Trulia reports today that there are signs that prices in the Washington area are starting to stabilize. The metro area is among those that have had a significant decline in the number of for-sale homes with price reductions over the past month. The same is true for Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Dallas and Baltimore. At the beginning of July, 23 percent of homes on the market in the Washington area have had at least one price reduction, averaging 8 percent. On June 1 according to Trulia, 30 percent of homes on the market had a price reduction, averaging 10 percent.
Maryland is on the FBI's top ten list for states with the most mortgage fraud, and the District is among jurisdictions "newly identified as having significant mortgage fraud problems," according to the bureau's 2008 Mortgage Fraud Report, which was just released. Nationwide, the number of mortgage fraud suspicious-activity reports referred to law enforcement increased 36 percent over 2007, the report says. And the government's economic stimulus programs could fuel further increases, according to the FBI.
When Google does anything, you have to pay attention. Slowly, the internet search behemoth is making its home-sale listings easier to use. You'll find their listings on Google Maps, where you can simply enter a search phrase such as "Homes For Sale Silver Spring, Md." and call up a map with listings highlighted.
The Energy Information Administration shaved a little bit off its forecast for residential electricity prices. Today they said prices for the year are likely to be 4.7 percent higher than last year, on average. That's just a bit lower than the 5 percent annual increase they forecast in June.
I don't believe I have ever gone this far into July without turning on the air conditioning. I did resort to running it over some humid days in June. But a full week in July with no AC? That's inconceivable for Washington, D.C. And it it's a welcome break for my household budget. Nationwide, residential electricity prices are forecast to be about 5 percent higher this year than last, according to the Energy Information Administration. The EIA, part of the Department of Energy, will update that information later today when it releases its latest monthly forecast for all residential fuels. I'll have the details here this afternoon.