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Sandra Bullock tops Zillow poll of favored neighbor

Americans would most like to live next door to actress Sandra Bullock in 2011, but the cast of the reality show “Jersey Shore” made the most undesirable neighbors, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

Bullock, who has won huge audiences with her All-American, girl-next-door image, earned more than a quarter of the vote in the annual poll on the most desirable celebrity neighbors, conducted by online real estate marketplace Zillow.com. Get the full story »

A third of Chicago-area homes underwater

A home with price reduction on the market in October. (Reuters)

The number of Chicago-area homes with negative equity in the Chicago area continued to rise in the year’s third quarter, a troubling sign for a local housing market struggling to recover.

Some 32.9 percent of all local single-family detached homes with mortgages were underwater in September, meaning the homeowners owed more on the loans than the properties are worth, according to new data from realty Web site Zillow.com. That compares with 30.9 percent in June and 27.2 percent in September 2009. The report does not include data on condominiums. Get the full story »

29% of Chicago area mortgages underwater

Almost 29 percent of all home mortgages in the Chicago area were underwater during the year’s second quarter, an improvement from the 31.8 percent level recorded in the first quarter, Zillow reported Monday.

Still, far more mortgages locally are underwater, meaning more is owed on the loans than the homes are worth, than nationally. Zillow, an online real estate site, said the number of single-family homes nationally that are underwater was 21.5 percent in the second quarter, compared with 23.3 percent in the first quarter and 23 percent a year ago. Get the full story »