Webby-sters The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences announced that Toll Brothers was a nominee for its 10th annual Webby Awards in the real estate category. Heralded by The New York Times as “the online equivalent of an Oscar,” the awards recognize innovation in Web design.
The publicly traded home builder was co-nominated for the award with HomePages, Building Green, Chips for Sale, and LoHo Realty. Award winners will be announced on June 12.
Two Times the Martha KB Home and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia have made good on their expansion promises and announced details of their second co-branded community. The 800-home community, situated on nearly 480 acres in south Fulton County outside Atlanta, will open this summer. Homes, ranging from 1,800 to 4,600 square feet, will hit price points between the low $200,000s and low $400,000s.
Bay Area Packs Up With its sunny weather and beautiful vistas, California's Bay Area may seem to be the perfect place to live. But a recent poll found that 49 percent of area residents have considered moving because of the high cost of housing.
The average price of a home reached $712,000 in February, making the region the most expensive place to live in the United States, according to John Grubb, spokesman for the Bay Area Council, which commissioned Field Research Corp. to administer the poll.
“The housing crisis has continued, without pause, through economic upturns and downturns,” said Jim Wunderman, the council's president and CEO.
To try to keep its population from moving elsewhere, the Bay Area Council is working with the state legislature and governor to come up with a five-point plan to keep the state affordable and a good place to live and work.
“The housing crisis didn't start overnight and it won't end overnight,” Grubb said.
For information on the survey, click on www.bayareacouncil.org.—JH
Real Estate by Web Zillow.com, a new online provider of real estate information, announced a partnership with GlobeXplorer, a high-resolution satellite, aerial, and parcel imaging company, to enhance the depth and accuracy of their beta site. Launched in February, the Seattle, Wash.–based startup provides consumers with information once available only through the Realtor community.
Zillow attracted a lot of attention in its pre-launch year. Supported by over $30 million in venture capital backing, the company was started by a group of Internet veterans, including former Expedia brain trusts Richard Barton and Lloyd Frink.
But since touted in the national media, the company has faced harsh criticism. The most common complaints cite limited data for much of the country or home values that don't reflect the current pace of appreciation, focusing instead on tax assessor values.
Speaking at two Wall Street conferences in March, Spencer Rascoff, Zillow's CFO and vice president of marketing, reminded attendees that the current model remains in beta form and continues to evolve by the day. Rascoff speculates that the apparent housing market slow-down will only underscore the importance of Zillow's service. “In a more stable price environment, rationality and research reign,” he says. —LMJ