News & Moves: January 15, 2009

A news digest on the people and events that shape our industry

January 14, 2009

KB Home Leaves Atlanta — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Home builder KB Home is leaving the Atlanta market.

Liens Against Home Builder Add Up — The News & Observer

St. Lawrence Homes in Raleigh, N.C., has more than 400 liens against the company from contractors and suppliers.

Massachusetts Housing Calls for Help from Congress — MarketWatch

Leaders in Massachusetts housing want drastic measures from Congress to revitalize the housing market, and in turn, eventually help the economy.

Lennar's Slow Uphill Climb — Forbes

Smart business decisions helped Lennar decrease their losses, including limiting land purchases.

Land Sold to Toll Brothers — The News Times

Toll Brothers bought land or $11.7 million set to be developed with 238 new houses.

New Mexico Housing Authority Faces Grand Jury — KRQE-TV

The New Mexico Region III Housing Authority will face a grand jury next month in an investigation of millions of dollars that have disappeared.

Impact Fees Down to $54,000 — The Sacramento Bee

Woodland, Calif., City Council cut its fees from $69,000 to $54,000 — a 20 percent discount of $15,000 per house.

Former KB Home Executive Pleads Guilty — The Los Angeles Times

Gary A. Ray, former head of human resources for KB Home, agrees to plead guilty to conspiring with then-CEO Bruce Karatz to obstruction of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The Future of Ginnie Mae — Bloomberg TV

Ginnie Mae President Joseph Murin discusses expanding affordable housing and the possibility that the new administration may give Ginnie Mae a bigger role in the future. 

Top 5 Housing Hopes for 2009 — U.S. News

It's hard to find good news in all the doom and gloom, but U.S. News names five reasons to be optimistic about the housing market in 2009.

Home Builder Convicted — Kansas City The Star

F. Jeffrey Miller, a home builder in Kansas City, Kan., was convicted on four felony counts and acquitted on seven others.

Home Builder Indicted for Arson —

An indictment accuses Christopher Kimbrough, owner of Regal Homes, of hiring another man to set fire to a house he owned on Oregon Street in Indiana for insurance money.

Fee Hike for Building Permits — KRDO-TV Colorado Springs

Canon City, Colo., announces a hike in fees for building permits. Local home builders argue bad timing.

Did 1997 Tax Break Cause Housing Bubble? — The New York Times

A tax break passed by Congress in 1997 allowed homeowners to sell their homes without worry about paying tax on their profit. Did it cause the housing bubble?

Toll Brothers' CFO Diagnosed with Leukemia — MarketWatch

Joel H. Rassman, the company's CFO, has been diagnosed with leukemia, Toll Brothers announced. Rassman will undergo periodic treatment. He will continue to maintain his position with the company.

Houston to Give Away Free Land — KHOU

Houston's Land Assemblage Redevelopment Authority and Mayor Bill White want to encourage new homeownership. The board will discuss a plan to give away 60 vacant lots in Trinity Gardens, a neighborhood in Houston, to home builders for free.


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