October 19, 2010 |
A surprise interest-rate hike by China raised the prospect Tuesday that the world's economic locomotive will begin chugging at a slower speed ? a move that battered stocks and commodity prices around the globe and raised fresh uncertainties over continued recovery in the U.S. and other developed nations. The immediate aim of the action by China's central bank was to cool the nation's overheated real estate market and rising inflation. With more rate increases expected, it could slow the overall growth of the world's second-largest economy.
October 1, 2010 |
Southern California real estate investor John Long has jumped back into the residential market by taking over a foreclosed portfolio of affordable apartments valued at $3.4 billion. Long, a well-known contrarian investor, has entered a partnership with a division of Citigroup Inc. and affordable housing specialist Michael Costa to own and operate the 275 complexes with 80,000 residents in 34 states. Their new company is called Highridge Costa Housing Partners. Nearly half of their complexes in the formerly troubled portfolio are in California.
September 30, 2010 |
The face. The hair. The voice. Why does that real estate agent seem so familiar? Because, in that only-in-L.A. kind of way, there's a good chance the agent is also an actor, reality show personality or has had some other brush with fame. The last decade's real estate bubble and bust spawned more than 20 reality cable television shows devoted to home buying, selling and flipping, so the odds are that some of those agents will end up at an open house near you. Broaden the spotlight to music and acting, and the recognition factor climbs even higher.
August 29, 2010 |
You have long been able to get prequalified to buy a house. Now you can "pre-list" one for sale as well. That's the idea behind Buyer Buzz, a recently launched feature of ZipRealty.com that, in theory, lets would-be home sellers dip their toes into the marketplace without actually putting the old homestead up for sale. I say "in theory" because ZipRealty readily admits that the new feature on its site is a lead generator, which in sales parlance means the company hopes to land clients from it. "This is a way for us, honestly, to attract listings to the business," said Myron Lo, vice president of innovation at ZipRealty.
June 12, 2010 |
In the Middle Ages, moats were the thing. More recently, the rich have taken refuge behind tall hedges, view-obscuring walls and guarded gates. But today's super-wealthy, seeking even greater privacy, are increasingly buying adjacent properties as a buffer zone around their mansions. And that's made the compound the hottest commodity on L.A.'s high-end market, real estate brokers say. On the Westside, the growing list of compound owners includes movie industry titan Terry Semel, financier and producer Tom Gores and corporate housing kingpin Howard Ruby, founder of Oakwood Worldwide.
May 22, 2010 |
The latest platinum earnings report from Goldman Sachs is one way to see the strength of Wall Street's rebound from the financial crisis. For another, just visit the Hamptons on Long Island's South Shore. On a recent sunny Saturday, a Bentley and a Ferrari were parked outside the East Hampton boutique of fashion designer and New York socialite Tory Burch. Inside, store manager Megan Ruddy was hustling between well-heeled customers examining $600 handbags and gold-buckled shoes.
April 18, 2010 |
Scattered around town are some surprisingly valuable vacant lots disguised by weeds or broken blacktop or the remains of an unwanted building -- and many have quietly come to market, thanks to the real estate collapse. Billions of dollars were lost by developers who bought land to build high-profile projects but weren't able to get their plans off the ground, even after spending lavishly on architectural designs and other measures to get their buildings approved by local officials.
December 2, 2009 |
The uneven nature of the economic recovery was on display again Tuesday with the release of mixed data on pending home sales, manufacturing and construction spending. The residential real estate market showed signs of gaining momentum in the new data, while manufacturing appeared to lose steam after a growth spurt over the summer. More troubling, the commercial real estate sector seemed to be in "free fall," as one analyst put it. All told, the data did little to help economists assess how fast the economy was growing and whether that growth would be strong enough to generate jobs.
November 5, 2009 |
The Senate today voted to extend and expand a tax credit for home buyers as an added boost for the recovering real estate market, and also approved a provision to continue giving aid to the long-term unemployed. The measure, adopted on a strong bipartisan vote of 98-0, also would extend and expand a tax benefit for businesses with losses. The House is expected to follow suit within days, and President Obama is expected to sign it into law. To keep fueling the real estate rebound, the legislation would extend the $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers to April 30. It now is set expire at the end of the month.
July 30, 2009 |
Despite carnage on Wall Street, vacant storefronts on Madison Avenue and pricey restaurants offering "grill menus" (read: cheap burgers), some things remain unchanged in the great metropolis. The price of the average Manhattan apartment is still hovering at more than $1 million.