Pimco, the big money management firm, has had representatives out riding with real estate brokers in 20 major metropolitan markets across the country to gauge the state of the housing market. The initial results of their labor are in. Pimco notes that although asking prices are being reduced in some markets, that may not always mean people are selling their homes for lower prices. After participating on several “ride-alongs” in tony Westchester County, New York, for example, Pimco observed that homeowners were sometimes listing their properties at 15-20% above what their brokers were suggesting just to see if they could get that price. If buyers balked, they didn’t sell. Their agents must love them.
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.