10 Big Real Estate Stories You Might Have Missed Over The Holidays


Holiday feasts, New Years celebrations, general merrymaking — there was a lot to be done over the holidays and you’d be forgiven for not staying up to date on all the latest real estate news and trends.

Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Whether you were stuffing your face or popping champagne at midnight, here are 10 stories you may have missed over the holidays.

Image by: Blake Wheeler/Unsplash

Median home sale prices hit a new all-time high this month as the number of homes for sale dropped to a record low, illustrating the grim reality for homebuyers across the country.

The median home sale price rose 14.6 percent from the previous year to a new high of $361,171 during Dec. 2021, a 29.4 percent increase from the same period in 2019, according to a report released Dec. 30 by the online brokerage Redfin.

Douglas Elliman has officially gone public, completing its spinoff from Vector Group and now trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The New York-based brokerage on Thursday said the previously announced move had been completed before trading began. The company’s stock is trading under the ticker “DOUG,” and is part of the S&P SmallCap 600, the company said in a news release.

Zillow-owned Trulia on Tuesday revealed plans to remove crime data from its website beginning next year, following the lead of two other portals that last week said they too would not include crime data on their sites.

A Trulia spokesperson revealed the company’s plans to Inman in a statement that said the site “is committed to providing consumers with tools, services and information to help them make informed decisions about real estate.” The statement went on to note that Trulia displays a variety of publicly available data so as to “ensure accuracy, equity, and transparency.” However, it won’t be including crime data in the future.

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More than 100 years ago, when Southern California wasn’t much more than an winter escape for cold Midwesterners, a group of local boosters began pitching the area as a kind of Shangri-La. The humidity was low. There were beaches (never mind that they were lined with a briar patch of oil derricks). Elegant Mexican fan palms lined the streets. And there was space, so much more so than in the cramped dirty cities of the East.

The pitch worked and as the twentieth century got underway, Southern California boomed. The legend goes that filmmakers fled New York thanks to Thomas Edison’s stranglehold on technology, and soon Hollywood — originally a simple housing development called “Hollywoodland” — became a symbol for new money, new opportunity, and new ambition.

A Florida real estate agent was fatally shot as she tried to sell a house by a disgruntled tenant who may have mistook the agent for his former landlord, according to reports.

Sara Trost, 40, the franchise owner of a real estate office in south Florida was in the driver’s seat of her car parked in the driveway of a house she was trying to sell in the town of Coral Springs when she was approached by Raymond Wesley Reese, who police allege shot her multiple times, according to Local News 1o.

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Willy Suarez Maceo, 25,  has been charged with the non-fatal shooting of one homeless man, and is suspected by police in two other similar shootings that left two men dead, the Miami Heraldreports.

Despite being a leader in the real estate space for more than 30 years, Keller Williams isn’t resting on its laurels. Since 2018, the company has been working to deliver on founder and KWx CEO Gary Keller’s vision of Keller Williams as a technology company that does real estate, rather than a real estate company that has solid tech.

The pivot hasn’t been without its challenges, as leadership shakeups, software bugs and a wily real estate market have pushed Keller Williams to make difficult and strategic choices about what it wants to be and how to get there.

Tim Heyl is something of a renaissance man.

More than a decade ago, Heyl was searching for a job and found himself falling into a career as a real estate agent with Keller Williams. It wasn’t his first choice of jobs, but after a rocky few months he soon found he was good at it. Not long after, he had an assistant. Then two. Then he was leading a team of multiple agents and dominating his local market in Austin, Texas. Today, the team still exists, has expanded repeatedly and includes more than 100 people.

Credit: Walton County Sheriff’s Office

A Los Angeles Realtor is facing assault charges for allegedly striking an elderly airline passenger in a video that has since gone viral.

Patricia Cornwall, whose LinkedIn profile identifies her as a luxury property specialist for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California, was arrested by federal law enforcement agents on Dec. 23 in Atlanta after her flight from Tampa landed, according to the Daily Mail.

Although Better founder Vishal Garg is “taking a break to reflect and refocus,” he remains the company’s chief executive officer, and the special purpose acquisition company formed to take Better public through a merger “remains confident” that the deal will go through.

That’s according to a regulatory filing submitted by Aurora Acquisition Corp. CEO Arnaud Massenet in the wake of revisions to the SPAC merger terms and mass layoffs at Better that cast doubt on the deal’s timeline.

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