 25

While most commentators these days insist there is a housing bubble, there's at least one economist, Jude Wanniski, who is willing to take the other side of the argument. For...

Another valuation report

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 25

There's yet another report out trying to assess which local housing markets are overvalued, this one by the economists at National City Corp., a Cleveland-based bank. The author of the...

New home sales soar, but median price drops

Posted by: Amey Stone on August 24

Surprise! New home sales hit another high. In July a record pace of 1.41 million new homes were sold (that figure is annualized and adjusted for seasonality), up from June's...

Stretched to the max in California

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on August 19

How is it that the number of homes sold in California keeps going up even as housing prices rise? The Public Policy Institute of California asked that question and got...

A history lesson

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 18

Another interesting report out today from Merrill Lynch's crack economics team. North American economist David Rosenberg notes that thanks to the ongoing runup in housing prices, the affordability ratio for...

CPI and housing prices

Posted by: Amey Stone on August 16

Wondering why inflation figures are so tame when real estate prices are soaring? There is a simple explanation: the Consumer Price Index factors in rising rents, not rising home prices....

No more Golden Gate

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on August 16

The once red-hot San Francisco market is starting to cool. New info from market researcher DataQuick shows the number of homes and condos sold in the Bay Area fell 11.9%...

Real estate's outsized contribution to economy

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 15

Kathleen Bostjancic, an economist with Merrill Lynch, just produced a sobering look at housing's outsized contributions to the economy. While I can't provide a link to the full report, I...

Speakes speaks

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on August 11

Countrywide Financial Corp. is the nation's largest mortgage lender, handling nearly one out of every six new mortgages in the country. So it's worth taking note when the company's in-house...

August doldrums

Posted by: Amey Stone on August 10

Signs of cracks in the real estate market are appearing (rising inventories, more price markdowns in some markets). I feel it here in New York, where it has been more...

Second wind

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on August 09

Second homes are hot right now with lots of folks plunking down spare cash on weekend retreats to give themselves an escape and a nice return in their investment. Michael...

Softness in San Diego...

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 09

The watch is on for which of the overheated markets are first showing signs of cooling. Looks like San Diego is the bellwether market in California, and some experts there...

And all I got was this lousy Tshirt...

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 09

T-ShirtHumor.com now sells a cute T shirt (and poster and coffee mug) playing on the housing bubble. Worth a look. Buy one for your favorite real estate speculator......

Real estate and Recession

Posted by: Amey Stone on August 08

There is a whole class of economist that doesn't believe we are in the midst of a serious real estate bubble, but is nonetheless quite concerned about the health of...

Do-it-yourself cities

Posted by: Amey Stone on August 05

The web site ForSaleByOwner.com has released a list of the cities where the most homes are sold without a broker (based on 40,000 listings on its site). It's not a...

Why Option ARMs Are Scary

Posted by: Peter Coy on August 04

Option ARMs are scary because monthly payments can stay low for a long time and then suddenly go kerflooey. (Did I spell kerflooey right?) Standard & Poor's is out today...

Real estate investment clubs

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 04

Came across this interesting article over on MSN's Money site on a topic I'd been meaning to discuss: the boom in real estate investment clubs -- which have roughly quadrupled...

Million dollar trailers

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 03

Yes, it's come to this: In Florida and California, there are now trailers that are fetching $1 million each, or close to it. Except the owners would object to you...

Land lover

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on August 01

"Buy land," Mark Twain famously said. "They don't make it anymore." Lawrence S. Pratt, a senior fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research says many commentators on the real...

A way to hedge against falling home prices

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 01

My colleague Peter Coy offered a novel way to hedge against a collapse in housing prices (see below). There’s another way: There’s an online futures exchange, HedgeStreet.com, that allows you...

Riskiest housing markets

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 01

The PMI Group, a California-based provider of mortgage insurance, recently published an interesting study that ranks the riskiest housing markets in the country ("riskiest" meaning which are the most at...

About

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.

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