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Archives: February 2008

Bill Clinton's drive to increase homeownership went way too far

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 27

Add President Clinton to the long list of people who deserve a share of the blame for the housing bubble and bust. A recently re-exposed document shows that his administration...

How Big Cities Will Weather the Housing Slump

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 27

A new report from bond rating agency Standard & Poors says the finances of the nation’s largest cities should be able to withstand the housing slump. Yes, I know, S&P...

Short sales: why banks don't answer your phone calls

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 25

Frank Borges LLosa (pictured) has a great blog item on why banks drag their heels on approving short sales--that is, sales for less than the mortgage(s) on the property....

Related's $2,700-per-square foot score

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 22

Related Cos' chief Stephen Ross must be breathing a sigh of relief. The New York City-based developer is famous for building the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle. He just...

Unintended consequences of regulating mortgage brokers

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 22

It's understandable why people want to increase regulation of mortgage brokers, since many of them contributed to the housing bubble and bust by acting unscrupulously. But economics teaches us to...

WMC underwrote some of the crappiest subprime loans

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 21

You can learn a lot by looking under the hood of the conked-out subprime mortgage-backed security business. Some of the mortgages underlying those securities were pretty good and others...

Housing Affordability: A California snap shot

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 21

The latest numbers from the California Association of Realtors suggest homes in the Golden State have been getting a little more affordable. The percentage of households that could buy an...

Credit scores: Flawed system...or Scapegoat?

Posted by: Dean Foust on February 20

I wrote a story recently in the print edition of BusinessWeek on a topic that I thought had been largely ignored in all of the coverage of the mortgage mess:...

Real Estate and the Academy Awards

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 19

Online real estate sites have to do something to attract attention these days., a division of the Fidelity National title insurance company, recently came with an analysis of where...

My old D.C. house is for sale! (or, Washington DC Bubble redux)

Posted by: Dean Foust on February 15

Long-time readers of this blog know that I started a thread in July 2005 titled "Washington D.C. bubble?" that, amazingly, now has 1246 comments (thank you, readers). My premise was...

Project Lifeline is a few feet too short

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 15

The Bush Administration keeps attempting half-fast solutions to a fast-moving problem: foreclosures. The latest is Project Lifeline, a voluntary agreement by six big lenders to consider granting 30-day grace periods...

The real reason borrowers default

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 15

Installment LXVII in the long, sad saga of how we got into this housing mess: Bankers didn't understand what caused people to default on their mortgages. They assumed that people...

How the credit crunch might be helping the housing slump spread

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on February 14

The National Association of Realtor’s new fourth-quarter 2007 housing report, which shows median home prices dropping in every region of the nation and home sales declining in all but...

Happy Valentine's Day--your ARM just reset

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 14

As usual, Dean Foust was ahead of me with the idea of linking to a podcast. Here's a link to a Minnesota Public Radio show I was on this...

D.R. Horton's UnAuction--up to 50% off

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 14

Remember when they said housing is a safe investment because prices never go down? Builders fell for their own sales pitch. Now they're paying the price, big time. This...

A Controversial Love Nest

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 13

It's being marketed as the ulimtate Valentine's Day gift, 138 acres situated on the highest point in Los Angeles, just above the city's famous Hollywood sign. It's the peak just...

NPR (and me) on the mortgage mess

Posted by: Dean Foust on February 12

I was invited to appear today on Talk of the Nation, the NPR call-in show hosted by Neal Conan (right). The topic was the mortgage mess, and who the winners...

Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 12

Demographia, a research firm, has just released its fourth annual international housing affordability survey, and it's worth a look. Especially since, unlike some similar surveys, it's free on the...

Raising conforming loan limits won't make much difference

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 11

I'm republishing this item to fix an error that was pointed out to me by Alison Fitzgerald of Bloomberg. (Thanks, Alison.) My error was to say that the increase...

Will the passing of the baby boom kill the housing market?

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 11

Check out this recent post over at Seeking Alpha predicting that the aging of the baby boom will kill the housing market. The gist is that boomers propelled the...

Real estate agents finding new careers

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on February 11

The slumping real estate market is convincing some real estate professionals that it’s time to pack it in and try something more lucrative. The National Association of Realtors’ membership...

London Falling?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 07

It used to be called Millionaire's Row, now it's Billionaire's. It's the London street, Bishops Avenue, where Kazakhstani billionaire Horelma Peramam purchased a new home for $100 million last...

Homebuilder Toll Brothers keeps dancing downhill

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 06

In December 2006, CEO Robert Toll of luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers issued a statement that is destined to live in housing bubble infamy: “Fifteen months into the current slowdown, we...

House price: $3,500. Mortgage: $228,000

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 02

True story. In reporting for my cover story in this week's issue on the housing market, Meltdown, I spoke with a 73-year-old man named George Clark. In 1977, Clark and...

Who'll Let The Dogs Out?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 01

The Los Angeles Times has a sad story today about pets that get left behind after a home is foreclosed on. Most apartment buildings won't allow dogs and so even...


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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