Category Archives: Featured Columnists

US Home Prices Post First 12 Month Gain in Two Years

US Home Prices Post First 12 Month Gain in Two Years

U.S. home prices rose in June 2012 from the same month last year (2011), as this is the first “year-over-year” increase since the Summer of 2010. The increase is the latest evidence of a point in the housing market that is clearly showing signs of improvement.

The Standard & Poors / Case-Shiller Home Price index released August 28, 2012 showed a gain of 0.5% from June 2011.

The last time the “year-over-year” index increased was in September 2010, in which much of that 12-month period was used by the government to offer a home-buying tax credit. The report also showed that all 20 cities tracked by the Home Price index rose in June from May, the second consecutive time in which EVERY city posted gains month-over-month; and all but two cities posted stronger gains in June than May. The cities that recorded the largest one month gains were Detroit, Minneapolis, Chicago and Atlanta.

The Standard & Poors / Case-Shiller monthly index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. It measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The increases, they say, partly reflect the impact of seasonal buying. The month-to-month prices is not adjusted for factors such as seasonal. However, a measure of national prices rose for the third straight month as home prices jumped nearly 7% in the 2nd quarter compared to the 1st quarter.

The housing market IS making a modest yet steady recovery in part because homes have become more affordable. Mortgage rates have fallen to near record lows, and housing prices are about 1/3 lower than at the well-known peak of the housing bubble in 2006. Those trends have helped lift sales of both new and previously occupied homes. Sales of previously occupied homes increased in July from June, as reported by the National Association of Realtors. Sales have jumped 10% in the past year. Builders are also growing more confident after seeing more traffic from potential buyers. Last month, builders applied for the largest number of building permits in nearly four years.

The housing market however has a long way to go to reach a complete recovery. Some economists have forecasted that sales of previously occupied homes will rise 8% this year to about 4.6M which is well below the 5.5M annual sales pace that is considered to be healthy. Sales have been held back by a low supply of homes on the market and tight credit standards. Many potential buyers are having trouble qualifying for loans or cannot afford larger down payments as being required by the banks. A Federal Reserve report release last month showed that the majority of banks have tightened their mortgage credit standards throughout the summer.

The positive effect of this entire 2nd quarter is that the housing market is steadily improving and is scheduled to contribute to the economic growth of 2012. Modest economic growth and available employment are also encouraging more Americans to purchase homes.

The International MLS [IMLS] Forms Esteemed Advisory Board

The International MLS [IMLS] Feature Story

The International MLS [IMLS] Announces Rei L. Mesa, Lawrence Vecchio and Valerie Fitzgerald as First Advisory Board Members

Los Angeles, CA, July 17, 2012: The International MLS [IMLS] has announced today the formation its first Advisory Board, comprised of well known leaders in the Real Estate Marketplace.

The International MLS’ Advisory Board is chaired by Dr. Daniel Nussbaum, CEO of The International Realty Inc., and founder of The International MLS based out of Los Angeles, California.  Daniel, a licensed real estate broker and former dentist, embarked upon the mission of bringing the real estate world and consumers closer together by creating The International MLS [IMLS].

Daniel’s initial thoughts for developing The IMLS were to try and create the perfect blend of the traditional tried and true referral business model between brokers with the more interactive online technology. Today, The IMLS has created the process to empower real estate brokers from all over the world to come together and share their property listings and commissions via the first IMLS globally delivered search. The IMLS search can be placed on any website and generate income for agents and brokers through its automated closed channel lead generation system by simply having a website customer register through their search and purchase a property somewhere in the world outside of their normal market.

“The IMLS has framed itself to be an initiative that is FOR Brokers, BY Brokers, as well as also being owned by Brokers through what will be a major global cooperative effort. I believe that we have assembled an outstanding initial group of advisors who have a long track record of leadership in the real estate industry, are located in each corner of the USA, and approach real estate and international real estate from various vantage points. I am personally honored to have their support and to be a part of this visionary group. Combining the experience and expertise of these team members is exciting and I am confident that we can continue to create and develop The IMLS to fundamentally impact and improve the state of our industry.” says CEO, Dr. Daniel Nussbaum.

The board’s first esteemed members include:

Rei L. Mesa, CEO/President of Prudential Florida Realty – Rei L. Mesa is a Certified Real Estate Broker (CRB) and a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS). He currently serves as a National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Director and serves on the Large Firms Relations Committee, NAR Major Investor Council, Public Policy Coordinating Committee, and Global Business and Alliance Committee.  In 2012, Rei serves as the NAR Liaison to the Large Firms Relations as well as on the Real Estate Services Advisory Board and on the Advisory Board.

“I am honored to serve on the International Multiple Listings Services Advisory Board. We live and serve a global community and as REALTORS®, it is our responsibility to embrace tools, technology, and resources that allow us to provide an exceptional customer service experience for all consumers,” says Mr. Mesa.

Lawrence Vecchio, Broker/Owner of Better Homes Realty – With an expertise that speaks to many years in the business, and the foresight to recognize the role of the Internet, Larry Vecchio is the driving force behind A natural outgrowth of his 22-office real estate brokerage, Better Homes and its counterpart “” are trailblazers in grassroots real estate marketing with more than 1200 domains nationwide. Better Homes is a product of Vecchio’s real estate experience, which is both broad and deep. A licensed mortgage banker, real estate broker and appraiser, Vecchio is familiar with all aspects of the home buying process. He is a frequent speaker at real estate conferences and a consultant on web-based real estate initiatives.

“I am pleased to join the Advisory Board for The IMLS. I feel that it is a very exciting time for the Dan and the Company. In addition, I believe the Company’s unique niche will become the online leader in this space,” says Mr. Vecchio.

Valerie Fitzgerald, Top Selling Broker with Coldwell Banker Previews International and Star of the HGTV show “Selling LA” – Valerie Fitzgerald is the President of The Valerie Fitzgerald Group, a Beverly Hills Coldwell Banker real estate firm. She has been ranked among Coldwell Banker’s Top 10 agents nationwide, and earned the attention of the Los Angeles Business Journal for highest sales volume in Los Angeles County for residential real estate. She’s also written a successful book, “Heart and Sold: How to Survive and Thrive in Real Estate,” and served as a mentor to new real estate agents across the country.

“I am pleased to have been selected as a member of the Advisory Board of The International MLS,” says Ms. Fitzgerald. “Dan Nussbaum has a firm vision bringing the international real estate community together and I am committed to assist The IMLS with my expertise as part of Coldwell Banker Previews International.”

The International MLS [IMLS] is the first Free-to-List Commission Share International MLS that delivers a no-cost proprietary IMLS search around the world. It is the only company that provides the ability for properties to be listed on hundreds of thousands of websites, empowering all agents and brokers around the world to share in commissions.

About The International MLS [IMLS]
The International MLS is part of The International Realty, Inc. a privately held real estate company based in Los Angeles, California, USA that has around 200,000 property listings in 50 countries and more than 300 new home developments in 25 countries making it one of the more complete databases of property listings in the world. Property listings are imported via electronic XML data feeds from TOP selected global agencies, and from USA agents who may post their listings manually. The IMLS empowers all agents and brokers to display international property listings knowing that commissions can be made on any sale which is generated by their IMLS search through referral agreements signed between The International Realty Inc. and agencies around the world. Information on The International Realty, Inc. and all its services are available at and

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