Archives: January 2008

Housing Meltdown: Why home prices could drop 25% more on average before the market finally hits bottom

Posted by: Peter Coy on January 31

Please check out this week's cover story in BusinessWeek and let me know whether you agree or disagree with it. I just finished it yesterday, but there are already...

Would you like a free Bentley with your condo?

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on January 31

Dubai real estate developer, Damac Properties, is actually giving away a free Bentley Continental Flying Spur with every purchase of a penthouse or "signature duplex" luxury condo, according to...

Suits and Severance at Countrywide

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 31

The Fed initiates another whopping rate cut. Too late to save Countrywide, whose deal to be acquired by Bank of America still looks like a go. The nation’s largest mortgage...

A Jumbo Problem in California

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 30

California's once hot market continues to cool. The state's association of Realtors reports that home sales were down 33% in December. Median homes prices fell a surprising 16% to $475,000....

Foreclosures filings accelerating in several states

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on January 29

No surprise that Nevada, Florida, Michigan, California and Colorado topped RealtyTrac’s ranking of the states with the highest foreclosure rates in 2007. But what is interesting is that foreclosure filings...

Foreign investors love U.S. real estate

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on January 28

Many Americans are anxious about the real estate market. But foreign investors see U.S. apartments, hotels, shopping centers, warehouses and offices as good investments, according to a new survey. The...

Who's Number One?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 25

The newsletter Inside Mortgage Finance has come out with its annual ranking of the top mortgage lenders. Countrywide Financial once again topped the list--for the fourth year in a row....

Realtors' Lawrence Yun walks on the yunny side of the street

Posted by: Peter Coy on January 24

Credit where credit is due: Nobody has a sunnier disposition when it comes to the U.S. housing market than Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. Today,...

Kerry you're Killing me

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 23

Noble guy that he is, Washington Mutual ceo Kerry Killinger has agreed to forgo his $1.2 million bonus for last year. Wamu is the nation's largest savings and loan, and...

Look out Trulia, here comes Roost.com

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on January 23

Seems counter-intuitive but the competition is heating up in the world of online real estate search engines even as the housing market slowdown deepens. Roost.com, which entered the fray...

Ben the Bold

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 22

Maybe it was the big profile of him in the New York Times Magazine section yesterday that accused him of bumbling through his first two years on the job. But...

Subprime borrowers losing investment properties to foreclosure

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on January 18

Foreclosures are primarily hurting families who are losing homes they bought to live in during the boom. But plenty of investors, including subprime borrowers, are getting burned, according to the...

One insider's view of Countrywide

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 17

Brian Koss spent four years as a senior regional vice president at Countrywide Financial where he ran 54 branches in New England and upstate New York. During that time...

Cleveland Rocked

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 16

The City of Cleveland's lawsuit from last Friday, filed against twenty big mortgage lenders and investment banks reveals some startling stats about the mortgage crisis and the havoc big financial...

Trulia enters online real estate top ten, pulling ahead of Zillow.com

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on January 15

In an increasingly competitive field of real estate Web sites, Trulia is growing at a remarkable pace. The company cracked the top ten most visited real estate sites in December,...

One Building, Three Lives

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 14

It's become a familiar site in overbuilt markets such as South Florida and Southern California, high-end condo projects converting to rental units. One prominent example 1010 Wilshire. The 17-story...

Say Goodbye to Angelo

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 11

The long anticipated buyout of Countrywide Financial by Bank of America was the big story in mortgage land today. Mortgage brokers I spoke with say the deal is a good...

The final word on DC home sale

Posted by: Dean Foust on January 11

Last November I posted an entry here pointing readers to an item on the Northern Virginia Housing Bubble Fallout blog, showing the asking price for a home in Woodbridge, a...

Introducing the Front Door

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 09

Another day, another real estate Web site. The latest entry: Frontdoor.com, by Scripps Networks. They're the folks who bring us the cable network HGTV. As if the countless remodeling shows...

Bennie and the Feds

Posted by: Dean Foust on January 08

This video of New York musician Rick DellaRatta riffing on the current mortgage-fueled mess -- and Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke's handling of it -- is making the rounds on the...

The Realtors Spin

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 08

KB Home reports a wider than expected loss. Countrywide denies bankruptcy rumors. The head of Fannie Mae says in a speech that he thinks the housing market would "perhaps begin...

Bubble markets to rebound?

Posted by: Dean Foust on January 08

"Catch a falling knife." That's a term on Wall Street for those who try to time the market by buying heavily during a falling market on belief that there's an...

When Manhattan was even more crowded

Posted by: Peter Coy on January 08

If you think New York City is brimming over now, imagine what it was like a century ago. The population of New York County (i.e. Manhattan) in 1910 was 2,762,522,...

Mort Zuckerman’s Adam and Eve Story

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 08

Though his company is named Boston Properties, real estate and media baron Mort Zuckerman is an unabashed fan for the Big Apple. The developer’s publicly traded REIT controls more than...

The five stages of market grief

Posted by: Peter Coy on January 07

Barry Ritholz has a great item today about the five stages of market grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. He figures we're at the bargaining stage right now. Anger,...

Did the 'death of distance' hurt Detroit and help New York?

Posted by: Peter Coy on January 07

I recommend a fascinating piece of academic research whose title is the headline above. It's by Edward Glaeser and Giacomo Ponzetto, both of Harvard. They argue that advances in communications...

Ticking time bombs known as "adjustable rate mortgages"

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on January 04

Not much of a surprise that the two states with the highest percentage of the nation's subprime adjustable rate loans are California and Florida, according to a recent USA Today...

Active Rain likes us

Posted by: Peter Coy on January 04

Active Rain.com, which is one of the most popular websites for real estate agents, included Hot Property in its list of top 10 blogs for real estate pros (excluding Active...

Manhattan apartment prices ended year with a bang

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on January 03

Manhattan is unlike any place else and that goes for its real estate. Prices for condos and co-ops continued to climb in 2007, ending the year with a bang. Three...

Nobody wants a mortgage

Posted by: Peter Coy on January 03

Demand for mortgages has been drying up. The Mortgage Bankers Association said today that the seasonally adjusted volume of applications in the week ended Dec. 28 was down 11.6% from...

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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