17 Stories

Welcome to the Depressing New Real-Estate Game

Faraway investors scoop up abandoned homes online to make a quick buck

(Newser) - A story in the New Republic pronounces "a new era of real estate speculation" in the US, one that's taking a depressing toll on poor neighborhoods across the country. Two factors are at play: the housing bust of 2008, which left a glut of abandoned properties on the... More »

Average Size of US Homes, Decade by Decade

It's nearly tripled since 1950

(Newser) - 24/7 Wall St has a list that shows how the typical American home has changed from 1920 to 2014. And that mainly means the homes have gotten way bigger. The list tracks various stats year by year, including average square feet. Here's a sample, with the figure referring... More »

For Sale: Seattle's Mystery 'Spite House'

860-square-foot oddity for sale for half a million dollars

(Newser) - From the front, a half-million-dollar home on the Re/Max website looks like a quaint Spanish Revival in the heart of Seattle. Head to the side for a different perspective, and you'll see appearances are deceiving. You're looking at what Yahoo says locals call the "Montlake Spite House,... More »

100 Species of Bugs Live in Your Home

Don't fret: Most are harmless, say scientists

(Newser) - You thought Asian camel crickets were bad. A new report in journal Peer J finds hundreds of bugs likely lurk in your home, including spiders, beetles, ants, and book lice. Scientists got down on their hands and knees and combed 50 houses in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC, picking up... More »

How a Whole House Can Fit in a 10-Foot Cube

Cubitat is a 'plug and play' home that fits in a room

(Newser) - A team of builders and designers have created what is essentially a house that can fit in a room. Cubitat is a 10-by-10-by-10-foot cube, and it's got practically everything you need built in, Treehugger reports. One side has a whole kitchen, with a sink, dishwasher, fridge, and more, all... More »

Florida Estate Sells for Record $47M

Miami-Dade property has a beach imported from Bahamas

(Newser) - Another sign that luxe housing is making a rebound? A Florida estate has sold for $47 million, a record for Miami-Dade County, reports the Wall Street Journal . The buyer was an unidentified Russian. The newly built estate was initially on the market for $60 million, but even with the price... More »

Homeownership Falls to 15-Year Low

It's at 65.4%, down from a high of 69.2%, but analysts aren't worried—yet

(Newser) - The US homeownership rate fell to 65.4% in the first quarter to hit a 15-year-low, as foreclosures and a strong rental market kept Americans away from homeownership, according to figures released by the Census Bureau today. That's down from 66% last quarter, and from 69.2% at the... More »

$6.5M Ranch Comes With ... Herd of Elk

13-bedroom lodge is on 3,800 acres in Utah

(Newser) - A 13-bedroom lodge and 3,800-acre ranch in Utah is on the market for $6.5 million, and the sale offers a unique amenity: a herd of 50 elk. They contribute to the allure of the ranch as an upscale getaway for hunters, but the animals were not enough to... More »

America's 5 Priciest Zip Codes

New Jersey, California, and New York neighborhoods top the list

(Newser) - 90210's claim to fame extends beyond Tori Spelling and Shannen Doherty. The zip code is also one of the five priciest in America. With the help of Altos Research, Forbes crunched 20,000 zip codes' worth of real estate listings to zero in on the poshest geographic areas in... More »

Booby-Trapped Homes Pose Threat to Troops in Iraq

Insurgents load potential shelters with explosives

(Newser) - For US troops in Iraq’s still-volatile Diyala province, abandoned houses can be a refuge—or a serious threat, the Wall Street Journal reports. Soldiers depend on abandoned houses to provide shelter as combat bases, but insurgents have taken to wiring the buildings with “house-borne improvised explosive devices,”... More »

Obama Flips 'Elitist' Tag Onto McCain

Flap over number of houses touches a nerve in both camps

(Newser) - John McCain's inability to recall how many homes he owns could throw a wrench in his attempt to paint Obama as an elitist, the Washington Post reports. The furious back and forth between camps—the Obama team pounced and mocked, while McCain's charged hypocrisy and pulled out the Rezko card—... More »

McCain Can't Quite Say How Many Houses He Owns

Also nixes one-term idea in interview

(Newser) - John McCain isn’t quite sure how many houses he owns, Politico reports. The presumptive Republican nominee responded to the question in yesterday’s interview with “I think—I’ll have my staff get to you.” He and wife Cindy are estimated to own between four and seven... More »

B&N Chief Gives $20M for Katrina Relief

Money will support building of 20 new houses

(Newser) - The chair of Barnes & Noble and his wife are donating $20 million to New Orleans in what may be the biggest Katrina relief project yet, the AP reports. Leonard Riggio said today that the funds will build 20 new houses in a racially mixed neighborhood for lower-income families. Those... More »

Home Prices Suffer Record Monthly Drop

October figures exceed gloomy estimates, show continued slump

(Newser) - Home prices plummeted 6.1% in October, a record year-over-year drop that exceeded forecasts. The index of prices in 20 major markets has dropped every month this year and fell 1.4% from the September figure, another record. The trend threatens overall consumer spending, making it more difficult for homeowners... More »

Mortgage Crisis Hits Affluent Buyers, Too

Even borrowers with excellent credit are now facing higher rates

(Newser) - Mortgage tremors have rippled so far across the home loan market that even buyers of high-priced homes with good credit records are now being squeezed, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rates have surged on loans above $417,000 for prime borrowers—to 7.34% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, up... More »

Bear Stearns Axes Prez Over Fund Fiasco

Subprime woes reach executive suite after hedge funds implode

(Newser) - Bear Stearns has fired its No. 2 and once-likely successor as CEO in the wake of  the collapse of two company hedge funds worth more than $1B, reports the Wall Street Journal. Warren Spector, the most high-profile casualty to date in the subprime-mortage crisis rocking Wall Street, is a mortgage... More »

Home Resales Slump in June as Mortgage Rates Spike

Inventories are down; prices jump

(Newser) - Sales of existing homes dropped in June to a 5-year low because of rising mortgage rates and stricter lending standards. Home resales dipped 3.8% from a 5.98 million annual rate in May to a 5.75 million rate now. "The housing recession looks far from over,"... More »

17 Stories