Homebuilder Confidence Rises, Barely

APBuilders complain of a shortage of workers. By Paul Wiseman U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market rose modestly in April but remained at low levels for the third straight month, constrained by tight credit for homebuyers and a shortage of workers and available land. The National Association of Home... Continue Reading »

City Scraps Plan to Level High-Rises at Games' Opening

Paradasos/FlickrGlasgow's Red Road apartments have been undergoing demolition. LONDON -- Plans to demolish five high-rise apartment towers as part of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony have been dropped. Officials said Sunday that safety and security concerns led to the change of heart. Glasgow 2014 officials had... Continue Reading »

France Puts U.N. Ambassador's NYC  Apartment Up for Sale

Bebeto Matthews/The Associated PressThe French Foreign Ministry confirmed this week that the apartment at 740 Park Avenue was up for sale. By Jamey Keaten PARIS -- France's indebted government is selling the Park Avenue residence of its U.N. ambassador, located in one of New York's most prestigious apartment buildings,... Continue Reading »

Nebraska Town Starts Requiring Renters to Be Licensed

robotson/Flickr OMAHA, Neb. -- The small Nebraska city of Fremont has started requiring $5 licenses for anyone who wants to rent there as part of rules aimed at restricting illegal immigration. Fremont Police Chief Jeff Elliott said two applications were submitted Thursday morning and both people received licenses after... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Rates Slip, Edge Closer to Record Low Levels

Tony Dejak/AP WASHINGTON -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week, edging closer to historically low levels as the spring home-buying season begins. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.34 percent from 4.41 percent last week. The average for the 15-year... Continue Reading »

Search for Sturdier Trees Could Save Communities Millions

John Flesher/The Associated PressProfessor Frank Telewski of Michigan State measures the branch of a shattered white pine in East Lansing. By John Flesher EAST LANSING, Mich. -- A vicious ice storm that made Christmas week a nightmare from the Midwest to Maine shattered hundreds of trees at Michigan State University,... Continue Reading »

Rents Keep Rising Amid Strong Demand for Apartments

ShutterstockEven with more buildings under construction, rents are higher. By Alex Veiga These are good times for U.S. landlords. For many tenants, not so much. With demand for apartments surging, rents are projected to rise for a fifth straight year. Even a pickup in apartment construction is unlikely to provide much... Continue Reading »

City to Demolish High-Rises for Games' Opening Ceremony

Paradasos/FlickrGlasgow's decaying Red Road Flats housing development has been undergoing demolition. By Jill Lawless LONDON -- The 1996 Atlanta games had Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic flame, while London 2012 featured James Bond skydiving with the queen. Organizers of this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Rates Move Up a Tick in Latest Survey

Jae C. Hong/AP WASHINGTON -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose slightly this week but remained near historically low levels. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate for the 30-year loan ticked up to 4.41 percent from 4.40 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage increased to... Continue Reading »

Airbnb Agrees to Pay Hotel Tax in San Francisco

Getty Images/Flickr RF SAN FRANCISCO -- Online home rental service Airbnb has agreed to pay San Francisco's 14 percent hotel tax, addressing at least one concern of critics who say the company is flouting regulations. Under the plan, Airbnb would collect taxes directly from guests as an extra charge on their bill -- the... Continue Reading »

Construction Spending Barely Budges in February

Elise Amendola/AP By MARTIN CRUTSINGER WASHINGTON -- U.S. construction spending posted a slight increase in February as a rebound in construction of hotels and other nonresidential buildings offset a decline in housing. But housing construction fell as activity was still being depressed by the harsh winter. ... Continue Reading »

Home Prices Rise in February Despite Weaker Sales

Tony Dejak/AP By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER WASHINGTON -- U.S. home prices rose in February from a year earlier at a solid pace, suggesting that a tight supply of available homes is boosting prices despite slowing sales. Real estate data provider CoreLogic (CLGX) said Tuesday that prices for existing homes rose 12.2... Continue Reading »

UPDATED: Archbishop Apologizes for Building Mansion With Church Funds

David Goldman/The Associated PressThe $2.2 million mansion that Archbishop Wilton Gregory built in Atlanta. APArchbishop Wilton Gregory in a 2005 photo. By Ray Henry ATLANTA -- The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Atlanta apologized Monday for building a $2.2 million mansion for himself, a decision criticized by local... Continue Reading »

Detroit Demolitions Leave Blank Page for City's Next Chapter

Paul Sancya/The Associated PressDemolition of a vacant home has left this empty lot in Detroit's Brightmoor area, an area plagued by scavengers. By Jeff Karoub DETROIT -- The families of Detroit's Brightmoor area are delighted that the day is finally approaching when bulldozers will arrive to level more of their... Continue Reading »

Pending Home Sales Slip as Weather, Higher Rates Stall Demand

LM Otero/AP By JOSH BOAK WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes fell for the eighth straight month in February, a sign that real estate sales will likely slow over the next few months. The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Rates Tick Up on Fed Chair's Comments

Tony Dejak/AP WASHINGTON -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose this week in the wake of comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggesting that the Fed could start raising short-term interest rates by mid-2015. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan increased to 4.40... Continue Reading »

Flood Insurance Premiums Still Cresting Despite New Law

By David B. Caruso JERSEY SHORE, Pa. -- This small, central Pennsylvania river town doesn't have beach homes or boardwalks, but it shares more than a name with the famous stretch of New Jersey coastline 250 miles to the east. Both are among the thousands of places around the U.S. where people could face trouble in... Continue Reading »

Con Edison Makes Compensation Payments in NY Gas Explosion

Julio Cortez/The Associated Press NEW YORK -- Con Edison has made compensation payments to 87 survivors and residents displaced by the fatal building explosion last week in New York City. The utility says it began making the payments last Thursday, a day after the blast. This week, federal investigators found a leak in... Continue Reading »

Americans Now Put Mortgages Ahead of Credit Cards, Study Says

Shutterstock By Alex Veiga LOS ANGELES -- When it comes to paying the bills, the mortgage is once again more of a priority for many U.S. homeowners than their credit cards. That's the conclusion of a study released Wednesday by credit reporting agency TransUnion, which examined about a decade's worth of U.S. consumers'... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Rates Edge Back Down in Latest Survey

Chuck Burton/AP WASHINGTON -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined last week, edging closer to historically low levels. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.32 percent from 4.37 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage eased to 3.32 percent from 3.38... Continue Reading »

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