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BUSINESS
May 14, 2013 | By Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times
A frustrating housing market for Southland buyers swelled in April as prices surged and inventory tightened. Homes sold at the fastest clip for that month in seven years, as regular buyers and investors snapped up more than 21,000 homes in the six-county region, real estate firm DataQuick reported Tuesday. That was a 4.1% increase from March and a 9.5% jump from a year earlier. Demand for move-up and high-end homes surged as mortgage interest rates remained near historic lows.
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BUSINESS
March 26, 2013 | By Andrew Khouri
The number of distressed properties that may soon hit the market declined in January, according to a new report. The nation's so-called shadow inventory fell to 2.2 million units in January, an 18% drop from the same month a year earlier, real estate data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday. That represents a supply of nine months. The Irvine firm calculates pending supply by estimating the number of homes that are in the foreclosure process, are owned by lenders or have seriously delinquent loans.
BUSINESS
January 22, 2013 | By Alejandro Lazo
Sales of previously owned homes fell slightly in December from the previous month, an industry group said, but the national median home price rose the most in seven years. Sales fell 1.0% from November and were up 12.8% from December 2011, the National Assn. of Realtors said. In total, the group estimated that 4.65 million homes sold last year, up 9.2% from 2011. It was the highest level since 2007. Video: Experts discuss Southern California's housing market “Record low mortgage interest rates clearly are helping many home buyers, but tight inventory and restrictive mortgage underwriting standards are limiting sales,” the Realtors group's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said in a news release.
BUSINESS
January 15, 2013 | By Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times
Southern California's housing market ended the year with sharp gains, rounding out the first solid year of sustained improvement after nearly five years of real estate malaise - and helping set up further improvement in 2013. The region's median home price registered a sizable 19.6% pop in December compared with the same month last year to hit $323,000, real estate firm DataQuick reported Tuesday. A record level of cash buyers flooded into the market and more move-up homes sold last month.
BUSINESS
January 2, 2013 | By Alejandro Lazo
House hunters looking for bargain properties in the new year will probably be disappointed. A new report by Santa Ana firm CoreLogic shows pending home supply declined again in October. This shadow inventory fell 12.3% from the year prior to stand at 2.6 million units, or a supply of about seven months. The housing recovery that began last year was spurred by tight inventory and strong demand from investors and buyers motivated by record-low mortgage-interest rates. Those factors have helped push up prices in recent months.
BUSINESS
January 1, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez, Los Angeles Times
Lumber had a good end of the year, with an improving housing market and renewed export demand from China resulting in prices that hit an eight-year high. But lumber futures prices are expected to fall in 2013 as production ramps up, according to Forest Economic Advisors. On Monday, lumber contracts for March delivery were selling at $374.80 per 1,000 board feet on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. That was down 6.1% from last week, when prices surged to almost $400 per 1,000 board feet.
AUTOS
December 18, 2012 | By Jerry Hirsch
Stuck with too many trucks, General Motors Co. is offering discounts of as much as $9,000 to drain its supply of Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups as it gets ready to launch a new generation of the vehicles next year. GM's truck inventory has ballooned to 139 days despite previous sales incentives designed to move the vehicles off dealer lots.  Automakers like to keep supplies of an individual model at about 90 days. “This is more inventory than any car manufacturer would like to have,” said Thilo Koslowski, an analyst at Gartner Inc. Now the automaker will offer as much as $9,000 off remaining 2012 models and about $4,500 off 2013 model year trucks.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2012 | Nita Lelyveld, Los Angeles Times
When he died in 1974, George Abraham Simmons left a bulky legacy: boxes and boxes of drugstore pills, salves and potions - enough to fill multiple cargo containers. What to do with it all? His family was stumped. Pharmaceuticals and botanicals, rouges, deodorants and still-sealed packs of cigarettes - he'd accumulated around 85,000 items. Photos: New life for old corner drugstore To label Simmons a hoarder, though, would be oversimplifying. Take a moment to understand his world.
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
October 11, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo
Housing inventory in California keeps coming up short. Lower-priced homes attractive to first-time buyers are in particularly scarce supply, according to a report released Thursday by real estate website Zillow. The number of lower-priced homes available in the Golden State shrank by more than 40% over the last year, according to the analysis. Lower-priced homes were defined as those that sold for $313,200 or less. California saw the largest inventory reduction in that classification of any state.
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