Bernanke Blames Housing Market for Slack Economy

The housing market is one of two main factors hindering an economic recovery, Ben Bernanke told a luncheon audience in Arlington, Va., today. The Federal Reserve chairman said, "In some areas, for example, high foreclosure rates have produced significant numbers of vacant properties, depressing surrounding home prices,... Continue Reading »

NYC's Smallest Apartment Just Got Smaller

Until now, the smallest apartment we were aware of was Felice Cohen's New York City pad, as AOL Real Estate documented in "Woman Lives in 90-Square-Foot New York Apartment." Well, real estate observers, let's get even smaller. (See photos and video below.) A fellow named Luke posted photos of his 78-square-foot New... Continue Reading »

New iPad Tools Ease the House Hunter's Search

Looking to buy a home this spring? There are plenty of new real estate search tools designed to make your home search a whole lot easier. In the old days, house hunters relied on newspaper classified listings and brokers to hone in on properties that fit their criteria. These days, smartphones, tablets and PCs do all the... Continue Reading »

Singin' the Blues: Home Prices Set to Music

The latest Case Shiller Home Price Index may not be music to your ears, but it still sounds pretty good -- that is, when sung as music by a classically trained baritone. In the spirit of radio -- which, of course, can't show you the results in a graph -- the Planet Money team at National Public Radio had the February Case... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Applications Dip, Or Is It Double Dip?

Blame it on mortgage insurance rates. Mortgage applications dropped 5.6 percent from a week earlier as of April 22, reported the Mortgage Bankers Association. This coincided with a hike in FHA loan premiums -- over the past month, applications had risen as home buyers tried to beat the deadline. There also was no adjustment... Continue Reading »

Prince William and Kate to Flee City for Remote Home

After Prince William and Kate Middleton get married on Friday, they will live in an apartment in the royal mansion Clarence House, as AOL Real Estate reported last week in "Prince William and Kate to Live in Royal Mansion." But, apparently, that is only when they're in London. For now, they plan to continue living in a... Continue Reading »

Case Shiller Index Shows Housing Crisis Is Not Over

Home values are having a bad 2011 so far, despite hopes for a spring recovery. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of home values in 20 cities fell 3.3 percent in February 2011 from the same month a year earlier. Washington, D.C., was the only market covered by the index to post a year-over-year increase, 2.7 percent. In a more... Continue Reading »

New Home Sales Rise, But Conditions Remain Unchanged

The market for new homes showed some unexpected life last month. New home sales rose 11.1 percent to annual rate of 300,000, according to estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. While this marks a nice bump up from the February rate of 270,000, it does not yet... Continue Reading »

The American Dream of Homeownership: Bloody but Unbowed

The American dream of homeownership has taken a serious hit in the past five years--or so you might think. No wonder, what with so many Americans pummeled by underwater properties and foreclosures. Even the government piled on, declaring in a February housing report: "The Administration believes that we must continue to... Continue Reading »

David Wright Makes a Play to Unload NYC Bachelor Pad

The New York Mets may be hurting, but third baseman David Wright is making some smooth real estate plays. In March, he moved from Manhattan's ultra-hip Flatiron district to a $12,000-per-month rental on the Upper East Side. Now he has listed his tricked-out Flatiron bachelor pad. The asking price? $7.85 million. Wright... Continue Reading »

'Great Gatsby' Mansion on Long Island Demolished

The Great Gatsby's author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, once wrote, "There are no second acts in American lives." In the case of the Sands Point, N.Y., mansion said to have inspired the classic American novel, the Fitzgerald adage seems to have been accurate -- but that second act came to end on Monday, when the so-called Land's... Continue Reading »

Home Buyers Wake Up to Low Mortgage Rates

Are home buyers starting to make their move? The latest data certainly suggests something along those lines: Mortgage applications rose 5.3 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. While much of that increase likely was due to an increase in FHA government-backed loans before insurance rates rise, a... Continue Reading »

Mobile Home for Sale--at $2.5 Million!

Mobile homes don't usually conjure up most people's idea of luxury accommodations. But this stunner in Malibu, Calif., listed at $2.5 million, may challenge the stereotype. The 2-bedroom, 2-bath, 2,300-square-foot home has a location that way outclasses its modest structure. It sits on one of the best lots in Paradise... Continue Reading »

Michael Connelly Sets New Novel Amid Foreclosure Crisis

The world of foreclosures is not exactly tailor-made for engaging fiction. Unless you're Michael Connelly. Author of The Lincoln Lawyer (now playing at a theater near you) and more than a dozen other best-sellers, Connelly seized on the foreclosure crisis as the setting for his latest thriller, The Fifth Witness. "I... Continue Reading »

Home Sales Up (or Down) Around the Nation

The spring homebuying season is well underway, but everything isn't exactly coming up roses. For one, news reports from around the country are offering contradictory assessments of the residential real estate market. A broker in Spokane, Wash., Sabrina Jones-Schroeder at Exit Real Estate Professionals told,... Continue Reading »

Government Shutdown May Impact First-Time Home Buyers

The government shutdown that will occur if Republicans in Congress and President Obama can't come to terms on budget legislation by midnight tonight could hit the ailing spring home-buying market like a ton of paving stones. The Federal Housing Agency (FHA), a popular source of low-down-payment mortgages of as little as... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Applications Slump into Spring

The spring real estate market has sprung, and so far the news is not good. Home buyers and refinancers applied for 2.0 percent fewer mortgages for the week ending April 1 compared to one week earlier, according to mortgage application market composite index released by the Mortgage Bankers Association. While in recent weeks... Continue Reading »

Home Builders Spending Half of Healthy Level

Home builders are sitting on their hands, as are apartment and government project builders, with building activity at around half the $1.5 trillion that would constitute a robust construction environment. Construction spending declined for the third month in a row in February, falling 1.4 percent, according to the... Continue Reading »

HAMP Foreclosure Aid Program Voted Down by House

HAMP is on life support, thanks to a U.S House of Representatives vote on Tuesday. The House voted 252 to 170 to end the widely criticized Home Affordable Modification Program, with Republicans leading the charge to eliminate it. While the Obama administration program originally hoped to aid 3 to 4 million troubled... Continue Reading »

Obama Foreclosure Relief Plan to Get Smaller

Federally funded foreclosure relief will likely be less available to distressed homeowners as the Obama administration reduces the number of homeowners entitled to such aid, according to a story published today by Shahien Nasiripour of The Huffington Post. Facing pressure from major mortgage lenders and seven Republican... Continue Reading »

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