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Keeping vacation homes rented in off-peak seasons
Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Below follows are some steps vacation-home owners have taken to make the rental season last well beyond the peaks, increasing their income and lightening their mortgage loads.

If business is slow, owners might also consider calling or emailing repeat guests with discounted "VIP" off-season stays. These could be customized as celebratory weekend specials if an owner knows the regulars have a birthday or anniversary coming up.

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Florida’s real estate industry worries on soaring insurance costs
Tuesday, 19 September 2006
The crisis on property insurance threatens Florida’s commercial real estate market and its economy.  Soaring insurance prices are the top issue now.  The cost of insurance has gone from a minor operating expense to the largest one.  The pressure on property owners would eventually translate into the broader economy and into higher consumer prices. 
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Purchase applications of homes went up on holiday week
Tuesday, 19 September 2006
WASHINGTON, D.C. -   The market Composite Index had an increase of 3.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from 566.3 one week earlier.  This is a measure of mortgage loan application volume. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 8.3 percent compared with the previous week and was down 22.8 percent.
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Confidence on home builder fell
Tuesday, 19 September 2006
For the eight consecutive month home builder confidence went down.  This was according to the National Association of Home Builders, which the Wells Farge Housing Market Index announced.  It is expected that the market would level out around the middle of next year and begin moving up again in 2008.  At that time, long-term housing fundamentals will be very favorable. In fact, the housing market that emerges from this correction will have better balance between supply and demand and will be able to ride on excellent underlying fundamentals for years to come.
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Real Estate Markets show young home buyers as great influence
Tuesday, 19 September 2006
Many consumers in their 20s are more likely to buy a home at a younger age.  The next generation of homeowners is beginning to exert influence on the housing market.  Many younger buyers have seen the wealth-building effects of homeownership in their parents and understand the value of housing as a good long-term investment.
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What to be aware of when buying a condo
Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Ownership of condominium units is a popular move by buyers in the US.  It seemed that condo developments are a win-win situation for everybody.  For builders, they can represent a strong return on investment. 

Condominiums come in all shapes and flavors. The newest breed is found in the urban areas. This is partly due to the trend towards urban renewal and redevelopment that is found in many portions of this country.

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Real estate sees credit card as possible mode of payment
Tuesday, 19 September 2006

The Atelier, developed by The Moinian Group is the first project in the country to allow purchasers to put their down payments on a credit card. But American Express told Realty Times last week that "plastic" down payments may become a lot more commonplace for high-end condo buyers. The company confirms that it is in active discussions with realty developers in several other cities to offer similar Amex down payment programs.

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Washington uses new real estate contract form
Tuesday, 19 September 2006

A new sales contract form became available for use by agents in Washington. This was effective September 1 of this year.   The form, which was entitled Regional Sales Contract was promulgated by the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors.  This is an association representing real estate agent and brokers in the area.  Basically, the new form tracks the old. However, there are some significant changes.

The most significant change is that the new form is five pages longer. The main reason for this new length is that the form is in larger font, making it much easier to read. This is important for potential homebuyers and sellers; quite often, changes are made in pen directly on the form contract, and the larger type makes any additions and cross-offs easier to accomplish and read.

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Vanishing classified ads affect real estate business
Tuesday, 19 September 2006
Real estate ads are crucially important to local papers. In 2004, real estate classifieds amounted to $4.2 billion, about a quarter of all classified ads and roughly 10 percent of total newspaper revenues. The oddity of real estate classified spending is that it's up while circulation is down, meaning the cost per impression has risen.
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Real estate agents assure housing downturn is only temporary
Tuesday, 19 September 2006
David Lereah, one of the officers in the NAR, told a gathering of about 400 real estate agents at a hotel in Saratoga Springs Monday morning that the decline that started in August 2005 was needed to bring equilibrium back to a residential real estate market that had tilted too heavily toward sellers.   He predicted a rebound in the next three to six months in most parts of the country, provided the Federal Reserve doesn't start raising interest rates again. Some areas in the South and West will take longer to recover because the boom of the past five years was much sharper than in New York and other states, he said.
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Housing Market goes on the right track
Tuesday, 19 September 2006
TORONTO-- Housing market in the Toronto area carried out solidly as resale smash the month of September.  The 2,913 sales to the 15th of the month are off moderately from the 3,112 sales reported to the same time last September. 
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All eyes turn to offshore insurers
Monday, 18 September 2006

Property and casualty insurance rates in Florida have reached levels where ''regular folk'' like Grogan, a native Floridian who lives in suburban Indialantic, can't pay their premiums, businesses that can't find coverage are in technical default on loans and real-estate deals are stalling.

Insurers place the blame on their own coverage - the layers of catastrophe protection they buy from risk-brokers of Bermuda, Munich and London. Of the $56 billion in insured losses from Hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita, those re-insurers wound up paying half of it.

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Rates of housing loan decline
Monday, 18 September 2006
The borrowing rates for housing loans extended by banks to homeowners are expected to move downward slightly as money market rates fall on expectations that the central bank will move to soften its monetary policy.  Interest rates on certificates of deposit (CDs), which are used as the benchmark in deciding the interest rate for floating-rate loans, fell .05 of a percentage point in September.
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