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.
January 6, 2010 |
The number of homes placed under sales contracts tumbled in November from the previous month, presenting fresh evidence that the nascent housing recovery could be poised for a dip in the new year. The National Assn. of Realtors said Tuesday that its pending home sales index -- a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in November -- fell 16% to 96 from an upwardly revised 114.3 in October. But the index still was 15.5% higher than for November 2008, when it was 83.1.
December 18, 2009 |
A supply of 1.7 million homes headed for sale because of foreclosure or delinquency looms over the nation's housing market, which could dampen progress toward recovery should the Obama administration fail in its efforts to aid struggling homeowners, researchers said. A variety of measures to keep discounted bank-owned properties off the market -- including moratoriums on foreclosures by major lenders and federal initiatives aimed at keeping people in their homes with mortgage payments they can afford -- has helped increase a backlog of so-called shadow inventory 55% in the year ended Sept.
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.
October 29, 2009 |
The long-running torment of the commercial real estate industry dragged on in the third quarter, but the world's largest brokerage of office buildings, warehouses and other business properties managed to eke out a small profit. CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. reported net income of $12.4 million, or 4 cents a share, after spending the first two quarters of the year in the red. However, profit was down 69% from $40.4 million, or 15 cents a share, in the same period last year. The Los Angeles company posted adjusted earnings of 8 cents a share after deducting one-time charges mostly related to cost-cutting measures.