Real Estate

Source: Halstead Property
Kitchen before renovation

What does it take to sell high-end properties in one of the most competitive housing markets on the planet? Virtually everything. That is why some real estate agencies are turning to virtual renovations, doing the visual work for potential buyers, in order to lure those buyers in the actual door. “We want to make sure …

Merdith Baer Home

For most people, staging a house before a sale usually involves a good cleaning, a fresh coat of paint, some new throw pillows and maybe a $10 orchid from Home Depot. But for the super rich, getting a home ready for sale has become a high-priced production. Today’s mansion stagers are dressing up their clients’ homes …

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A "bank owned" sign that is posted in front of a home for sale in San Rafael, Calif.

After falling for four years straight, the number of U.S. properties scheduled for foreclosure auction in August was higher than it was a year ago, according to a new report from RealtyTrac, a foreclosure sales and analytics company. The rise was very small, just one percent, but it was, nonetheless, a warning that the foreclosure …

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Just a slight trend higher in interest rates was enough to stall both potential home buyers and borrowers looking to refinance their loans. Total mortgage application volume fell 7.2 percent last week from the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The weekly index is now at its …

David Ryder | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Despite a slight pickup in home sales over the summer, Americans are feeling less optimistic about the nation’s housing recovery. The overall labor market, along with personal income growth, or lack thereof, are the key drivers of this increasing bearishness. The share of consumers who think now is a good time to buy a home …

Diana Olick | CNBC
The site where Chinese builder Landsea plans to construct condos in Weehawken, N.J.

Chinese nationals have been buying U.S. residential real estate at a fast clip for the last few years. Now they are building it, setting their sights on some of the priciest parcels of land in the hopes of attracting U.S. and Chinese buyers alike. “The Chinese real estate market is very competitive, and the U.S. …

Scott Mlyn | Getty Images
A sign offering mortgage help at a Bank of America branch, New York City.

Interest rates for U.S. mortgages dropped to their lowest level in over a year last week, but that wasn’t enough to move potential home buyers off the fence and into a house. Total mortgage application volume rose just 0.2 percent last week from the previous week, on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association …

JodiJacobson | Getty Images

Autumn is historically the start of the slow season for home sales, but after a sluggish spring and summer, wrought with still-tight supply and higher costs, the stage may be set for a small rebound in U.S. housing this fall, at least according to a new report from Redfin, a real estate brokerage. More sellers …

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U.S. home buyers signed more contracts to buy existing homes in July, rebounding from a drop in June. The National Association of Realtors’ monthly “pending home sales” index rose 3.3 percent in July over June but is still 2.1 percent below its level in July 2013. “Interest rates are lower than they were a year ago, …

Diana Olick | CNBC

Florida condominium owners in danger of losing their homes are making a final desperate plea, hoping that Gov. Rick Scott will intervene. These owners are not in foreclosure, nor are they behind on their mortgages. Instead they are being threatened by a group of developers, Madison Oaks Partners, who are using a Florida state law …

Lilylian12 | iStock | Getty Images
Atlanta

Much like in Phoenix, the Atlanta housing market was hit hard by the foreclosure crisis. And like Phoenix, it saw huge interest from investors looking to buy distressed properties and turn them around as rentals. Home sales in July were 2.5 percent lower than June, and 4.9 percent lower than July 2013, according to the Atlanta Board …

Source: Eric Goetz, Diana Olick | CNBC

It is dirty, financially risky and potentially dangerous work, but depending on the current direction of the housing market, it can be highly profitable. But home “flipping,” defined as buying and selling a home within a short period of time for the sole purpose of making money, is now on the slide. Home prices rose …

Ariana Lindquist | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The skyline of Minneapolis.

While much of the nation still struggles to find homes for sale, Minneapolis is finally showing signs that sellers are back in the game. Inventory in the market was up 6.1 percent in May, according to the latest reading from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. The only hitch: Buyer demand is slightly weaker than …

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Foreclosure prevention counseling fair

More trouble in the Ukraine led to more applications for U.S. mortgage refinances last week; it is all about interest rates. As investors poured into the bond market and interest rates fell, mortgage rates followed suit. Total mortgage application volume increased 1.4 percent on-week last week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). …

Home Depot’s profit surges

Another beneficiary of the housing recovery is Home Depot. As more Americans fixed up their homes and yards this spring, second quarter profits surged 14 percent.