If homeowners aren't competing with banks when selling homes, the news may be good.

By MSN Real Estate partner 4 hours ago

© Andy Dean / AlamyBy Nick Timiraos, The Wall Street Journal


The U.S. housing market appears to be finding its footing after a sharp rise in mortgage rates last summer, on top of some big price gains, deflated sales.


The National Association of Realtors reported on Tuesday that sales of previously owned homes rose 2.6 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million units. That's the third straight monthly gain and the highest level since last October.



The Connecticut property was connected to the tax-evasion scheme for which the late 'Queen of Mean' served jail time.

By MSN Real Estate partner 5 hours ago

ZillowBy Emily Heffter, Zillow


The Greenwich, Connecticut, summer home where hotelier Leona Helmsley died has been completely renovated and is back on the market for $65 million.


The mansion was at the center of the tax-evasion scheme that landed Helmsley in jail in the 1990s. The case took Helmsley and her husband, Harry, from glamorous to notorious as the case played out in the press. Helmsley was dubbed the "Queen of Mean" and famously was quoted as saying that "only the little people pay taxes."


The billionaire couple were indicted for claiming as business expenses things they purchased for the 17,493-square-foot brick estate, which sits on 40 acres on Round Road, one of the most famous parts of Greenwich. Among the luxuries they added to the home: a marble dance floor above the swimming pool, a $45,000 silver clock and $500,000 worth of jade art objects, according to The New York Times.

Tags: celebrity

With listings withheld from the market, the housing supply remains tight despite an increase in actual listings.

By MSN Real Estate partner 5 hours ago

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Sales rose 2.6% to seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in June.

By MSN Partner 8 hours ago

Image: © John Raoux/APBy Josh Mitchell and Alan Zibel, The Wall Street Journal


WSJA broad measure of U.S. home sales climbed for the third consecutive month in June, a sign the housing market is gaining steam after a monthslong slump.


Sales of existing homes rose 2.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in June, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. That was the highest level since October.


Revisions showed May sales reached 4.91 million, up from an initially reported 4.89 million.


Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected existing-home sales to hit a rate of 5 million in June.

Tags: buying

Despite the threat of websites and apps assuming their role, agents remain confident.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 12:32 PM

© Eye Candy Images/photolibrary.comBy Amy Xie, MainStreet


As real estate agents increasingly adapt digital tools in advertising, it is more and more common that homebuyers use a variety of online interfaces to search for their dream abodes. Yet when a Chinese investor recently bought a $13 million unit of the luxury Baccarat Hotels & Residences in Midtown Manhattan without visiting New York – merely communicating with his agent through social media platforms – an extreme question presented itself: Can real estate agents be replaced by online technology?


In fact, digital tools and the Internet have reshaped each section of our daily lives and penetrated deeply into the real estate industry – with no face-time required. The California Association of Realtors recently released a study showing that over 77 percent of homebuyers used social media in 2014 in their home shopping process, 1.5 times more than in 2011.


Here's how to know when to replace your roof, HVAC and siding.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 12:09 PM

© OceanFishing/Getty ImagesBy Iris Price, ImprovementCenter.com


Often the first sign that your kids are sick is that they aren't as playful as usual, or they might suddenly say, "I'm not feeling good," and without leaving you enough time to say, "'Well' -- you're not feeling 'well,'" they upchuck on your feet.


The health of your home components can be even harder to predict. Unless you're paying close attention, you may not realize anything is wrong until your house springs a leak, something falls off of it or you turn on your heat or A/C and ... nothing happens. You need to be vigilant to any signs something is amiss or the damage from one system failing can be compounded by affecting something else. If your house has no heat in the dead of winter, for example, your pipes could freeze, and then you'll have to call not only an HVAC technician but also a plumber.


Only about 15 percent of real estate agents report speaking a second language, and those who do say that being multilingual gives them a competitive advantage.

By MSN Real Estate partner Mon 10:57 AM

© John Wildgoose/Getty ImagesBy Stefanos Chen, The Wall Street Journal


Real estate agents seeking an edge in Los Angeles might want to brush up on their Armenian skills.


Trulia, the real estate listings and data portal, searched nearly 83,000 agent profiles in the U.S. to find the most commonly spoken languages. The most popular, after English, was Spanish at 12.2 percent, followed by French with 2.5 percent, Russian, Mandarin and German.


"There are many American buyers who might prefer to work with an agent who speaks languages in addition to English," said Jed Kolko, chief economist for Trulia, who notes that polyglot agents have an advantage in the market.


Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs are letting go of their Studio City house, which is for sale for just under $3 million.

By MSN Real Estate partner Fri 12:55 PM

ZillowBy Emily Heffter, Zillow


Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel, who in December announced plans to divorce after 10 years of marriage, are letting go of their home in Studio City.


Menzel has had a huge year as the voice inspired little girls sing with while listening to the "Frozen" soundtrack. She voiced Elsa in the animated film, and its signature song, "Let It Go," was nominated for an Oscar.


Diggs is a stage, movie and TV actor best known for his roles in films such as "Rent" and "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and the TV series "Private Practice." He and Menzel met while filming "Rent" in 2003.

Tags: celebrity


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