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Imagine a master planned community without the acres of cookie-cutter housing and (insert name of over-the-hill pro)-designed golf course. That’s what hotel entrepreneur Hal Wright—he of the Homewood Suites and Extended Stay America chains— is doing with his Punta Dominical http://puntadominical.comdevelopment on 1,000 acres of Costa Rican beachfront. Half of the 150 units, which range from $330,000 villas to $1 million custom-built homes, have already been sold. Wright’s building on just 10% of the land and leaving some of the roads unpaved, so everyone will get a feel-good, eco-friendly vibe. Sounds like paradise to me.
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.