BrokerageIndustry News

There’s no escape from real estate

Part 1: America is drunk on real estate

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Editor's introduction: The greatest housing boom in U.S. history has made real estate the hot topic. Some people have become so obsessed with home shopping that they are visiting open houses as a new form of weekend entertainment. In some markets, prospective buyers are packing Wednesday and Thursday open house tours. And each month, roughly 20 million consumers browse MLS property listings on the Web. They are the modern-day "Lookie Lou's," or people who dream of owning a home but cannot or will not take the plunge. We call them: Castle Clickers. Market dynamics are also out of control. Multiple offers are common, people are camping out to get in on new subdivisions and double-digit home appreciation is not confined to the East and West coasts. (See Part 2: Online home listings fetch millions of eyeballs and Part 3: Hot housing market draws opera singers, engineers.) Real estate is everywhere. Don't try to run. Don't try to hide. It is simply inescapable. It will find you at work, a...