Top Stories

  • 5 tips for selling your home for the best price

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The rebound in U.S. home values over the past couple of years has placed many homeowners in a better position to sell their home for a profit. Still, getting a home sold can be challenging, even in markets where tight supply favors sellers. Here are five tips on how to get your home sold for the best price: 1. STUDY THE MARKET Most homeowners enlist the services of a real estate agent to market their home and perform a variety of tasks, including reaching out to a network of buyers' agents, preparing the home for viewing and dealing directly with prospective buyers. That shouldn't preclude sellers from being knowledgeable about the process, however.

  • Correction: Pets-Sweet Dog Suites story

    Updated: Thu, Jul 17, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — In a story July 16 about pet suites being offered in some of its new homes, The Associated Press reported erroneously the number of home communities being built by Standard Pacific Homes. It is 190, not 27. The story also reported erroneously the starting price of the homes. They start at $1.3 million, not $710,000. A corrected version of the story is below: Pets' amenities rising trend for homebuilders Homebuilders focus on family pets in rising trend of catering to furry friends By SUE MANNING Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — These homes are set apart by their amenities — for dogs.

  • US home construction drops 9.3 percent in June

    Updated: Thu, Jul 17, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home construction fell in June to the slowest pace in nine months, a setback to hopes that housing is regaining momentum and will boost economic growth this year. Construction fell 9.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 893,000 homes, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That was the slowest pace since last September and followed a 7.3 percent drop in May, a decline even worse than initially reported. Applications for building permits, considered a good indicator of future activity, were also down in June, dropping 4.2 percent to a rate of 963,000 after a 5.1 percent decline in May. The worse-than-expected June performance reflected a big drop in activity in the South,

  • California home sales slumped in June

    Updated: Wed, Jul 16, 2014

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — California home sales slumped last month from a year earlier as buyers faced tight supply and prices continued to rise, a real estate research firm said Wednesday. There were 39,254 homes and condominiums sold in June, DataQuick said. That was up 4 percent from May — a typical seasonal rise — but it was nearly 20 percent below the average for all Junes since 1988. In fact, DataQuick said sales haven't topped the average for any particular month in more than eight years. The median price paid for a home in June was $393,000 — up 1.8 percent from May and 11.6 percent from June 2013. It was the highest median price for any month since December 2007 although well below the peak of $484,000 s

  • US homebuilder confidence surges in July

    Updated: Wed, Jul 16, 2014

    U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the housing market surged this month to the highest level since January, reflecting a pickup in sales of new homes and heightened expectations for sales the second half of the year. The brighter sales outlook suggests home construction could pick up in coming months after a sluggish start this year. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Wednesday rose this month to 53, up four points from a revised reading of 49 in June. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor. The latest reading is the first above 50 since January, when it was 56.

  • Study: US millennials buying homes later

    Updated: Wed, Jul 16, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Don't blame the millennial generation for lackluster home sales. They are increasingly ethnically diverse, more educated and less likely to be married — all factors that make them less likely to own a home, said a new report released Wednesday by Trulia, the online real estate firm. After adjusting for these population changes, younger Americans are actually buying homes at the same rate as they did during the late-1990s. "For at least the past 20 years, there have been significant demographic headwinds for homeownership for young people," said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia.

  • Does Oklahoma City commercial property really need an asterisk?

    BY RICHARD MIZE, Real Estate Editor | Published: Sat, Jul 12, 2014

    Foreign capital spilling out of gateway cities to lower-tier real estate markets? Does that include Oklahoma City? Should it?

  • Downside of low US mortgage rates? Less selling

    Updated: Fri, Jul 11, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Would-be home sellers across the country are grappling with a once-in-a-lifetime problem: They have mortgage rates so absurdly low it would hurt them financially to sell. Doing so would mean giving up an irresistible rate in exchange for a new mortgage carrying a rate up to a percentage point higher. Their monthly payments would be larger even for a house of the same price. That's discouraging some people from selling, thereby limiting the supply of available homes and contributing to slower home sales. It's a significant shift from the way the U.S. housing market has worked for the past 30 years. For most of that time, whenever a homeowner decided to trade up to a better home, mortgage rates usually were

  • US construction spending up 0.1 percent in May

    Updated: Tue, Jul 1, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending barely increased in May as gains in spending on non-residential projects such as office buildings and public construction were largely offset by a big drop in home building. The Commerce Department says construction spending edged up 0.1 percent in May after a much stronger 0.8 percent April increase. The back-to-back gains followed a period of weakness in which spending fell in both January and February and was flat in March. The construction industry has struggled with an unusually severe winter which curtailed building activity in many regions. Construction activity totaled $958.1 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in May, up 6.6 percent from a year ago.

  • US construction spending edges up 0.1 percent in May although home building declines

    Updated: Tue, Jul 1, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — US construction spending edges up 0.1 percent in May although home building declines.

  • CoreLogic: US home prices rose more slowly in May

    Updated: Tue, Jul 1, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose in May compared with a year earlier, but the gains have slowed. Data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that prices increased 8.8 percent in May compared with 12 months earlier. The pace of gains has slowed as more homes have come onto the market, according to CoreLogic. On a month-to-month basis, prices rose 1.2 percent from April to May. But CoreLogic's monthly figures aren't adjusted for seasonal patterns, such as warmer weather, which can affect sales. Prices increased the most in Western states, including Hawaii, California and Nevada. Home sales began to stall in the middle of last year after double-digit price increases and higher mortgage rates made real estate less a

  • Japan May data show economy slowing but resilient

    Updated: Mon, Jun 30, 2014

    TOKYO (AP) — Japan's economy is slowing following a sales tax hike but not as badly as some economists feared, according to two business surveys released Tuesday. The central bank's quarterly business confidence survey showed sentiment falling for the first time in 18 months in April-June. But the decline in the index, to 12 from 17 in March, was less than feared. The index, which is a measure of the percentage of companies reporting positive conditions versus those reporting negative conditions, is expected to rise to 15 in September. Demand has waned following a rush of purchasing to beat the tax hike. Automakers and retailers were the industries hardest hit by the April 1 increase in the sales tax to 8 percent from

  • Stocks end mixed; S&P closes near all-time high

    Updated: Mon, Jun 30, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market got back on track in the second quarter. After a bumpy start to the year, the Standard & Poor's 500 index resumed its upward climb in the March-June period. The index rose 4.7 percent, versus a 1.3 percent gain in the first three months of the year. As the weather improved this spring, investors received more encouraging news about hiring and manufacturing. Investors sold stocks in January as they worried about the impact of an unusually harsh winter on the economy. Stocks were also propelled higher by a turnaround in some of the riskier parts of the market. Internet, biotechnology and small-company stocks all rebounded after dragging the market lower in March.

  • Gilbert's real estate arm buys newspaper building

    Updated: Fri, Jun 27, 2014

    DETROIT (AP) — Businessman Dan Gilbert's real estate arm says it's bought the home of The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. Bedrock Real Estate Services made the announcement Friday about its purchase of the Detroit Media Partnership building. The News says the purchase price wasn't disclosed. The 400,000-square-foot building was built in 1917 and designed by famed architect Albert Kahn. Detroit Media Partnership President Joyce Jenereaux says she's "thrilled that Bedrock will be the new owner of our building." The Free Press says Bedrock and its affiliates now own, control or manage more than 60 properties in Detroit's urban core, totaling more than 9 million square feet of space.

  • FAA, developers clash over tall buildings

    Updated: Thu, Jun 26, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The government wants to dramatically reduce the allowable height of potentially thousands of buildings near airports around the country — a proposal that is drawing fire from real estate developers, local officials and members of Congress who say it will hurt property values. The Federal Aviation Administration proposal, supported by airports and airlines, is driven by encroaching development that limits safe flight paths for planes that might lose power in an engine during takeoff. Planes can fly with only one engine, but they have less power to climb quickly over obstacles.

  • Lew announces expanded housing support programs

    Updated: Thu, Jun 26, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is extending for another year a program aimed at helping people struggling to avoid foreclosure on their homes, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Thursday. He said the administration is also expanding an effort to increase access to affordable rental housing. In addition, it is launching an effort to revive the portion of the mortgage market backed by private industry. "Families and neighborhoods across the country continue to recover from the financial crisis and we must not lose our resolve to help them," Lew said at a conference marking the fifth anniversary of the government's mortgage program. Lew said the Home Affordable Modification Program had provided relief to more

  • Threat of housing bubble pushes Britain to act

    Updated: Thu, Jun 26, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — Can Britain avoid bubble trouble in its economy? Concerns are mounting that the country's housing market is overinflated, with London house prices rising almost 19 percent in 12 months. Experts fear it is fueled by debt and the market might 'pop' and come crashing down, as it did in the U.S. during the financial crisis, dragging the country into recession and leaving millions of homeowners with properties that are worth less than their mortgages. In an attempt to avoid such a scenario, the Bank of England on Thursday announced measures to tighten credit and cool off the sector. The move is of interest globally, as it will show how much a major central bank can keep a specific sector from overheating in an econ

  • Why a grim US economic picture is brightening

    Updated: Tue, Jun 24, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — When the government updates its estimate Wednesday of how the U.S. economy fared last quarter, the number is pretty sure to be ugly. Horrible even. The economy likely shrank at an annual rate of nearly 2 percent in the January-March quarter, economists estimate. That would be its bleakest performance since early 2009 in the depths of the Great Recession. So why aren't economists, businesses or investors likely to panic? Because most agree that the economy last quarter was depressed by temporary factors — particularly the blast of Arctic chill and snow that shuttered factories, disrupted shipping and kept Americans away from shopping malls and auto dealerships. Since then, the picture has brig

  • US new home sales rocket higher in May

    Updated: Tue, Jun 24, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new U.S. homes rose in May to the highest level in six years, providing the strongest signal yet that housing is recovering from a recent slowdown. New home sales jumped 18.6 percent last month following a 3.7 percent increase in April, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. The gains followed declines in February and March that were blamed in part on harsh winter weather. The big May increase pushed the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate to 504,000, the highest level since May 2008. "This is the strongest level since the end of the recession and is an encouraging sign that housing activity improved in the second quarter," Cooper Howes, an economist at Barclays Research, said in an ana

  • US home prices rise at slowest pace in 13 months

    Updated: Tue, Jun 24, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose in April from a year ago at the slowest pace in 13 months, reflecting a recent drop-off in sales. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 10.8 percent in April from 12 months earlier. That's a healthy gain, but down from 12.4 percent in the previous month and the smallest since March 2013. Annual price gains slowed in 19 of the 20 cities. Only Boston saw price increases accelerate. Home sales have slowed since last summer as higher mortgage rates and rising prices and have made it harder for would-be buyers to afford a home. Sales of existing homes in May were 5 percent lower than 12 months earlier. Prices rose 1.