Tougher standards for mortgage insurers could give newcomers an edge

Tougher standards for mortgage insurers could give newcomers an edge

Some private mortgage insurers who have been regaining market share lost to the Federal Housing Administration during the downturn could soon be forced to implement price increases in order to meet risk-based standards proposed by Fannie Mae and Fred...
18 hours ago
NYC brokerage CORE absorbs Heddings Property Group

NYC brokerage CORE absorbs Heddings Property Group

Douglas Heddings — an exec with Prudential Douglas Eliman and founder of the blog TrueGotham.com before founding his own real estate brokerage, Heddings Property Group — has joined rival Manhattan firm CORE as executive vice president of ...
18 hours ago
Housing groups accuse Fannie Mae REO contractor of racial discrimination

Housing groups accuse Fannie Mae REO contractor of racial discrimination

The National Fair Housing Alliance and two other civil rights groups have filed a discrimination complaint against Fannie Mae contractor Cyprexx Services alleging that the company failed to properly maintain bank-owned homes in Latino and African-Ame...
22 hours ago
School enrollment caps hurting housing markets

School enrollment caps hurting housing markets

North Carolina real estate agents say housing markets in parts of Wake County, including Raleigh and Holly Springs, have been feeling the impact of the school district’s decision to cap enrollment at 20 schools as home construction continues to...
Monday, July 21, 2014
‘Personal relocation firm’ helps city dwellers find the ‘right’ suburb

‘Personal relocation firm’ helps city dwellers find the ‘right’ suburb

In a lengthy article that touches on many of the issues raised in a four-part Inman News series on how neighborhood data can complicate the role of real estate agents and aggravate residential segregation, The New York Times looks at ......
Monday, July 21, 2014
Scandal casts more doubt on validity of school test scores

Scandal casts more doubt on validity of school test scores

It’s become almost a given that real estate search portals will provide would-be homebuyers with information about the quality of local schools. Educators have complained that test scores and simplified school rankings don’t always tell t...
Monday, July 21, 2014
Brokers continue to invest time, money in drones

Brokers continue to invest time, money in drones

Real estate brokers in Fresno, California, continue to see drones as a good investment of their marketing dollars, despite an uncertain regulatory climate in which the FAA maintains that they are breaking the law if they use the remote-controlled air...
Monday, July 21, 2014
GeekEstate reviews 15 IDX website solutions for brokers and agents

GeekEstate reviews 15 IDX website solutions for brokers and agents

The ability to display property search results on a map is not “map search.” It’s the other way around — map search should give the user the ability to search by map, says GeekEstate’s Mike McGee. “It seems like it...
Monday, July 21, 2014
Startup funding hits 13-year high, with $13B invested in 3 months

Startup funding hits 13-year high, with $13B invested in 3 months

Venture capitalists flooded startups with $13 billion in capital during the second quarter of 2014 — up 34 percent from the previous quarter, to a level not seen since 2001. That’s according to the latest MoneyTree report from Pricewaterh...
Friday, July 18, 2014
FHA may be healthy, but does that mean it’s time to cut premiums?

FHA may be healthy, but does that mean it’s time to cut premiums?

Hoping to not only shore up the FHA’s reserves but shift some market share back to the private sector, the Obama administration has tightened underwriting standards and hiked annual premiums for most FHA mortgages from 0.55 percent in 2010 to ...
Friday, July 18, 2014
Dual agency tangles agent and broker up in potentially costly lawsuit

Dual agency tangles agent and broker up in potentially costly lawsuit

The Ohio Court of Appeals has upheld a $216,337 jury award levied against a seller who was accused of concealing a home’s defects, and sent the case back to the trial court saying that the seller’s agent and brokerage should ......
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Real estate agent gets 10 years for sale of spec homes to straw buyers

Real estate agent gets 10 years for sale of spec homes to straw buyers

A real estate agent who helped a builder sell six spec homes in Medina, Ohio, to straw buyers has been sentenced to 125 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $3 million in restitution. Prosecutors said that when ......
Monday, July 14, 2014
$2.5B of $7B Citigroup penalty earmarked for consumer relief

$2.5B of $7B Citigroup penalty earmarked for consumer relief

Citigroup has agreed to pay $7 billion to settle government allegations that it misrepresented the quality of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) to investors when selling them in the run-up to the housing meltdown, The Wall Street Journal reports. The ...
Monday, July 14, 2014
Amazon is not kidding around about drone delivery

Amazon is not kidding around about drone delivery

“One day, seeing Amazon Prime Air will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today,” says an Amazon executive in petitioning the FAA to allow the company to conduct drone tests. The petition reveals that Amazon is ......
Friday, July 11, 2014
NAR awarding ‘micro-grants’ to transform unused public spaces

NAR awarding ‘micro-grants’ to transform unused public spaces

The Houston, Missouri-based Ozark Trail Board of Realtors will use a $1,600 “micro-grant” from the National Association of Realtors to help develop the Licking Veterans Memorial Park, The Licking News reports. State and local Realtor asso...
Friday, July 11, 2014
Home-staging firm uses people as props

Home-staging firm uses people as props

Home-staging firm Showhomes Tampa has taken a novel approach to selling high-end properties whose owners live elsewhere: It has brought in families as “human props” to live in the homes for a discount in exchange for keeping the home so ...
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro confirmed to run HUD, FHA

San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro confirmed to run HUD, FHA

San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, confirmed by the Senate today as secretary of Housing and Urban Development, will have to balance the desires of Democrats and housing advocates to make sure FHA mortgages remain available to borrowers of modest mean...
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Now there’s a reality show for that: Interest in ‘tiny houses’ surges

Now there’s a reality show for that: Interest in ‘tiny houses’ surges

Hardly anyone actually lives in one, but interest in tiny houses — defined as homes of 500 square feet or less — appears to be surging as architects, bloggers and a new A&E reality show, “Tiny House Nation,” take up ......
Wednesday, July 9, 2014