Today: The real estate market may be turning up in the San Francisco region and other big metro areas. Plus: Google (GOOG) introduces Google+ social features. And: MySpace is reportedly about to be sold.
An upturn in the real estate market?
As warmer weather has brought out buyers, home values have turned upward in 13 of the nation’s 20 largest metro areas, according to the latest Standard Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report released today.
The San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont metro area — which includes
relatively expensive San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties and more affordable communities in Alameda and Contra Costa counties — had the nation’s second-biggest gain in April, with prices climbing 1.7 percent from the month before. However, home values were still down 5.5 percent from April 2010.
Nationwide, home prices increased 0.7 percent on average in the 20 metro areas after reaching a “double dip” low in March.
“In a welcome shift from recent months, this month is better than last — April’s numbers beat March,” David M. Blitzer, chairman of SP’s index committee, noted in the report.
“However, the seasonally adjusted numbers show that much
of the improvement reflects the beginning of the spring-summer homebuying season,” Blitzer said. “It is much too early to tell if this is a turning point or simply due to some warmer weather.”
While San Jose is the Bay Area’s biggest city, its metro area isn’t included in the Case-Shiller report because it’s not one of the nation’s 20 largest.
Google vs. Facebook?
In a blog post, Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of engineering, described “the Google+ project” as a way “to make Google better by including you, your relationships and your interests.”
Google+ is invitation-only for now. According to the http://plus.google.com site, its features include:
Speaking of social networking, media giant News Corp. reportedly is seeking offers to sell MySpace. According to our friends at The Associated Press, a deal may come this week.
MySpace, you might recall, was the music-oriented hub of cool kids online, but has struggled as it tried to compete with Facebook.
According to AP, which quoted “a person familiar with the matter,” three possible bidders for MySpace are Specific Media, Golden Gate Capital and Austin Ventures.
A potential buyer would keep MySpace’s emphasis on music, but probably would cut more than half of the Los Angeles site’s staff.
Silicon Valley tech stocks
The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index: Up 41.03, or 1.5 percent, to 2,729.31.
The blue chip Dow Jones industrial average: Up 145.13, or 1.2 percent, to 12,188.69.
And the widely watched Standard Poor’s 500 index: Up 16.57, or 1.3 percent, to 1,296.67.
Check in weekday afternoons for the 60-Second Business Break, a summary of news from Mercury News staff writers, The Associated Press, Bloomberg News and other wire services. Contact Frank Russell at 408-920-5876. Follow him at Twitter.com/mercspike.
Article source: http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_18369846?source=rss