Real Estate News – February 26, 2012

The transition to my new firm, Lommen Abdo, has been almost seamless.  Almost.  I’ve neglected the blog for a few days, but this super-sized “real estate news” post for today will get everything back on track!

In a landmark ruling that could affect the use and control of groundwater in Texas, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday that property owners have a vested interest in the water under their land (via

A Lodi real estate investor pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to conspiring with a group of real estate speculators, one from Modesto, who agreed not to bid against each other at public foreclosure auctions in San Joaquin County, the U.S. attorney’s office in Sacramento reported (via

Flagstar Bancorp Inc. has agreed to pay $133 million to settle claims its mortgage unit engaged in fraudulent lending practices (via

Bank of America scales back its involvement in mortgage market (via

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said Saturday that he was “dead wrong” with a prediction that the U.S. housing market would begin to recover by now, but he remains optimistic about the nation’s economy (via

Desperate states diverting foreclosure settlement money (via

Bank of America Corp. is exploring a program that would allow homeowners on the brink of foreclosure to remain in their homes by becoming renters (via

2011 was a turnaround year in the commercial real estate sector. And, the outlook is for the market to continue to improve during 2012 (via

Blackstone Group LP has raised more than $10 billion in less than a year for its latest real-estate fund and is looking to raise an additional $2 billion by year’s end, according to people familiar with the matter (via

According to the National Association of Realtors® quarterly commercial real estate forecast, all of the major commercial real estate sectors are seeing improved fundamentals, but multifamily housing is becoming a landlord’s market commanding bigger rent increases. These trends also are confirmed in NAR’s recent quarterly Commercial Real Estate Market Survey (via

What Led The Once Dominant Commercial Real Estate Firm Grubb & Ellis Into Bankruptcy? (via

Real estate businesses and property values could be adversely affected by the new accounting standards — and the cost of complying with them — according to a report backed by a coalition of real estate and business groups (via

Sears Holdings Corp. is looking toward its substantial real estate portfolio to offset its weak financial performance, but one analyst said Thursday that the Hoffman Estates-based retailer is selling off its best assets and still has a deep hole out of which to climb  (via

A Kansas City business owner pleaded guilty Tuesday to embezzling more than $750,000 from area homeowners associations (via