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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?
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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
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.
BUSINESS
January 27, 2014 | By Andrew Khouri
Sales of new homes fell in December, a drop that missed expectations and signaled the housing market slowed to end the year. Sales of recently built homes dropped 7.0% from November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 414,000, the Commerce Department said Monday. November's rate was also revised downward from 464,000 to 445,000. New home sales had been strong recently despite weakness in other housing market indicators, such as sales of previously owned homes. New home sales fell in all regions, except the Midwest where they rose 17.6% from November.
BUSINESS
January 24, 2014 | By Lauren Beale
Even with their aptly themed reality show, it really is hard to keep up with the Kardashians. Now Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick are trying to sell their home in Calabasas for $3.499 million. The listing comes on the heels of younger sister Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom putting their home in Tarzana up for sale at $5.499 million. Not to be always comparing sisters, but Kourtney's boldly decorated house is more playful than her sister's. Bright-colored accent pieces draw the eye in the black and white rooms.
BUSINESS
January 16, 2014 | By Andrew Khouri
California home sales plunged to a six-year low in December, while home prices rose, indicating a meager supply of homes on the market. Buyers across the Golden State purchased an estimated 34,949 new and resale houses and condos last month, 12.1% fewer than a year earlier and the lowest level for a December since 2007, research firm DataQuick said Wednesday. Prices, meanwhile, rose 1.4% from November to $365,000 last month. The state's median - the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less - was 22.1% higher than in December 2012.
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