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

Numerous factors make homebuying advantageous for the rest of this year.

By MSN Real Estate partner Fri 9:25 AM

© Phillip Spears/Getty ImagesBy Hal Bundrick, MainStreet


A combination of market factors may make you think you're getting priced out of the home market. But one observer believes first-time homebuyers might want to consider making a move.


"I know it's hard to face rising interest rates and rising home prices at the same time," says Ilyce Glink, real estate expert and managing editor of the Equifax finance blog. "The good news is there's still plenty of runway if you want to buy a house this year."


Glink believes first-time homebuyers should consider these five good reasons to buy a house before the end of the year.


Get ready for small, if any, price increases in the next few years, according to a new report.

By MSN Real Estate partner Fri 8:35 AM

By Nick Timiraos, The Wall Street Journal


The U.S. home-price rebound has nearly run its course, and Americans should prepare for several years of home prices that don't increase much, if they rise at all, according to a report published by bond strategists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.


Most economists expect home prices to rise around 5 percent this year, before rising at around 3 percent over the next few years. Home price increases in recent years have been driven primarily by supply shortages, and some economists have said that prices could continue to outpace income or rent growth if more homes aren't made available for sale.


The CNN newsman has put two more waterfront estates on the market, after listing another earlier this summer.

By MSN Real Estate partner Thu 3:55 PM

ZillowBy Emily Heffter, Zillow


CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is selling the second and third of his three adjacent waterfront properties in The Hamptons.


The silver-haired newsman listed 12 Saint George Place in Quiogue for $2.699 million earlier this summer and has since dropped the price to $2.599 million. Around the same time, he listed the mansion next door at 20 Saint George Place as a rental, asking $65,000 for the month of July and $75,000 for August.


Now both properties are for sale. The latter, which Cooper has owned since 2003, is listed for $3.599 million. It includes a third, smaller lot off the water, 16 Saint George Place, according to listing agent Enzo Morabito of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Tags: celebrity

This is the first time the Bay Area's median price has hit seven figures.

By MSN Real Estate partner Thu 10:47 AM

(c) Noah Clayton/Tetra Images/CoBy Robert Frank, CNBC


If San Francisco needs a new name in the zany plan to create six Californias, they might as well call it "Millionaireville."


According to DataQuick, the median home price in San Francisco in June hit the seven-figure mark for the first time. It was also the first time that any of the Bay Area-counties had hit the seven-figure median.


While good for sellers and brokers, the million-dollar mark is sure to fuel the growing class wars in the city over real estate. Many longtime renters are being displaced as values soar and rents jump. More traditional buyers are also being outbid by highly paid tech workers and overseas buyers who are paying all cash.


The Park Avenue apartment where the former first lady grew up is now listed for $44 million.

By MSN Real Estate partner Thu 9:03 AM

ZillowBy Emily Heffter, Zillow


A Park Avenue apartment that was the childhood home of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is on the market for $44 million.


The art deco-style building was developed by the former first lady’s grandfather, and she lived in the apartment on the sixth and seventh floors of 740 Park Ave. while she was in elementary school.


Hedge fund investor David Ganek and his wife, a novelist, are selling the apartment following an insider-trading scandal at Ganek’s firm, the New York Post reported.

Tags: celebrity

Despite the disappointing report, there were silver linings in permits and year-over-year trends.

By MSN Partner Thu 6:51 AM

Image: © Associated PressBy Alan Zibel and Kris Hudson, The Wall Street Journal


WSJU.S. home construction tumbled in June, a surprising sign of weakness for a sector that has struggled to maintain momentum over the past year.


Housing starts sank 9.3% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 893,000, the weakest showing since September 2013, the Commerce Department said Thursday.


It was the second-straight monthly drop and was driven by a nearly 30% decline in the South, the largest monthly decrease on record for that part of the country. Other parts of the U.S., however, posted increases.



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