Real Estate

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For millions of Americans still stuck in homes with mortgages bigger that the house is worth, the long slog back to dry land is getting longer. Nationwide, plummeting prices from the housing collapse in 2007 left more than a quarter of all homeowners with a mortgage owing more than their home was worth. Now, the …

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Confidence among home builders in the market for new, single-family homes remained in a holding pattern in April, ticking up just one point. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose to 47 from a downwardly revised reading of 46 the month before. The reading disappointed analysts who had expected it to …

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As investors flee the stock market and rush to the relative safety of bonds, consumers are seeing at least one benefit: Lower mortgage rates. The average rate on the 30-year fixed conforming loan ($417,000 or less) dropped from 4.5 percent to 4.375 percent for most borrowers and as low as 4.25 percent for those with …

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Demand is high, prices are higher, but the housing numbers this spring are just not adding up. Mortgage origination volumes hit their lowest recorded level since at least 2000, according to a report released Monday from Black Knight Financial Services. The biggest volume drop is in refinances, which have fallen steadily since rates rose a …

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More potential buyers are out trolling the nation’s neighborhoods for their dream homes. Unfortunately, they are finding little to look at and, even worse, they are finding higher prices than they expected. “People quite frankly came out and got sticker shock because they’re coming out to shop now, or they came out in January and …

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As temperatures in much of the country finally rise above freezing, thoughts are turning to summer, to summer vacations and of course to vacation homes. The housing crash hit the vacation home market hard, but 2013 actually saw a sizeable recovery in the sector. “Growth in the equity markets has greatly benefited high-net-worth households, thereby …

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The price of a Manhattan apartment just hit a new record. The average sales price for apartments in New York City jumped 15 percent in the first quarter to $1,773,523, according to a report from Douglas Elliman Real Estate and Miller Samuel. The average price per square foot jumped 16 percent to $1,363. The report …

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Stocks of some of the nation’s publicly traded home builders are hovering in correction territory. This, despite higher sales of newly built homes in February and satisfactory, if not stellar, quarterly earnings for most of the companies. Housing starts are still running well below historical norms, but are still about twice what they were at …

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Cleaning up on spring home improvement projects requires more effort than many homeowners anticipate. Remodeling tends to pick up as the weather improves, and this year is no exception. During the second half of 2013, the National Association of Home Builders’ Remodeling Market Index, which measures how busy contractors are, was at its highest level …

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In the rush to get in on the bargains of the housing crash, first-time home buyers were largely left out. Investors swarmed the most distressed markets, spreading their cash like fertilizer and pushing home prices up far faster than most expected. In less distressed markets, first-time buyers were still hampered, as the pendulum swung hard …

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It knows when you are sleeping, it knows when you’re awake. No, it’s not Santa Claus. It’s your house. Smart technology has already enabled homeowners to control their utilities, their temperature, even their security from hand-held devices inside and outside the home. What’s next? “Ideally I’d like to operate nothing, but have the home learn …

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From his office on Broad Street in lower Manhattan, Jeff Notaro oversees a modest portfolio consisting mainly of dirt. Specifically, Notaro’s Black Sea Agriculture fund invests in farmland in northeastern Bulgaria, near the Black Sea. The $1.5 million fund buys prime agricultural land and leases it back to local farmers. Notaro is riding a growth …

Housing and interest rates

What do rising interest rates mean for home buyers and sellers? They could be another blow to the housing turnaround. Sales are at their lowest level in 18 months and there was more troubling news: sales of existing homes edged lower in February, down four-tenths of one percent.

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When rates rise – and they will at some point – what does that mean for your investments, the housing market and savers?

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It would have been easy to blame February’s continued feeble home sales on the weather, but Realtors seemed more taken with weak affordability and the lack of new households being formed. Sales were down 7.1 percent from a year ago to the slowest pace in 18 months. So-called household formation is when a person moves …