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BUSINESS
August 9, 2012 | By Lauren Beale
Million-dollar-or-more home sales statewide surged in the second quarter to the highest level since the third quarter of 2007 as the economy and mortgage availability improved. The year-over-year increase was nearly double the gain for the overall California housing market, according to San Diego-based DataQuick. Higher prices pushed some homes into the million-dollar-plus category, said DataQuick president John Walsh. The 7,763 homes sold at $1 million or more from April to June represented an 18.5% increase from the same period last year. It was the most sales in this price range for a quarter since 2007, when 10,946 closings were recorded.
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BUSINESS
April 12, 2014 | By Lauren Beale
  P ink is taking another shot at selling a home she owns in Sherman Oaks, this time priced at $3.499 million. The three-time Grammy winner, who sang "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" at the Oscars this year, listed the gated property at $4 million three years ago or for lease at $8,500 a month. She ended up with a tenant instead of a buyer. The two-story home has been leased out for as much as $10,000 a month. The Spanish-style house, built in 1946, features hand-hewn double entry doors and a two-story foyer.
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BUSINESS
August 30, 2011 | By Alejandro Lazo
The number of purchase contracts signed on previously owned houses declined in July, the latest sign the nation's housing market remains troubled. The National Assn. of Realtors' pending home sales index fell to 89.7 last month. That was a 1.3% decline from June but 14.4% above the July 2010 level. Contracts are a leading indicator for home sales because most deals close within months of a contract being signed. A reading of 100 on the home-sale index is equal to the average monthly activity during 2001, which the real estate group considers a historically healthy level.
BUSINESS
March 2, 2014 | By E. Scott Reckard
Southern California home building is stuck at historic lows, one of many factors conspiring against middle-class buyers in a recovery marked by high prices and low supply. Despite explosive price gains last year, builders and their Wall Street financiers remain hesitant to make big bets on the rebound. The slow construction is among many hurdles facing buyers seeking affordable homes. Cash-rich investors - many of them buying homes to rent out, rather than resell - have eaten into supply, especially at the lower end of the market.
BUSINESS
November 14, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo
Home sales in California jumped 15.4% in October, indicating the state's housing recovery continued into the typically slower fall season. California's housing market has been on an upward swing this year. The rebound stems from more people chasing fewer homes as interest rates remain low and inventory sinks. As well as rising from September's level, home sales were up 15.2% from October 2011, according to real estate firm DataQuick. The statewide median price was $285,000 last month, a 0.7% decline from the prior month but up 18.8% from October 2011.
BUSINESS
January 20, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo
Home sales rose nationally in December, marking the third consecutive month that the market has shown improvement. Previously owned homes were sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.61 million units, up 5.0% from November and 3.6% from December a year prior, according to the National Assn. of Realtors. “The market for single-family homes picked up in the second half of 2011, after being stuck near the bottom for nearly three years,” Patrick Newport, an economist with IHS Global Insight, wrote in a note.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2013 | By Andrew Khouri
Existing home sales rose to their highest level in more than three years, while prices increased nationwide, yet another indication of a housing recovery that bodes well for the overall economy. The National Assn. of Realtors said sales of existing single-family houses, townhomes, condos and co-ops rose 0.8% in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million from an upwardly revised 4.94 million in January. That was 10.2% higher than February 2012 and the highest rate since November 2009 when a national homebuyer tax credit helped propel sales.
NEWS
July 24, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo
Contracts signed for previously owned California homes took a dip in June , indicating that the decline in foreclosures is slowing the Golden State sales recovery. The California Assn. of Realtors said Tuesday that its index for pending homes fell 3.8% from the prior month. The index posted a 4.7% increase from the same month a year prior. Contracts are an early indicator of where sales are headed. Sales often close six to eight weeks after contracts are signed so a decline in June could mean weakness when July and August sales statistics are reported.
BUSINESS
February 26, 2014 | By Andrew Khouri
More California homes went under contract last month, as buyers showed signs of life heading into the spring season. Pending home sales across the state rose 22.9% from December, the first increase since October, the California Assn. of Realtors said Wednesday. The January figures boost confidence in a market that cooled after a torrid rebound early last year. Buyers have struggled with low inventory, higher mortgage rates and sharply higher prices. That has raised questions about just how robust the upcoming spring home-buying season will be.  Quiz: How much do you know about mortgages?
BUSINESS
December 28, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo
Pending home sales rose for a third consecutive month in November, indicating that demand for housing remains strong. The National Assn. of Realtors said that its pending home sales index, a forward-looking indicator based on the number of purchase contracts signed, rose 1.7% over October and was up 9.8% from November 2011. “Home contract activity continues to improve,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the group. “Home sales are recovering now based solely on fundamental demand and favorable affordability conditions.” The index hit a level of 106.4 last month. A reading of 100 is equivalent to the level of contract signing in 2001, the year the index was started and also a base year in which the buying and selling of homes was considered historically normal for the U.S. ALSO: Home sales jump to highest pace in three years Builder confidence in housing is highest in six years Holiday travel in California expected to break records
BUSINESS
March 2, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
Newport Beach home builder William Lyon Homes has a history almost as interesting as its founder and namesake. William Lyon flew combat missions in the Korean War, commanded the Air Force Reserve and was chief executive and chairman of AirCal in the 1980s before selling the regional airline to American Airlines. Known as "the General," Lyon was a key player in the post-war Southern California housing boom. He got his start in home building in 1954 with Luxury Homes, a company he launched to build homes for military veterans.
BUSINESS
February 28, 2014 | By Andrew Khouri
Pending home sales remained essentially flat nationwide last month, indicating that tight inventory and high prices continue to weigh on buyers. The National Assn. of Realtors said Friday that its pending sales index rose 0.1% in January from the month before to a reading of 95. Since January 2013, the index fell 9%. Lawrence Yun, the Realtors group's chief economist, said that severe weather across much of the U.S. held back sales, but that it wasn't the only factor. QUIZ: How much do you know about mortgages?
BUSINESS
February 26, 2014 | By Andrew Khouri
Sales of newly built homes rose unexpectedly last month, bucking a cooling trend in the housing recovery. New homes sales rose 9.6% from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000, the U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday. Sales are up 2.2% from a year earlier. Economists had expected sales to fall last month, but instead they rose to the highest level since July 2008. The unexpected surge injects fresh optimism into a cooling housing market.  The figures follow a string of dour housing reports that indicated falling demand.
BUSINESS
February 26, 2014 | By Andrew Khouri
More California homes went under contract last month, as buyers showed signs of life heading into the spring season. Pending home sales across the state rose 22.9% from December, the first increase since October, the California Assn. of Realtors said Wednesday. The January figures boost confidence in a market that cooled after a torrid rebound early last year. Buyers have struggled with low inventory, higher mortgage rates and sharply higher prices. That has raised questions about just how robust the upcoming spring home-buying season will be.  Quiz: How much do you know about mortgages?
BUSINESS
February 21, 2014 | By Andrew Khouri
Sales of previously owned homes plunged in January as severe weather and high costs handcuffed would-be buyers. Existing home sales tumbled 5.1% from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million, reaching the lowest level in more than a year, the National Assn. of Realtors said Friday. Sales also fell 5.1% from a year earlier. Although harsh weather held back sales, the trade group said there was more behind the poor figures. “We can't ignore the ongoing head winds of tight credit, limited inventory, higher prices and higher mortgage interest rates,” Lawrence Yun, the group's chief economist, said in a statement.
BUSINESS
February 13, 2014 | By Andrew Khouri
San Francisco Bay Area home prices took a seasonal dip in January from a month earlier, while sales plunged to a six-year low for the month as high prices and tight inventory handcuffed buyers. The median sales price in the Bay Area fell 4.3% from December, to $525,000 in January, research firm DataQuick said Thursday. Still, compared with January of last year, prices are up 26.5%. Across the nine-county region, 4,696 new and resale houses and condos sold in January, the lowest level for the month since 2008, as buyers struggled with higher prices and few homes for sale.
BUSINESS
March 26, 2013 | By Alejandro Lazo
Sales of new homes dipped last month. The Commerce Department reported that newly built homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000 in February. That was 4.6% below the previous month but up 12.3% over the year. New-home sales numbers can be volatile month to month. Overall, the market for new construction has improved this year and builders have increased prices. The median sales price for a new home was $246,800 last month, the government reported. Supply has remained tight as few new homes have been built in recent years.
BUSINESS
January 30, 2014 | By Andrew Khouri
Pending home sales fell sharply in December as cold weather and declining affordability sapped demand, according to a trade group. The National Assn. of Realtors said Thursday that its pending sales index, which is adjusted for seasonal swings, fell 8.7% from November, reaching the lowest level since October 2011. The index, based on contracts signed but not closed, is 8.8% below December 2012. QUIZ: Test your knowledge of mortgages “Unusually disruptive weather across large stretches of the country in December forced people indoors and prevented some buyers from looking at homes or making offers,” the association's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said in a statement.
BUSINESS
January 30, 2014 | By Lauren Beale
A boom in California's luxury home sale market is yet another example of the growing gap between the wealthy and the poor if a newly released report is any indication. Crowned by the sale of a Malibu estate for $74.5 million, the number of homes sold at $1 million and above statewide last year was up 45.1% to 39,175 - the most since 2007, according to real estate information service DataQuick. And the slice of the market luxury for homes sold at $2 million and up set new records at the state, Southern California and L.A. County levels last year.
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