housing industry

18 Stories

At Long Last, Our 'Housing Bust Is Over'

Market has finally turned, says 'Wall Street Journal' economics editor

(Newser) - The US housing industry is far from healthy, but the worst is behind us, writes Wall Street Journal economics editor David Wessel. "The housing bust is over," he declares, marshaling a slew of long-range stats. Among them: About 10% more existing homes were sold this May compared to... More »

Mortgage Rates Drop Below 4% for First Time

30-year fixed loans hit historic low

(Newser) - The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage this week fell below 4% for the first time ever, to 3.94%. And mortgage rates could fall even further now that the Federal Reserve plans to reshuffle its portfolio of securities to try and lower long-term rates. Freddie Mac said the... More »

Housing Prices Hit New Recession Low

And there's no bottom in sight

(Newser) - The housing industry keeps finding new lows: Today's Case-Shiller price index shows that prices fell in the first quarter to the lowest levels since the crash began, reports the Wall Street Journal . The drop of 4.2%, on top of last quarter's 3.6% drop, is evidence of... More »

11% of US Homes Vacant

Prices set to fall even further

(Newser) - The latest census figures on the housing market make for grim reading for homeowners. Some 18.4 million homes are vacant—11% of the nation's housing supply—and home ownership rates are dropping rapidly, CNBC reports. Prices are down year-over-year in all 28 major metropolitan areas tracked by the Wall ... More »

Habitat for Humanity Cracks Top 10 List of US Builders

Housing bust is killing public construction companies

(Newser) - How badly are home builders hurting? Here's a hint: Habitat for Humanity has cracked the top 10 list of US builders for the first time. The nonprofit, which relies largely on volunteers to build homes for low-income people, ranked 8th in the Builder magazine list, ahead of some of the... More »

New Orleans Repair an Experiment in Green

(Newser) - Four years after Katrina, the rebuilding of New Orleans is becoming an exercise in environmentally friendly reconstruction, Bryan Walsh writes in Time. Global Green USA, the American arm of a group founded by Mikhail Gorbachev, is leading the pack by building a sustainable village in the city's Lower Ninth Ward,... More »

Churches Put Faith in Housing Biz

More launch own programs to provide affordable homes

(Newser) - Churches that have long called for an increase in affordable housing have started taking matters into their own hands, the Washington Post reports: A growing number of them have launched their own housing projects, partnering with developers to build whole communities. Their weekly flow of donations allows them to qualify... More »

Home Construction Leaps 17%

(Newser) - Homebuilders were busy in May, as housing starts took an unexpected 17% leap, Bloomberg reports. Lower prices and tax incentives were enough to bring in the buyers, bumping the annual rate to 532,000 homes, up from 454,000 in April. Building permits were also up more than forecast. “... More »

Dow Up 235 on Housing Hopes

(Newser) - Markets rose significantly today on indications of a turnaround in the housing sector, the Wall Street Journal reports, with an industry confidence metric at its highest since September 2008. Financials—Bank of America was up 9.8%—led the S&P to a symbolic close above 900. The Dow was... More »

Senate Backs $15K Tax Break for Homebuyers

(Newser) - The Senate voted tonight to give a tax break of up to $15,000 to homebuyers in hopes of revitalizing the housing industry. The move is a victory for Republicans eager to leave their mark on the mammoth economic stimulus bill. The proposal would allow a tax credit of 10... More »

Housing Crash Spawns Ghost Subdivisions

Residents live solitary lives in half-built developments

(Newser) - The housing bust has left ghost towns scattered across the nation, the Wall Street Journal reports. In a tour of half-built or largely empty developments, the paper finds residents who moved in early, only to find themselves leading lonely lives surrounded by eerily deserted homes and weed-strewn lots. One woman... More »

Housing Industry Funnels Cash to Lawmakers

Campaign contributions soar compared to 2006

(Newser) - The housing industry has given more campaign cash to lawmakers and political parties this election cycle than it gave through the entire 2006 cycle, the Wall Street Journal reports, as an emergency housing bill containing favorable provisions for the industry has been working its way through Congress. Cash has flowed... More »

Congress Cashes In on Subprime Lobby

Campaign donations from housing, financial industries skyrocket

(Newser) - The subprime crisis isn’t bad for everyone: congressmen and lobbying firms are doing great, Politico reports. Industries caught in the crunch have drastically scaled up their campaign contributions, and dozens of new lobbying firms have sprung up to cash in. Securities and investment PACs, for example, have already given... More »

Soaring Costs Force Workers Out of Key West

Few remain to service the island's tourists and millionaires

(Newser) - High Key West housing costs are sparking an exodus of residents and leaving the island's tourists with too few people to serve them, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some 2,000 workers have fled in the past 7 years, a crushing blow to a county that houses 75,000 residents... More »

Comcast's Growth Slows

Company falls short of several key metrics due to 'challenging economic environment'

(Newser) - Comcast believes its business will fall short of predictions as a declining economy and strengthened competitors slow the cable giant’s growth. The Wall Street Journal reports the firm will add 500K fewer subscribers than it had previously expected, and expects to pay out 5% more in capital spending than... More »

Subprime Nightmare to Get Worse

With rates about to reset higher, expect more foreclosures

(Newser) - The subprime mortgage crisis is only just beginning, new data suggests. Hundreds of billions of dollars in subprime adjustable-rate mortgages are due to reset to higher rates in the year ahead, reports the Wall Street Journal. Analysts say this means the steep rise in defaults and foreclosures this year may... More »

Top Chicago Homebuilder Goes Bankrupt

Neumann becomes second largest builder to fall in subprime collapse

(Newser) - Neumann homes, a top Chicago homebuilder, will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the Chicago Tribune reports, making it the second-largest builder felled by the dive in the housing market. The company has laid off all but 20 of its 110 workers. “I’m not overly optimistic about the... More »

August Home Price Plunge Is Biggest Since 1970

New-home sales also off more than forecast

(Newser) - New-home sales fell 8.3% in August, Bloomberg reports, a greater decline than predicted. Housing prices fell over last year, with the 7.5% decrease the biggest drop since 1970. Sales fell to an annual pace of 795,000, lowest in seven years. And that may not signal the housing... More »

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