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BUSINESS
January 21, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times
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% from November and 3.6% from December 2010, the National Assn. of Realtors said Friday. "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 to clients.
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NATIONAL
May 19, 2013 | By Matt Pearce, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
A series of tornadoes raked a broad swath of the Midwest on Sunday, destroying homes and a trailer park in Oklahoma, killing one person and injuring at least 21 others, officials said. As night fell, rescuers with flashlights picked through the rubble of a trailer park in Shawnee, Okla., that was heavily damaged in the storm, as were a number of homes across the state. [Updated, May 19, 9:36 p.m.: The Pottawatomie County sheriff's office said late Sunday that one body had been found at the trailer park, the Associated Press reported.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 2012 | By Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times
More homes face high risk of being destroyed in a wildfire in densely populated Los Angeles County than in any other county in the state, according to new insurance industry research that underscores that fire danger is not confined to rural areas. The analysis, released Wednesday by the Insurance Information Network of California, places more than 2 million homes in the high-risk category statewide. Slightly more than half of them are in Southern California, where huge, wind-driven fires have charred thousands of houses in the last decade.
BUSINESS
June 29, 2012 | By Michelle Maltais
When will the mantra "home, sweet home" shift to "home, smart home"? For decades from about the 1950s, many expected that it would happen in the 21st century. In fact, it was a preoccupation expressed in books, amusement park exhibits, TV shows and movies. The question of whether our homes -- the place where we lay our heads and charge our gadgets -- will get to move the tassel and graduate to the distinction of being "smart" was put to a group of 1,000 experts, observers, and critics.
BUSINESS
February 27, 2010 | By Alejandro Lazo
If you're still having trouble selling your house, you're not alone. Sales of previously owned homes in January stumbled considerably for the second consecutive month. The National Assn. of Realtors in Washington said Friday that sales fell 7.2%. January sales were the lowest since June but 11.5% higher than in January 2009. Previously owned homes make up the bulk of the nation's buying activity. Economists said that last month's sales drop from December was another sign the market is critically weak and unlikely to recover robustly this year as the potential for more foreclosures looms.
NATIONAL
September 4, 2012 | By Michael Muskal
It will likely take weeks to bring Louisiana back to normal after last week's visit from Hurricane Isaac, an unusually wet storm that caused serious flooding in 10 parishes and damaged more than 13,000 homes. State officials on Tuesday made their first estimates of the toll imposed by Isaac, which began to bring water to the Louisiana coast on Aug. 28. The slow-moving storm continued to drop rain on the region, causing flooding but no levee breaks -- unlike Hurricane Katrina, the deadliest hurricane of the 2005 season.
NATIONAL
June 18, 2012 | By Matt Pearce
The High Park wildfire was blazing away 15 miles from Fort Collins, Colo., on Monday, but the most destructive fire in state history largely stayed put -- even though temperatures hit 100 degrees across the state. “We were very fortunate today,” Jennifer Hillmann, spokeswoman for the Larimer County Sheriff's Office, told the Los Angeles Times. “Compared to yesterday, the winds were very calm. That did help us quite a bit.” Winds of about 50 mph grounded firefighters' aerial fleet Sunday as they battled the 58,046-acre fire, currently ravaging a heavily forested area that hasn't seen a huge fire for about 150 years.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 6, 2013 | By Jean Merl
The tally of homes reported destroyed in the Powerhouse fire rose dramatically Thursday, as authorities discovered 24 homes were burned out, more than double the previous estimate. Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Anthony Akins attributed the rise in damage to a survey by ground crews, who were able to explore the burn area more fully on Wednesday. Akins said he believes some of the additional destroyed homes are believed to be in a canyon near Lake Hughes.  Fire personnel have the fire 78% surrounded and expect full containment around midnight Monday.
BUSINESS
June 13, 2013 | By Andrew Khouri
Home prices in the upscale Bay Area swelled last month, but tight inventory kept sales below average, driving bidding wars and frustrating would-be buyers. The median sale price for a home in the nine-county region hit $519,000 in May -- a 29.8% increase from the same month a year earlier -- real estate firm DataQuick said Thursday. That was a nearly 2% increase from April. Buyers purchased 8,541 new and existing houses and condos, down 4% from May 2012, but up 12.1% from April.
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