Archives: May 2007

The Feds Miss An Opportunity to Explain Teaser Rates

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 31

Teaser rates on exotic mortgages have gotten lots of borrowers into deep financial trouble. Fooled by the low initial rate, homebuyers took on more debt than they could afford, as...

Young, married...and mortgaged to the hilt

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 31

Stumbled across this nice article in London's Daily Mail on how the 20-somethings and 30-somethings in the U.K. are becoming a "nation of mortgage slaves." Given the extraordinary run-up in...

Condoflip.com becomes CondoFLOP.com

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 30

A tip of the cap to reader Dan Maza who updates us that CondoFlip.com -- a web site that was designed to serve as an exchange where buyers of pre-construction...

These Fed hearings should be interesting...

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 30

In response to the firestorm of controversy over subprime loans – namely, that millions of financially unsophisticated borrowers were put into mortgages they didn’t understand and couldn’t afford – the...

The next trend in real estate?

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 30

Had a chance recently to catch up with a friend who is a real estate attorney (representing developers of various ilk). We talked about the homebuilders, and he surprised me...

Real Estate Rubbernecking

Posted by: Maya Roney on May 30

Foreclosure vultures—before you swoop down and snatch up that property, you might want to check out what it looks like—and now you can do it without leaving your desk! Irvine,...

The New Brokers

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 30

For a long time during the housing boom being a broker was a license to print money, but times have changed. Paul Deese saw the writing on the wall. “We...

Who's the King of Online Real Estate?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 29

We've written a lot on our blog about the wars between competing online real estate sites. Data from Hitwise, which measures online traffic, shows it's still on open-ended fight....

More Bedrooms; Fewer Heads on the Pillows

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 26

Why did so many Americans get overstretched in the housing boom? One reason is that they bought more house than they really needed. There's evidence for that in a Census...

Jimmy Stewart? Or used car salesmen?

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 25

Don’t know if you caught this, but the heads of two of the largest real-estate interest groups traded barbs this week – over the question of “Who’s to Blame?” For...

Check out this web site...

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 25

I recently stumbled across a fascinating web site that provides an early read on future housing activity in scores of cities across the country—using real-time data on home listings....

The mortgage mess of ... 2012

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 25

I've got a prediction of what will be the mortgage disaster five years out: Reverse mortgages. Why would I say that? Because of these comments from top mortgage industry officials,...

Home Sales Surprise Again

Posted by: Maya Roney on May 25

More housing statistics shockers today: the NAR said sales of previously-owned homes fell 2.6% in April to an annual rate of 5.99 million, the lowest level in nearly four years....

Is housing worse than the numbers show?

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 24

Today’s statistics for new homes sales--up 16% on a seasonally adjusted basis--looked surprisingly good. Too good, I suspect, for one long-term housing market observer, consultant John Burns, who even before...

Look What's Becoming of Myrtle Beach Air Force Base

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 24

Generations of airmen and airwomen would undoubtedly be amazed to see what's happening to the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, which was opened in 1942 and then shut...

Bittersweet Housing News?

Posted by: Maya Roney on May 24

Yes, new-home sales rose (or surged, or skyrocketed, or whatever) 16.2% (+/- 13%) in April to a pace of 981,000 from 844,000 in March, the U.S. Census Bureau reported this...

Flip this show?

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 23

My wife, who treats HGTV like I do ESPN—meaning it’s the default channel for her when she sits down for a little TV viewing--occasionally gets sucked into some of those...

Should government write homeowners' policies?

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 18

Should state governments take on the task of writing insurance policies for homeowners? I did an interview with an insurance executive recently on the topic of how insurers are pulling...

Will employers take the hit on falling home values?

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 18

One question that's been rattling around the back of my brain is whether the housing bubble--and subsequent downturn--is going to make it harder for companies to convince valued employees to...

Homebuilders in a hole?

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 18

Was so busy earlier this week that I didn't have time to make a shameless plug for a housing-related story I wrote for the print magazine looking at the deteriorating...

What's Old is New Again, Redux

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 18

My BW colleague and fellow blogger Peter Coy wrote a nice story earlier this year on the growing trend of real estate agents pulling a house that they can't sell...

Florida is doomed...

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 18

One of my favorite Wall Street economists, Jan Hatzius of Goldman Sachs, put out a report recently predicting that Florida -- not California or New York or DC -- would...

A New Way to Tap Your Home's Equity

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 17

A San Francisco-based company called REX & Co. Inc. is offering a new way to tap your home's equity that doesn't involve a loan. REX gives you money now in...

The Latest Foreclosure Victims

Posted by: Maya Roney on May 16

Speaking of foreclosures in Ohio...it turns out that an evicted man in Cincinnati recently walked away from his home without alerting anyone about the 60+ cats and kittens he left...

How much do you know about subprime?

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 16

What share of all U.S. mortgages written last year were subprime? Quick, quick, is it: (a) 0.5 percent (b) 5 percent (c) 20 percent (d) 50 percent The correct answer...

The Midwest: Hot or Not?

Posted by: Maya Roney on May 16

If you haven’t already, check out our list of the best affordable suburbs in the Midwest. Many of these towns have median home prices well-below the national median, and great...

Your Dream Home in Iraq

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 16

My curiosity piqued by an article in today's Wall Street Journal, I surfed the Web and found a website for a luxury housing development under construction now in ... Iraq....

Where Angels Fear to Tread?

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 16

As dozens of mortgage lenders close or shed jobs, Countrywide Financial Corp. CEO Angelo Mozilo is staffing up to seize market share. The chief of the biggest home lender announced...

Housing and the Stock Market

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 15

The slumping stock market used to be given as a reason for the great real estate boom. The dot-com bust soured Mr. and Mrs. America on stocks. And so they...

Foreclosures Running Strong

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 15

Foreclosure rates tend to dip in April because people who are in precarious situations are able to sell their homes during the strong spring buying season. Last year, for...

In Florida, A Battle of Wills Between Buyers and Sellers

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 15

Good article in the Palm Beach Post about what happens when sellers who don't want to lower their asking prices collide with buyers who don't want to raise their offers....

Trulia: Truly An Improvement

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 14

If you don't already know Trulia, check it out. If you've used it before, check it out anyway, because as of the official launch last week there's a new user...

Best Affordable Suburbs: Addendum

Posted by: Maya Roney on May 11

Back in November, I wrote my first-ever BusinessWeek.com article about the “Best Affordable Suburbs” in the country. Six months later, that story has 1,015 reader comments (and counting) commending, questioning...

The Yield Spread Premium: A Dirty Not-So-Secret In Real Estate

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 10

Today we received the kind of reader comment that I love to see: A smart and fearlessly stated position on an industry issue that really matters. It was written by...

Defeat for States In Bank Regulation Lawsuit

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 03

Linda A. Watters, pictured here, lost a Supreme Court appeal last month. Why should you care? Because in turning down her appeal, the Supreme Court ruled that state regulators like...

Give the Fed Your 2c Worth on Abusive Lending

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 03

The Federal Reserve is holding a hearing in Washington on June 14 about abusive lending practices. The Fed is looking for a way to curb abuse without discouraging responsible lenders...

Really Empty Nests

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 02

Consultant Bill Conerly tips us off on his Businomics blog http://businomics.typepad.com/businomics_blog/ to the growing number of homes sitting empty. Vacancy rates for homes have bumped around 1.5% for two decades....

What will $800 a month get you??

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 01

My BusinessWeek colleague Peter Coy has periodically had fun with comparing different real estate markets around the country--i.e., "Here's What $300,000 will buy you around the country." In the same...

Zillow and 'Zona Duel Over Zestimates--Update

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 01

Update for people following Zillow v. 'Zona. The Arizona House has passed a bill that would let Zillow.com provide Zestimates in Arizona. Now the bill has to go back to...

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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