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Archives: December 2008

The Vegas Casino Room Glut

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 31

Steve Wynn's new Encore resort is just what Vegas doesn't need right now--more high-end hotel rooms. Some friends of mine just stayed at the nearby Venetian resort for just...

Peter Schiff foresaw the housing bust way early

Posted by: Peter Coy on December 31

Credit where credit is due: Peter Schiff of brokerage Euro Pacific Capital saw this housing bust coming from a mile away. To prove his perspicacity, his brother (and p.r....

Home prices are back to March 2004 levels. Where were you then?

Posted by: Peter Coy on December 30

Where were you in March 2004? Because that's the last time home prices were as low as they are now, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home...

Acorn Calls for More Loan Modifications

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 30

The activist group ACORN got a bad rap during the recent presidential campaign when John McCain accused them of using paid solicitors to sign up bogus voters. Barack Obama had...

It's a Wonderful Life Indeed

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 25

My favorite movie, hands down, is It’s a Wonderful Life. Director Frank Capra’s tale of a small town banker who realizes in the midst of a banking panic who...

Shopping Centers in Survival Mode

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 24

So much about home prices, what about investments in shopping centers? The research firm Green Street Advisors says real estate investment trusts that own strip shopping centers are taking...

Mortgage brokers sue over HUD rule on disclosure of yield spread premiums

Posted by: Peter Coy on December 23

Guest blog from BusinessWeek Banking and Finance Editor Mara Der Hovanesian: The mortgage brokers and the government are at each other's throats again. As soon as the Department of Housing...

Military Base Housing Ain't What it Used to Be

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 23

My friend Bill is always complaining that he should have stayed in the Army. He would have had such a better life, cared for by the government, he says....

New Home Starts Worst Since World War II

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 22

Ratings agency Standard & Poors has more bad news for homebuilders. The firm expects their results to keep deteriorating and has 18 of the 22 companies it follows on...

The Moment We've All Been Waiting For

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 19

An article from the January edition of Reason Magazine caught my eye the other day. It shows just how far out of whack home prices had gotten. Editor Tim Cavanaugh...

Foreclosed Homes Sell At Steep Discounts

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 18

I went to a bank-owned home auction run by on Saturday. The event, in downtown Los Angeles, started at 9:30 and it was only half-way done when I...

Record Home Price Slide in Southern California

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 16

Ah, remember when Southern California stood for sunshine, the Beach Boys and eternally rising housing prices? No more. According to research firm MDA DataQuick, the median home price fell...

A Housing Complex that lacks Water

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 15

The Los Angeles Times today has a fascinating story about a housing development in Lancaster, a Mojave desert community north of Los Angeles, where the homes don't have adequate water....

Former KB Home Exec Guilty of Conspiracy

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 15

The Justice Dept. announced today that Gary Ray the former head of human resources at KB Home has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for tyring to cover up an...

Housing's Worst Year Ever

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 15

The real estate Web site reports today that American home values fell by $2 trillion in 2008. “This year marked the acceleration of the market correction, and is likely...

Did Home Prices Hit a Lifetime Peak?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 12

The lead story in USA Today suggests we may never again see housing prices as high as they were two years ago. That may be an overstatement. Here's the newspaper's...

Foreclosures Expected to Spike in January

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 11

More than 259,000 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice in November, down 7% from October, but 28% higher than a year ago, according to the research firm RealtyTrac. Some...

Bill Frey's radical ideas for how to fix the housing market

Posted by: Peter Coy on December 11

Guest blog from BusinessWeek Banking Editor Mara Der Hovanesian: Bill Frey, an avid investor in mortgage securities, seems to put his money where his mouth is. This summer, he vowed...

Latest Census Data Shows Winners and Losers

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 10

Newspapers and TV stations across the country have been having a field day with latest Census data. The bureau is reporting information every three years--rather than every ten. It...

Unions Targeting Homebuilders

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 09

As if homebuilders don't have enough trouble trying to stay solvent in this market, labor activists led by the 10 million member Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) are...

Are sales up for remodelers, painters and flooring contractors?

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on December 05

Sales are down for private homebuilders, but remodelers and painting and flooring contractors seem to be doing reasonably well, according to data from financial analysis and software company Sageworks....

Advice for struggling homeowners from PMI

Posted by: Peter Coy on December 04

David Berson of PMI, the private mortgage insurance company, visited BW recently. Today, I got an email from his p.r. person, Mark Lindsey, with a response to Chris Palmeri's blog...

L.A. Live Project has Friends in High Places

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 04

L.A Live is having a grand opening tonight. The $2.5 billion “content campus” adjacent to the convention center in downtown Los Angeles will feature a couple of concert halls,...

Foreclosures Continue at Banks that Said No More

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 03

I’ve been getting emails from readers who say they are still receiving foreclosures notices, even from banks that have said they would halt foreclosures until the New Year. “Foreclosure is...

William Frey, the guy who doesn't want you to get your loan modified

Posted by: Peter Coy on December 02

To many people, William Frey is this year's leading candidate for the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. To others, he's a hero. If you haven't heard of Frey yet, you...


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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