April 30, 2010 |
The expiring federal tax credit for home shoppers has put some froth back in the Southland's real estate market: People are ditching work to search for new digs, plundering savings for down payments and striking as fast as they can to sign contracts ahead of the Friday deadline. Buyers can get a tax break of up to $8,000 for first-time purchasers and $6,500 for some current homeowners if they reach agreements by April 30 and seal their deals by June 30. California lawmakers sweetened the package last month by passing a $10,000 credit that kicks in Saturday.
December 17, 2009 |
Home builders broke ground on new residences at a faster clip in November than in October, a positive sign for the housing market and the residential real estate industry. Housing starts rose 8.9% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 574,000 units, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. However, that figure represented a 12.4% decline from November 2008. The jump can be attributed in part to a shift in weather patterns, Patrick Newport, U.S. economist for Global Insight, said in a note to clients.
December 11, 2009 |
Interest rates on home mortgages edged higher this week, bouncing off record lows, but fixed-rate loans are still averaging well below 5% for those who are coming out of the recession with solid credit and can muster 20% down. Those lucky borrowers were getting 30-year fixed loans at an average of 4.81% for the week ending Thursday, according to Freddie Mac, the government-backed mortgage buyer and guarantor. On those loans, the borrowers were paying 0.7% of the loan amount in upfront lender fees including so-called points.
February 22, 2009 |
"Empty," says Jack Rodman, an expert in distressed real estate, as he points from the window of his 40th-floor office toward a silver-skinned prism rising out of the Beijing skyline. "Beautiful building, but not a single tenant. "Completely empty. "Empty." So goes the refrain as his finger skips from building to building, each flashier than the next, and few of them more than barely occupied.
February 18, 2009 |
President Obama will roll out his much-anticipated housing plan today in an effort to stem the tide of foreclosures that has triggered the worst recession in decades. The president will outline the plan during a speech in Phoenix, where home values have dropped 33% in the last year -- the steepest decline of any metropolitan area in the country. Across the nation, thousands of people continue to be forced from their homes every day.
February 18, 2009 |
Was it the real estate downturn, or were people misled into a risky investment scheme? That's the question at the center of a lawsuit filed Tuesday that accuses Orange County real estate lender Dan J. Harkey of bilking dozens of investors out of more than $15 million. In an added twist, the investors claim that their money helped fund the election of Harkey's wife, state Assemblywoman Diane L. Harkey (R-Dana Point).