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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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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.
BUSINESS
April 11, 2012 | By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
Their Occupy-like grievances were familiar as activists staged a day of protests throughout California to oppose income inequality and other issues. Their choice of locations was not. Rather than parks or other public venues, these protesters demonstrated outside the well-tended homes of executives from some of California's largest corporations. The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, an offshoot of the embattled national group ACORN, organized the protests outside the homes of the well-known, such as Hewlett-Packard chief Meg Whitman in Northern California.
NATIONAL
June 28, 2012 | By Tony Barboza and Laura J. Nelson
Colorado's toll of fiery destruction mounted Thursday when officials said the Waldo Canyon fire had destroyed at least 346 homes -- surpassing a record set only this month.  Until Thursday, the High Park fire west of Fort Collins had been the most destructive in state history, burning 257 homes.  Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach said the 346 lost homes spanned 35 streets. He warned at a news briefing that the number could rise as authorities make more thorough inspections of the devastated Mountain Shadows neighborhood.  PHOTOS: U.S. wildfires 2012   "This community is going to mount an unprecedented response to this," Bach said, vowing to "bring every possible resource to help these people that have been hurt so badly.” Authorities will meet with evacuated residents Thursday night to tell them the fate of their homes.
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.
BUSINESS
April 10, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo
A nonprofit group has filed a bias complaint against Wells Fargo accusing the lender of poorly maintaining the foreclosed homes it owns in what the nonprofit calls Latino and black neighborhoods compared with those it owns in white areas. The complaint by the National Fair Housing Alliance to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development comes after the group released a report last week concluding that in nine big American cities, foreclosed homes were taken much better care of in what it calls white neighborhoods than in those with residents of color.
BUSINESS
June 17, 2012 | By Kenneth R. Harney
WASHINGTON — In the real estate brokerage field they're often known as "setups" or "pinball" homes, and this spring's improving conditions in some markets could be stimulating more of them. A setup or pinball property is a house listed with an unrealistically high asking price that pulls in lots of visits by agents and shoppers, but no offers. The problem is this: Real estate agents, including even the listing agent, are using the overpriced house as a negative example to sell similar homes in the area that carry lower asking prices.
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