Monthly Archives: March 2012

Oregon Economy Showing Signs of Life

Economic recovery in Oregon is like spring: It arrives more slowly than you would like. But as the first quarter of the year comes to an end Saturday, a few economic blooms provide hope sunnier days are ahead. Daimler Trucks’ announcement this week that it is hiring 30 professionals and managers at its North American… Read more »

US: Midwest Real Estate Market Getting Better

It’s not ready to get discharged from the hospital yet, but it’s out of the ICU. Thus describes the Midwest housing market, parts of which suffered mightily during the collapse that began in 2006, says David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which tracks 20 major U.S. metro markets. “Prices… Read more »

New Orleans Real Estate Market Improving

The New Orleans area housing market finally appears to be recovering, Latter & Blum president Rick Haase told the UNO Economic Outlook and Real Estate Forecast Seminar Friday afternoon. When a real estate market begins to recover, the number of homes sold increases, the backlog of unsold homes on the market decreases, but prices continue… Read more »

Mobile, Alabama Home Prices Dropped in January

Home prices in Mobile dropped 11.1 percent in January when compared with January 2011, according to the new data from California-based research firm CoreLogic. They declined by 7.7 percent in December 2011 compared with December 2010. Excluding distressed sales, year-over-year prices declined by 9.6 percent in January compared with January 2011 and by 7.2 percent… Read more »

Austin Real Estate Market Improves in February

Real estate sales in Austin continued their revival in February with 24 sales, increasing 14.3 percent from a year ago, according to newly released numbers from the Southeast Minnesota Association of Realtors. Pending sales were up 27 percent to 33. “Both pending and sold listings are up for the month of February,” said Winona Realtor… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Gretchen B. Pagnotta, San Diego

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. My 25+ years experience selling homes in North San Diego County allows me to provide a comprehensive Lifestyle Assessment when working with buyers and also when marketing a home…. Read more »

PA: Home Sales Rise in Philadelphia

Housing data continued their seesaw behavior Monday, with sales contracts for existing houses falling in February from January, the National Association of Realtors reported. The Realtors’ Pending Sales Index slipped 0.5 percent in February, but the agreements of sale signed during the month were still 9.2 percent higher than a year ago, the group reported…. Read more »

OK: Tulsa Foreclosure Rates Down

A real estate report shows foreclosure rates are down in Tulsa. CoreLogic studied home sales, price trends and foreclosure activity for 2010 and 2011 and found Oklahoma to be below the national average. Across Oklahoma, the foreclosure rate for December 2011 was 2.48%, compared to 2.49% from 2010. In Tulsa, the rate was 2.77% in… Read more »

NC: Home Prices, Sales Up in Charlotte

The Charlotte region saw an increase in the amount of homes sold this February, and each home’s average sales price, when compared to the same time last year, according to the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association. The group says 1,614 homes sold in the region in February at an average sales price of $184,775. That’s an… Read more »

Downsizing Trend in Vermont Real Estate

The idea hit Sarah and Steve Gallagher eight years ago during a sabbatical, a grand trip by van with their younger son to Mexico. They had driven from their home in Calais to the Southwest, then down Mexico’s Baja Peninsula; and eventually they meandered east to the central highlands, where they stopped in a small… Read more »

US: Home Prices Fell to Ten Year Low in January

Home prices fell in January for a fifth straight month in most major U.S. cities, as modest sales increases have yet to boost prices. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index released Tuesday showed that prices dropped in January from December in 16 of 19 cities tracked. The steepest declines were in San Francisco, Atlanta and… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Jacob J. Amy, Seattle

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. For the last seven years, Jacob has worked as a real estate appraiser in the Seattle-Puget Sound Region. He has an extensive background in valuation which helps him give… Read more »

Connecticut Had Weakest Real Estate Sales in New England in February

Connecticut’s flat home sales for February were the weakest in the region, according to a RE/MAX of New England survey. House sales in the state were essentially flat last month, down 0.3 percent, RE/MAX of New England said Wednesday. In other New England states: Rhode Island experienced the largest year-over-year sales gain, up 38.4 percent,… Read more »

Foreclosures Still a Drag on Delaware’s Real Estate Market

Foreclosures are expected to continue to pressure home prices, despite a moratorium in New Castle County on selling properties at sheriff’s sale for back taxes. Still, the moratorium created by New Castle County Executive Paul Clark’s executive order earlier Feb. 8th, and Clark’s proposed amnesty ordinance that would waive the penalties on back property taxes… Read more »

Central New Jersey Seeing Flood of Mortgage Defaults

CoreLogic, a company that tracks statistics about foreclosures and homes in danger of foreclosure, reported on March 1 that nearly 79,000, or 14.2 percent, of all homes in Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties are underwater on their mortgages. Underwater is defined as owing more money on a mortgage than the home currently is worth…. Read more »

USA, TN: Nashville May See New Wave of Foreclosures

Just as it appears that the worst of Middle Tennessee’s foreclosure crisis has passed, new research suggests that 2012 may usher in a second wave of foreclosures in the Nashville area. In 2011, about 11 percent of home sales in the Nashville metro area were foreclosure-related, which is a 31 percent drop from 2010, according… Read more »

USA, MN: Twin Cities Home Sales Strong in February

February was the best month for home sales in the Twin Cities area since the real estate downturn began in 2006. The Star Tribune reports buyers signed nearly 3,800 purchase agreements in the metro area, a 34 percent increase compared with last year. The Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors says February was the eighth consecutive… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Gregory Albert, Palm Springs

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gregory Albert has lived in Palm Springs for the 15 years. He was born and educated in Paris, France, and he uses his international background and professional experience in… Read more »

USA, KY: Louisville Home Sales Up 26% in February From 2011

Members of the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors(R) posted 773 sales during the month of February 2012, a 25.9% increase over February 2011. February’s total sales continued an eight-month trend of outpacing the same period last year, which posted 614 sales during February 2011. The average selling price paid for single family and condominium homes… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Bryan Lewis, Mill Valley, California

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Bryan Lewis brings his corporate world experience to bear in the Marin County real estate market. Before he joined Coldwell Banker, Bryan was the President and CEO of a… Read more »

NM: Best Two Months in Real Estate Since 2008

U.S. home sales are gradually coming back, including in New Mexico. A mild winter and a stronger job market have helped boost sales ahead of the crucial spring buying season. The past two months made up the best winter for sales nationally of previously occupied homes in five years, when the housing crisis began. In… Read more »

NM: Taos Economy May Improve in 2012

Taos County’s economy was 5 percent lower in 2011 compared to 2010, according to gross receipt numbers recently released by the state. The numbers are included in the most recent Taos Economic Report, which compiles economic data for Taos County on a quarterly and annual basis. In the fourth quarter of 2011 alone (October through… Read more »

NM: Santa Fe County Considers Green Building Codes

Santa Fe County staffers think a code requiring new buildings to be more energy-efficient will save homeowners and businesses money. They’re working on the new building code as part of the county’s revamped growth-management plan. While the county is running computer models and working to convince county commissioners and residents to approve the code, Santa… Read more »

DC: Spring Real Estate Market is In Bloom

The Spring market in D.C. bloomed with the cherry blossoms. In the last month, we have seen almost every competitively priced listing go under contract within the first week on the market, often with interest from multiple parties and sometimes multiple offers. This time last year, we saw multiple offers but did not often see… Read more »

Northern Virginia Home Sales Improving

Area home sales are building. “We’ve sold a million dollars more than we did last year at this time,” said Dora Buck, principal broker and co-owner of Sager Real Estate, 111 E. King St. “That’s just huge. Everyone is really busy writing a lot of contracts.” That year-over-year gain is for only the properties that… Read more »

US: Home Builder Sentiment Stays Steady in March

U.S. homebuilder sentiment was unchanged in March to hold at the highest level since June 2007, while sentiment in February was revised lower, the National Association of Home Builders said Monday. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index held steady at 28, the group said in a statement, shy of economists’ expectations for 30. February’s reading… Read more »

MD: Baltimore Home Sales Up, Prices Dip in February

Baltimore-area home buyers picked up the pace in February ahead of the important spring selling season, helped along by unseasonably mild weather. Real estate agents say they’re seeing more activity and hope it’s a good sign for spring, rather than simply an early start that will come with an early end. Buyers signed contracts on… Read more »

The Lesbian Guide to Living in Spokane

It’s been nearly a year since my official return to Spokane, the place I grew up before leaving for college and travel, and I’ve found a few things to be true. First, there is an LGBT presence in the city, but you’re going to have to look for it. Second, Spokane is trying to brand… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Ron Milligan, Portland

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Ron Milligan is Portland’s condo pro! He’s a specialist in condominium and townhouse associations, covering downtown, The Pearl, and Portland’s many other neighborhoods. Ron always has the latest Portland… Read more »

NC: Wilmington Area Home Sales Surged in February

Wilmington-area home sales surged in February compared with a year earlier, the Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors reported Tuesday. Home sales rose 31.6 percent, to 358 last month from 272 in February 2011, the Realtors said. It was the strongest February since 2008, according to Realtor statistics. The average price of a home sold last… Read more »

NC: Asheville Home Sales Improved in February

Sales of existing homes in Buncombe County and neighboring counties were up dramatically again last month when compared to February 2011. Sales rose 22.8 percent in Buncombe to 151 homes, up from 123 a year ago, according to N.C. Mountains Multiple Listing Service. Increases were even larger in neighboring counties. Sales were up 104 percent… Read more »

WV: Charleston Home Sales Rose in February

Growth in sales volumes and a leveling out in home prices continued into February, according to figures released by the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors. In February, 607 homes sold at a median price of $170,000, up from 557 homes selling for a median price of $163,500 in February 2011. “Through the course of last… Read more »

Costa Rica a Top Haven for American Ex-Pats

Retiring abroad is a great way to stretch the value of a fixed income. From Latin America to Europe, there are retirement destinations around the world that work for almost anyone. In this article, we’ll look at three retirement havens for expats where the U.S. dollar goes a long way and pensioners receive great government… Read more »

Are Foreclosures Up or Down in Oregon?

It’s a tough time to profess expertise when it comes to home values. Everyday seems to deliver a fresh batch of statistics, often conflicting with the prior day’s news. Home prices — or the index tracking them — rises one day. The next, a new set of press releases proclaims they’re still down. Today is… Read more »

Canadian Home Sales Increased in February

Following a rough start to 2012, home sales in Canada rebounded in February with a modest increase recorded in February from the previous month. The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) said Thursday that homes sale rose by 1.4 per cent between January and February, which helped recover roughly one-third of the 4.5-per cent drop recorded… Read more »

OR: Bend Median Home Prices Up

The median price for a single-family home in Bend reached $199,000 in February, its third monthly increase, according to figures released Wednesday by the Bratton Appraisal Group. Last month, 134 homes sold in Bend, according to the Bratton Report, and the inventory of single-family homes stood at three months as of Wednesday. In Redmond, the… Read more »

LGBT Presence Can Improve a Neighborhood

There was a time when the gay community was not welcomed into neighborhoods. The common mindset of the masses was that we would be a negative addition and that we would even bring property values down. However, over the last several decades, this mindset has slowly changed. Not only is our community welcomed in most… Read more »

Yukon Real Estate Market is Booming

The real estate market in Yukon continues to be hot, even in the dead of winter. According to the latest numbers, the value of real estate transactions in the territory was up significantly compared to this time last year. The Yukon Bureau of Statistics just released its housing numbers for the final quarter of 2011…. Read more »

California Housing Market Improves, Unemployment Drops

A solid national jobs report this morning — 227,000 new jobs added, unemployment rate steady at 8.3 percent — was followed by a psychologically significant California report, from the state’s Employment Development Department. At long last, we’re below 11 percent — 10.9 to be exact, for January 2012. Bear in mind that 10.9 percent is… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Michael March, Lagrangeville, New York

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. It’s not about The Deal… It’s about The Relationship! Michael March specializes in Hudson Valley real estate, helping buyers and sellers in the greater Poughkeepsie area get the best… Read more »

Mortgage Tips for Gay and Lesbian Couples

Home ownership can be tricky for same-sex couples — especially since we don’t have automatic property inheritance rights if one partner dies, and we don’t have easy access to divorce courts to help us sort out disputes if we break up. That means lesbian and gay couples need to take time to think through the… Read more »