• Real Estate

    Lawsuit claims Oregon’s real estate ‘love letter’ ban stifles free speech

    Free speech advocates have filed a preliminary injunction against Oregon’s new law banning love letters from prospective home buyers. Kristian Foden-Vencil / OPB Free speech advocates have filed a preliminary injunction against Oregon’s new law that bans so-called “love letters” from prospective home buyers. Total Real Estate Group out of Bend wants a federal judge to block Oregon’s law before it goes into effect in January. The law would stop real estate agents from passing along personal pitches to sellers. Proponents say these letters can be the only edge a first-time buyer has against deep-pocketed investors that buy up entry-level homes to flip or rent out. The concern is that…

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  • Real Estate

    Luxury real estate booming on Upper East Side in NYC

    The once sedate Upper East Side is suddenly sizzling as luxe home sales are surging after being cratered by the pandemic. More contracts for homes priced at $4 million and up were signed on the Upper East Side than in any other Manhattan neighborhood during the first week of November, according to a report compiled by Donna Olshan of Olshan Realty. Among the eye-popping deals were two penthouse units combined into one with an asking price of $66.5 million. The apartments are in The Bellemont, a condo building at 1165 Madison Ave. designed by famed architect Robert A.M. Stern. An undisclosed buyer snatched up what will become the 13,011-square-foot home…

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  • Real Estate

    How the Real Estate Boom Left Black Neighborhoods Behind

    As Martavius Jones, a Memphis city councilman, points out, construction outside the city limits was heavily subsidized by city-owned Memphis Light, Gas & Water, which provided new power and gas lines to areas that didn’t pay city taxes, generously underwriting the eastward march of wealthy whites fleeing integrated schools. “My maternal grandmother lived in a little old house on Josephine Street,” Jones says, referring to an Orange Mound address. “I think about all the little old ladies and little old men who constantly paid their taxes, and those taxes went to build up the infrastructure outside the city limits of Memphis.” Americans aren’t accustomed to thinking of utilities and other…

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  • Real Estate

    Will Real Estate Ever Be Normal Again?

    Then there was a 35-year-old tech worker in Long Beach, Calif., who bought a house in Round Rock for $300,000 last October. By January 2021, it was worth roughly $400,000; in February, he bought two more. His winning bids were two of dozens that his real estate agent, a former equities trader who now works primarily with individual investors, made sight unseen, all of them for at least $40,000 over the asking price. “I’m part of the problem,” the buyer acknowledged to me, though he was not your stereotypical speculator: Despite earning six figures, he drives a 2005 Honda Civic and, when I spoke to him, was renting a room…

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  • Real Estate

    Zillow’s home-buying debacle shows how hard it is to use AI to value real estate

    The move, touted by a company exec at the time as “an exciting advancement,” was intended to streamline the process for homeowners considering selling to Zillow as part of its home-flipping business. Zillow promoted this option as a way to make it convenient to sell a home while minimizing interactions with others during the pandemic. Just eight months later, however, the company is shutting down that business, Zillow Offers, entirely. The decision, announced last week, marks a stunning defeat for Zillow. The real estate listing company took a $304 million inventory write-down in the third quarter, which it blamed on having recently purchased homes for prices that are higher than…

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  • Real Estate

    NYC real estate scion accuses bro of swiping family fortune

    A struggling real estate scion has been pilfering revenue from his family-owned Manhattan apartment building to pay off debts and maintain his lavish lifestyle, his brother charges in new court papers. Third-generation real estate mogul Stephen Perlbinder alleges that his sibling, Barton “Mark” Perlbinder “has for years dominated the family companies and used them as a piggy bank,” according to Stephen’s Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed Tuesday. Stephen accuses Mark, the president of Perlbinder Realty, of using the cash to pay for apartments he shares with his girlfriend, as well as to pay off debt and buy expensive cars, the suit says. In particular, Mark has been “self-dealing” as he…

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