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Celebrity Real Estate: Bruce Willis, Rosie O'Donnell, Andy Garcia

By Laura Vecsey …

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Celebrity Real Estate: Moby, Ozzie and Harriet Home

Moby Scales Down in L.A.

Moby has pumped out all kinds of sample-infused electronic music over the years, but he does have other passions, including animal rights activism and … real estate. Now the descendant of Herman Melville has made another housing switch, trading a sprawling 3.31-acre Hollywood Hills compound with a castle known as the Wolf’s Lair for a smaller Tudor nearby.

According to reports, Moby sold the famous 1927-era Lair this fall for $12.4 million — possibly to graffiti artist Banksy. Moby paid almost $4 million for the property in 2010, and then spent about $2 million renovating it.

He’s now ensconced in a more modest $2.9 million home that has 4 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and opens onto some pretty nice outdoor space, including a pool with a wraparound deck.

Earlier this year, Moby reportedly sold a Manhattan apartment for just over $2 million. In 2012, he was reported to have sold a New York penthouse for almost $6 million. He has also owned a pretty interesting modern home in the upstate New York town of Carmel.

Remodeled "Ozzie and Harriet" Home Sold

The famous “Ozzie and Harriet” home recently sold for over its asking price, this time without many of the details so prominently displayed on television for years. The final price was $5.25 million. …

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Celebrity Real Estate: Ringo Starr, Idina Menzel, Mickey Rooney

By Laura Vecsey

Ringo Starr Lists in Colorado

Fresh off selling their English estate in Surrey, Ringo Starr and his wife, Barbara Bach, are looking to scale back their U.S. real estate holdings as well by listing their Colorado ranch north of Aspen.

The 15.8-acre estate located on the banks of the Roaring Fork River is listed for $3.85 million. Nicknamed the “Shoot N’ Star Ranch,” Ringo and Barbara have owned the 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom house since 1991.

According to The Sunday Times, Starr and Bach plan to divide their time between London and Los Angeles. They reportedly own a flat off King’s Road in London, and a Beverly Hills home near Jennifer Aniston’s former house.

They Have Let It Go

Idina Menzel and estranged husband Taye Diggs have sold their Studio City home for $2.555 million. The Hollywood couple called it quits on the 10-year marriage last winter amidst the heady success of the animated movie “Frozen,” in which Menzel sings the lead part that sparked endless sing-alongs in living rooms of little girls across the country.

The 6-bedroom, 5-bathroom home sprawls 5,000 square feet and had been listed for $2.995 million.

 …

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Mortgage Rates Ease Following Weak European Economic Data

Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages fell this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgages at 3.77 percent, down from 3.82 percent at this same time last week.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell steadily last week before settling at the current rate.

“Rates eased last week on Europe’s weak economic data and the unexpected rate cut from China’s central bank,” said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages at Zillow. “Looking ahead, with several important U.S. data reports scheduled for release, we expect modest volatility in this holiday-shortened week.”

Additionally, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate this morning was 2.96 percent, and for 5/1 ARMs, the rate was 2.78 percent.

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Celebrity Real Estate: Lauren Bacall, Robert Pattinson, Debra Messing

Lauren Bacall’s Iconic New York Apartment Just Listed …

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Celebrity Real Estate: Renee Zellweger, Jon Stewart, Alan Cumming

By Laura Vecsey

Zellweger Selling Hamptons Home

Frist she listed her historic Connecticut property for sale. Now the Academy Award-winning actress has listed her East Hampton home for $4.45 million. Located just a few blocks from the ocean, the newly-renovated retreat has 3 bedrooms, a den, 2-car garage and loft.

It’s No Joke: Jon Stewart Sets Record Sale

Comedy Central star Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” may have been laughing all the way to the bank after he snagged $17.5 million for his lower Manhattan penthouse. The New York Times reported that it was the highest-priced sale in the city for the week.

Stewart bought the 5,800-square-foot duplex at 161 Hudson Street in 2005 for $5.8 million, but saw a whopping $3,000-per-square-foot deal close on the massive 9A/9B unit. The penthouse is inside a 1911 building that had been converted to 24 loft units in 2003. The Tribeca building has also been home to the likes of actor Jeremy Piven and former NY Mets catcher Mike Piazza.

Cumming Sells Small Abode Way Off Broadway

Alan Cumming’s penthouse studio at 7 Lexington Ave across from the Gramercy Park Hotel has sold for $762,500. “The Good Wife” and “Cabaret” star quietly owns two other properties in Manhattan, so the renovated alcove studio was ready for its final curtain. Cumming bought the property in 2011 for $580,000, but has since found a new home in the East Village.

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Celebrity Real Estate: Taylor Swift, Tom Cruise, Jeff Gordon

By Laura Vecsey

Taylor Swift Shaking It Off In High Style

While native New Yorkers may have their feathers in a flap over Taylor Swift’s Big Apple invasion, you have to hand it to the savvy songstress. When she buys real estate, whether in Nashville, Beverly Hills or Rhode Island, she’s goes big and calls it home.

Swift recently purchased a Tribeca penthouse from “Lord of the Rings” movie maestro Peter Jackson. Rolling Stone made a stop at the apartment recently, now that Swift is promoting her new album, “1989,” and has been a fixture on all sorts of magazine covers and the occasional New York Knicks’ games.

Swift’s NYC digs cost her $19.95 million and leaves her no shortage of room to hang with buddies like Ed Sheeran. There are 7 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms and a cool warehouse-loft feel with exposed brick and overhead beams. And given Swift’s fastidious call for security, she is said to have purchased a smaller, 3-bedroom unit across the hall for her staff.

Tom Cruise, Jeff Gordon Selling Big Colorado Estates

The Tom half of TomKat is looking to unload his Telluride estate. The price is $59 million for the cedar and stone estate that the Hollywood star designed and built back in 1994.

With no wife these days, his two older children grown and daughter Suri with Katie Holmes most of the time, Cruise has little need or time for the Colorado spread.

The estate includes 298 acres of national forest land and the nearly 10,000-square-foot main residence has 4 bedrooms and 6 full bathrooms. There’s also a 1,600-square-foot guesthouse with 3 bedrooms and 3 full baths.

Meanwhile, another pretty-faced thrill-seeking star is looking to unload his Colorado ranch. NASCAR king Jeff Gordon has dropped the price of his 1,930-acre ranch in Missouri Heights, north of Aspen.

Gordon originally listed for $12.5 million in May 2013 and knocked down to $10.95 million last October. The eternally verdant land is now priced at $10.5 million. In addition to killer alpine views, one major draw of Gordon’s ranch is its ample water rights and no conservation restrictions.


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Celebrity Real Estate: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas, Bruce Willis

By Laura Vecsey

Celebrities Picking Up Bedford, NY Properties

Now here’s a threesome: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas and Bruce Willis.

Well, not completely together, but in the same tony area of Bedford, New York.

After reconciling, Zeta-Jones and Douglas have sold one Bedford area home and bought another for $11.25 million – perhaps a way for the Oscar winners to make a fresh start in a bigger, better Colonial in Westchester County, about an hour north of New York City.

How hot is Bedford? Hot enough to attract yet another Hollywood star.

Willis has purchased a hilltop property overlooking the bucolic Croton Reservoir for $12 million. The estate has 5 bedrooms, 6 baths, a pool and heated cabana. He also purchased adjoining properties that include an additional 8 acres and 2 guest cottages.

The spread gives Willis an option for when he and his family need a break from the sumptuous Central Park West apartment he bought from U2 bassist Adam Clayton.

Willis has long been a fan of country living. In fact, he owned tons of property in Hailey, ID dating back to when he was married to Demi Moore. But his new place still gives Willis room to roam: 22.32 acres on one of the highest points in Bedford.

As for Zeta-Jones and Douglas: Their new digs come in the form of a 19th-century estate that spans 15,458 square feet and includes 8 bedrooms, 13.5 baths, equestrian facilities, gardens, greenhouse, tennis court and pool. …

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Celebrity Real Estate: LeBron James, Elvis, Lady Gaga, Ted Turner

By Laura Vecsey

LeBron’s Miami Vice House For Sale

He’s definitely hot now that he’s back home in Cleveland, so what good would a luxury home in Miami do anymore for LeBron James?

Not a lot, which is why the NBA great’s waterfront home has hit the market for $17 million. That’s well over the $9 million LeBron paid back in 2010, but hey, maybe the aura of those four NBA Finals appearances gives the place added value. The home has also been finished to the hilt and staged for maximum exposure.

The concrete concoction is being hailed as the “most opulent estate in Miami” and sprawls over 12,000 square feet. There’s a huge kitchen, wine cellar, movie theater and private sun deck on the roof accessible from the master bedroom. And, this being Miami, there’s a concrete dock with ample room for not one but two 60-foot yachts. …

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Mortgage Rates Plunge to Lowest Level in 16 Months

Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages fell this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgages at 3.81 percent, down from 3.96 percent at this same time last week.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped Wednesday, then hovered around 3.88 percent for most of the week before falling to the current rate.

“Rates dropped to the lowest level since June 2013 on news that the Federal Reserve has more reservations about the health of the U.S. and global economy than expected, which in turn, may delay rate hikes,” said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages at Zillow. “With little economic news planned to overshadow the Fed’s latest comments, this week we expect rates to fairly remain stable, hovering just shy of 4 percent.”

Additionally, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate this morning was 2.96 percent, and for 5/1 ARMs, the rate was 2.70 percent.

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Celebrity Real Estate: Jake Gyllenhaal, Kelly Ripa, Michelle Williams

By Laura Vecsey …

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Celebrity Real Estate: Beyonce, Jay Z, Daryl Hannah

By Laura Vecsey

Los Angeles Rental Fit for King & Queen

Well, so what if the monthly rent was $200,000? The Los Angeles-area home that rapper Jay Z and his fierce wife Beyonce camped out in this summer was the picture of modern luxury. …

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Gulf Coast Metro Areas Among Fastest-Growing

By Nora Tooher

Two Gulf Coast metro areas recently made the U.S. Census Bureau’s top 10 list of high-growth communities. Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, Ala., grew 2.6 percent and Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., grew 2.5 percent since the last year.

The nation's fastest-growing metro area between 2012 and 2013 was The Villages, Fla. Its population rose by 5.2 percent over the period. Home values there are about $197,900, according to real estate marketplace Zillow. Values have risen 12.1 percent over the past year and are predicted to rise 8.2 percent within the next year.

Sumter, Fla.; St. Bernard Parish, La.; and Fort Bend, Texas, were also among the 10 fastest-growing counties in the vicinity of the Gulf Coast.

Other fast-growing metros were Odessa and Midland, both in Texas; Fargo and Bismarck, both in North Dakota; Casper, Wyo.; Myrtle Beach, S.C.; and Austin, Texas.

Many older industrial metros in the Northeast are struggling to retain their populations. Rochester, N.Y., for example, once a major manufacturing hub and now a center of higher education and technology, eked out only a 0.1 percent population increase last year. …

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Celebrity Real Estate: Sarah Jessica Parker, Adam Levine, Randy Johnson

By Laura Vecsey …

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30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Rise Above 4%

Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages rose this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgages at 4.05 percent, up from 3.96 percent at this same time last week.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate gradually increased last week, peaking at 4.19 percent on Saturday before coming down to the current rate.

“Rates rose steadily last week despite the lackluster jobs report released on Friday,” said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages at Zillow. “This week, with little domestic economic news slated for release, we expect international news to determine whether rates will keep rising, or fall back below 4 percent.”

Additionally, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate this morning was 3.11 percent, and for 5/1 ARMs, the rate was 2.88 percent.

Purchase Mortgage Application Activity

Zillow predicts tomorrow’s seasonally adjusted Mortgage Bankers Association Weekly Application Index will show purchase loan activity increased by 4 percent from the week prior. To learn more about this Zillow analysis, click here.

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