Housing prices shoot up, report says
February 26th, 2013
09:26 AM ET

Housing prices shoot up, report says

Here's some welcome news for homeowners: After years of downturn, housing prices shot up in 2012.

Prices rose 7.3% in 2012, according to a closely-watched reading released Tuesday.

The report from S&P Case-Shiller covered home prices across 20 major housing markets nationwide in the final three months of the year. It comes ahead of a government report due later Tuesday which is expected to show a continued rise in new home sales.

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Filed under: Economy • Housing
January 22nd, 2013
10:21 AM ET

Existing-home sales reach five-year high

Decent news today for a housing recovery in the United States: Existing home sales for 2012 have reached the highest level in five years, the National Association of Realtors says.

The housing market has continued to pick up steam throughout the recovery, as record-low mortgage rates spur demand for homes.

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Filed under: Economy • Housing
San Francisco auditorium uses sonic blast, nightly, to disperse homeless
Homeless people camp out a few blocks from the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco last year.
May 2nd, 2012
02:30 PM ET

San Francisco auditorium uses sonic blast, nightly, to disperse homeless

Encouraging the homeless to find a new haunt is nothing new, but managers at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium may be breaking ground by attempting to do it sonically.

Of course, Manuel Noriega is and David Koresh was familiar with the acoustic warfare tactic, which at least one now-vanquished homeless San Franciscan felt was a harsh reaction to his and his cohorts' squatting, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Between 20 and 40 homeless had been hanging out and sleeping at Civic Center Park, and according to the newspaper, it was a source of frustration for police, the mayor, the city Recreation and Parks Commission and the concert promotion outfit, Another Planet Entertainment, which operates the auditorium.

To combat this scourge, Another Planet began using the building's outside speakers to blare a cacophony of the world's most jarring noises - chainsaws, motorcycles, jackhammers, an aircraft carrier alarm - in hopes of shooing the homeless off of its stoop.

The clamor, which begins nightly at 11 and continues until 7 a.m., prompted building manager Robert Reiter to comment to the paper, "I thought it was the building alarm going off."

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Filed under: California • Civil Rights • Economy • Housing • Jobs • San Francisco • U.S.
Gotta Watch: Extreme demolitions
A tank drives through a house that is set to be demolished.
May 1st, 2012
12:08 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Extreme demolitions

Ask any little kid. The most fun part of building something is knocking it down, right? One couple found that out firsthand when they demolished their own house.... with a tank. You've Gotta Watch these awesome demolitions.

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Tank take-down

Owners of this 150-year-old home decided to have some fun and tear it down with a tank. Watch the video to see it all come down. Plus, find out how the average person can get his hands on a tank!

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A year of implosions

Whether it’s a bridge, a building, or a stadium, we get a guilty pleasure out of seeing a giant structure get blasted to bits. Check out an entire year’s worth of dynamite in this video.

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Squashed stadium

In 2010, Texas Stadium was destroyed in seconds to make way for a new home for the Dallas Cowboys. Beyond what it looks like, what it sounds like is amazing.

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Man destroys (his own) house

When an Ohio man found out that his home was going into foreclosure, he drove his truck straight into it. Watch the video to see why his plan didn't have a happy ending like the tank folks.

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Filed under: Football • Gotta Watch • Housing
Overheard on CNN.com: Gated communities modern necessity or bastion of exclusivity?
The gated community of The Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Florida, is where Trayvon Martin was shot.
March 28th, 2012
07:54 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Gated communities modern necessity or bastion of exclusivity?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Journalist Bonita Burton wrote an opinion piece about the implications of gated communities similar to the Sanford, Florida, neighborhood where the Trayvon Martin shooting took place. Our readers have much to say about this story.

Florida's problematic gated communities

Video commenter Dyana Glasgow of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, says she lived off and on in Sarasota, Florida, for several years and now lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She says she actually feels safer in an urban environment "where people look out for each other," and host events like block parties to interact. She said she wasn't a fan of Florida's gated communities.

"I think it draws attention. You're drawing attention to yourself that you're part of an elite class of people," she said. "It sends a message to anybody who doesn't belong to that community to stay out."

But Egberto Willies of Kingwood, Texas, says he doesn't believe gates fuel paranoia, but rather are a result of it in a tough economy.

EWillies1961: "Why not create your little enclave behind some walls where things can be the way they use to be? Welcome to what many would make America. Instead of a community of people who share their differences to create a much tastier existence, we isolate (ourselves) because of both externalities, paranoia, and you name it. That is the America we must not allow a migration (toward)."

CNN.com reader texas999 echoed that sentiment and said people have to be proactive about their safety. FULL POST

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Filed under: Economy • Florida • Housing • iReport • Overheard on CNN.com • Trayvon Martin • U.S.
February 9th, 2012
10:22 AM ET

Deal could bring billions in mortgage relief

In the largest deal to date aimed at addressing the housing meltdown, federal and state officials on Thursday announced a $26 billion foreclosure settlement with five of the largest home lenders.

The settlement settles potential state charges about allegations of improper foreclosures based on "robosigning," seizures made without proper paperwork.

Most of the relief will go to those who owe far more than their homes are worth, known as being underwater on the loans. That relief will come over the course of the next three years, with the banks having incentives to provide most of the relief in the next 12 months.

At least $17 billion of the settlement will go to reducing the principal owed by homeowners who are both underwater and behind on their mortgages. Depending on which loans have the amount owed cut, the amount of principal relief could reach as much as $34 billion.

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Filed under: Economy • Housing