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Archives: September 2007

More defaults on insured mortgages

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 28

Defaults by borrowers with private mortgage insurance rose 30% in August from a year earlier, according to new numbers from Mortgage Insurance Companies of America. There were 58,441 defaults this...

If you're looking to buy, think about buying new

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 27

I said this on Good Morning America a couple weekends ago and I probably looked like a shill for the homebuilding industry, but let me say it again anyway: If...

The first shall be last ...

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 27

Just guessing here, but I'd say there's an excellent chance that Ocala, Fla., will not be ranked No. 1 in the nation again next year--as it was today--in the Milken...

Optimism on housing and the economy!!!???!!

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 26

All those punctuation marks on the headline are a tribute to the inimitable writing style of James W. Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management. Paulsen is optimistic that...

Prices, and Sales, and Inventories—Oh My!

Posted by: Maya Roney on September 26

The weather isn’t the only thing getting chillier as we move into the fall season. Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors reported that existing-home sales fell 4.3% in August from...

We just won a medal with a bloodhound on it

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 24

It is a special thing to be awarded a medal that prominently features a bloodhound, that paragon of lachrymose canine loyalty. It's the weekly Odysseus Medal from BloodhoundBlog and we...

Something for you Robert Shiller fans

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 24

A good interview by with Robert Shiller, the Yale University professor and author of "Irrational Exuberance" who was one of the first economists to predict a major downturn in...

Believe it or not, the 'optimal' mortgage is an option ARM

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 21

If you had to name the most toxic, dangerous, foolhardy kind of mortgage loan that exists, you'd very likely pick a pay-option ARM .... Guess what? The worst is actually the best.

Should we revive a Depression-era bailout organization?

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 21

Unless you're one of our older readers, you probably don't remember the Home Owners' Loan Corp., which was set up during the Depression to rescue people from foreclosure. It refinanced...

Pulling the Plug on Adelphia

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 21

Psst. Want to buy a corporate headquarters, barely used? Grubb & Ellis and auction house LFC have the listing on the former headquarters of Adelphia Communications. That’s the cable...

The Texas two-step

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 20

The latest numbers from the Houston Association of Realtors show just how bi-furcated today's housing market has become. Sales of homes in the $80,000 to $150,000 price range dropped nearly...

Rocky Market Making You Queasy? Try Some Southern Comfort

Posted by: Maya Roney on September 19

In the wake of the Fed’s half-point rate cut, the financial markets sure are calmer, but the housing market still has a bumpy road ahead. Today, the Commerce Dept. announced...

The Deal of Century

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 17

It sounded hokey and desperate, like something the mattress stores do. Hovnanian Enterprises, the big New Jersey-based home builder, slashed prices at its developments across the country this past weekend....

Foreclosures Heat Up in August

Posted by: Maya Roney on September 17

Ah, August. A big month for vacations, backyard barbeques, pool parties— and giving your house back to the bank. According to the guys at RealtyTrac, August 2007 had the highest...

Greenspan Confesses (Sort of)

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 14

Former Federal Reserve Chief Alan Greenspan has told 60 Minutes that he "didn't really get" that the huge surge in subprime lending was significant enough to hurt the economy until...

Bill Miller on why he bought housing stocks (too soon)

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 14

Legendary investor Bill Miller likes to buy out-of-favor stocks, and it's hard to think of any stocks that are outer-of-favor (is that English?) than those of homebuilders. Only trouble...

Here's what the housing boom bought us

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 13

Americans like lots of room. A century or two ago they found it by moving West like Davey Crockett. Now they make more room for themselves by pushing the...

The Economic Near Miss

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 13

Back when the housing market was inflating, one of the few institutions to try to stick a pin in the bubble was UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Edward Leamer, director...

Ninety-nine other real estate websites

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 11

International Listings, a website with listings of luxury homes around the world, just put out a list of what it considers the top 100 real estate blogs. I'm happy to...

Cloudy Forecast

Posted by: Maya Roney on September 11

It's been a bit of a gloomy day. Here in New York, cloudy skies and intermittent rainfall aptly underscored the ceremony marking the sixth anniversary of the attacks on the...

"We are still quite early in the life of this crisis...."

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 10

Maybe it's American can-do spirit, or maybe it's just a refusal to face reality, but many people seem to think that if we all work really hard we can stop...

Bloodbath At Countrywide

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 07

Countrywide, the nation's largest and recently most-embattled mortgage lender, announced it was laying off as many as 12,000 people today, roughly one-fifth of its 61,000-strong workforce. In a letter to...

Progress, albeit slow, on the backlog of unsold new homes

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 06

Richard DeKaser of National City Corp. is one of the best economists on housing issues. When I talked to him today for an online story about foreclosures, he mentioned...

Chris Dodd wants to ban the yield spread premium

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 06

Last May I wrote a blog item called The Yield Spread Premium: A Dirty Not-So-Secret in Real Estate. Now, presidential candidate Christopher Dodd is proposing legislation that would severely restrict...

It’s a Dangerous Job, But Someone’s Gotta Do It

Posted by: Maya Roney on September 05

Fishermen, pilots and loggers have the most dangerous jobs in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fatality rates are not as high among real estate agents, but...

Home Builders Meet Dr. Phil

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 05

With homebuilders in the middle of a major slump, it's worth taking a look back at something called the Public Home Builders Council of America. Not to pick on them,...

Regulators jawbone against foreclosures

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 04

Federal and state banking regulators issued a joint press release today aimed at one of the most frustrating aspects of the housing mess: People are losing their homes because they...

Tap the brakes--you're passing through a town where housing prices are falling

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 04

Hard to believe, but apparently true: You're more likely to get a speeding ticket in a town where housing prices have been falling. Cops write more tickets when their...


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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