Categories: Real Estate Culture

Monopoly Game Has A New Look

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on November 24

I suspect many a real estate mogul got their start playing the board game classic Monopoly. It has a new look this year. This time rather than just houses...

Full-size Lego House Demolished, Lego Cat Missing

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on October 01

I've been reading a bunch of stories about the two-story Lego house erected in England for a BBC show called "Toy Stories." It was just demolished despite the owner's...

Wells Fargo Fires Exec Who Partied In A Foreclosed Malibu Pad

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 14

Wells Fargo confirmed today that it has fired the executive who partied in a foreclosed Malibu beach house this summer. The Los Angeles Times first reported on Friday that...

Real Estate TV Shows Can't Keep Up With The Plunging Market

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on August 27

On vacation last week I watched a lot of real estate reality shows and realized just how quickly they can get outdated in this horrible housing market. Some of...

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...

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...

Tell Us Your Real Estate Story

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 29

Reader Alan Cohara reminds us how seemingly minor details such as a certificate of occupancy can lead to major troubles. He bought a $1.5 million home north of Fort...

Pipebombs Found In Foreclosed Home

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 13

City News Service is reporting that a 42-year-old man in Riverside, Calif, east of Los Angeles, was arrested for allegedly putting pipe bombs around his home, which had been...

A Look at the Vacation Home Market

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 06

With summer upon us I figured it was time to take a look at vacation property. Despite all those time share pitches, this is still a sliver of the...

Real Estate's Final Four

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 03

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

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...

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...

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...

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...

Economic Woes Top Online Search Terms

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 25

Web tracking firm comScore, Inc. released an analysis of changes in Americans’ searching behavior resulting from the economic downturn, based on December 2008 data. Searches for several terms related...

TMZ.com's take on Northern Trust

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 24

You know the economy is front and center in the national psyche when TMZ.com, the celebrity gossip site best known for breaking the news of Mel Gibson's drunk driving arrest...

Women Initiate Most Home Purchases

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 13

Online real estate agency ZipRealty.com says when it comes to real estate purchases, women wear the pants. In a recent survey, ZipRealty agents report that women initiate the home...

Wells Fargo Vegas Blowout Update

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 03

In an update to the blog item from 1PM asking how long it would take Wells Fargo to cancel their corporate party in Las Vegas for mortgage brokers, the answer...

Las Vegas Blowout at Wells Fargo

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 03

I just saw this Associated Press article about Wells Fargo--beneficiary of $25 billion in federal bailout funds--throwing a corporate junket in Las Vegas for its mortgage brokers. I'm posting this...

Suicide and the Housing Market

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 30

It's hard to find a tale much sadder than this recent news from Los Angeles about a man who killed his wife, himself and their five beautiful children. Real...

Hilton Hotels Packs Its Bags

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 22

It’s a fact of life in corporate relocations, company headquarters are based on one critical element—where does the ceo want to live? Oh, sure companies will hire consultants to analyze...

David Lereah's Bad Calls Hit Home

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 12

This blog always took a very skeptical view of the prognostications of David Lereah, formerly the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. His relentlessly upbeat take on the...

Real Estate Mogul Suicide

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 06

First I see the news that German billionaire Adolf Merckle had stepped in front of a train. Then this news from the Chicago Tribune. Steven Good, who built Sheldon Good...

It's a Wonderful Life Indeed

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 25

My favorite movie, hands down, is It’s a Wonderful Life. Director Frank Capra’s tale of a small town banker who realizes in the midst of a banking panic who...

Military Base Housing Ain't What it Used to Be

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 23

My friend Bill is always complaining that he should have stayed in the Army. He would have had such a better life, cared for by the government, he says....

Plymouth vs. Jamestown, Battle of the Colonies

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on November 27

Okay we fell for this. The real estate information site Cyberhomes shot us a comparison of the two earliest U.S. settlements, Jamestown, Virginia and Plymouth, Mass. Cyberhomes looked at which...

Where do artists live in your city?

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on September 11

I need your help. I'm working on a story about up-and-coming neighborhoods in major cities that are attracting young artists. These are places, such as the Bushwick section of Brooklyn,...

Steamy Stories From Swamplot

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 02

I wrote an item last week about the still-hot real estate market in Houston, particularly at the high end. For a more gossipy look at real estate in America’s...

Homes for sale are 'great' in Miami, 'large' in Dallas, and 'new' in Boston

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 01

The most popular adjective in real estate listings is (to amplify on my headline) "great" in Miami; "large" in Dallas, Orange County, Calif., and San Francisco; and "new" in Boston,...

Shouldn't a best-cities-in-the-world list include New York and London?

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on June 09

Copenhagen topped the list of the world's best cities, according to London-based lifestyle magazine Monocle. But what surprised me is that the list, which measures quality of life, skipped over...

Trulia, madly, deeply

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 07

Amid all the horrendous news on housing, one heart-warming thing about writing for this blog is seeing readers come to the aid of other readers. The best example is...

Who'll Let The Dogs Out?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 01

The Los Angeles Times has a sad story today about pets that get left behind after a home is foreclosed on. Most apartment buildings won't allow dogs and so even...

A Portrait of Ben

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 11

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates as expected today. The stock market fell. Wall Street wanted more than a quarter percentage point cut. Those in the real estate biz...

Jesse Jackson's march on Wall Street

Posted by: Peter Coy on November 14

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson recently announced plans for a rally on Wall Street on Monday, Dec. 10, calling for relief for homeowners who face foreclosure. Here's a link...

Honest Abe Goes to Vegas

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on November 12

The big annual convention for the National Association of Realtors kicks off tonight in Las Vegas. Among those scheduled to perform at the four day conclave: comedian Bill Cosby, singer...

Budget Rental Rip-off

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on November 08

Budget Truck Rental advertises an $18.99 per day rental price but don’t expect to actually pay that when your moving day is done. I recently rented a truck from the...

'Doll Housing Crisis Set to Worsen'

Posted by: Peter Coy on October 24

It's not bad enough that the real housing market is sinking. Now The Onion, the satirical newspaper, reports tongue-in-cheek that there's a doll housing crisis....

Introducing the latest risky derivative: the C-3PO

Posted by: Peter Coy on October 03

I'm looking for an investment bank to help me issue a security of my own devising, the C-3PO. This acronym stands for ... hmmm, let me see ... Constantly Collapsing Collateral, Payment Optional. Like its droid namesake from Star Wars, my C-3PO will be quite entertaining, although a bit fussy and unreliable. In other words, it will be a lot like other asset-backed innovations concocted during the past decade of financial wizardry.

Flipping Out Indeed

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 30

The real estate boom on television has just about played out—witness E.W. Scripps, owner of HGTV, putting out an earnings warning last week. So it's fitting I guess that the...

Who's the King of Online Real Estate?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on May 29

We've written a lot on our blog about the wars between competing online real estate sites. Data from Hitwise, which measures online traffic, shows it's still on open-ended fight....

The Joys of Really, Really Big Houses

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 17

A day after writing about the joys of small houses, I came across the real estate ad for a house in Aspen, Colo., that's being sold by a Saudi prince...

The Joys of Small Houses

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 16

Let us pause in our worship of square footage and his 'n' her master bathrooms to count the joys of the small house. 1. There are fewer places for things...

The Most Popular Real Estate Websites

Posted by: Peter Coy on March 07

Here are the 20 most popular real estate websites as ranked by Hitwise, which tracks the number of visitors each site gets based on a sample of 10 million Internet...

The next hot real estate market is here...

Posted by: Dean Foust on February 06

This article from Business 2.0 editor Chris Taylor points out what's likely to be the next hot real estate market in coming decades. It's 225 million square miles of prime...

Isn't that a Hopper?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 06

Apartment buildings--the nicer ones--and condo towers often decorate their walls with art. Azzurra, a high rise condo complex in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Marina del Rey, took that...

Flip to Flipper Nation

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on February 02

It's sign how far the housing boom as seeped into popular culture that one group of aspiring TV stars has put together an online series of Webisodes that play off...

'F' in Economics for Move Inc. Exec

Posted by: Peter Coy on January 11

I give Allan Dalton of Move Inc. an 'F' in economics for comments he made this week at Brad Inman's Real Estate Connect NYC conference. The 'F' is for Dalton's...

Too Many Realtors

Posted by: Peter Coy on December 29

Whether the housing market is stabilizing or not, it seems pretty clear that there are still too many people in the U.S. trying to make a living selling houses. The...

What's out!

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 15

A couple of days ago I shared author Mark Nash's research on some hot new trends in housing. Here's the opposite--what Nash says is out in 2007. -"As is" in...

Where's Your Man Cave?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 13

December is when publications like to forecast upcoming trends for the new year. Mark Nash, author of a number of books on real estate, has come up with some good...

The Home You Don't Own

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on December 05

The destination clubs business had been a fast-growing one until industry pioneer Tanner and Haley went under earlier this year. The business is sort of like time shares but customers...

From Nimby* to Banana**--The Challenge for Developers

Posted by: Peter Coy on December 02

Opposition to development of single-family homes and condominiums decreased a bit in the latest survey of residents' attitudes by Boston-based Saint Consulting Group. Here's a long excerpt from its press...

Antitrust Suit Against Realtors Moves Forward

Posted by: Peter Coy on November 30

There was big news this week in the government's antitrust case against the National Association of Realtors, but the press missed it. The news is that a federal court in...

Are There Haunted Houses on Your Street?

Posted by: Peter Coy on October 31

Tonight, look for the telltale signs that houses on your street are haunted. No, not the toothless guy in the attic window, swinging a lantern and cackling madly. I'm talking...

Oh, the Humanity!

Posted by: Peter Coy on October 28

Every problem has to have a public face, and to many people, David Lereah is the public face of the housing slump. There is an entire blog devoted to trashing...

A Real Estate Angle on the Yankee Pitcher Plane Crash

Posted by: Peter Coy on October 13

This post from NYC appraiser and ace blogger Jonathan J. Miller proves my point that there is a real estate angle on every item in the news. And I mean...

Guess who's having troubling selling their home?

Posted by: Dean Foust on September 13

This will come as sweet music to the ears of any homeowner currently having trouble selling their home: the Washington Post reports that the head of the National Association of...

Well, at least the 'virtual' real estate market is booming ....

Posted by: Peter Coy on August 08

Feeling grumpy that the real estate market slumped right after you bought, or just before you sold? Here's some news that should cheer you up right away. Sales of virtual...

And now a word from the gardeners ...

Posted by: Peter Coy on August 02

As soon as I mentioned gardening in my last blog I got an email from a p.r. guy who said this is a record year for gardening, and what's more,...

Non-housing blogs are horning in on our story

Posted by: Peter Coy on August 01

Housing blogs like Hot Property don't own the housing story. These days you can find anguished commentary about the softening market all over the blogosphere, from political blogs to econ...

WellcomeMat Is a Website, Not A Typo

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 26

Roll out the welcome mat for WellcomeMat.com, a new home-listings website that's trying to kick-start business by offering the first 1,000 listings for free. (After that it will be 75...

Buy A House, Get a Crop Subsidy

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 05

Check out this great article in this past Sunday's Washington Post about how some people are getting crop subsidies from the federal government because they built their houses on farmland....

Beverly Hillbillies Mansion, Brady Bunch House, etc., etc.

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 22

And now for something completely different ... Zillow.com has a fun page of famous houses ranging from the Beverly Hillbillies mansion (pictured) to the Playboy mansion, the Brady Bunch...

Big Brother of the Blogs

Posted by: Toddi Gutner on June 08

I feel like I'm in high school again. I just found a website that is keeping track of Hot Property's traffic--of course, I knew Businessweek was doing that, but now...

Spooky: 6.66% on 06-06-06

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 06

Today is 06-06-06 and the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, is 6.66%. I will leave it to the more supernaturally inclined to tell us if...

R U Into Indecipherable Abbreviations?

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 05

If U R into indecipherable abbreviations then you probably love real estate listings in which BICC means built-in china cabinet and AGDO means automatic garage door opener. (I suppose ACCDO...

Real Estate 'Porn'

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 26

Loved this story by Diana Olick of CNBC, "Real estate sites feed new data obsession." Check it out here. Quote: He’s typing in your address as we speak. He’s scanning...

Financial Squeeze

Posted by: Toddi Gutner on May 22

The mass-affluent, about 33 million households that have investable assets between $100,000 and $1 million, are likely to be squeezed significantly as the real estate market deflates. This group has...

An Index of Sprawl (Pittsburgh Is Worst)

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 11

You could argue that sprawl is a phony issue. After all, people have to live somewhere. And why should those ensconced in suburban and rural splendor be allowed to close...

The "Official" Real Estate Industry Blog

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 19

Here's one of the first posts from www.realblogging.com, which bills itself as "the official real estate industry blog": "RealBlogging was created to fill the need of a national blog for...

Media Hype?

Posted by: Toddi Gutner on March 31

While helping my colleague Peter Coy report for the week’s cover story on Buyer(and Seller) Beware: How to Navigate An Anxious Housing Market, I was stuck by the number of...

Hot Properties Are Everywhere

Posted by: Peter Coy on March 30

We aren't the only people who think "Hot Property" is a great name for chatter about real estate. *Since 1985 the Los Angeles Times has had a real estate column...

When is the High, What is the low?

Posted by: Toddi Gutner on January 24

I’ve just spent several hours reading housing bubble blog entries and comments. It seems there is some general consensus from the American public (if there can actually be one on...

In 2006, a Harsher Reality for Realty

Posted by: Peter Coy on December 27

One of the smartest and best-read publications on residential real estate is the monthly REAL Trends, edited by an industry veteran named Steve Murray out of Littleton, Colo. (Click here...

Wealthy Americans believe real estate to go up, up, up

Posted by: Dean Foust on December 20

Remember back in 1999 and 2000, when surveys showed that—even with the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq indices in nosebleed territory—many investors still believed that the market would rise...

Celebrities

Posted by: Dean Foust on December 13

It seems to me that one of the residual perks of being a Hollywood celebrity is the ability to make a killing in real estate. The easy explanation is that...

A True Housing Bubble

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on November 30

You have to love it when companies have a sense of humor about their business and that certainly seems to be the case with two big Florida developers, the...

Guess How Much This Place Is Going For

Posted by: Peter Coy on November 22

Look at this place, guess how much it's selling for, and then, to check your answer, click on Continue reading ......

To Grandmother's House We Go

Posted by: Peter Coy on November 21

We all know the Thanksgiving song about going over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house. But how realistic is the song from the point of view of...

Home sellers creating their own blogs

Posted by: Dean Foust on October 26

Seems the latest trend in real estate is creating your own blog to sell your house. There are a number of examples of sellers who have done this, including Alan...

The Storm-Ready Home

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on October 21

Remember Bob Vila? The former host of This Old House kicked off a whole subdivision of remodeling shows on TV. He has a new show running on local tv channels...

Reaching Out to Katrina's Victims

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 07

Are you looking for a way to make a really, really big difference in the lives of Hurricane Katrina refugees? Do you have an extra bedroom or two? You might...

Real Estate Blog Squad

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 01

Remember the Mod Squad on 1970s TV, those bad dudes with velvet bellbottoms who fought crime and jumped into cars without opening the doors first? Now there's a Real Estate...

That house is a steal...

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 25

In a housing boom, everyone's favorite parlor game is trying to figure out how much their house is worth this week. My wife loves to drive around and pull the...

Million dollar trailers

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 03

Yes, it's come to this: In Florida and California, there are now trailers that are fetching $1 million each, or close to it. Except the owners would object to you...

Too Many Contingencies

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 07

Thanks to our friends at The Smoking Gun http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0706051realestate1.html for this creepy sign of a market top. A Wisconsin man allegedly offered a real estate broker at an open house...

Cable's new Discovery

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on July 01

Discovery Communications, the cable tv network that brings us Animal Planet and The Science Channel, has discovered a new beast: the real estate speculator. A new show called Flip 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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