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US real estate agents 'caught on camera using listed home as sex pad'

Property Here - Tuesday, December 24, 2013

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The agents allegedly steered away potential buyers so they could use the house for their

The agents allegedly steered away potential buyers so they could use the house for their "sexual escapades". Source:News Limited

YOU wouldn't read about it.

Two real estate agents have allegedly been caught on camera having sex in a New Jersey home they were supposed to be selling, reports NewJersey.com.

Realtors Robert Lindsay and Jeannemarie Phelan are being sued by the owners, Richard and Sandra Weiner, who claim the agents deliberately put potential buyers off the property and priced it too high so they could have their sex sessions there in peace.

Robert Lindsay and Jeannemarie Phelan have allegedly been caught on camera having sex numerous times in a New Jersey home

Robert Lindsay and Jeannemarie Phelan have allegedly been caught on camera having sex numerous times in a New Jersey home Source: Supplied

Agents 'caught having sex in lis...

Jeannemarie Phelan Source: Supplied

According to the suit filed on December 6, the Weiners began working with Lindsay and Coldwell in early 2010.

On December 27, 2011, security cameras allegedly captured the agents hugging and kissing in the kitchen before undressing and having sex on the Weiners' bed.

Over the next month the security cameras reportedly captured Lindsay and Phelan making 10 additional visits to the home.

"Sandra Weiner happened to be checking the video cameras feed at the time and saw strange people in the house with what she thought were flashlights,' the suit states.

"The house was dark at the time. The Weiners called the local police, who then went to the house. The police opened the door to the house and found Lindsay pulling up his pants."

It is not known whether the two agents are still employed.

US US top place for Chinese buyers

Property Here - Monday, December 16, 2013

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The United States will be the top destination for Chinese property buyers and investors during 2013, and they are increasingly looking at new locations.

New York is by far the most popular destination, according to research by China-based overseas property portal Juwai.com. Los Angeles and Philadelphia come next followed by Detroit, Houston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Atlanta, San Diego and Memphis.

The fastest growing United States cities are Honolulu, Detroit, Charlotte, Chicago and Austin. Many destinations have strong Chinese communities and others are being selected because of their excellent education options.

Cash-rich, wealthy buyers want a safe haven for their money, says Pam Liebman, CEO with broker, the Corcoran Group. These include cities like Detroit and Memphis where they can obtain foreclosures or discounted property that can be managed by local companies.

Wei Min Tan, a broker with Rutenberg Realty in Manhattan, says others are looking for buy-to-let purchases or short-term use.

The United States is the favourite of Chinese buyers among 53 countries listed by Juwai. New Zealand is the fastest growing country, followed by Italy, Thailand, France and Portugal.

Andrew Taylor, co-CEO of Juwai.com, said: “The country where the property is located can be less important. What’s happening is that more high-net-worth buyers are beginning to search by property price and lifestyle.”

However, up half of all overseas property buyers start looking without a particular country in mind.

For example, a client might want a house on the coast, within an hour of an international airport and in the US$5 million to US$10 million range. It could be in Australia, California or the south of France.

“The traditional gateway cities for Chinese investors no longer have the highest rates of growth in Chinese buyer interest. They are still the top destinations, but other and newer destinations are growing more quickly,” said Taylor.

US New York City's skinniest house at 75 1/2 Bedford Street sells for $3.6 million

Property Here - Thursday, August 15, 2013

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New York's skinniest house

An image taken by Google's Street View of a man pointing at 75 1/2 Bedford Street - the skinniest house in New York City. Source: Supplied

Skinny house in New York

The red-brick house was squeezed in between No.75 and No.77 in 1873. Source: Supplied

THE SKINNIEST house in New York City has sold for a fat $US3.25 million ($3.6 million) despite being only 2.5m wide.

The historic, three-storey home at 75 1/2 Bedford Street - near Sixth Avenue and Houston Street in the West Village neighbourhood - weighs in at an underfed 92 square metres, theNew York Post reports. That's $39,130 per square metre.

A tape measure would only stretch to 2.5m wide in the widest rooms -narrow enough for the lankiest of New York Knicks player to nearly touch two side walls at once.

Still, the completely remodelled home is full of celebrity cred.

It’s where Edna St. Vincent Millay penned her Pulitzer Prize-winning Ballad of the Harp-Weaver, in 1923-24.

Edna St Vincent Millay

Edna St Vincent Millay

Source: DailyTelegraph

It’s Millay who famously coined the phrase, "My candle burns at both ends," suggesting that the poet would have had to orient any such candle longitudinally while working long hours at the address.

Other celebrities who have traipsed - carefully - through the gaunt flat are actor Cary Grant, and, before him, John Barrymore.

Cary Grant

Cary Grant

Hollywood star Cary Grant. Picture: George Hoyningen-Huene Source: Supplied

Anthropologist Margaret Meade also lived there, as did popular children’s-book writer Ann McGovern, author of Stone Soup.

After moving out, McGovern wrote Mr Skinner’s Skinny House, a picture book about a man who moves into the thinnest house in the city and then struggles to find a roommate.

“For seven years, I lived in the narrowest house in New York. It was only eight and a half feet wide!” McGovern said in a Q-and-A on her website, annmcgovern.com. 

"Once I saw a man who was standing in front of the house with arms outstretched," she said. " 'Hey,' he said. 'I'm as big as a house,' and he was."

The latest buyer is George Gund, according to New York City property records.

Read more about New York's skinniest house at the New York Post.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/realestate/news/new-york-citys-skinniest-house-at-75-12-bedford-street-sells-for-36-million/story-fncq3gat-1226698093591#ixzz2clSVZymq

US China firm to invest US$1b in LA devt

Property Here - Wednesday, July 31, 2013

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China's state-owned Shanghai Greenland Group has invested US$1 billion (S$1.27 billion) into a Los Angeles project, making it the latest Chinese developer to venture abroad.

“We are extending the China market abroad, and we prioritise our investment to countries where Chinese immigrants, students and tourists like the most,” said Zhang Yuliang, Chairman of Shanghai Greenland.

Shanghai Greenland signed an agreement to acquire a stake in the Metropolis project from California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS). The deal is the largest of its kind by a Chinese developer in the US, said Shanghai Greenland.

The 25,600 sq m project located on Eighth Street near the LA Live development, which includes the Ritz Carlton and Nokia Theatre, comprising offices, hotels, luxury homes and apartments, will begin construction works this year.

Meanwhile, Michael Sicilia, a spokesman for Calstrs, confirmed that the transaction took place this week, but declined to comment on the reason for the sale. Brokerage firm CBRE also declined to comment on the deal.

Image: Downtown LA's Metropolis site (Artist's impression)


Nikki De Guzman, Junior Journalist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories email nikki@allproperty.com.sg

US new home construction drops in June

Property Here - Thursday, July 18, 2013

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New home construction in the United States dropped significantly in the month of June, according to the Commerce Department.

Housing starts declined by 9.9 percent on May figures to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 836,000 units, with building permits also dropping 7.5 percent.

The decline was primarily attributed to a 26 percent drop in multifamily housing, a category that has recently indicated signs of overbuilding. 

Single-family home starts, which account for the bulk of the activity, declined 0.8 percent while single-family permits climbed 0.1 percent.

Despite the decline, Moody's Analytics economist Celia Chen said the outlook for housing was still bright, describing the June data as “more of a hiccup.”

The continuous increase of single-unit permits, which account for the bulk of the market, is used by some as a better indicator of the health of the housing industry.

“The modest increase in single-family permits is indicative of steady demand trends on the ground, though the relative weakness in starts over the past several months gives us a bit of pause,” noted economists at Credit Suisse.

Recently, the National Association of Home Builders reported an increase in home-builder confidence to 57, the third consecutive monthly up-tick and the highest since January 2006.

US Bill Gates buys equestrian-friendly mansion

Property Here - Monday, July 15, 2013

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Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, one of the world’s richest people, has reportedly bought a new home (pictured) at Palm Beach County in Florida for US$8.7 million (S$11 million).

He previously rented the Mediterranean-style home when his daughter competed in an equestrian festival in January last year, but finally decided to buy it recently. 

Built in 2010, the luxurious 7,234 sq ft property has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. It also has equestrian-friendly amenities like a 1.78-acre riding field, 20-stall barn and a show-jumping arena.  

But the residence is still smaller in comparison to Gates’ five-acre residential compound in Lake Washington, reports said. 

Image source: Zillow


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@allproperty.com.sg

US More Vegas homes for sale

Property Here - Wednesday, July 10, 2013

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Las Vegas' property market remains hot as median home prices and the number of homes for sale continues to increase, according to the latest data from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR).

Dave Tina, President of GLVAR, said local home prices “could continue to appreciate in the coming months, but I think we're going to see the rate of appreciation slow down at some point... It was also good to see a nice bump in the number of homes available for sale. We still need more homes on the market to meet the strong demand.”

In June, the average price of an existing home stood at US$175,000 (S$223,466), up 2.9 percent from May and 32.8 percent from the previous year, while the number of single-family homes available without any contingent offer rose by 16.1 percent month-on-month to 3,828.

Meanwhile, the median price for condominiums and townhouses was at US$86,000 (S$109,846), down 3.4 percent from May but up 24.6 percent from last year.

The report also found that “traditional sellers” made up 60 percent of all local home sales given the limited number of short sales and foreclosures.

However, short sales will still play a vital role in the property market considering the upcoming expiry of the federal Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act on 31 December.

Image source: Ethan Miller

Nikki De Guzman, Junior Reporter at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories email nikki@allproperty.com.sg

US Sales of yet-to-be-built US homes surge

Property Here - Thursday, July 04, 2013

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Of the 45,000 new US homes sold in May, 16,000 have yet to start construction, according to data from the Commerce Department.
This comprises 36 percent of all new US homes sold for that month, up from 26 percent in 2012, 14 percent in September 2008 and the highest percentage in nearly seven years. 
For instance, Joe Chamberlain, founder of home builder Caprock Custom Construction Inc in Rockwall, Texas has not started building the properties he sold in the last two months. 
That is “an excellent position for a builder to be in” as it ensures profit, Chamberlain explained.
It is also a sign of good demand and would force home builders to ramp up construction. It could also trigger the purchase of several items like lumber, cement and appliances, resulting in more hires and economic growth, noted Neil Dutta, Head of US economics at New York-based Renaissance Macro Research LLC.
“There’s clearly more housing starts activity in the pipeline.”
“The economic outlook is getting better and there’s more household formation. With demand rising, production is going to follow,” he added.

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@allproperty.com.sg

US Pop star Joel sells Miami mansion

Property Here - Thursday, June 13, 2013

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By Andrew Batt:

Pop star Billy Joel has sold his Miami Beach waterfront mansion for a reported US$13.75 million.

The 8,880 sqft luxury property on La Gorce Island features seven bathrooms, nine bathrooms, two kitchens and a four-car garage.

The sale, which was handled by Sotherby’s Real Estate, netted Joel just US$175,000 more than he paid for the property seven years ago. It was also US$1 million than the original asking price.

The new owner of the property is reported to be Italian billionaire shoe and handbag mogul Diego Della Valle, the founder of luxury leather goods brand Tods.

Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email andrew@allproperty.com.sg

US Housing boom in Silicon Valley

Property Here - Thursday, June 13, 2013

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By Nikki De Guzman:

A slew of new condominiums and apartments are rising in Silicon Valley in the US, with around 1,700 units underway in San Mateo County and 8,000 units in Santa Clara County.

Most of these developments are expected to draw the Generation Y/Millenials due to modern lifestyle amenities including wi-fi connectivity, fitness and wellness centres, dog washing, paperless leasing as well as parks.

Over at Foster City, Sares Regis Group of Northern California has just completed Plaza (pictured), a new apartment community where rents range from US$2,600 (S$3,266.34) for the smallest one-bedroom to US$5,000 (S$6,281.26) for its highest-end three-bedroom.

Located near Marina Lagoon and Hillsdale Shopping Center, the community offers resort-like amenities such as pools, private cabanas and umbrellas, media centre as well as outdoor fireplace and fountain. Units have features that include stainless steel appliances and stone counter tops.

Image source: Dennis Mayer

Nikki De Guzman, Junior Reporter at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories email nikki@allproperty.com.sg