April 30, 2013 |
Home prices are rising at levels not seen since the real estate boom, but American homeownership remains on the decline. The two trends underscore the nature of the housing rebound: Gains in pricing have been driven significantly by investors, leaving many would-be buyers behind. Prices are rising because of strong demand, a lack of supply and a sharp recovery in the hardest-hit markets. The number of foreclosed homes coming to market has also dropped dramatically. But because lending standards remain tight, the everyday home shopper is often losing out to investors able to pay cash.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 29, 2013 |
The Rose Bowl's new premium seating pavilion has yet to open, but stadium officials say seats are already selling fast. Construction of pavilion and press box levels on the stadium's west side has been the most significant - and expensive - aspect of ongoing stadium renovations now priced at $181 million. The renovation was originally billed as a $152-million effort in 2010, but projected costs climbed to nearly $195 million before city officials down-scaled some planned improvements earlier this year.
April 27, 2013 |
Michele and Russell Poland's credit was shot, but they managed to buy their suburban dream home anyway. After a business bankruptcy and a home foreclosure, they turned to a rare option in this era of tightfisted banking - a subprime loan. The Polands paid nearly $10,000 in upfront fees for the privilege of securing a mortgage at 10.9% interest. And they had to raid their retirement account for a 35% down payment. Most borrowers would balk at such stiff terms. But with prices rising, the Polands wanted to snag a four-bedroom home in Temecula near top-rated schools for their 5-year-old son. By later this year, they figure, they'll be able to refinance into a standard loan.
April 25, 2013 |
NEW DELHI - A clothing factory in an emerging country collapses or catches fire with horrific loss of life. Famous Western brands are found in the wreckage. An investigation reveals substandard practices in the local and global clothing trade. There was a distinct feeling of deja vu Thursday as rescuers worked desperately through the night at the site of a collapsed building in Bangladesh, crafting makeshift escape chutes from bolts of fabric. The hand-wringing, finger-pointing and promises of reform started hours after the nine-story Rana Plaza building pancaked Wednesday morning just outside the nation's capital, Dhaka, killing at least 238 people, most of them apparel workers, and injuring more than 1,000.
April 23, 2013 |
Apple releases its eagerly awaited second-quarter earnings Tuesday, and by most accounts, it's unlikely that anything the company says will alleviate growing shareholder doubts about its growth prospects. Not only is Apple expected to post an earnings decline for the first time in a decade, but some analysts believe the company will lower its outlook for the current quarter as growth in sales of iPhones and iPads slows in the face of stronger competition and a market that's less enchanted by its latest offerings.
April 20, 2013
Ex-Animal sous-chef Eduardo Ruiz stunningly revisits the foods of Mexico and Central America. LOCATION 6626 Atlantic Ave., Bell, (323) 560-1776, http://www.corazonymiel.com PRICES Antojitos, $3-$10; large plates, $7-$17; desserts, $5-$6. DETAILS Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 5-10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; bar open late Thursdays to Saturdays. Credit cards accepted. Full bar. Lot parking in rear. RECOMMENDED DISHES Pigskin salad; jalapeño y tocino ; bistec arrachera ; "boca negra.
April 20, 2013 |
In the brutal cycles of California real estate, the Antelope Valley has been among the last to boom, the first to bust and the slowest to recover. But in the High Desert, separated from downtown Los Angeles by 65 miles and a mountain range, the housing market is finally gaining steam after the latest debacle, underscoring the strong recovery across the region. The reason is simple: Big new houses are selling in the $200,000 range, a mere fraction of home prices across much of the region.
April 20, 2013 |
Even the most jaded fitness aficionados (of which L.A. has plenty) would have to admit Santa Monica's exclusive new Iobella studio resembles nothing else they've seen before. With its Plexiglas heated workout pods and triple-oxygen spa cabins, it is as much spa as it is boutique gym. And that's exactly the appeal for its small circle of posh clients, who shell out thousands of dollars (the owner wouldn't be specific) for a customized program that includes a personal training plan, a dietitian on call and relaxing cucumbers-over-the-eyes sessions in those O3 pods, which are supposed to soften skin and muscles after your workout.
April 18, 2013 |
The median home price in Southern California rose about $25,000 in March alone to hit $345,500, underscoring the region's fast-paced recovery. That represented an 8% increase from February and a 23.4% jump from a year earlier. It was the eighth consecutive double-digit increase and the highest level for the median since July 2008, according to March numbers reported Wednesday by real estate firm DataQuick. The robust gains, driven by a low inventory of homes for sale, more "move up" purchases and fewer foreclosures, should help solidify a recovery that began last year.
April 18, 2013 |
Ted Kamp wanted to make sure his daughter received the medical treatment she needed. That was his first priority. His second was making sure his insurance would cover things and that he'd pay a fair price for any procedures. The fact that this proved so difficult highlights one of the crazier aspects of the U.S. healthcare system: the inability of patients to know how much their treatment really costs. "It's infuriating and it's exhausting," Kamp, 50, told me. "It's clear that the entire system is designed to bully you into submission.