Industry News

Top real estate stories of 2006

Stuart Wolff found guilty; Zillow shakes up online real estate

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2006 for many real estate professionals will be remembered as the year the market turned. The year was by no means a bust for housing -- most economists still expect it to be the third best on record for sales -- but a slowdown hit hard in many markets, causing brokers and agents to hunker down and focus on the basics. Memorable developments in online real estate include the launch of Zillow, a free site that offers valuations and information on some 64 million properties, and the explosive growth of real estate blogs. Also this year, more brokers started sending listings to search sites Google Base, Trulia and Oodle. And 2006 had its share of controversy, with the Federal Trade Commission initiating law enforcement actions against a number of MLSs, former Homestore CEO Stuart Wolff going to trial for his role in a lucrative accounting scandal, and banking regulators laying down tighter restrictions on riskier nontraditional, or "exotic," mortgages. Here are our picks for the most memo...