Archives: July 2009

Short Sales, Fascination and Frustration

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 31

With his permission, I'm reprinting some comments made by Florida businessman Felix Santiago on Activerain.com, the excellent networking site for real estate agents. Santiago is in the business of...

Is a Vegetarian Real Estate Agent More Trustworthy?

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on July 31

A San Francisco Bay-area real estate broker is targeting his message to an unlike group of buyers and sellers: Vegetarians. I'm not sure what an agent's eating habits have to...

PennyMac Stock Has Poor Debut

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 30

It was an inauspicious debut for PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust, the new mortgage REIT founded by former Countrywide Financial CEO Stanford Kurland. The mortgage industry veteran had originally hoped...

Michael Jackson's Doctor Faces Foreclosure

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 30

The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that Michael Jackson’s former doctor, Conrad Murray, could possibly lose his home to foreclosure. The paper reports that Dr. Murray is late on...

Foreclosures Spread As Unemployment Rises

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on July 30

The foreclosure crisis has entered a new phase. It's spreading beyond the wreckage of the housing bubble to metro areas in Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arkansas, Illinois, and South Carolina where...

The End of the Housing Bust?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 29

I’m reading with some glee all the national coverage of the end of the housing bust. “Home Prices Rise Across the U.S.” says the front page of the Wall Street...

How One City Battles Foreclosures and Crime

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 29

Lancaster, California, a city of 145,000 people about 60 miles north of Los Angeles, is among the hardest hit in the nation by the housing bust. Home prices have fallen...

What to Make of the 11% New Home Sales Surge

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on July 27

New home sales rocketed up 11% in June (from the previous month) to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 384,000 units, the Commerce Department said today. It was the largest monthly...

The new brag in Philadelphia: No valet parking!

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 24

In lots of condo buildings, valet parking is considered a mark of luxury. But depending on a valet can be annoying when you're not in the mood for interacting...

Existing Home Sales Rise 3.6%

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 23

Americans are finding it a little easier to sell a home these days. The National Association of Realtors reports that existing home sales rose 3.6% in June to a seasonally...

Another Sign The Housing Market Is Heating up

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 23

An agent tells me he's been told never to give out lock box combinations to clients because the would-be buyers are stealing the keys so no one else can...

From the Cleveland Fed: Ten myths about subprime mortgages

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 22

Yuliya Demyanyk, a senior research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, has just written an article called "Ten myths about subprime mortgages." I don't buy everything she...

The Hottest and Coldest Real Estate Markets

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 22

The online real estate agency ZipRealty.com has just come out with its list of the hottest and coldest real estate markets, based on whether homes are selling for above...

Average American Home Now Has Three TVs

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on July 21

I don't quite understand why – in this age of digital video recorders and streaming Web sites such as Hulu.com -- people pack so many televisions into their homes....

St. Regis Resort Foreclosed On

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 20

Oh, the irony. The St. Regis resort made famous as the spot where AIG staged a blowout, $440,000 party for its salespeople just two weeks after receiving $85 billion...

Housing Prices and Behavioral Economics

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 17

In traditional finance text books, assets are always priced perfectly by the cool, rational work of markets. In the real world, human behavior has a huge influence on what...

Sears Tower Changes Name

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 16

The Sears Tower, the tallest building in the U.S., has a new name as of today. It will now be called the Willis Tower, after the U.K. insurance company...

Southern California Homes Sales Rise Again

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 15

The number of homes sold in June in Southern California rose to their highest level since 2006. The enticement: Price declines of as much as 26% from a year...

Housing Bust Leads to Rise in Mortgage Scams

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 14

When he was Governor of California in the 1970s, Jerry Brown got the nickname “Governor Moonbeam” for his hippy-dippy ways. But he’s pretty shrewdly getting attention these days for...

Home Sellers Slashing Prices, $27 billion in Value Gone

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 10

Real estate information site Trulia.com says that as of July 1, one out every four people trying to sell a home in the U.S. has had to lower their...

Foreclosures fall 11% in the Second Quarter, Loan Applications Up

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 09

My colleague Prashant wrote recently about a second wave of foreclosures possibly headed our way in the second half of this year as banks tried to unload homes they...

Apartment Vacancies Hit Record Highs

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on July 08

You'd expect with job losses rising and so many Americans losing homes to foreclosure, rental buildings would be filling up with folks who can no longer afford to be homeowners....

Boston Fed: Obama Loan Program Unlikely To Work

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on July 07

A study released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston this week indicates that the $75 billion that the Obama administration is directing to the lending industry to encourage loan...

Should Home Buyers Let Listing Agents Write Offers?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 07

I never thought I'd refer twice to the same string in an online real estate forum, but a reader of this message board at online brokerage firm Redfin.com raises an...

Get ready for another big wave of foreclosures arriving as soon as this summer

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on July 06

The housing market has shown some signs of bottoming, but the next wave of foreclosures could delay any sort of recovery. The Chicago Tribune had good piece today on another...

Controversy Over All-Cash Home Offers

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 06

Perusing some of the reader forums at the online real estate brokerage site Redfin.com I came across an interesting debate. Many investors are snapping up bank-owned homes with all-cash offers....

Survey Says Bigger Downpayments Prevent Foreclosures

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 03

ING Direct, the discount stock broker best known for its bright orange logo and branches that look like sandwich shops, is releasing a survey on people’s attitudes toward home...

Michael Jackson's Neverland the Next Graceland? Never! say Locals

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 01

The parallels are almost eerie. A world-famous singing sensation, known for his distinctive dance moves, glittery wardrobe and bizarre behavior, dies of heart failure amidst a pile of prescription...

Investing in Home Loans Online

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 01

Investors purchase stocks online. Will they buy somebody’s mortgage over the Web as well? A start-up called BigBidder.com hopes so. The backers of BigBidder already run lfc.com, a commercial...

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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