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Archives: April 2009

Sam Zell's Take on Commercial Real Estate

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 30

Money man Sam Zell's reputation has been somewhat tarnished by the record speed bankrupty of the Tribune Co., the newspaper publisher he bought for $12 billion. But the self-made mogul...

Developers Lure Buyers with Teaser Rates

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 29

Remember when mortgage companies lured home buyers with low payment interest only, adjustable rate loans that spiked after a few years? Now condo developers are doing the same thing....

California home prices rise for first time since Aug. 2007

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on April 28

I wrote a story last week saying that the California Association of Realtors were readying to announce the first monthly home price rise in two years (one of a handful...

Small Biz Squeeze

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on April 28

Guest blog from BusinessWeek Banking Editor Mara Der Hovanesian: We highlighted the problems that some small businesses are having with paying their mortgages in a recent issue of the magazine....

Brand New Houses Being Torn Down

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 28

This video came to use courtesy of two Kiwis, Hugh Pavletich, an urban planner in New Zealand, and Mike "Mish" Shedlock, a financial advisor. It shows brand new homes in...

Case-Shiller Februrary Home Price Numbers

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 28

The lastest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index numbers suggest, every so slightly, that the worse of the housing slump may be behind us. The two indices, which include 20 cities and...

A Letter to Barney Frank

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 27

Bank of America officially dropped the Countrywide name on April 27, but the problems of borrowers continue. Here’s a letter sent to us recently by a reader named Scott. April...

The True In Trulia

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 24

I’m going to begin a regular feature looking at some of the top real estate sites. Today we’ll visit, mainly because Heather Fernandez, one of the company’s marketing...

How Toxic are the Worst of the Mortgages?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 22

MDA DataQuick’s John Karevoll gave me a little background on some of the firm’s recent research on loan defaults. Karevoll said he wanted to find out just how toxic...

California's Foreclosure Notices Soar

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 22

Lenders filed a record number of mortgage default notices against California homeowners during the first three months of this year, according to the research firm MDA DataQuick. The company blamed...

Questioning a rise in the FHFA house price index

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 22

Here's what Michelle Meyer of Barclays Capital Research has to say about today's surprising rise in the home price index of the Federal Housing Finance Administration (successor to OFHEO). The...

Tips for lowering your apartment rent Part II

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on April 22

I made an appearance on ABC News Now yesterday discussing how to negotiate with your landlord for a lower rent. I talked about some of the tips I mentioned here,...

Avoiding foreclosure: Tips from the government

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 22

The U.S. government has captured the cheesiness of YouTube quite well in a series of ten tips on how to avoid foreclosure. There's the homely plant in the background. The...

Vail Resorts Cuts Condo Prices

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 22

Is the Ritz getting less--Ritzy? Chris Woronka, leisure industry analyst with Deutsche Bank Equity Research notes that late Monday, Vail Resorts announced price reductions on all 71 Ritz-Carlton Vail...

Foreclosures: Being 88 yards away from one lops 1% off your home's value

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 21

Here is a brand-new rule of thumb on foreclosures, courtesy of two professors from Harvard and one from MIT: "A foreclosure at a distance of 0.05 miles lowers the price...

California Home Tax Credits Have an Expiration Date

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 21

I just got this friendly reminder from builder Pardee Homes (interestingly enough a division of lumber giant Weyerhauser) that California's $10,000 tax credit for people who buy new homes in...

Negotiating with your landlord for a lower rent

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on April 20

I wrote a story recently about apartment landlords trying to keep tenants from moving out by agreeing to lower rents. Some tenants, especially in New York City, have been able...

The World's Smallest Lofts

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 17

I’m a big fan of small houses. No McMansions for me. Check out developer Neil Shekhter’s new 165 unit apartment building in Santa Monica, Calif. The two story units...

Home Construction Plunges, Foreclosures Soar

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 16

Lots of bad housing news out today. The Commerce Dept. reports a 10.8% decline in new home construction to an annual rate of 510,000. That’s the second worst number...

Southern California Home Prices: Another Sign of a Bottom

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 15

The latest news from DataQuick: Home sales in Southern California increased again last month, led by strong foreclosure resale activity in the Inland Empire. The median price paid for...

In Oakland, Las Vegas, and elsewhere, the monthly cost of homeownership has plummeted

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 14

Imagine this: In Oakland, Calif., the cost of homeownership relative to income has fallen 67% from its July 2007 peak. The ratio has fallen 59% in Sacramento and Las Vegas,...

House Prices Back to 2002

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 14

In another indication this is turning out to be the real estate industry's lost decade, home prices in some top markets such as Boston and suburban San Francisco have dropped...

Asking prices for homes in large metros rose in March, according to one index.

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on April 13

Altos Research's latest 10-city composite index of asking prices showed a 1.1% increase in March. This isn't bad news, but it's not great news either. The reason that prices increased...

What's it Like to Own a Vegas Hotel Room?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 13

The idea of the condo-hotel was a big fad during the housing boom. It was great for real estate developers like Donald Trump because they could get small investors—who...

Half of U.S. apartment buildings have dropped rents

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on April 10

My story today on the nation's rapidly declining apartment rents mentions that half of all apartment buildings reduced rents in the first quarter of this year, according to real estate...

Visiting a New Home Sales Center

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 09

Times have been gloomy for new home builders lately. But yesterday’s big merger between Pulte and Centex shows there’s still life in the business. As part of my recent...

Pulte Acquires Centex Homes

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 08

Pulte and Centex announced today that they would merge to become the largest player in the homebuilding industry, dwarfing rival D.R. Horton. The $3 billion stock-for-stock merger is a...

Corona needs a beer, Lake Elsinore's under water

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 06

I took another tour of the sprawling communities east of Los Angeles this weekend. I drove south from Fontana on highway 15, past acres and acres of warehouses. Then...

Real Estate's Final Four

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 03

Here's a cute item. Real estate search site has pitted the NCAA Final Four cities against each other in a real estate version of the tournament. The contenders:...

Manhattan Condo Sales Crash

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 02

More evidence all the layoffs on Wall Street are begining to hit the Manhattan condo market. According to a new report out today from broker the Corcoran Group and...

Cities Where Home Sales are Sizzling

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 01

This past Sunday I went out to Fontana, Calif. a city about 50 miles east of Los Angeles in a region known as the Inland Empire. On a list...


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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