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BUSINESS
April 30, 2012 | By Michelle Maltais
Android phone users looking for a place to rent are getting a new app from Zillow. Launching today, Zillow Rentals for Android gives apartment seekers an app that puts on-the-spot comparison power in their hands. It gives access to the real estate information site's estimates on more than 100 million homes and apartments in the U.S. "Renters shop differently from buyers and look at many homes quickly, in specific locations, in a short amount of time," said Jeremy Wacksman, Zillow's vice president of consumer marketing and mobile.
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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.
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.
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
October 12, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times
Competition for lower-priced homes in California is so hot that the number of cheaper homes available for sale has sunk more than 40% in the last year, pushing out many would-be buyers. Homes that sold for $313,200 or less were the most competitive type of home nationally, but nowhere did inventory in that price range drop more than in the Golden State, according to a report released Thursday by real estate website Zillow. In some parts of the Inland Empire, the supply of homes on the market is down to about a month's worth, real estate agents say. Economists typically consider a six-month supply to be a healthy market.
BUSINESS
August 8, 2012 | By Steve Goldstein
WASHINGTON — The regulator for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Wednesday warned against the use of eminent domain to restructure home loans. San Bernardino County has proposed using such powers to seize distressed mortgages at a discount and then refinance them for struggling homeowners. Chicago officials also are considering the idea, according to reports. Although mortgage rates are near record lows, underwater homeowners are essentially blocked from refinancing their loans.
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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