Categories: Home Sales

Homebuyer's Tax Credit Applies to Higher Income, Move-up Buyers

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on November 02

The Senate is expected this week to pass an extension of the credit that was originally going to expire Nov. 30. Buyers who sign a purchase agreement by April can...

Second Home Buyers Look for More Urban Environments

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on October 15

When Andy Bush went to market with the Walnut, a condo complex in Boulder, Colorado, he figured the buyers would be young single professionals and empty nesters. Instead many...

New Home Sales Lose Momentum in August

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on September 25

New home sales, after four months of robust gains, only inched up 0.7% in August, the Commerce Department reported Sept. 25. The government's monthly new home sales report, which has...

Debate Rages about Real Estate's Future

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on September 18

Such prominent analysts as Meredith Whitney are raising alarms about the prospect of a deepening slump despite recent signs of improvement in home sales, prices, construction, and inventory levels. Just...

Housing Starts Up, But Look Behind the Numbers

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 17

The housing news continues to be mixed. The Commerce Dept. released its monthly numbers on new housing starts, showing an increase of 1.5% to 598,000 units, the highest level in...

Las Vegas Condo Buyers Lose Big On The Strip

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 06

I’ve written before about the sorry state of the condo/hotel market in Las Vegas. Bill Lerner of Union Gaming just came out with a report with some more analysis....

Home Buyer Enthusiasm Fades As Tax Credits Expire

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on August 28

Just when the home building industry seemed to be bouncing back, news from California raises troubling questions. The California Building Industry Association says its members reported a significant drop...

When Home Sellers Lie

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on August 07

Los Angeles police chief William Bratton announced this week that he was leaving his post for an undisclosed job in the private sector. What does this have to do...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

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 --...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Home sales are improving only in a handful of states (and they're declining everywhere else).

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on May 29

The National Association of Realtors reported May 28 that home purchases rose 0.3% in April (the second increase in the past three months). Is this the latest sign that the...

Existing Home Sales Up 2.9%

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 27

The battered housing market has some spring it its step, at least according to the National Association of Realtors. The trade group says sales of existing home sales rose 2.9%...

Zillow.com measures the 'shadow inventory' of unsold homes

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 19

A new survey from Zillow.com confirms what I've been saying for months: There is a huge amount of "shadow inventory" in the housing market. Except the shadow is even...

Housing Starts Down, Housing Sales UP

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 19

The stock market's in a tizzy. The Commerce Dept. reported that housing starts fell 12.8% to a record-low pace of 458,000 in April from a revised 525,000 in March....

Ideas for improving tax credits for homebuyers

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 05

Guest blog from BW Banking and Finance Editor Mara Der Hovanesian Ronald S. Temple, portfolio manager and co-director of research of Lazard Asset Management in New York, is one of...

Two Views of the Housing Recovery

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 04

More from the Milken Institute’s Global Conference last week. Two big players in the housing market, two views of what’s going on. Richard Smith, President and CEO, Realogy Corp,...

Tell Us Your Real Estate Story

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 01

This edition of Tell Us Your Real Estate Story comes from New York City developer Van Velle, who took over a four unit project in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen and...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

35 Homes for $280,000

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 09

I can't vouch for the seller, condition of the homes, if this is a good deal or if its a scam. But it certainly is a sign of the times....

Some Housing Numbers Are Up

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 27

Funny market we are in. Homes sales were up 27% in December to more than 500,000 in the State of California. There is just 5 months worth of homes in...

Miami Beach Condo Raffle

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 27

Someone is auctioning off a 1 bedroom Miami Beach condo to benefit a wounded veterans group. No more than 7,000 tickets will be sold at $100 each for the...

Buyers are starting to scoop up increasingly affordable homes

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on January 26

Sales of existing single-family homes jumped an unexpected 7% in December from November's seasonally adjusted annual rate, the National Association of Realtors said Jan. 26. And the inventory of unsold...

Former housing industry economist who famously said there was no housing bubble now admits he was wrong

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on January 05

David Lereah, the National Association of Realtors' former chief economist who famously denied that the housing bubble existed even as it started to pop, is finally admitting that he...

Housing industry wants a big government bailout

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on November 24

Bailouts are in fashion. The financial industry got one. The automakers have their hands out. Now the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of Realtors are pushing...

If the home builders are nervous, what does that mean for the rest of us?

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on November 19

The builders are about as pessimistic as they've ever been. Yesterday, we learned that the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, which tracks builder sentiment, fell to...

Why it's so hard to sell a house: REOs and short sales

Posted by: Peter Coy on November 13

If you are trying to sell a house, this chart might make it hard for you to sleep tonight. It shows what you're up against. The figures come from...

What will soak up excess housing? Time

Posted by: Peter Coy on November 13

Bill Conerly at Seeking Alpha has a good post today about how to deal with the excess housing supply. In a nutshell, he says helping people move from renting to...

Kaufmann House Deal Undone

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on October 30

In another sign that even the rich are suffering in this crisis, a deal to purchase the Kaufmann House, a famous modernist design by architect Richard Neutra, fell apart...

Existing home sales are up, but the housing market will likely worsen

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on October 24

You might have been surprised to learn this morning that, with our economy in severe crisis, existing home sales actually jumped 5.5% in September, according to the National Association of...

Homebuyers in August were busy

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on October 09

The number of home sales contracts signed soared in August, the National Association of Realtors reported this morning. Pending home sales, a leading indicator because contracts are typically signed a...

The truth about pending home sales

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on September 09

Last month’s June pending home sales report showed a surprising 5.3% increase in home-sale contracts signed, giving some analysts reason for hope (The increase was later revised to an even...

How to Sell a House Fast!

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 05

Two houses for sale on my block illustrate the importance of getting the price right at the start if you want to sell your home quickly. One house, a...

What's going on? Home sales booming in bad markets, sinking in good ones.

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on August 15

I was playing around this morning with the National Association of Realtors’ second-quarter home sales data (I know, I lead an exciting life) and I noticed something startling. We’re...

It's Called Negative Equity

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on August 12

Real estate Web site Zillow.com released data today suggesting that the average U.S. home fell 10% in value in the past year, to $207,000. That was the largest year-over-year decline...

Pending home sales numbers weren't good after all

Posted by: Peter Coy on August 08

I like this blog by Barry Ritholtz. Lots of news media reports were encouraged by the Realtors' report on pending home sales, which showed a monthly gain. Some even...

Latest prediction: California's housing market will hit bottom first

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on August 01

It’s easy to call a bottom to the housing slump. The tough part is getting the timing right. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has made many such predictions. "All the signs...

Who's the Best Realtor?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 23

J.D. Power, the market research firm best known for its customer satisfaction surveys of new cars, came out today with its first-ever survey of real estate agents. This has...

Text message alerts: Prices falling!

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 23

I got this note today from a BW colleague who shall remain nameless: A few years ago, I ran into the real estate agent who sold me my apartment on...

Best Real Estate Promotions

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 02

As the housing slump winds on, builders and Realtors are getting very creative in their marketing. We could almost do an awards show about the best promotions. Here are...

Home sales up, but only slightly

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on June 26

Good news is a rare treat in this housing market. Today’s National Association of Realtors report is at least mildly positive. It shows that existing home sales rose 2% in...

The View From Downtown L.A.

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 19

The most prominent developers in Los Angeles’ downtown got together this week for the Central City Association’s tenth annual look at the real estate market. Tom Gilmore, who was...

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Get In The Water

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 17

A new breed of animal has entered the real estate market the Property Shark. The latest results for Southern California from DataQuick Information Services show what’s going on. The...

She Works Hard For Her Money

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on June 02

Reporting a recent story on how Realtors are coping with the housing slump, Ardell DellaLoggio, a broker in Seattle, told me one of the big changes is how much...

NAR puts a good face on some really ugly housing data

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on May 13

It must be be getting tough for the National Association of Realtors to put a positive spin on the real estate market when prices in most of the more than...

New York real estate tax revenue way down

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on April 30

The New York City real estate market -- though strong compared to other major cities -- is finally losing steam. Although home prices continue to rise, homes aren't selling as...

Is Canada's six-year housing boom history?

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on April 18

The red hot Canadian housing market has shown tremendous resilience even as home prices on its southern border tumble. But a new Canadian Real Estate Association report indicates that...

Pending sales index points to declines ahead

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 08

Bad news today for the housing market. The Pending Homes Sales Index of the National Association of Realtors, which is based on contracts signed in February, fell 1.9% to 84.6....

How the credit crunch might be helping the housing slump spread

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on February 14

The National Association of Realtor’s new fourth-quarter 2007 housing report, which shows median home prices dropping in every region of the nation and home sales declining in all but...

A Controversial Love Nest

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 13

It's being marketed as the ulimtate Valentine's Day gift, 138 acres situated on the highest point in Los Angeles, just above the city's famous Hollywood sign. It's the peak just...

Realtors' Lawrence Yun walks on the yunny side of the street

Posted by: Peter Coy on January 24

Credit where credit is due: Nobody has a sunnier disposition when it comes to the U.S. housing market than Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. Today,...

You won't find a housing slump here

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on November 21

The National Association of Realtors’ new third-quarter survey of single-home sales suggests a national real estate slowdown. But if you ask a home seller in North Dakota, you might hear...

Worse Than Expected. Again

Posted by: Peter Coy on October 22

The news today about slumping sales of existing homes was awful. But it should not have come as a surprise, says Ian Shepherdson of High-Frequency Economics in Valhalla, N.Y., who...

A Peek Inside Fern Cottage

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on October 08

Although our cover story this week examined the impact of sharp price cuts in one KB Home development in Las Vegas, it's worth noting that KB is among the...

A Duty to Disclose Home Price Cuts?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on October 04

Reporting on a story out later today on the sinking Las Vegas home market I came across an interesting legal battle playing out in state court there. In 2005, about...

Prices, and Sales, and Inventories—Oh My!

Posted by: Maya Roney on September 26

The weather isn’t the only thing getting chillier as we move into the fall season. Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors reported that existing-home sales fell 4.3% in August from...

Cloudy Forecast

Posted by: Maya Roney on September 11

It's been a bit of a gloomy day. Here in New York, cloudy skies and intermittent rainfall aptly underscored the ceremony marking the sixth anniversary of the attacks on the...

Progress, albeit slow, on the backlog of unsold new homes

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 06

Richard DeKaser of National City Corp. is one of the best economists on housing issues. When I talked to him today for an online story about foreclosures, he mentioned...

The Best Is Yet To Come!

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 27

With home sales plunging, Beth Ann Shepard “Home Stager to the Stars” in Los Angeles, offered some tips for sellers. Shepard’s publicist says she’s helped celebs like Greg Kinnear, Christina...

Talk about your jumbo mortgages...

Posted by: Dean Foust on July 01

Actually anyone who buys this house is paying cash. Serious cash. And there are probably less than a thousand people who can afford. News from the Aspen Times is that...

Americans Afraid to Buy Homes

Posted by: Maya Roney on June 25

This morning, the NAR said existing-home sales “remained essentially unchanged” in May as they slipped 0.3% to an annual rate of 5.99 million units. Sales jumped 5.8% in the Northeast...

Check out this web site...

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 25

I recently stumbled across a fascinating web site that provides an early read on future housing activity in scores of cities across the country—using real-time data on home listings....

Home Sales Surprise Again

Posted by: Maya Roney on May 25

More housing statistics shockers today: the NAR said sales of previously-owned homes fell 2.6% in April to an annual rate of 5.99 million, the lowest level in nearly four years....

Is housing worse than the numbers show?

Posted by: Dean Foust on May 24

Today’s statistics for new homes sales--up 16% on a seasonally adjusted basis--looked surprisingly good. Too good, I suspect, for one long-term housing market observer, consultant John Burns, who even before...

Bittersweet Housing News?

Posted by: Maya Roney on May 24

Yes, new-home sales rose (or surged, or skyrocketed, or whatever) 16.2% (+/- 13%) in April to a pace of 981,000 from 844,000 in March, the U.S. Census Bureau reported this...

Housing and the Stock Market

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 15

The slumping stock market used to be given as a reason for the great real estate boom. The dot-com bust soured Mr. and Mrs. America on stocks. And so they...

In Florida, A Battle of Wills Between Buyers and Sellers

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 15

Good article in the Palm Beach Post about what happens when sellers who don't want to lower their asking prices collide with buyers who don't want to raise their offers....

Trulia: Truly An Improvement

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 14

If you don't already know Trulia, check it out. If you've used it before, check it out anyway, because as of the official launch last week there's a new user...

Zillow and 'Zona Duel Over Zestimates

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 20

Check out my online article today about the Arizona Board of Appraisal trying to stop Zillow from issuing Zestimates in the state--on the grounds that the Zestimate is an appraisal...

Home sales up, but....

Posted by: Dean Foust on March 23

What’s wrong with this picture? Amid all the sturm und drang surrounding housing, the government reported earlier today that existing-home sales rose by nearly 4% in February—a surprise given that...

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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