The country-music stars' beach retreat is a 'pocket listing,' with one report putting its price at $7.5 million.

By MSN Real Estate partner 5 hours ago

The AgencyBy Emily Heffter, Zillow

 

Country-music superstars Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks have listed their Malibu, California, getaway for sale. They purchased the four-bed, 3.5-bath ranch home above Paradise Cove in 2008 — right after it had undergone an extensive remodel.

 

The soon-to-be empty-nesters are moving back to Nashville, Tennessee, from Oklahoma, and recently unloaded another piece of property, Yearwood's Brentwood home outside Nashville.

 
Tags: celebrity

In the second quarter, 64.7 percent of Americans owned homes.

By MSN Real Estate partner 6 hours ago

© Stockbyte/SuperStockBy Prashant Gopal, Bloomberg

 

The homeownership rate in the U.S. fell to a 19-year low as rising prices and tight credit kept many first-time buyers out of the property market.

 

The share of Americans who own their homes was 64.7 percent in the second quarter, down from 64.8 percent in the previous three months, the Census Bureau said in a report today. The rate matched the level in the second quarter of 1995.

 

Housing has become less affordable and more difficult to finance for entry-level buyers, even as mortgage rates have held close to record lows. First-time purchasers accounted for 28 percent of all sales of previously owned homes in June, compared with about 40 percent historically, according to the National Association of Realtors.

 

The pace of home-price gains slipped to 9.3 percent in May after April's 10.8 percent growth, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

By MSN Real Estate partner 8 hours ago

By Nick Timiraos, The Wall Street Journal

 

Post begins below graph

 

Seventy percent of Fannie Mae survey respondents say now is a good time to buy a home.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 2:46 PM

Big Cheese Photo/Getty ImagesBy Scott Gamm, MainStreet

 

After housing woes shocked the economy in 2008, consumers are slowly becoming more confident about the housing market.

 

According to Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey from June, 70 percent of respondents say it is a good time to buy a home, while consumers' average 12-month home-price change expectation stands at 2.4 percent.

 

"Since we began collecting monthly National Housing Survey data in June 2010, we've seen substantial progress in consumer home price expectations and other key attitudinal measures as the housing recovery gained its footing," said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. "Still, we do not expect to see 'normal' levels of new residential construction, in the region of 1.6 million new housing units per year, before the end of 2016, our original projection. Such a feat would require a pace of growth in housing starts not seen in decades."

 

Cutting back on amenities can help reduce the monthly cost.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 1:51 PM

Getty ImagesBy Jon Lal, U.S. News & World Report

 

Summer is peak season for relocating because of the nice weather and the fact that people tend to have more free time on their hands. Many people looking to move might not be ready to buy a home, and instead need a place to rent.

 

If you're already a renter, you know it can be a challenge to find an apartment you can afford that also suits your needs. The price of an apartment can depend on location, amenities, demand and many other factors.

 

To avoid paying too much upfront, as well as getting stuck in a lease you really can't afford, consider the following before signing on the dotted line.

 
Tags: rentals

For some homeowners, now may be the first time they can come out ahead on a previously underwater mortgage.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 9:50 AM

© SuperStockBy Jeff Brown, MainStreet

 

Yes, home prices have rebounded nicely from the depths of the recession, but in many major markets it could take three or more years to get back to the peak prices of 2007.

 

That presents the owner who wants to move with some tough choices. But selling now, at a loss, is not necessarily the bad move it looks like at first glance.

 

The new home-price assessment from Zillow says prices in half the nation's largest markets will not get back to pre-recession prices "for another three-plus years." One reason is that as markets slowly return to normal, prices gains have slowed from the double-digit levels of some recent years.

 

As signed contracts to buy homes slip, housing recovery remains choppy.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 8:11 AM

© Design Pics/Don Hammond/Getty ImagesBy Josh Mitchell, The Wall Street Journal

 

The number of contracts signed to buy previously owned homes slipped in June, a sign the housing recovery remains choppy despite a retreat in interest rates.

 

An index of pending home sales, reflecting purchases under contract but not yet closed, fell 1.1 percent to a reading of 102.7 in June from May, ending three months of gains, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. The above-100 reading indicates market activity was still "average," if not robust, the trade group said.

 

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 0.5 percent rise in June sales.

 

In densely populated cities such as Singapore and Beijing, tight guidelines govern everything from cooking to pet ownership — a bewildering tangle of laws for expats and other new arrivals.

By MSN Real Estate partner Fri 1:52 PM

Eric Gregory Powell/Getty ImagesBy Alyssa Abkowitz, The Wall Street Journal

 

In Singapore, look out for the "mozzie police."

 

Crystal Nanavati, a blogger from Boston who moved to Singapore in 2010, once got a visit from a "mosquito inspector" who wanted to check for stagnant water in her home. The inspector examined her balconies, bathrooms and planters, looking for areas ripe for mosquitoes — carriers of the deadly dengue fever. Though he didn't find anything that warranted the standard $200 fine, he noted a vase of dying flowers from her recent wedding anniversary. "He told me to deal with the flowers that day," says Nanavati, who lives in a 1,400-square-foot apartment in the central district near Orchard Road with her husband and children. "That the state can come in and evaluate your house, even for a public health risk, is awkward at best."

 

In some of Asia's fastest-growing and most densely populated cities, developers, building managers and municipal authorities have implemented a variety of rules and regulations to keep residential life running smoothly. That can mean strict guidelines governing everything from cooking to pet ownership to elevator use — a bewildering tangle of laws for expats and other new arrivals.

 
Tags: rentals
 

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