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Archives: June 2009

Case-Shiller Home Prices Decline Only 18%

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 30

The latest Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller housing index numbers out today show the market falling less dramatically than it had been earlier in the year. The 10 and 20 city indices...

Prefab Homes a Hit at Dwell Design Show

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 29

I stopped by Dwell on Design, a home design show sponsored by Dwell magazine at the Los Angeles Convention Center this weekend. This was the kind of event I...

Mel Gibson, 50 Cent, Tim Geithner, Richard Gere, and Christie Brinkley can't sell their houses

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 29

As if celebrities didn't have enough problems--like paparazzi and wrinkles--along comes the housing bust to tarnish their silvery existence. Chicago Tribune real estate columnist Mary Umberger rounded up a...

Banks Need to Hire More Loan Officers

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 26

Are banks overwhelmed and understaffed for all the work coming out of the housing bust? On June 24, Ciitgroup said it was temporarily suspending new loans brought to them...

"Not Paying the Mortgage, Yet Stuck With the Keys"

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 25

Check out this great Washington Post story from yesterday about the backlog in foreclosures. The human interest is a woman from Glen Allen, Va., who moved out of her house...

Home sales rise in May (but only a little)

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on June 23

Existing home sales rose 2.4% in May -- the second consecutive monthly increase, the National Association of Realtors said today. But the May level -- adjusted for seasonal variations --...

Harvard Highlights Housing Demographics

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 22

You don’t need an Ivy League degree to figure out the housing market stinks. Harvard University released its annual State of the Nation’s Housing report today. Among its conclusions: “Despite...

Mortgage Bankers Assocation expects mortgage activity to slow

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on June 22

The Mortgage Bankers Association today significantly lowered its 2009 mortgage origination forecast to 2.03 trillion, a drop of $700 million below its March projection. The primary reason: higher interest rates....

Selling a Condo With a Master Lease

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 22

Real estate broker Rodrigo Nino has found a tempting way to sell high-end condos to skittish investors—he sells them with a few years worth of rent already in the...

Obama Mortgage Plan May Be Expanded

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 19

A front page USA Today article criticized the Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable plan, which created incentives for lenders to reduce the interest rate on loans to troubled borrowers rather... launches new real estate blog

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on June 19

The number of real estate blogs has ballooned since the housing bubble went bust. Real estate sites such as Trulia, Zillow, and Inman have their own blogs. Independent blogs have...

Forecast: New York metro home prices will drop another 40%

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on June 18

Home prices in the New York metro area, including Westchester County and northern New Jersey suburbs, could fall 40% from March levels, according to Deutsche Bank analysts. Quoting the report,...

The Real Estate Cable Shows Keep Coming

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 18

You’d think that given the housing bust, all those real estate related TV shows (Flip This House, Flipping Out, etc.) would have gone the way of The Sopranos. But...

Home Prices In Southern California Up for the First Time Since 2007!

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 17

Southern California home sales rose for the 11th consecutive month in May. Even more significant: The median price increased slightly from the prior month for the first time since July...

Housing Starts Leap 17%

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 16

Construction of new homes jumped 17% in May to an annual rate of 532,000, according to the Commerce Department. That was up from the record low of 454,000 homes...

Will U.S. housing go the way of Japan?

Posted by: Dean Foust on June 16

I’m always intrigued by charts comparing a current trend to a previous era, or even to the experience of another country. So I was struck by a few charts I...

Will Higher Interest Rates Slow the Housing Rebound?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 12

Real estate exec Jamie LeFrak disagreed with my blog item earlier this week that declared home prices had hit bottom. His argument? The recent uptick in sales is a...

Your apartment rent too high? Why not live in a closet.

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on June 11

I'm never going to complain about the size of my Manhattan apartment again. A man in Delray Beach, Fla. is renting out a closet above a restaurant for $150 a...

Stopping foreclosures may NOT be good for the economy

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 11

I like this piece by Matthew Padilla, who writes the OC Register's Mortgage Insider blog. He quotes two economists who say that stopping foreclosures is not necessarily a good...

Warning: Expiring mortgage-rate lock-ins

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 10

Just heard from a friend whose friend is losing what she thought was a sure-thing cheap rate on a mortgage. The lender got so busy that the 45-day lock-in is...

Home Prices Have Hit Bottom

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 09

I’m telling you it’s true. The slump is over. Don’t believe what you read about a second wave of foreclosures coming and things getting worse. In Southern California, where...

Home warranties on foreclosed properties are booming

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 08

Good post by Steve Cook on his blog Real Estate Economy Watch on the boom in home warranties, especially the ones that buyers of foreclosed properties are paying for. Not...

What Was Angelo Mozilo Thinking?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 05

The SEC complaint against former Countrywide chief Angelo Mozilo has some pretty damning stuff in it. Throughout the 53 page complaint, Mozilo can be seen complaining about the increasingly...

Commercial Loan Volume Down 65%

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 05

Think it’s tough to get a home loan? Try getting one on a hotel or office building. The Mortgage Bankers Association says commercial/multifamily mortgage volumes fell 65 percent to...

A California foreclosure story: Can you be both broke and happy?

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 04

Please read this little story and tell me what you think: Consider the plight of Stephanie and Bob Walker, who bought a $799,000, three-bedroom home in Los Angeles with a...

Only one U.S. home market is now extremely overvalued: Atlantic City

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on June 04

Atlantic City, N.J. is the only large U.S. housing market that is extremely overvalued, according to IHS Global Insight's first quarter 2009 "Housing Prices in America" report. By comparison, the...

Even the Treasury Secretary Can't Sell His Home

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 03

Don't feel so bad, even the nation's top economic czar is underwater on his home. The Associated Press is reporting that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has decided to rent out...

Northeast home sales are poised for a big spring bounce

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on June 02

In the latest sign of a bottoming real estate market, the National Association of Realtors said June 2 that its seasonally-adjusted index of sales contracts signed jumped for the third...

Where Are Commercial Real Estate Prices Heading?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 01

The other shoe to drop. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that expression about the commercial real estate market. But what do the people in commercial...


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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