• At Home with Marni Jameson: Hospital takes healthy cues from home design

    By Marni Jameson | Published: Sat, Jan 24, 2015

    The architects’ objective was “to create a home for 245 patients,” according to the press materials handed to those of us previewing a new hospital tower, a $300 million structure at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

  • US home sales rise in December

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans purchased homes in December, yet total sales slipped in 2014 as first-time buyers struggled to find houses. The National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales of existing homes rose 2.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million. But over the course of the entire year, sales fell 3.1 percent to 4.93 million. Only 29 percent of sales went to first-time buyers last month, compared to a historic average of 40 percent. Prospective buyers were priced out of the market due to rising home values and relatively stagnant incomes. Still, affordability has improved in recent months as mortgage rates have plunged, leading to the possibility of stronger sales in 2015

  • US home sales increase 2.4 pct. in December; fewer first-time buyers hurt overall 2014 sales

    Updated: Fri, Jan 23, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — US home sales increase 2.4 pct. in December; fewer first-time buyers hurt overall 2014 sales.

  • Monthly US rents keep climbing, especially in San Francisco

    Updated: Thu, Jan 22, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home rental prices continued to climb at a modest pace in December, but rapidly escalating costs in cities such as San Francisco and Denver suggest that apartment dwellers are facing more financial pressure. Prices rose 3.3 percent in December compared with 12 months earlier, real estate data firm Zillow said Friday. Although that increase is less than the recent appreciation in home values, a surge in apartment costs in several of the hottest markets indicates that renters who aspire to buy homes face mounting financial challenges. The share of Americans who own their homes has slipped to 64.4 percent from a peak of 69.2 percent in 2004, the result of the housing market crash that triggered the Great

  • Wells Fargo, JPMorgan settle mortgage kickbacks probe

    Updated: Thu, Jan 22, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase have agreed to pay more than $35 million combined to resolve claims that loan officers at the two banks received kickbacks in exchange for steering mortgage borrowers to a Maryland title company. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday that JPMorgan and Wells Fargo each agreed to consent orders filed in federal court to settle the claims. Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $24 million in civil penalties and $10.8 million to consumers affected by the scheme. JPMorgan is to pay $600,000 in penalties and about $300,000 in redress.

  • Average rate on 30-year mortgage falls to 3.63 pct.

    Updated: Thu, Jan 22, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell for the fourth straight week, with the benchmark 30-year rate again marking its lowest level since May 2013. The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, slipped further below 3 percent. Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage declined to 3.63 percent this week from 3.66 percent this week last week. The rate for the 15-year loan slipped to 2.93 percent from 2.98 percent last week. A year ago, the average 30-year mortgage stood at 4.39 percent and the 15-year mortgage at 3.44 percent.

  • European Central Bank stimulus faces hurdles compared to Fed

    Updated: Wed, Jan 21, 2015

    FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Big bang or disappointment? Markets are waiting to see just how much financial firepower the European Central Bank will unleash Thursday, when it is expected to announce large-scale purchases of government bonds with newly printed money to stimulate a sluggish economy. The decision to use bond purchases, or so-called quantitative easing, follows in the footsteps of the U.S. Federal Reserve — as well as the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan. The Fed bought bonds from 2008 to 2014 — and got credit for helping jump-start an increasingly robust U.S. recovery. Europe could definitely use a push. Growth is weak, unemployment is 11.5 percent and inflation is minus 0.

  • European Central Bank stimulus faces hurdles compared to Fed

    Updated: Wed, Jan 21, 2015

    FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Big bang or disappointment? Markets are waiting to see just how much financial firepower the European Central Bank will unleash Thursday, when it is expected to announce large-scale purchases of government bonds with newly printed money to stimulate a sluggish economy. The decision to use bond purchases, or so-called quantitative easing, follows in the footsteps of the U.S. Federal Reserve — as well as the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan. The Fed bought bonds from 2008 to 2014 — and got credit for helping jump-start an increasingly robust U.S. recovery. Europe could definitely use a push. Growth is weak, unemployment is 11.5 percent and inflation is minus 0.

  • Mexico president faces new questions about personal assets

    Updated: Wed, Jan 21, 2015

    MEXICO CITY (AP) — President Enrique Pena Nieto faced new questions about his personal assets Wednesday after a report that he purchased a home from a businessman whose company won public works contracts worth millions of dollars. According to the Wall Street Journal, Pena Nieto bought the country-club house in Ixtapan de la Sal, about 70 miles (120 kilometers) south of the capital, from Roberto San Roman shortly after becoming governor of the state of Mexico in 2005. It reported that San Roman's construction company won more than $100 million in state government contracts between 2005 and 2011, and at least 11 federal contracts of unspecified value after Pena Nieto became president in 2012. The company had not previously c

  • US home construction up 4.4 percent in December

    Updated: Wed, Jan 21, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Construction of new homes rebounded in December, helping to push activity for the entire year to the highest level since the peak of the housing boom nine years ago. The Commerce Department says builders started construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million in December, an increase of 4.4 percent from November, when unusually severe weather pushed activity down 4.5 percent. For all of 2014, builders started construction on 1.01 million new homes and apartments, an increase of 8.8 percent from 2013. It was the first time construction has topped 1 million since 2005, the height of the housing boom, when builders started work on 2.07 million homes.

  • US homebuilder confidence, sales outlook slip in January

    Updated: Tue, Jan 20, 2015

    U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less confident in their sales prospects ahead of the spring homebuying season, traditionally the peak period for home sales. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Tuesday slipped this month to 57, down one point from a revised reading of 58 in December. Even so, builders' overall sales outlook remains favorable. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor. Builders' outlook for sales over the next six months and a measure of traffic by prospective buyers both declined, while a view of current sales conditions held steady. The index also found sentiment improved in the West, Northeast

  • Lawmakers look at how Airbnb affects NYC housing, economy

    Updated: Tue, Jan 20, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — With home-as-hotel sites like Airbnb doing booming business, New York City lawmakers are scrutinizing how the trend affects the housing market and economy. A City Council hearing Tuesday is shaping up to be a wide-ranging faceoff over the pros and cons of short-term apartment rentals, which have come under scrutiny in New York and other cities around the country. Before the hearing even starts, Airbnb supporters and opponents are set to hold dueling rallies outside City Hall. Airbnb and similar sites have become a focal point for discussion about whether and how to regulate the growing "sharing economy," and whether it represents an innovative, person-to-person business model or an unregulated, unruly upstar

  • Florida had nation's highest foreclosure rate last year

    Updated: Mon, Jan 19, 2015

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The number of properties that lenders repossessed in foreclosures nationwide last year is at an eight-year low, but Florida continued to have the nation's highest foreclosure rate in 2014. Figures released last week by the research firm RealtyTrac shows Florida had a 2.3 percent foreclosure rate last year, the highest in the nation. Florida was followed by New Jersey, Maryland, Illinois and Nevada. Four Florida metro areas also were among the top 5 cities with the nation's highest foreclosure rates. Atlantic City, New Jersey, was at the top of the list. It was followed by Miami, Orlando, Florida's Space Coast and Tampa.

  • The Humphreys Fund in Oklahoma City adjusts its sights to 'shoot long'

    BY RICHARD MIZE, Real Estate Editor | Updated: Sun, Jan 18, 2015

    Young executives to extend the private investment fund, which has added millions of dollars in equity and assets since its founding in 2012.

  • Central Oklahoma Builder of the Year Steve Allen makes homes that feel more expensive

    BY TIM FALL, For The Oklahoman | Published: Sat, Jan 17, 2015

    Steve Allen, a longtime builder and developer, was recently named Builder of the Year by the Central Oklahoma Home Builders Association

  • Richard Mize: Insurance rate drop has horns

    BY RICHARD MIZE, Real Estate Editor | Updated: Fri, Jan 16, 2015

    Lost in the hurrahing and the minimal harrumphing over an FHA reduction in interest rates were these wee scamps, the devils in the details.

  • Smart Moves: Financial trade-offs for buyers in their 50s

    by Ellen James Martin | Published: Sat, Jan 17, 2015

    Baby boomers are the first generation that must worry about paying for their own retirement because many rely on largely self-funded 401(k) plans, instead of the employer-provided pensions of yore.

  • Oklahoma real estate news briefs, Jan. 17

    Published: Sat, Jan 17, 2015

    Oklahoma real estate news briefs, Jan. 17, 2015

  • Oklahoma County land sales

    Published: Sat, Jan 17, 2015

    Oklahoma County land sales for Jan. 17, 2015

  • At Home With Marni Jameson: The difference between good old and bad old

    By Marni Jameson | Published: Sat, Jan 17, 2015

    Sacramento, Calif., based interior designer Kerrie Kelly lists 10 once-popular decorating moves that did not get better with time.




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