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BUSINESS
December 19, 2007 | Peter Y. Hong, Times Staff Writer
If you're a renter looking to join the homeowner club, the cost of admission keeps getting lower. Home sale prices in six Southland counties tumbled 10% last month compared with November 2006 -- the sharpest year-to-year decline in at least 20 years, a real estate information service reported Tuesday. Sales volume dropped even more sharply, plummeting 43% from a year earlier, according to DataQuick Information Systems. For homeowners, falling values mean less equity.
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BUSINESS
December 13, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
Shares of U.S. real estate companies are market pariahs, but shares of a Chinese developer got a warm welcome Wednesday on their first day of trading on Wall Street. Xinyuan Real Estate Co., which sold 17.5 million shares at $14 each on Tuesday, jumped $2.80, or 20%, to close at $16.80 on the New York Stock Exchange. The Zhengzhou, China, company, which trades under the ticker symbol XIN, generates most of its revenue from apartment sales in five Chinese cities.
MAGAZINE
December 9, 2007 | Christopher Hawthorne, Christopher Hawthorne is the architecture critic of The Times. Contact him at christopher.hawthorne@latimes.com.
Up earlier than usual on a recent Sunday, I made a pot of coffee and opened The Times' Real Estate section, where a barrage of rather desperate-sounding come-ons caught my attention. Real estate pages have more exclamation points these days than a Tom Wolfe essay. Reduced! Foreclosure! Back on the Market! New Price! I circled half a dozen listings; plugging their addresses into Google Maps, I charted an itinerary across the city, from Hollywood to the beach and back east again.
BUSINESS
December 6, 2007 | Maura Reynolds and Jonathan Peterson, Times Staff Writers
Seeking to gird the nation's economy against a potential tidal wave of foreclosures, the Bush administration will release a plan today that is expected to block many mortgages from adjusting to higher rates for as long as five years. Administration officials acknowledged privately Wednesday that the plan was likely to face objections from low-income borrowers who won't be helped, and from investors who backed now-troubled sub-prime home loans that are at the heart of the mortgage crisis.
BUSINESS
December 5, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
New York state doesn't have the legal authority to investigate the residential real estate lending practices of national banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., a federal appeals court ruled. It is "beyond genuine dispute that state law may not significantly burden a national bank's own exercise of its real estate lending power," the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan decided. The appeals panel upheld a lower-court ruling that said federal law gave the U.S.
BUSINESS
December 5, 2007 | Jonathan Peterson, Times Staff Writer
The Bush administration's newly aggressive effort to help people facing foreclosure and shore up the troubled mortgage industry was sparked by growing concerns of an election-year recession, and the political damage that would cause, analysts said Tuesday. Indeed, a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll found that 71% of Americans now believe that a recession is likely.
BUSINESS
November 22, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Sales of existing homes fell in 46 states during the July-September quarter in a worsening of the housing market's slump, a real estate trade group reported Wednesday. The third-quarter figures from the National Assn. of Realtors underscore the severity of the housing market's slump, which has economists increasingly pessimistic about the economic outlook. Vermont and North Dakota were the only two states to show sales increases. Existing-home sales in Vermont rose 0.
BUSINESS
November 15, 2007
Sperry Van Ness, a commercial real estate broker based in Irvine, bought JBM Realty Advisors Inc. and is opening offices in Chicago, Seattle and New York to boost the size of its deals. The acquisition of Tampa, Fla.-based JBM will allow Sperry to broker larger purchases, said Jerry Anderson, president of Sperry Van Ness International. Anderson declined to disclose the price paid for JBM.
BUSINESS
November 14, 2007 | From Reuters
Bank of America Corp. said Tuesday that it expected to write down $3 billion of debt in the fourth quarter in the wake of the nation's deepening housing slump. Nevertheless, shares of the second-largest U.S. bank rose as investors gained confidence that the bank and its rivals could withstand further turmoil, even if credit market liquidity failed to improve and more homeowners slid into foreclosure.
BUSINESS
November 14, 2007 | From Times Wire Services
Countrywide Financial Corp. on Tuesday said its monthly mortgage volume fell 48% in October from a year earlier as it all but stopped making sub-prime loans and sharply cut back on home equity lines of credit. Meanwhile, delinquencies on the mortgages for which Calabasas-based Countrywide handles the billing and other services continued to mount. The company's shares jumped 53 cents, or 4%, to $13.72 as financial stocks led the broader stock market to a strong rally.
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