Top Stories

  • Former NBA player George seeks new fraud trial

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A former NBA player convicted of wire fraud in an alleged real estate Ponzi scheme is seeking to have his conviction thrown out and claiming prosecutorial misconduct, among other allegations. Tate George said in a recent court filing that his conviction last fall should be reversed for several reasons, including that the government used a witness who lied on the stand and that prosecutors never proved that investors suffered losses due to any illegal actions by him. George also claimed his attorney didn't try to present documents and testimony into evidence that could have proved his innocence. Attorneys were scheduled to make oral arguments on George's motion Tuesday in Trenton, but the hearing was post

  • News Corp. to buy Move Inc. for about $950 million

    Updated: 18 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — News Corp. will pay about $950 million to buy the online real estate business Move Inc. in a deal that aims to speed up the media company's digital expansion. The New York company said Tuesday that it will pay $21 per share in cash for each outstanding share of Move. That represents a 37 percent premium over the stock's closing stock price of $15.29 on Monday. Move operates the website News Corp. said Move displays more than 98 percent of all for-sale properties listed in the United States and that Move's network of websites reaches about 35 million people per month. News Corp.

  • Research group: Conn. home sales, prices falling

    Updated: 21 hr ago

    HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A research group says Connecticut real estate is in a slump, with home sales and prices continuing to fall. The Warren Group, publisher of The Commercial Record, said Tuesday that 2,735 single-family homes sold in August, down 6 percent from August 2013. From January through August, sales fell nearly 2 percent. Single-family home sales and prices fell by 2 percent to 3 percent in the eight months of the year. In contrast, gains last year were between 6 percent and 8 percent. The median price of single-family homes fell 5.3 percent, the sixth consecutive month prices declined. The median price fell to $269,900 in August compared with $285,000 in August 2013. Timothy M. Warren Jr.

  • Contracts to buy US homes slide in August

    Updated: Mon, Sep 29, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes in August, suggesting that real estate sales will remain sluggish over the next few months. The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index fell 1 percent over the past month to 104.7. Higher prices and weak wage growth has limited buying, as the index is 2.2 percent below its level from a year ago. The five-year recovery from the Great Recession has been uneven, such that historically low mortgage rates have failed to propel buying back to usual levels. Price increases going back to 2013 have led to fewer homebuyers, while many families have lacked the income to save for down payments.

  • Lean building advocate describes waste in industry

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Sat, Sep 27, 2014

    In a presentation titled “My Favorite Train Wrecks,” Scott Sedam’s examples ranged from Dumpsters full of usable air-conditioning duct work, to dozens of wood trusses exposed to weather for long periods of time, to homes overbuilt with features.

  • Asia stocks down after Wall Street stumbles

    Updated: Thu, Sep 25, 2014

    HONG KONG (AP) — Asian stocks sank Friday after Wall Street had its worst day since July, with benchmarks weighed down by uninspiring U.S. economic data and Apple's iPhone software glitch. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 1 percent to 16,212.07 and South Korea's Kospi lost 0.3 percent to 2,028.68. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.3 percent to 23,699.95 while the Shanghai Composite Index on mainland China edged up 0.1 percent to 2,347.52. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.1 percent to 5,321.00. U.S. SLUMP: The latest data on the world's biggest economy did little to inspire investor confidence. Unemployment benefits crept up last week although the less volatile four-week average fell. Another report said equipment o

  • Home prices fall 3 percent; sales down 8 percent

    Updated: Thu, Sep 25, 2014

    PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Association of Realtors says the median price of single-family homes in the state fell 3 percent in August compared with the same month a year ago. The association reported Thursday the median price last month was $218,000. Sales were also down 8 percent. Distressed sales in the single-family market were down 29 percent. The median price in the condo market was down 3 percent to $192,200, and sales were down 24 percent. The median price climbed 25 percent in August in the multi-family property market, to $169,000, but sales were down 9 percent. Association President Robert Martin says there's a good balance now between supply and demand and the Rhode Island is closer to a norma

  • Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.20 percent

    Updated: Thu, Sep 25, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates declined slightly this week, after marking their largest one-week gain of the year the previous week. Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday that the nationwide average for a 30-year loan eased to 4.20 percent from 4.23 percent last week. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, slipped to 3.36 percent from 3.37 percent. At 4.20 percent, the rate on a 30-year mortgage is down from 4.53 percent at the start of the year. Rates have fallen even though the Federal Reserve has been trimming its monthly bond purchases, which are intended to keep long-term borrowing rates low. The purchases are set to end next month.

  • Asian stocks up as US data boost sentiment

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Asian stock markets were mostly higher Thursday after a surge in new home sales in the U.S. bolstered sentiment. But gains were limited by worries about Europe's stagnant economy and violence in Iraq and Syria. KEEPING SCORE: Japan outperformed the region with the Nikkei 225 up 1.2 percent to 16,364.74 after the dollar rose above 109 yen overnight, a fresh six-year high. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.3 percent to 2,351.39. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.1 percent to 5,380.30. Stocks in Southeast Asia rose. South Korea's Kospi drifted 0.1 percent lower to 2,034.80 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged down 0.2 percent to 23,884.90.

  • Sales of US new homes soar in August

    Updated: Wed, Sep 24, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of new homes surged in August, led by a wave of buying in the West and Northeast. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new-home sales climbed 18 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000. The report also revised up the July sales rate to 427,000 from 412,000. Newly constructed homes sold at the fastest clip since May 2008. It's a clear sign of improvement for a real estate market that has been muddled in recent months, as the rebound in sales following the housing bust began to slow. Sales of new homes are up 33 percent over the past 12 months. Median prices for new homes have risen nearly 8 percent during the same period to $275,600.

  • China stocks rebound on stronger manufacturing

    Updated: Mon, Sep 22, 2014

    BEIJING (AP) — Chinese stocks rebounded Tuesday on unexpectedly strong manufacturing but other Asian markets fell following Wall Street's tumble. KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 percent to 2,293.71 and Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.4 percent at 5,382.70. Tokyo was closed for a holiday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.3 percent to 23,891.66 and Seoul's Kospi shed 0.6 percent to 2,026.72. Benchmarks also fell in Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines and New Zealand. CHINESE MANUFACTURING: A preliminary version of HSBC's purchasing managers' index showed unexpectedly strong manufacturing in September, helping to ease fears of a sharper slowdown in the world's second-largest economy. The PMI rose to 50.5 from Augus

  • US existing home sales fall in August

    Updated: Mon, Sep 22, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans bought homes in August, as investors retreated from real estate and first-time buyers remained scarce. Sales of existing homes fell 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. That snaps a four-month streak of gains. August sales are down from a July rate of 5.14 million, a figure that was revised slightly downward. Much of the decline came from the exodus of investors, who had been buying properties in the aftermath of the housing bust and recession. Investors accounted for just 12 percent of August purchases, compared to 17 percent a year earlier. Overall, the pace of home sales has dropped 5.3 percent year-over

  • Volatile apartment sector reduces US home building

    Updated: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home construction plunged in August, led by steep decline in the volatile apartment category. But single-family house construction, a larger and more stable portion of the market, fell only modestly. Construction fell 14.4 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 956,000 homes, the Commerce Department said Thursday. This reverses the sharp gains in July when the rate of new construction rose to 1.12 million homes, the highest annual rate since 2007. Last month's decrease primarily came from builders starting fewer apartment complexes, which plummeted 31.5 percent compared to July. Apartments have propelled much of the growth in residential construction over the past year, but the pace

  • Inland American to sell 52 hotels for $1.1 billion

    Updated: Thu, Sep 18, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — Inland American Real Estate Trust Inc., which is in the process of spinning off its hotel business, said Thursday that is selling 52 of its hotels to a joint venture for about $1.1 billion. The buyers are real estate investment trusts NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. and Chatham Lodging Trust. NorthStar Realty will own 90 percent of the portfolio, while Chatham will own the remaining 10 percent. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. The hotels are located all over the country and are mostly either branded as a Marriott or Hilton and have a total of 6,976 rooms. Inland American said it still plans to spin off its hotel business Xenia Hotels & Resorts Inc.

  • US homebuilder confidence soars in September

    Updated: Wed, Sep 17, 2014

    U.S. homebuilders' confidence in the market for new, single-family homes surged this month to the highest level in nearly nine years. The brighter outlook reflects growing optimism that sales will increase over the next six months. That could potentially spur growth in home construction, a key driver of the economy. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Wednesday rose this month to 59, up four points from August. The index has risen four months in a row. The latest reading is the highest since reaching 61 in November 2005, before the housing bubble burst. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good, rather than poor.

  • California home sales drop to 4-year August low

    Updated: Thu, Sep 11, 2014

    IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — The number of homes sold in California fell to the lowest level for an August in four years as a supply crunch pushed prices higher and kept homes out of reach for many buyers, a real estate research company reported Thursday. An estimated 37,228 houses and condominiums were sold in California last month, down sharply from the same month a year earlier. Such year-over-year slumps have now hit the state for 11 straight months, CoreLogic DataQuick reported. The statewide median sales price for a home was $393,000 — a jump of nearly 10 percent from August 2013. Still, the increase was much less than the double-digit hikes recorded in the past couple of years.

  • Report: Home sales in Conn. flat so far this year

    Updated: Wed, Sep 10, 2014

    BOSTON (AP) — A real estate research group says single-family home sales in July increased slightly in Connecticut, posting the fifth increase from one year over the other in 2014. The Warren Group said Wednesday that 3,152 single-family homes were sold in Connecticut in July, an increase of less than 1 percent compared with July 2013. Still, it was the highest sales for any month since June 2010. Since the start of the year, 14,059 homes have sold, down 1.2 percent from the January-July period last year. The median price fell 2.7 percent. Timothy Warren, chief executive of The Warren Group, says the numbers so far this year are not as upbeat as last year when sales and median prices increased.

  • BGC Partners makes $675M cash offer for GFI Group

    Updated: Tue, Sep 9, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — BGC Partners Inc. is offering $675 million in cash for the derivatives and currency broker GFI Group Inc., trying to derail a competing bid from CME Group. BGC said Tuesday that it will pay $5.25 per share in cash for each share of GFI it doesn't already own, a price that represents a premium of more than 15 percent to CME's all-stock offer of $4.55 per share. BGC Partners, a financial and real estate brokerage, already owns a 13.5 percent stake in GFI. New York-based BGC said it is taking its tender offer directly to GFI shareholders after GFI refused to discuss a deal. BGC Partners President Shaun D. Lynn said in a letter to GFI directors that his company's proposal was "clearly superior.

  • Real estate firm leases space in New York's 1 WTC

    Updated: Thu, Sep 4, 2014

    NEW YORK (AP) — One of the world's largest, privately-held commercial real estate firms is leasing space on the 45th floor of New York City's One World Trade Center. The 10-year lease of Cushman & Wakefield was announced Thursday by landlords the Durst Organization and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Manhattan-based Cushman & Wakefield was founded in 1917 and employs more than 16,000 professionals in 250 offices in 60 countries. The space will serve as the company's downtown headquarters. Durst officials say the deal means the tower is now nearly 58 percent leased. One World Trade was previously known as the Freedom Tower. It will open later this year when anchor tenant Conde Nast begins to move i

  • Average US 30-year mortgage rate holds steady

    Updated: Thu, Sep 4, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The average 30-year U.S. mortgage rate this week remained at a 52-week low of 4.10 percent for the third straight week. Mortgage company Freddie Mac also said Thursday the average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, slipped to 3.24 percent from 3.25 percent. At its 52-week low of 4.10 percent, the rate on a 30-year mortgage is down from 4.53 percent at the start of the year. Rates have fallen even though the Federal Reserve has been trimming its monthly bond purchases, which are intended to keep long-term borrowing rates low. The purchases are set to end in October. The low rates appear to have boosted U.S. home sales.