Volatile housing market? Blame land prices

Chicago Tribune

Throughout the recent housing boom, the price of residential land has risen faster than construction costs, according to a study by the Federal Reserve. The study also concludes that swings in land costs probably will make home prices more volatile in the future.

Land prices do fall -- in some Southwestern cities, for example, the average value of residential land fell by 50% in the 1980s, according to the Fed study.

The crime report

A North Carolina real estate agent who was shot three times last year by a man who said he wanted to see a house for sale apparently has decided to make the best of it: She has put three magnets made to look like bullet holes on either side of her car, alongside signs that say: “Need a bullet-proof agent?”

Kathleen Yaggi, an agent in Fayetteville, went back to work about a month after the attack. She says the car signs are an announcement that she has regained her sense of humor, according to local reports.