Realty Check


  • Centex

    I'm working the Bank of America home building conference in New York today, moderating the lunch panel and sitting in on presentations by the major builders.

  • Homeowners Offered New Way to Tap House's Equity Wednesday, 18 Jun 2008 | 3:31 PM ET

    Several new products on the market aim to replace interest payments (and high reverse mortgage costs) with an unknown share of future profits.

  • "Friends Of Angelo" Loan Fiasco Just Gets Nastier Wednesday, 18 Jun 2008 | 12:03 PM ET

    Frankly I don’t care if either of these guys got a better rate than I did. Do we really believe that members of Congress don’t get perks?? I do care that everyone else seems to care.

  • Housing Starts Fall: Why That's A Good Thing Tuesday, 17 Jun 2008 | 11:47 AM ET

    With inventories of new homes at a record high, really nobody should be putting a shovel in the ground unless it’s already pre-ordered and pre-bought. I know that’s not exactly what a big public home builder wants to hear. They build homes for a living, I get that.

  • U.S. Housing Starts Fall 3.3%, Hit 1991 Low Tuesday, 17 Jun 2008 | 8:53 AM ET
    Home Construction

    U.S. housing starts slid 3.3 percent in May to their lowest level in more than 17 years, while permits for future construction also fell, signaling more weakness ahead for the battered U.S. housing sector.

  • For many many months now I’ve been suggesting (that’s a nice word for it) that in addition to plenty of predatory lending during the housing boom, a lot of folks just plain didn’t take the time to read their paperwork or even ask when exactly their adjustable rate loans would adjust.

  • Hope Now, OCC Battle Over Numbers Instead Of Problem Friday, 13 Jun 2008 | 1:18 PM ET
    Controller of the Currency

    A few weeks ago the folks heading up the mortgage industry’s “Hope Now” initiative, which aims at getting lenders and servicers to refi, modify, or set up repayment plans for borrowers, came over to tell me how wonderful they were doing, and how their numbers were improving.

  • Lampert Unlucky in Housing Thursday, 12 Jun 2008 | 12:47 PM ET
    Edward Lampert

    So there’s a bit of a blurb in the Wall Street Journal today about billionaire hedge-fund manager Edward Lampert and his ESL Investments Inc. buying into a few home builders (Centex and KB Home) as well as a few mortgage lenders (PHH and CIT) and Home Depot just to boot.

  • Abu Dhabi And Chrysler Building: Get The Irony Of It All? Wednesday, 11 Jun 2008 | 4:34 PM ET
    Chrysler Building

    Here is a building, completed in 1930 and built to house the headquarters of the once-great American auto manufacturer, being sold to the folks who are holding a death-grip on America’s wallets.

  • Abu Dhabi to Buy NY's Chrysler Building: NY Post Wednesday, 11 Jun 2008 | 6:49 AM ET

    The Abu Dhabi Investment Council is negotiating to buy a 75 percent stake in New York City's landmark Chrysler Building for $800 million, the New York Post reported on Wednesday.

  • Pending Home Sales Rise, But Prices Fall Tuesday, 10 Jun 2008 | 12:27 PM ET

    Yes, it's good news that people appear to be buying homes again, but even the NAR admits they're buying homes in the areas where prices have fallen the most. More houses are becoming affordable, but prices are still in a downward spiral.

  • NAR’s Pending Home Sales: Something’s Amiss Tuesday, 10 Jun 2008 | 12:26 PM ET

    Back in 2006 the Pending Home Sales Index tracked closely with the real Existing Home Sales numbers, showing that contracts signed did in fact jibe with real closed sales. But come summer of last year (and the start of the credit crisis), you can see those lines diverge, and they’re still going.

  • Subprime Criminal Probes Yet to Catch Big Fish Monday, 9 Jun 2008 | 1:26 PM ET

    More than a year into a U.S. housing market meltdown, prosecutors have yet to bring major cases against mortgage industry leaders — and the slump's worst may pass before any charges are filed.

  • Mortgage Foreclosures Rise to New Heights Monday, 9 Jun 2008 | 11:40 AM ET
    A foreclosed home for sale.

    U.S. home foreclosures and the rate of homes entering the foreclosure process rose to record highs in the first quarter with increases across many loan classes, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Thursday.

  • Housing Market Is Showing Signs of a Turnaround Monday, 9 Jun 2008 | 10:05 AM ET

    Pending sales of previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly rose in April as foreclosed properties flooded the market and drove prices sharply lower.

  • Celebrity Foreclosures: Enough Already! Friday, 6 Jun 2008 | 12:36 PM ET
    Celebrity Foreclosures

    It seems like over the past few months, the media just can’t get enough of showing swanky celeb estates in foreclosure. "Look! They're in trouble just like everybody else!" They are not everybody else.

  • Household Wealth Shrinks for Second Quarter in Row Thursday, 5 Jun 2008 | 3:18 PM ET

    The net wealth of U.S. households fell 2.9 percent in first three months of 2008 as home values eroded further and share holdings fell sharply, marking the second quarterly drop in a row, the Federal Reserve said Thursday.

  • Home Foreclosures: How Many People Are Beyond Help? Thursday, 5 Jun 2008 | 2:07 PM ET
    Foreclosed California home

    I'm sitting outside an abandoned foreclosure in Manassas,VA today, and honestly I don't know what to make of this neighborhood. There are for sale and foreclosure signs literally on every block.

  • My Day At A Foreclosure Call-In Center Wednesday, 4 Jun 2008 | 1:10 PM ET
    Ed McMahon

    I know everyone is gasping today over news that Ed McMahon is over a half a million dollars behind on his mortgage, but he's really not all that different from these callers, give or take a few million dollars in income.

  • Homebuilders Face Off With Foreclosures Wednesday, 4 Jun 2008 | 9:57 AM ET

    U.S. home builders, struggling under sinking demand and a credit crisis, now face a fresh obstacle: competition from a flood of homes in foreclosure.


  • Diana Olick serves as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the editor of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com.

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