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Archive of Steve Cook

Steve Cook is the editor of Real Estate Economy Watch and writes for a several leading outlets in addition to BiggerPockets, including Equifax and Total Mortgage. He also provides communications consulting services to leading real estate companies. Previously he was vice president of public affairs for the National Association of Realtors.

Steve has written 117 articles for The BiggerPockets Blog.


Real Estate

Hot Spot, High End House Flipping is on a Tear

by Steve Cook October 18, 2013
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Who says flipping is dead? Since the first of the year, flippers who follow the soaring price increases in the hottest California and Southwestern markets have been doing very well indeed. Now it’s clear that those who operate in the high end of the market in the hot spots, where both risk and reward are […]

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Foreclosures

Foreclosures Up in Some Areas, Down in Others…

by Steve Cook October 11, 2013
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RealtyTrac yesterday announced that in September overall foreclosure activity decreased from a year ago in 33 states, but actually was up from a year ago in 16 states, including Maryland (up 230 percent), Nevada (up 97 percent), Connecticut (up 69 percent), New Jersey (up 55 percent), Pennsylvania (up 34 percent), and New York (up 22 […]

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Real Estate News & Commentary

Vacancy Rates Record Low, but Not Rents

by Steve Cook October 4, 2013
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As apartments and single family rentals put to bed their third quarters, there are worrisome signs amid the generally good news, according to CNBC’s Diana Olick. The U.S. apartment vacancy rate fell to its lowest level in more than a decade, according to an industry report released recently. The national apartment vacancy rate fell 0.1 […]

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Real Estate

Big Investors Bought One of Every Ten Homes Sold in August

by Steve Cook September 27, 2013
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Institutional investors accounted for 10 percent of all sales in August, up from 9 percent in July and 9 percent in August 2012, reported RealtyTrac in its monthly foreclosure report released Thursday, September 26. Only 8 percent of all the existing homes sold in August were foreclosures, and 4 percent were short sales.  Thus were […]

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Real Estate News & Commentary

The Best (And Worst) Real Estate Markets (According to New Data…)

by Steve Cook September 20, 2013
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Not so long ago the best markets for investing were easy to find:  just go where the foreclosures are.  With foreclosures falling 30 percent a year and more for the last several years and well-funded institutional investors gobbling up everything available, these days small investors need a little more help to find where the deals […]

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Real Estate

Tracking the Hedge Fund Big Dogs: Buying from the MLS

by Steve Cook September 14, 2013
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Investors of all sizes played a singular role in the national nightmare known as the Housing Depression.  They soaked up toxic inventories of damaged and discounted distressed properties, repaired them and converted them into rentals to house families that had lost their homes or to replenish depleted inventories for entry level buyers.  When the history […]

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Short Sales

The Short Life of Short Sales

by Steve Cook September 6, 2013
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The world of distress sales deals is changing.  First it was REOs.  Then foreclosures bought at auction.  Now, short sales are showing signs that soon they’ll be going to way of the Stegosaurus. Buried in a release from Lender Processor Services last week was a notation that the number of short sales has fallen 60 […]

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Real Estate Market

Why We Should Worry About Accidental Investors

by Steve Cook August 30, 2013
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You probably know someone who had to move during the depths of the housing depression but they didn’t want to—or couldn’t—sell their home into the worst housing market in 70 years.  So they rented it out and joined the ranks of residential real estate investors called “accidental investors” or “accidental landlords.” Other homeowners got tired […]

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Real Estate

Tracking the Hedge Fund Big Dogs: Prices and Plots

by Steve Cook August 24, 2013
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Last week was not a good week for the new REO to Rental REITS that are fast replacing hedge funds as the most popular way to buy and manage vast numbers of former foreclosures. American Homes-4-Rent reported it had lost $14 million on revenues of $18.1 million, most of which came from acquisition of another […]

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Markets

Single Family Realities: An Interview with Wally Charnoff, the “Data King of Rental Housing”

by Steve Cook August 16, 2013
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Business Week called him the Data King of Rental Housing and the reporter who wrote the story said Wally Charnoff is “the guy who tells Wall St what they didn’t know about becoming big landlords.”  His RentRange was the first real estate data provider to concentrate on single family rentals and it’s such a unique […]

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Real Estate News & Commentary

The Newest New Normal in the Real Estate Market

by Steve Cook August 9, 2013
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Dr. Alex Villacorta, vice president of research and analytics at Clear Capital, was one of the first to identify the catalytic role small investors played in turning around failing Florida markets in 2011.  He tracked the impact investors made in places like Orlando When they entered the market after first-time buyers fled.  They created a […]

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Real Estate News & Commentary

Tracking the Big Dogs: American Homes-4-Rent Goes Public

by Steve Cook August 2, 2013
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When someone once said, “Time waits for nobody,” they might have been talking about real estate investing. So if you were the nation’s second largest REO-to-Rental investor and the largest single family rental real estate investment trust, would you choose this week to go public on the New York Stock Exchange? When conditions start to […]

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Real Estate

Sell Out Now or Sell Out Later

by Steve Cook July 26, 2013
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One of the things that keeps folks in the owner-occupant side of the business up late into the night is the fear that the hundreds of thousands of small real estate investors who saved their cookies during the depths of the housing depression now are going to sell their rental properties all at once because […]

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Real Estate

Cash Sales, How We’ll Miss Ya

by Steve Cook July 19, 2013
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Cash sales have been the hallmark of the investor.  With all-cash offers for REOs and short sales, investors get discounts and an advantage over owner-occupant competitors whose offers are contingent upon their financing being approved.  In fact, many assume all cash sales are investor purchases though large numbers of owner-occupants are turning to cash bids […]

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Real Estate News & Commentary

Will the Foreclosure Time End with a Whimper or a Bang?

by Steve Cook July 12, 2013
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In my very first post for BiggerPockets.com two and a half years ago (Twilight of the Foreclosure Time), I discussed how the volumes of foreclosures that attracted so many investors to residential real estate would end…and when.  It’s ending more or less on schedule in most markets, but in a way that may surprise many. […]

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