Contents Pages by Subject

Housing

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NY Times

Until recently, this fast-growing area was a paradise on earth for home builders. Fulton Homes’ developments, for example, were so popular last year that it was able to raise prices on its new homes by $1,000 to $10,000 almost every week.

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By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- After offering incentives ranging from fancy kitchen upgrades to free swimming pools to move a glut of unsold homes, builders finally decided they needed to get serious about cutting prices.

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AP

Is this what a housing bust looks like? New home prices fell last month by the largest amount in 35 years and owners are being warned to brace for further declines, especially in formerly hot markets.

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Voice of San Diege

The overall median home price in the country in September was $22,000 lower than it was last year, dropping 4.42 percent to $476,000, DataQuick Information Systems reported Wednesday. The drop was the biggest dollar-amount plunge

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AP

Housing prices, slumping after a five-year boom, are projected to decline in more than 100 of the nation's metropolitan areas, with the Northeast, Florida and California among the areas hardest hit.

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New York Times

Home prices fell in August compared with a year earlier, the first such decline in more than a decade. The August price data came in with a report issued yesterday by the National Association of Relators that showed further evidence

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BusinessWeek

For cash-strapped homeowners, it was a pitch they couldn't refuse: Refinance your mortgage at a bargain rate and cut your payments in half. New home buyers, stretching to afford something in a super-heated market, didn't even need to produce

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AP

Sales of new homes dropped in July by the largest amount since February while the inventory of unsold homes climbed to a record high. New home sales fell by 4.3% last month. The decline was the largest since an 11.5% plunge in February.

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Reuters

U.S. homebuilder optimism sank for a seventh consecutive month in August to its lowest level in 15 years as potential buyers pulled back amid rising uncertainty in the housing market, an industry trade group survey showed.

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Marketwatch

The number of defaults on mortgage payments rose to a three-year high in the second quarter in California, a 67% increase from the year earlier period, according to Data Quick, a real estate data-compiling firm. Lenders sent 20,752 default notices

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Reuters

U.S. mortgage applications last week sank to their lowest level in over four years, an industry trade group said, further evidence that the once robust U.S. housing market is weakening.

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The Voluntary Trade Council

The Federal Trade Commission today said that a popular real estate website was de facto public property, and that Commission lawyers could suppress the First Amendment rights of the site’s owners and dictate future content.

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AP

Interest rates on 30-year mortgages rose for a third straight week, hitting the highest level in more than four years as investors continued to express worries about inflation.

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By Marilyn Lewis - MSN.com

In fact, the softest markets in the country right now are in Miami, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix, said David Lereah, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.

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Palm Beach Post(Fla)

Easy money has led to hard times. The millionaire businessman living in a $5 million Palm Beach Gardens home;a couple's county-subsidized 3-bedroom, 2-bath slice of suburbia; a Fort Pierce widow struggling to keep her hurricane-damaged house:pre

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Sun-Sentinel(Fla)

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the five-year housing "boom is over," though prices won't fall nationally. "We're not about to go into a situation where prices will go down," Greenspan, 80, said in res

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Arizona Republic

An attorney who specializes in homeowners-association law was chastised by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge for trying to foreclose on the home of a woman who owed back dues of less than $400 and an additional $1,000 in accumulated late fees an

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USA Today

Those struggling to afford a home may be wondering how long their mortgage payments can be stretched out? The new answer: a half-century. A handful of lenders have begun offering 50-year adjustable-rate loans to buyers who need to keep payments low i

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by Catherine Reagor - Arizona Republic

Economists say nearly 40 percent of all home loans in metropolitan Phoenix are adjustable. Nationally, about 30 percent of all mortgages are ARMs.

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By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer

"How can you look at these data and ignore the question?" he asked rhetorically. "We had such a dramatic fall in the West," he added, where sales fell almost 30 percent."

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