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Housing

The Takeaway

'Skateboarders Take Over Swimming Pools' as America's Homes Lay Vacant

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Two years after The Great Recession officially came to a close, housing prices have dropped to their lowest levels since 2006. A Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller report showed the home price index dropping 4.2 percent last month, aided in part by the growing number of foreclosures, and a reluctance on the part of new buyers. 

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The Takeaway

Does America Need New Homes?

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal's Kelly Evans delivered stark news to recent homeowners. She reported that "since house prices peaked in 2006, the average home equity loss is $105,000 per homeowner." Evans was reacting to the latest Case-Shiller report, which showed that between February and March, housing prices dropped in 18 out of 20 major metro areas. Driven in part by foreclosures, a glut of unsold homes and the reluctance of new purchases, many home prices reached their lowest level since the bubble burst in 2006.  

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Transportation Nation

Why Do People Move? Census Says It's Because of Housing

Monday, May 23, 2011

From the number crunchers (in a good way) at the U.S.  Census:

"The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that among those who moved between 2009 and 2010, more than four out of 10 (16.4 million or 43.7 percent) did so for housing-related reasons, such as the desire to live in a new or better home or apartment, according to data from Geographical Mobility: 2010.

"Among other reasons for moving, people cited family concerns (30.3 percent), such as a change in marital status, employment needs (16.4 percent) and other factors (9.5 percent).

I"n 2010, 37.5 million people 1 year and older changed residences in the U.S. within the past year. At 12.5 percent in 2010, the mover rate was not statistically different from 2009.

“Mover rates differ by characteristics, such as age, race, hispanic origin, marital status, income or even whether the housing unit is owned or rented,” said David Ihrke, survey statistician in the Census Bureau’s Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division. “Tracking mobility allows us to examine shifts in demographic trends in the population for the nation, regions and metro areas as a whole.”

"In 2010, 69.3 percent of all movers stayed within the same county, 16.7 percent moved to a different county in the same state, 11.5 percent moved to a different state, and 2.5 percent moved from abroad to the U.S.

"By region, people in the Northeast were the least likely to move, with a mover rate of 8.3 percent in 2010. The Northeast was followed by the Midwest (11.8 percent), the South (13.6 percent) and the West (14.7 percent). The mover rate for each region was not significantly different between 2009 and 2010.

"Principal cities within metropolitan areas experienced a net loss of 2.3 million movers, while the suburbs experienced a net gain of 2.5 million movers.

"Other highlights:

"-    Of the civilian population 16 and older who were unemployed, 19.8 percent lived in a different residence one year earlier compared with 12.4 percent who were employed. Among those not in the labor force, 9.5 percent lived in a different residence one year earlier.

"-    Generally, people with incomes below the poverty line were more likely to move than those just above the poverty line. In 2010, 23.6 percent of people with incomes below 100 percent of the poverty line had moved within the last year as compared with 16.5 percent of
people with incomes between 100 and 149 percent of the poverty line.

"- The black alone population had the highest mover rate (16.7 percent), followed by Hispanics (15.6 percent), Asian alone (13.9 percent) and white alone not Hispanic (10.8 percent).

"These statistics come from Geographical Mobility: 2010, a series of tables that describe the movement of people in the United States. The data tables show reasons why people moved, types of moves, distance moved and the characteristics of those who moved between 2009 and 2010.

"Also released are three tables that provide state-to-state migration flow data from the American Community Survey (1-year, 3-year and 5-year estimates). These tables show interstate migration flows in addition to flows within the same state. The table package can be found at < http://www.census.gov/hhes/migration/data/acs/state-to-state.html>.

-X-

"The data are from the 2010 Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which is conducted in February, March and April at about 100,000 addresses nationwide. Statistics from surveys are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. For more information on the source of the data and accuracy of the estimates, including standard errors and confidence intervals, see Appendix G at < http://www.census.gov/apsd/techdoc/cps/cpsmar10.pdf>.

"All comparative statements in this report have undergone statistical testing, and, unless otherwise noted, all comparisons are statistically significant at the 10 percent significance level."

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WNYC News

Housing Market Continues to Disappoint

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A flurry of housing reports Thursday, and the market is not looking very healthy.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Real Estate Regulations

Friday, May 06, 2011

Charles Bagli, New York Times reporter, goes through some of the ways the city and state are affecting housing costs, from rent regulations to property taxes.

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WNYC News

Foreclosed Bronx Buildings Have a New Owner

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

WNYC

There's a new landlord for 10 distressed Bronx apartment buildings that had become victims of the housing bust.

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WNYC News

Foreclosures Fall in March But Threats Still Loom

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The number of homeowners falling into foreclosure fell to a three-year low in March. But don't celebrate just yet.

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WNYC News

Public Advocate Pushes New Policies to Crack Down on Bad Landlords

Monday, April 04, 2011

New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has unveiled a multi-pronged approach to addressing housing violations at city buildings.

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WNYC News

Financial 411: More Suffering for the Housing Market

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A new survey of homes that could possibly go into foreclosure has some analysts talking about a double dip in the housing industry.

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The Takeaway

House Slaps Down HAMP

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The House of Representatives voted 218 to 109 yesterday to end one of President Obama's signature economic plans, the Home Affordable Modification Program. The program was expected to help more than 4 million homeowners keep their homes, instead of the underwhelming 600,000 it managed to help — rendering it a flop. Meanwhile, the housing market remains in trouble, with sales and prices continuing to fallLouise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for The New York Times, has the latest on HAMP, and why housing is having an incredibly difficult time getting out of the dumps.

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The Takeaway

Housing Numbers Still in Decline

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New home sales numbers for February are expected out today, following Monday's release of existing home sales, which fell 9.6 percent according to the National Association of Retailers. With the economy improving, this breaks the usual mold of home sales and the economy mirroring each other. Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for The New York Times is watching the housing market and the way different economists are seeing the decreased prices. Is it about housing affordability or a scary dip in the market?

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WNYC News

City Warns 15,000 Formerly Homeless That End to Rent Subsidies Is Near

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New York City is telling more than 15,000 formerly homeless individuals and families that they should not expect government to help with their rent starting in two weeks.

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WNYC News

Cash Is King as Home Sales Rise

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sales of existing homes rose unexpectedly in January, but the increase came largely from investors and all-cash buyers snagging deals on foreclosed homes rather than first-time homebuyers.

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The Takeaway

Home Loans to Minority Applicants Plunge

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In the 1980s and 1990s banks avoided lending in minority neighborhoods and Blacks and Latinos were denied mortgages at disproportionately higher rates than equally credit-worthy whites. Redlining and mortgage discrimination was the norm. It seemed those days came to an end in the 2000s, when mortgage lenders began lending eagerly to anyone they could, and instead of being accused of avoiding minority borrowers, faced accusations of predatory lending in minority communities. However, now the tide has turned once again.

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The Takeaway

Reforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The death of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has been a long time in the making. For the past four decades the way homes have been financed in this country has been dictated by a kind of public-private partnership. Fannie and Freddie bought mortgages from banks and sold them to investors in the form of securities. The system worked because the government implied that if homeowners defaulted, the government would be there to bail those loans out. In 2008 the government essentially did that during the housing crisis. But now the two companies are political untouchable.

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The Takeaway

Specter of Housing Market Double Dip Looms

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A dip in housing prices is causing concerns that we might be headed for a double-dip in the market this spring. Louise Story, Wall Street and Finance Reporter for The New York Times, says the latest housing numbers out by the Case-Shiller Index raises more questions than answers about the housing market in the near term.

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The Takeaway

Galveston Residents: 'Show Me The Money!'

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two years ago, Galveston, Texas was hit hard by Hurricane Ike, leaving thousands of homes destroyed or badly damaged. Then about a year ago, over $160 million was released to the city to help residents repair and reconstruct their homes. However, many of those residents, like Antonio Hale, still have not seen a dime. Harvey Rice, a Galveston based reporter for the Houston Chronicle, has been covering this ongoing battle between Galveston's home owners and the red tape they are fighting through. 

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WNYC News

Housing Policy Face Lift Means City 'Won't Wait' for Complaints, Says Quinn

Thursday, January 13, 2011

WNYC

The city will no longer wait for rundown buildings to become unlivable before intervening, according to Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

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The Takeaway

New Foreclosure Problem: Lawyers Filing Faulty Documents

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Big banks and over-committed mortgage-holders have been under the foreclosure microscope for a long time. Foreclosure lawyers are next up for scrutiny; according to an article from The New York Times, an increasing number of judges are accusing lawyers of processing inaccurate and even fabricated documents in foreclosure actions when representing banks. Are these accusations accurate, and if so, what is the source of the problem? 

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WNYC News

Manhattan Real Estate Shows Gradual Signs of Recovery

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The average price of a Manhattan apartment ticked up in the last quarter of 2011, according to data from a major real estate brokerage, which means housing is slowly recovering. But limited access to credit and high unemployment are hindering a full recovery.

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