Friday, January 27, 2006

December new home sales rise 2.9 percent - CNN
Sales are up, but it looks like the prices were lower. But here's a paragraph written either by or for the statistically challenged:

The latest Census Bureau report shows median prices for new residences sold in December fell 1.5 percent from the previous month to $221,800. Half of the homes sold for more than the median, the rest for less.

Well, I can't argue with that.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

'A Straightforward Decision' - January 26, 2006 - The New York Sun - NY Newspaper
Here's a new approach to resisting the Kelo decision:
BB&T Corporation, the nation's ninth-largest bank with operations in the South and mid-Atlantic, announced that it will no longer lend to commercial developers who exploit the government's power of eminent domain for their projects. Vegas Condos Go Cold -- Page 1
Sorry about this, but...
Now that several high rollers in the Las Vegas condo-hotel game, with properties linked to the likes of Michael Jordan and Ivana Trump, are either folding or selling their holdings, a growing number of players are losing their taste for big bets on high-rise residential real estate development.

One lurking issue is the rapid increase in the cost of construction materials due to enormous demand from New Orleans, China, India, and Iraq. A friend of mine in the construction business says the cost of materials has gone up 30% in the last year or so, and it's still climbing. Some builders are buying and hoarding now for future projects, which is making prices even higher now.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Homeowners rebel, oust board
Thanks to Fred Pilot for this link:
Grass-roots rebellions against homeowners associations are rare, even though more than half of North Carolina's homeowners live under an association. Most people "don't want to get involved" with their association until dues increase or the board starts aggressively enforcing neighborhood rules, said Jim Laumann, president of the Homeowner Associations of North Carolina. "If everything's going along smoothly, then they're the silent majority," he said. "But if things get out of control, then they're not hesitant to speak up and get involved."

Medina County Gazette - on-line edition: Homeowner associations act to bar sexual predators
Fred Pilot sent this. There have been several examples of this same sort of thing recently. Is it becoming a trend?
JURIST - Paper Chase: Eminent domain activists protest at Souter home
Mystery Reader sent this link to a roundup of stuff on the hilarious effort of some activists to take USSC Justice David Souter's property via eminent domain, in retaliation for his pro-condemnation vote in Kelo v. City of New London.
Spring Valley Lake board refuses to fire manager
This is one of several Fred Pilot links that he has sent me and I have been too busy to post. This is an intriguing piece from the California desert (I think).
Arizona Capitol Times: piece by Fred Fischer
"HOAs are neither a democracy nor a community," he says.
Welcome to CHORE
Pat Haruff pointed me to the spiffy updated CHORE website, which is full of information on the legislative picture in AZ.