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  • The housing news continues to be mixed. The Commerce Dept. released its monthly numbers on new housing starts, showing an increase of 1.5% to 598,000 units, the highest level in nine months. Builder KB Home announced it was re-entering the Mid-Atlantic region, which it had left in 2007.

  • WASHINGTON, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Commercial mortgage backed securities got a lift on Wednesday from new U.S. Internal Revenue Service rules that make it easier to modify securitized mortgages without tax penalties.

    The rules allow distressed property owners and servicers of mortgage-backed securities to negotiate over modifying the property's loan at any time. The mortgage no longer needs to be in default or imminent default to procure a modification under the rules.

  • When Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors, a brokerage and retail investment firm based in Irvine, Calif., put the Alondra Plaza strip center on the market in Bellflower, Calif., the brokerage got a gratifying response: nine offers in the first two weeks of marketing the property, the firm says.

    The center was sold for nearly $2 million, at a 7.37 percent capitalization rate. Kevin Fryman and Eric Wohl of Hanley Investment Group represented the seller.

  • The 30-year home loan rate has dipped to a 3-1/2-month low to flirt again with breaking below the 5 percent level.

  • Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., has proposed expanding federal tax credits for home buyers that economists say have stimulated home sales at a critical juncture.

  • WASHINGTON -- House Republicans renewed a push Tuesday to end all federal funding of ACORN, an activist community organization that is under fire nationally for apparently giving advice on evading tax laws in Baltimore and other cities.

  • OREGON -- Two years after Portland-area home prices crested at a record high in August 2007, the Regional Multiple Listing Service reported Tuesday that the region is stuck 17 percent in the hole.

  • CALIFORNIA -- Home sales in Los Angeles County rose by 17.1 percent in August, compared to the same month a year ago, but prices fell by 13.3 percent, a real estate information service reported today.

  • TEXAS -- A month after logging its smallest decline in almost two years, Houston-area home sales fell further in August, ending the summer buying season on a down note.

  • WISCONSIN -- Fresh on the heels of the Wisconsin Realtors Association state convention, word is that recovery is coming.

  • In this photo made Monday, Aug. 17, 2009, new housing construction is seen in the Briar Chapel community near Chapel Hill, N.C.Housing construction rose in August to the highest level in nine months as a big surge in apartment building offset a decline in single-family activity.

  • The number of workers filing for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level since early July, evidence that job ...

  • The Federal Reserve is stepping up its scrutiny of commercial real estate loans at smaller banks, which have seen delinquency ...

  • Richard Baker, an investor in shopping centers and retailers, raised $400 million in 2007 for a company that would buy operating businesses like restaurants and casinos but now wants to convert the company into a REIT.

  • FLORIDA -- Following the failure of Chicago's Corus Bankshares and its seizure by federal regulators, speculation Monday focused on the fate of the lender's $4 billion in commercial loans, a good quarter of them secured by condominium projects in South Florida.

  • More N.C. homeowners threatened with losing their homes to foreclosure can now get help under a state program expanded this morning.

  • SOUTH CAROLINA -- Thousands of homeowners who attended the Save the Dream event in Columbia six months ago still haven't gotten the lower mortgage payments that Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America promised it could arrange for most attendees.

  • ARIZONA -- Many people facing home foreclosure may be at risk of being defrauded by criminals looking for an easy mark.

  • CALIFORNIA -- Even as a state rebate is shrinking, the price of residential solar power is dropping, thanks to lower installation costs and a glut in the supply of key components.

  • Legislation to extend California's maximum $10,000 new-home buyer tax credit to thousands more buyers has stalled, failing to pass during the Legislature's weekend rush to adjournment.

  • VIRGINIA -- The home construction industry across the country is beginning to improve after hitting new lows in the past couple of years, the chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders told Richmond area builders yesterday.

  • Forty years ago this month, when the first low-income senior citizens moved into Franklin Towers, the new 16-story building was praised for its modern design and "sparkling" decor.

  • On a clear day, Lloyd Blankfein can look through the windows of his office on the 30th floor at the tip of Manhattan and see ...

  • Progressive city takes neighborhood-scale approach to reducing greenhouse gases.

    There are few buildings and homes being built in Portland, Ore., today that aren't green in some way. But for the city's planners, the goal isn’t merely reaching a certain number of sustainably built structures--it's about creating a green city, as shown by the recent designation of a handful of urban areas as “eco-districts.”

  • CALIFORNIA -- From an unfinished shopping mall in Elk Grove to the ghostly quiet office parks of South Placer, the slump that has overtaken commercial real estate could rival the meltdown in the housing market.

  • LAS CRUCES -- For the first time since the national economy fell off a cliff last year, commercial real estate professionals are starting to hear a pleasant sound once more: the ringing of a telephone.

  • Ryan Cole's life changed the past two years -- all because of the economy. He grew up the son of a cardiologist, "wanting for nothing," he said.

    But then the national economy went south -- and took his job in marketing. At first, his spending habits didn't change. Then, they changed dramatically.

    "I got slapped in the face," said Cole, 28. "Frugality was something that was not taught to me. I am now trying to figure it out firsthand."

    He is starting a social media marketing business and keeping a firmer grip on the money he earns.

  • NEW YORK - A year after the financial system nearly collapsed, the nation's biggest banks are bigger and regaining their appetite for risk.
  • As real estate veterans nervously eye the projected rise in mortgage delinquencies in 2010, they're clamoring for more government-fueled homebuyer incentives, investor incentives and industry regulations that would hopefully bring the housing downturn to its knees.

  • For buyers turned off by North Jersey's high home prices and property taxes, the answer has long been: Go west, to the Poconos.

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