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

By MSN Partner Tue 6:12 AM

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,


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

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 Jul 17, 2014 3:55PM

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


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