Keyword: homes

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  • Overpay or Be Shut Out; Home "Ownership" Slavery

    08/13/2014 4:55:48 PM PDT · by Kaslin · 34 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | August 13, 2014 | Mike Shedlock
    Supply of homes at the bottom-third of the market is down 17 percent from a year ago. Meanwhile the top-third home supply is up 15 percent while the middle is up a modest 3 percent according to Redfin. The bottom third is anything priced below $198,000. But $150,000 or $200,000 does not buy in terms of size and location what it did just a few years ago. Overpay or Be Shut Out So once again, first-time buyers face the question "overpay or be shut out?" And once again it appears many make a very poor choice.
  • 30,340 First 6 Months -- List of Sponsor Arrangements of Unaccompanied Children by State

    07/25/2014 6:36:43 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 23 replies
    The application window for HHS grants under the Unaccompanied Alien Children program just closed yesterday. According to the data included in the application the average length of stay for a UAC is 30-35 days prior to unification with a sponsor. Most (95%+) of the sponsors are relatives of the child. Most sponsors reunited are the mothers of the children (85%+) who actually brought them along and there is never a disconnect. All sponsors are subsidized by taxpayers at an average cost of around $4,000 to $6,000 per child/per month. A custodial ‘sponsor’ (mother) with three UAC’s will net about $12,000...
  • Here Are The Cities Where Middle-Class Homebuyers Are Screwed

    07/12/2014 10:44:31 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 45 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 07/12/2014 | ANDY KIERSZ
    It's really hard for a middle class family to buy a house along the California coast.Real estate research and marketplace site Zillow routinely calculates an index of housing affordability. First, they use a proprietary statistical model to estimate housing values in a metropolitan area. Then, they calculate the monthly mortgage payment for a median price house in each metro area. Finally, they calculate the percentage of the median monthly income for each metro area needed to pay that mortgage payment.For example, Zillow's estimate for the median home price in Abilene, TX during the first quarter of 2014 was $98,600. After...
  • Homes of Kidnappers Demolished

    06/30/2014 6:41:39 PM PDT · by Nachum · 46 replies
    INN ^ | 6/30/14 | Arutz Sheva Staff
    The IDF demolished overnight Monday the homes of the two main suspects in the kidnapping and killing of three young Israelis, witnesses told AFP. The witnesses said the houses of Marwan Kawasmeh and Amar Abu-Eisha in Hevron were blown up, in what a human rights group said was the first punitive demolition since Israel halted the practice in 2005. Kawasmeh and Abu-Eisha were identified by Israel last week as the two terrorists who kidnapped Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel, whose bodies were discovered earlier on Monday. Both Kawasmeh and Abu-Eisha have been arrested numerous times and are well...
  • Assembly Required: 15 DIY Kit Homes

    04/16/2014 5:45:18 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 9 replies
    bob vila .com ^ | 4-16-2014 | Donna Boyle Schwartz
    For those who've always wanted to build their own home, the prospect may now be more realistic than ever, thanks to a new wave of kit homes.
  • Zillow Study Shows 1 In 3 Homes Are Unaffordable, But Vacation-Home Sales Are Soaring

    04/06/2014 10:19:04 PM PDT · by Nachum · 28 replies
    zero hedge ^ | 4/5/14 | tyler durden
    In a further demonstration of the socially destructive and ever widening gap between the haves and have nots, we see that the affluent are buying second homes at an ever increasing clip (up 30% last year), while first home buyers recede into the abyss as private equity and Chinese buyers make purchasing a home unaffordable for the average American. Specifically, a recent study from Zillow showed that more than half the homes in seven major American cities are unaffordable based on historical standards. Those cities are: Miami, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, San Jose and Portland, Ore. Nationwide,...
  • Land Bank Is Not a Good Deal For Citizens

    02/04/2014 7:46:44 AM PST · by MichCapCon
    Capitol Confidential ^ | 2/1/2014 | Jarrett Skorup
    A recent report from the Kent County Land Bank claims the agency's actions resulted in a $16.5 million economic impact in the community at a cost of $364,846. That would be an astonishing return on investment of 4,400 percent. If true, this would be great news for residents. Unfortunately, it is based on a simple analysis that in part is based on estimates and assumptions. That has not stopped the claim from receiving media attention. Land bank officials arrived at their claim by tallying the following: $2,996,783 in sales $225,974 in real estate commissions $367,331 in demolition and clean out...
  • Assembly Required: 15 DIY Kit Homes

    01/12/2014 8:42:03 PM PST · by TurboZamboni · 12 replies
    BobVila.com ^ | 1-4-14 | Donna Boyle Schwartz
    Big or small, contemporary or traditional, kit homes are an intriguing alternative for homebuyers today. Most kit homes are designed to be swiftly assembled by even novice do-it-yourselfers, and the price per square foot runs as low as $20 (and as high as $400). We've pulled together some of our favorite kit homes, and the tour starts here!
  • 23 Surprisingly Gorgeous Homes Made From Shipping Containers.

    01/05/2014 12:55:33 PM PST · by carriage_hill · 42 replies
    BuzzFeed ^ | 10/15/2013 | Kristin Chirico
    This is a shipping container. Its used to transport large amounts of goods on boats and on trains. By itself, its pretty boring. But with a little imagination, the shipping container becomes a cheap, reliable building block that can be used to build chic little getaway homes and castles of majesty alike!
  • Remote-control house? Theres an app for that

    11/21/2013 8:36:46 AM PST · by rktman · 17 replies
    The Daily Caller ^ | 11/21/2013 | Giuseppe Macri
    Installing smart-home automation systems can be pricey, which is why designer Roger Yiu is giving consumers a back door to controlling your home on your mobile the Smart Power Strip app. The Smart Power Strip lets you power on and off any device you can plug into a conventional wall outlet. You can also set timers and read your electricity usage in real-time, all from your smartphone.
  • State Tax Chief Encourages Inspectors To Enter Homes; Refusal Could Lead To Higher Assessment

    10/14/2013 10:19:10 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 37 replies
    Capitol Confidential ^ | 10/12/2013 | Anne Schieber
    When someone comes to your door, you can let them in or not. But keeping out a representative from the Michigan Tax Commission could be costly. At least that's what some residents in Davison Township are finding. When the local tax assessor showed up at homeowner John McLaughlin's house in the Genesee County community he said he wasn't going to let them in. So what happened after he declined the appointment: "My taxes went up," he said. The executive director of the Michigan Tax Commission said local tax assessors are supposed to be getting inside all homes to see...
  • [California] Pricey homes in Richmond's eminent domain plan

    08/20/2013 3:40:35 PM PDT · by Lonely Bull · 3 replies
    sfgate.com, San Francisco Chronicle ^ | Tuesday, August 20, 2013 | Carolyn Said
    Richmond's controversial plan to seize underwater mortgages through eminent domain includes loans for at least two homes purchased for over $1 million as well as other high-end properties - a revelation that appears to undermine the city's argument that the plan would combat blight. The city is pursuing mortgages with balances ranging from $98,000 to $1.12 million, according to data collected by Marc Joffe, an analyst who received the property addresses, loan balances, offer amounts and other information through a California public records request and shared them with The Chronicle. --SNIP-- Eminent domain is the seizure of private property for...
  • Posted August 16, 2013 Increase in Luxury Listings Fueled by Low Interest Rates

    08/18/2013 4:22:37 AM PDT · by William Tell 2 · 1 replies
    mainstreet.com ^ | 8-16-13 | Juliette Fairley
    NEW YORK (MainStreet) The housing market is on the rise again after...
  • Feds sues B. of A. over $850 mln MBS sales

    08/06/2013 12:55:19 PM PDT · by illiac · 10 replies
    MarketWatch ^ | 8/6/13 | Ronald D Orol
    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Federal regulators on Tuesday filed civil charges against Bank of America Corp. /quotes/zigman/190927/quotes/nls/bac BAC -1.12% alleging that the big bank lied to its investors about the riskiness of loans packaged and sold in $850 million worth of mortgage-backed securities. The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint alleging that Bank of America defrauded investors when it sold them the securities.
  • Rising home prices, mortgage rates leave many unable to buy

    07/30/2013 5:46:17 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 15 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | July 30, 2013 | By Alejandro Lazo
    The chances of finding an affordable home in California are fading fast as prices and interest rates rise slamming the door shut on many would-be buyers. Just 44% of Golden State residents were able to afford the median-priced home at the end of the first quarter. The state's median home price, as tracked by the real estate group, was $428,510 in June, an eye-popping jump from $378,960 in March.
  • Aerodynamic, Retractable Tornado-Proof Homes that Look Like Something Right Out of 'The Jetsons'

    07/25/2013 2:28:53 AM PDT · by Reaganite Republican · 26 replies
    Reaganite Republican ^ | 25 July 2013 | Reaganite Republican
    What if your home could protect itself from dangerous weather by retreating underground automatically long before it hits? If you think about it, a house -or entire neighborhood/town- that could withstand higher winds than boxy, frail wood structures -and actually hide underground if necessary- could have one heck of a lot of applications: not just in tornado alley, but avoiding fires in California, tsunamis in Japan, or of course hurricane season in the Carolinas. Why build an expensive underground shelter only to watch your house and belongings be scraped from the face of the Earth, washed-away, or turned to...
  • Wall of ice rises out of lake and destroys homes in Canada

    05/12/2013 9:37:01 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 34 replies
    metro.uk ^ | 5/12/13
    A wall of ice that was pushed out of a lake and across snow-covered ground by strong winds has destroyed 12 homes and damaged 15. The 9m (30ft) high slab took about ten minutes to rise up out of the water and slide across the beach before crashing into properties near the shoreline of Dauphin Lake in Canada. Resident Doug David described how it pushed furniture around and threw his bath into the hallway when it ploughed through his two-storey home, propelled by 55mph gusts in Ochre Beach, Manitoba. The wall of ice destroyed 12 homes in CanadaThe wall of...
  • Headache: Chicago Fed Activity Index Declines, Existing Home Sales Decline

    04/22/2013 7:10:48 AM PDT · by whitedog57 · 3 replies
    Confounded Interest ^ | 04/22/2013 | Anthony B. Sanders
    Existing home sales were just announced and they were down -0.6% in March after printing at +0.8% in February (but revised downwards to +0.2%). Analysts were expecting +0.4%. A swing and a miss. Median home prices for existing home sales rose 6.4% from February to March. The Chicago Fed National Activity Index plunged in March to -0.23 from a reading in February of 0.44. Analysts were expecting a print of 0.29. Now, THAT is a big swing and a miss! And the Chicago Fed index and leading economic indicators are trending downwards. But Foxs Eric Bolling says that real GDP...
  • More than 300,000 homes are foreclosed "zombies," study says

    03/28/2013 6:28:00 PM PDT · by Nachum · 10 replies
    yahoo ^ | 3/28/13 | Barbara Liston, Reuters
    ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - A national survey found 301,874 "zombie" properties dotting the U.S. landscape in which homeowners in foreclosure have moved out, leaving vacant property susceptible to vandalism and degradation. Florida tops the list of zombie properties with 90,556 vacant homes in foreclosure, according to a foreclosure inventory released on Thursday by RealtyTrac, a real estate information company in Irvine, California. Illinois and California ranked a distant second and third with 31,668 and 28,821 zombie properties respectively on the list. The number of homes overall in foreclosure or bank-owned rose by 9 percent to 1.5 million properties nationally in...
  • California billionaire bets on rentals with Wake home-buying spree

    03/22/2013 1:07:57 PM PDT · by nascarnation · 3 replies
    newsobserver.com ^ | Feb 23, 2013 | David Bracken
    Daniel Creswells house in northeast Raleigh sat on the market for nine months until late last month, when a deep-pocketed buyer arrived seemingly from another era. Creswell had bought the property back in April at a foreclosure auction for $162,500. After fielding low offers for months, the mystery buyer offered $210,000, or $10,000 below his asking price. Creswell eventually agreed to a price of $213,000, or $1,000 more than the home originally sold for in 2002. In addition to paying cash, the buyer paid the closing costs and the cost of the home inspection.
  • NYC Wants to Mandate a No-Smoking Ban in Peoples Homes

    01/01/2013 12:34:34 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 59 replies
    The Independent Sentinel ^ | December 30, 2012 | Sara Noble
    NYC Mayor Bloomberg is behind a secret cabal of neighborhood spies who run around convincing tenants and landlords to disallow all smoking by tenants, even within their own apartments.The community spy groups get a $10,000 bounty for their efforts. The bounty is coming out of a grant, in other words, our tax money. This is ripe for corruption to say nothing about the whole stealth factor being unethical, sneaky, and communistic. It pits neighbor against neighbor and it demonizes people.But don’t worry, it is for the common good.I’ve never smoked in my life and I don’t like being around cigarettes,...
  • No Place Like Home (Housing)

    08/29/2012 9:32:36 AM PDT · by blam · 2 replies
    Advisor Perspectives (Doug Short) ^ | 8-29-2012 | Eric Schaefer
    No Place Like Home Chart of the Week August 29, 2012 By Eric Schaefer of American Independence Financial Services Home. There are few other more evocative and comforting words in the English language, or, in any language for that matter. The mention of home unleashes a flood of emotions and thoughts. Home may be an ideal, but it is also a place. Among our possessions, our house is our home. Few other worldly goods, no matter what socio-economic we count our self amongst, enjoys the same pride of place. As Americans we hold house and home in a special regard....
  • Armed Forces Retirement Homes

    06/28/2012 8:16:50 PM PDT · by Kenika · 1 replies
    Self | 28 Jun 12 | Self
    I'm seeking additional comment pro/con regarding the Armed Forces Retirement Homes, especially in Gulfport MS. The website has ample information regarding history, application and views but I was hoping the ever helpful Freeper community had an up close and personal opinion on the operation of these homes. After all we (military) plunked $0.50 a month into them...they claim self sufficiency...
  • Homes for Our Troops - "Home Award Program"

    06/05/2012 5:11:03 PM PDT · by visualops · 2 replies
    Homes for Our Troops ^ | June 5, 2012 | Homes for Our Troops
    Dear HFOT Families, Friends, and Supporters, We are excited to tell you about an expansion to Homes for Our Troops mission. We have recently added a Home Award Program that will allow us to provide the "American Dream" of home ownership to a broader population of deserving Americans; our nation's wounded and injured Veterans and to the spouses of our fallen service members, completely mortgage-free. As an organization, we feel as though our nation's Veterans, especially the wounded and injured and Gold Star families have paid enough through their service and sacrifice and it's time for us to give back....
  • Renting Prosperity

    05/05/2012 6:35:53 AM PDT · by jimbo123 · 4 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | 5/5/12 | DANIEL GROSS
    Americans are getting used to the idea of renting the good life, from cars to couture to homes. Daniel Gross explores our shift from a nation of owners to an economy permanently on the moveand how it will lead to the next boom. "The Great Gatsby," the pre-eminent American novel of financial ambition, overextension and downfall, offers a revealing vignette about the great American obsession: real estate. The narrator, Nick Carraway, can't afford to buy in the rarefied Long Island world inhabited by Gatsby, and by Tom and Daisy Buchanan. But he can afford to rent.
  • TV ad shows danger of 'invisible secondhand smoke'

    03/31/2012 1:50:13 AM PDT · by EnglishCon · 77 replies
    BBC News ^ | 03/31/2012 | BBC News
    Making houses and cars smokefree is the only way to protect children from second-hand smoke, according to a new government campaign in England. The TV and radio adverts show how pervasive invisible second-hand smoke can be. Breathing it in can damage lungs and cause cancers, research has shown. Snip The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said it wanted to see smoking in cars made illegal, when children are present. "I have no doubt an outright ban on smoking in cars would have the same positive results [as banning drink-driving] - Prof Terence Stephenson Royal College of Paediatrics &...
  • A Quick Breakdown Of America's 131.8 Million Homes

    02/23/2012 7:11:28 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 6 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 02/23/2012 | Joe weisenthal
    From Goldman Sachs, a very useful chart. The diagram below breaks down the US housing market into several categories (all figures refer to 2010 and come from the American Community Survey and the NAR). Housing units can be either occupied or vacant, and occupied units are either currently listed for sale or unlisted/not for sale. Vacant units can be listed for sale, seasonal or recreational properties that are not for sale, or can fall into a number of other categories (e.g. for rent, sold but not yet occupied, or “held off market”). Goldman Sachs
  • Struggling Floridians Line Up for Mortgage-Mending [Taxpayers bailout homeowners]

    02/23/2012 6:16:42 AM PST · by SoFloFreeper · 4 replies
    Insurance Journal ^ | 2/23/2012 | Jane Sutton
    Nearly 1,200 people lined up at a downtown Miami conference center on Wednesday, holding onto mortgage documents and income statements in the hope of saving the homes they are struggling to pay for. Seated at rows of long tables were scores of loan processing agents for 19 lenders who hold 85 percent of the home mortgages in the south Florida market. Over seven hours, the homeowners pleaded for loan modifications or other help under a variety of programs aimed at stabilizing the U.S. housing market and keeping struggling people in their homes.
  • Sacramento group vows suit over endangered beetle

    01/05/2012 3:38:55 PM PST · by WilliamIII · 7 replies
    Sacramento Bee ^ | Jan 5, 2012 | Matt Weiser
    A group of Sacramento-area property owners and land managers on Wednesday threatened to sue the federal government if it does not proceed with removing a native beetle from the endangered species list. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initially proposed removing the valley elderberry longhorn beetle from the endangered species list in 2006. But the process has dragged along and the beetle remains protected. On Wednesday, the Pacific Legal Foundation, a Sacramento-based nonprofit law firm, said the delay may have cost its clients millions of dollars over the past five years. Those clients include land owners, levee maintenance districts and...
  • ObamaCare Flatlines...Taxes Home Sales (4% Federal Tax on Houses)

    12/20/2011 1:24:23 PM PST · by Recovering_Democrat · 84 replies · 1+ views
    GOP.gov ^ | 4/8/10
    I can make a firm pledge. Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes, President Obama, September 12, 2008 Beginning January 1, 2013, ObamaCare imposes a 3.8% Medicare tax on unearned income of high-income taxpayers which could apply to proceeds from the sale of single family homes, townhouses, co-ops, condominiums, and even rental income, depending on your individual circumstances and any capital gains tax exclusions. Importantly, the high income thresholds are not...
  • Made In America

    12/09/2011 6:45:33 PM PST · by Iron Munro · 11 replies
    Made In America (Video of home built entirely of American made products)
  • FIASCO: Bank Of America Forecloses On A Home That Doesn't Even Exist

    11/03/2011 9:25:30 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 37 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 11/03/2011 | Dina Spector
    How do you foreclose on a home that doesn't exist? That's the question KRPC-TV in Houston asked Texas homeowner Brad Gana, whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in 2008 while he was overseas (via AGBeat). Despite the the destruction, Gana continued to make mortgage payments on the property. Then, two days before Gana planned to sell the property, he learned the bank was foreclosing on it. What happened? Apparently, while Gana was making his regular payments, Bank of America had incorrectly placed a homeowner's policy on the non-existent property and additionally, increased his monthly mortage payments. Bank of America...
  • SLIDESHOW: Opulent homes of the 99 percent

    11/02/2011 7:51:18 AM PDT · by martosko · 38 replies
    The Daily Caller ^ | 11/02/2011 | Gracie Ferrell and Meg Gasvoda
    Representatives of the 99 percent have been camping out in lower Manhattan to protest economic inequality since late September, but the riches on display at some of their home addresses clearly came from 1 percent families. We searched Google Maps and the real estate Multiple Listing Service for the home addresses police collected during the arrests of less-than-law-abiding New York City occupiers, and found dream homes aplenty. These opulent houses include in-ground swimming pools, manicured lawns, and golf course access.
  • NYC arrest records: Many Occupy Wall Street protesters live in luxury

    11/02/2011 7:46:47 AM PDT · by martosko · 12 replies · 1+ views
    The Daily Caller ^ | 11/02/2011 | Will Rahn
    Many Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested in New York City reside in more luxurious homes than some of their rhetoric might suggest, a Daily Caller investigation has found. For each of the 984 Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested in New York City between September 18 and October 15, police collected and filed an information sheet recording the arrestees name, age, sex, criminal charge, home address and in most cases race. The Daily Caller has obtained all of this information from a source in the New York City government. Among addresses for which information is available, single-family homes listed...
  • Sex offenders found at 39 California foster homes

    10/27/2011 7:17:44 PM PDT · by Libloather · 23 replies
    SF Gate ^ | 10/27/11 | Marisa Lagos
    Sex offenders found at 39 California foster homesMarisa Lagos, Chronicle Staff Writer Thursday, October 27, 2011 Lax state oversight has resulted in sex offenders living, working or being present in at least 39 California homes where foster children are also authorized to live, including several in the Bay Area, a state audit released Thursday concluded. The audit compared the addresses of registered sex offenders with the addresses of licensed facilities and homes where foster children were placed, and found more than 1,000 instances where the addresses matched. When state and county officials investigated those addresses, they found 39 instances where...
  • U.S. home prices up 0.2% in August: Case-Shiller

    10/25/2011 7:33:58 AM PDT · by Free Vulcan · 6 replies · 1+ views
    Marketwatch ^ | 10.25.11 | Steve Goldstein
    The S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite rose 0.2% on the month to narrow year-on-year declines to 3.8%. Though MarketWatch doesnt tabulate a consensus, stock futures turned lower in reaction as Bloomberg pegged estimates for a 3.6% annual drop. A separate report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, using prices on transactions backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, showed a 0.1% monthly fall on a seasonally adjusted basis and a 4% year-on-year decline.
  • U.S. housing starts jump 15%, hit 17-month high

    10/19/2011 6:11:19 AM PDT · by Free Vulcan · 23 replies
    Marketwatch ^ | 10.19.11 | Steve Goldstein
    Housing starts surged 15% in September to the highest level in 1 1/2 years, according to government data... ...The Commerce Department said starts rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 658,000, which also is 10.2% above the September 2010 reading and the best level since April 2010 the month the homebuyer tax credit expired. The figures were well ahead of the 590,000 forecast in a MarketWatch-compiled economist poll. The rise was led by a 53% surge in starts of buildings with five or more units to 227,000, the best reading in three years; single-family starts rose a more...
  • Home ownership: Biggest drop since Great Depression

    10/07/2011 9:40:36 AM PDT · by Signalman · 6 replies
    CNNMoney ^ | 10/7/2011 | Les Christie
    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The percentage of Americans who owned their homes has seen its biggest decline since the Great Depression, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The rate of home ownership fell to 65.1% in April 2010, 1.1 percentage points lower than it was in 2000. The decline was the biggest drop since the 1930s, when home ownership plunged 4.2%. The most recent decade-over-decade drop, however, only tells half the story. Home ownership during the 2000s "was really high in the middle of the decade, up to almost 70% at one point around 2004," said Ellen Wilson, a survey...
  • Sales of new U.S. homes dip in August (-2.3%)

    09/26/2011 7:44:13 AM PDT · by Free Vulcan · 13 replies
    Marketwatch ^ | 9.26.11 | Jeffry Bartash
    Sales dropped 2.3% last month to an annual rate of 295,000, the lowest level since February, the Commerce Department said Monday. After peaking in 2011 at 316,000 in April, new-home sales have gradually declined... The average sales price of a new home, meanwhile, sank 8.7% to $246,000, the lowest level since January 2009.
  • Home builder sentiment dips slightly in September

    09/19/2011 10:05:04 AM PDT · by Free Vulcan · 1 replies
    Marketwatch ^ | 9.19.11 | Steve Goldstein
    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) Confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes dipped slightly in September to remain in very low territory, according to an index released Monday. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index fell by a point to 14, on a seasonally adjusted index where readings above 50 are considered good. The index, which correlates closely with single-family housing starts, has held between 13 and 16 for the last six months.
  • Gov't Launches Investigation Into Builder Wages

    09/09/2011 9:38:52 AM PDT · by illiac · 15 replies
    RealtorMag ^ | 9/9/11 | ReatlorMag
    The Labor Department is investigating possible minimum wage and overtime violations in the residential construction industry, The New York Times reports. The government is asking numerous builders to produce records on wages and hours of its employees and contractors. The government has targeted the residential construction industry for its investigation because of its high number of immigrant workers that it employs and after recent investigations have found some construction contractors have been misclassifying workers as independent contractors to get around wage laws, says Nancy J. Leppink, acting director of the departments wage and hour division. The Labor Department had uncovered...
  • Housing's Iceberg

    09/03/2011 1:24:19 PM PDT · by bkopto · 25 replies
    Crain's Cleveland Business ^ | Sept 3, 2011 | SCOTT SUTTELL
    You and your fellow U.S. taxpayers own 248,000 homes, the result of record numbers of people defaulting on government-backed mortgages, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek story that quotes a Cleveland housing expert. With even more homes moving toward default, the magazine says, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration are looking for a way to unload them without swamping the already depressed real estate market. They've even issued a public plea for ideas to help do this; you have until Sept. 15 to send ideas to reo.rfi@fhfa.gov. Bloomberg Businessweek says the government's call for ideas is a sign...
  • Bedbug infestations growing in certain settings, survey finds

    08/17/2011 1:00:43 PM PDT · by markomalley · 51 replies
    WaPo ^ | August 17 | Lena H. Sun
    Just as students head back to college and families finish summer vacations comes the latest bad news from pest control companies: Bedbug infestations are getting worse and becoming more common in some places, including dorms, hotels, nursing homes, hospitals, office buildings, and schools and day-care centers. According to a survey released Wednesday by the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky, pest control companies say there has been double-digit growth in infestations in the past year. About 54 percent of pest companies reported treating bedbugs in college dorms, compared with 35 percent in 2010; 80 percent reported treating...
  • Housing starts slip 1.5% in July

    08/16/2011 6:05:56 AM PDT · by Free Vulcan · 6 replies
    Marketwatch ^ | 8.16.11 | sgoldstein@marketwatch.com
    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) Housing starts slipped 1.5% in July, according to data released Tuesday that highlight the lack of demand for new homes. Starts fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 604,000, down from a downwardly revised 613,000 rate in June, the Commerce Department said. Economists polled by MarketWatch had anticipated an annualized rate of 600,000 for July, and many had thought Junes initial reading of 629,000 was too strong. Single-family starts slipped 4.9% last month to 425,000 from a downwardly revised 447,000.
  • Home prices take another dip ("We own the economy", Wasserman Schultz)

    08/10/2011 10:15:01 AM PDT · by Signalman · 4 replies
    CNN Money ^ | 8/10/2011 | Les Christie
    NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Housing markets struggled through another tough quarter, this time during the spring buying season, the strongest time of year for home sellers. Prices of existing homes fell 2.8% in the three months ended June 30 compared with the same period in 2010, according to a report issued Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). For Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, the report was a continuation of a trend that began in 2009. "Median home prices have been moving up and down in a relatively narrow range in many markets, which shows a stabilization trend," he...
  • Changing Chatham: Neighborhood struggles with class divide (Illinois)

    06/27/2011 8:16:49 PM PDT · by Graybeard58 · 16 replies
    Chicago Sun-Times ^ | June 27, 2011 | Mary Mitchell
    It used to be that, to live in Chatham, you practically had to know someone. As a mother with no husband — despite having a 9-to-5 — my chances of finding a landlord who’d rent me an apartment in one of Chatham’s immaculate three-flats were slim. The landlords there could afford to be picky. Few of them would rent to you just because you told them you were a mom desperate to move to a neighborhood where you didn’t have to worry about gangs and guns. That’s another thing that’s different about Chatham these days. Looking for the new Chatham,...
  • Pending Home Sales Tumble

    05/27/2011 10:43:27 AM PDT · by library user · 9 replies
    WSJ ^ | May 27, 2011 | by Mark Gongloff
    ~ EXCERPT ~ Well, thats not good The National Association of Realtors says pending home sales plunged 11.6% To 81.9 in April. Expectations were for a smaller drop, to 92 from 94.1 in March. **snip** This terrible report should shock all of those optimists in the housing market back into being realists, writes David Semmens of Standard Chartered. Falling prices should be tempting buyers slowly back into the market, but while the price declines appear to be entrenched, consumers will continue to hold off from signing contracts.
  • U.S. new-home sales rise 11.1% in March

    04/25/2011 7:52:56 AM PDT · by Free Vulcan · 24 replies · 1+ views
    Marketwatch ^ | 4.25.11 | Steve Goldstein
    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) Sales of new homes rose 11.1% in March, the Commerce Department said Monday, marking a mild improvement from the worst-ever showing as the dampening effect of winter storms and an expiring California tax credit wore off. The still-bleak reading of a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000 represented a 21.9% nosedive from March 2010 levels. However, the level beat a MarketWatch-compiled economist estimate of 290,000. Februarys low reading of 250,000 was revised up to 270,000. Analysts had attributed Februarys weakness in part to winter storms that depressed figures in the East and the Midwest, as well as...
  • Only 51% See Buying A Home As Familys Best Investment

    04/20/2011 8:43:37 AM PDT · by library user · 53 replies
    Rasmussen Reports ^ | April 20, 2011 | by Scott Rasmussen
    ~ EXCERPT ~ The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 51% now believe buying a home is a familys best investment. Thats down from 55% in March and from 73% in February 2009. Only once before - in August of last year - has the belief in home ownership been this low. Twenty-five percent (25%) of adults do not think a home is the best investment for families, while another 23% are not sure. Just 11% of all Americans say now is a good time for someone in their area to sell their house, showing...
  • Vibrant to Vacant: Mall Vacancies Highest in 11 Years; Online Retail Sales Hit 12%

    04/10/2011 7:41:11 PM PDT · by Nachum · 18 replies
    globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com ^ | 4/10/11 | Mike "Mish" Shedlock
    Online retail sales keep climbing, big box retailers keep wondering what to do with all their space, and small stores struggle to survive at all. As a result of that nasty brew, Malls Face Surge in Vacancies. Mall vacancies hit their highest level in at least 11 years in the first quarter, new figures from real-estate research company Reis Inc. showed. In the top 80 U.S. markets, the average vacancy rate was 9.1%, up from 8.7%. The outlook is especially bad for strip malls and other neighborhood shopping centers. Their vacancy rate is expected to top 11.1% later this year,...