October 2005 Archives

Four Key Factors To Consider When Hiring a Listing Broker

June Fletcher:

And don't automatically choose the agent who suggests the highest price tag for your home. Sometimes an agent will overprice a home just to get your listing. Then, when no one shows an interest in your place, the agent will convince you to drop the price. By then, however, your listing is no longer fresh and exciting to the public.

The Unending Housing Boom

Barry Ritholtz:

We already made the case back in August that real estate was cooling.

What Abrams does not show is the long term history of mortgage rates; Rates at half century lows are why the Bom has lasted so long lasting; Indeed, even after 11 rate hikes, mortgages are only at 6.1% -- lower than anytime prior to this boom going back to 1971 . (I found data on the Freddie Mac site).

New Texas Minimum Service Law

NPR:

A new law in Texas spells out what real estate brokers must do for all their clients -- including taking their calls and informing them of counter-offers. The law comes in response to some consumer and broker complaints about discount or minimum-services brokers. Larry Schooler of member station KUT in Austin, Texas, reports.

New Construction Explosion: A Look At Toll Brothers

Jon Gertner:

Once the boom was under way, however, Toll Brothers began to try new things. It broadened its product line by building more condominium units and retirement communities. More significant, it scouted property far from its traditional base in the Northeast. By the late 1990's, Toll Brothers possessed land in 18 states. The company purchased expensive urban sites in Jersey City and Manhattan; it even bought the hulking Maxwell House factory on the Hoboken waterfront, across the Hudson River from Midtown Manhattan, in partnership with another firm, in order to demolish the industrial shell and transform the site into a gigantic condominium complex. According to Bob Toll, he came to see his company as one that could build any kind of luxury home, in any style, in any place where there was opportunity. And to him, that opportunity to sell luxury properties to Americans seemed immense.

Real Estate Market Cooling?

The Motley Fool:

If New York City is any indication, the hot housing market may be cooling. Appraisal firm Miller Samuel reports that the average sales price for an apartment in Manhattan fell almost 13 percent in the third quarter. And the Census Bureau says the backlog of unsold new homes in the U.S. hit its highest point since January 2000 in August. David Gardner talks with Fool Radio Economics Contributor Charlie Wheelan about the slowdown in the housing market.

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