Archives: March 2009

What direction are home prices going? Depends on which index you trust.

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on March 31

Are home prices recovering or are they falling faster than ever? It all depends on which closely-watched index you believe. The Case Shiller index of home prices in 20 major...

More Good Housing News

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 25

New-home sales nationally jumped 4.7% in February, the first month-to-month jump since July, according to the Commerce Dept. Many home builders have lowered their prices or just built smaller homes...

Builder Offers No-Risk Condos

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 25

Atlanta developer Cousins Properties is promising to return any down payments to condo buyers if their property declines in value over the next three years. The program is being offered...

A steep reduction in Wall Street bonuses could force Manhattan home prices down another 24%

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on March 24

Oshrat Carmiel, a reporter for Bloomberg and a good friend of mine, wrote an interesting story last week about the potentially devastating impact that the the expected reduction in Wall...

Existing Home Sales Up

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 23

The stock market jumped today as home sales as more homes got sold than expected in February. The National Association of Realtors reports that sales of existing homes—including condos--rose...

Unexpected rise in home sales and is the Rhode Island housing market really in worse shape than Florida's?

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on March 23

Home sales, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, rose an unexpected 5.1% in February compared to January (Though home sales were down 4.6% compared to a year earlier), the National Association of...

Tell Us Your Real Estate Story

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 20

Reader Marianne tells us one big mistake she and her husband made five years ago when they bought their dream waterfront property in Florida. If you want to be...

Why Home Prices Fall More in Low-Priced Neighborhoods

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 19

A couple of days ago I published stats on the Southern California housing market. An exec with research provider MDA DataQuick noted that median home price numbers are skewed because...

Make the AIG Execs Work for Free

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 18

For some reason the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal have been defending the $165 million in rentention bonsues the executives of AIG paid themselves recently. The paper aruges...

Markets Jump on Good Housing News

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 17

The stock market had a nice gain again today after the Commerce Dept. released data that said housing starts jumped 22% in February, breaking the longest series of declines in...

Southern California Home Prices May Have Hit Bottom

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 17

Southern California home sales stayed above year-ago levels for the eighth consecutive month in February and the median price halted its month-to-month decline for the first time in ten months,...

How much value do real estate brokers add? Not much.

Posted by: Peter Coy on March 16

Fascinating study by Stanford University economists B. Douglas Bernheim and Jonathan Meer called "How Much Value Do Real Estate Brokers Add? A Case Study." Bottom line: They don't add a...

Tell Us Your Real Estate Story

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 13

Reader Steven Lane tells his tale of a horrible home manager and a house swap that almost happened…. In 2004, my wife and I met as neighbors in the Village...

Foreclosures jump 30% in February

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 12

Research firm RealtyTrac released its latest foreclosure stats today. Default notices, bank repossessions and other foreclosure related activities jumped 30% in February from the prior year. That’s more than...

Cleveland, Detroit and Tampa have the nation's worst delinquency rate for commercial real estate loans

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on March 11

Of the 26 largest metros, Cleveland and Detroit metros have the worst delinquency rate for commercial property loans, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Nearly 4% of mortgages for Cleveland...

Bob the Grumpy Rooter Man

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 11

It's annual rite of spring in Southern California where everything grows like weeds to get our sewer pipe shorn of any wandering vines. My wife decided to switch plumbers this...

Arnold's Tax Giveaway to the Home Builders

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 10

Somehow in the midst of the state’s worst budget crisis ever, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger found money to give a $10,000 tax break to anyone who bought a newly built...

A Peek Inside Barbie's Dream House

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 09

In case you haven’t heard, Barbie turns 50 today. America’s top selling doll made her debut at the New York Toy Fair back in 1959. To throw her a...

Tell Us Your Real Estate Story

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 06

Today Hot Property is starting a new feature we’re calling Tell Us Your Real Estate Story. We’re looking for true tales from people buying, selling, or just trying to hang...

New Home Builder D.R. Horton Has Short Sales

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 06

We all know homebuilders are hurting. And Dallas-based D.R. Horton, the nation's largest, has a clever marketing pitch. It's been advertising "short sales" to compete with the thousands of...

What does a $6,000 home in Detroit look like?

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on March 05

The median home in Detroit fell 39% to $7,000 in January compared to a year earlier. Yes, it’s cheaper now to buy a house in the Motor City than it...

Former KB Home Chief Indicted

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 05

Bruce Karatz, the former chairman and CEO of KB Home, was indicted on 20 counts of fraud and making false statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection...

Some Good Stock Market News

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 04

Today’s Dow Jones Wilshire 5000 close of 7,235.62 is up 171.93 points, or 2.43 percent. · This represents a paper gain for the day of approximately $200 billion. · Although...

Toll Brothers Reports Lower Losses

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 04

Toll Brothers, the big luxury home builder headquartered in Philadelphia, announced a surprising shrinking of its losses today. It reported losses of $88 million in this fiscal year’s first...

Homeowner Stability Plan Begins

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 03

For millions of troubled homeowners, help may finally be on the way. On March 4 the U.S. Treasury Dept. is expected to begin implementing the Obama Administration’s $75 billion,...

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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