Crucial, gimmicky, useful -- or something that brings out your inner Salahi?
Mortgage interest rates shot up this week to the highest level since August, Freddie Mac economists report today. Perversely, rising interest rates tend to boost home sales--at least in the short term. Buyers who had been sitting on the fence often get jolted into action when they see rising rates eat into their new-home budget. Combine that with a major nationwide marketing push by Realtors to hold open houses on as many of their listings as possible over the April 10-11 weekend, and the market could get pretty interesting over the next week or so.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is launching a national study of discrimination in the sale or rental of housing to people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. "Our goal is to provide information -- to allow the dialogue to focus on facts rather than preconceived notions," said HUD Assistant Secretary Raphael Bostic, who is heading the study.
Home values in the greater Washington area, which the census defines as extending practically from the Chesapeake Bay to the Shenandoah mountains, are in for quite the price bounce, according to a forecast by financial services company Fiserv for CBS Marketwatch. It's the kind of bounce, though, that starts with a steep decline.
A blizzard--or two--is hardly the thing to give most people the itch to hop in the car and visit open houses. But if the mood strikes this weekend, Joe Faraji is ready for you.
The Realtors are taking their listings to the iPhone. Realtor.com, the Web site associated with the industry's main trade group, just unveiled its free iPhone app. I haven't tried it myself yet, but their online demo showed a couple of cool features--aside from access to about 4 million listings across the U.S., which they say are updated every 15 minutes. Like Zillow's iPhone app, and the Sawbuck mobile web site (designed to work with every smart phone that can access the web) the new app uses the phone's GPS function to peg searches to your actual location.