Virtually everyone agrees that reducing joblessness is key to the recovery of Virginia's economy and housing markets. Defense Secretary Robert Gates's recently announced reductions to the Pentagon's budget by dismantling the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) in Hampton Roads and cutting spending on defense contracts by 10% annually for the next three years. These spending cuts would cost Virginia thousands of jobs (10,000 in Hampton Roads alone, by some estimates), jeopardizing the Commonwealth's economic recovery.
So it may come as welcome news to some that the Commonwealth's political leaders are undertaking efforts on several fronts to address this potential economic blow.
Virginia's economy stands to take a heavy blow if Secretary of Defense Robert Gates's proposal to cut the Pentagon's budget goes ahead as planned. And there's little recourse for the Commonwealth's political leaders who are obviously concerned about the proposed cuts: Congress doesn't need to approve them. Here's what's at stake in the Commonwealth.
A retreat in government programs and support for homeownership may be imminent according to an article published in the Washington Post on July 21, 2010.
The administration's narrower view of who should own a home and what the government should to do to support them could have major implications for the economy as well as borrowers. Broadly, the administration may wind down some government backing for home loans, but increase the focus on affordable rentals.
Although Realtors® are mostly exempt from many of the provisions in the just-signed financial services reform bill, there are still a few things they need to know about. Always helpful and informative, NAR will host a webinar on August 26 to bring you up to speed on the changes.
President Obama is arranging a Conference on the Future of Housing Finance in August 2010, but NAR isn't waiting to represent the Realtor position to federal officials. In comments submitted to the US Treasury Department and HUD, NAR went on record to state that reforms to the secondary mortgage market, widely anticipated to be created by Congress in late 2010 or early 2011, should meet two requirements:
The Case-Shiller index showed month over month and year over year gains of 1.3% and 4.6% respectively, but the report authors warn that the housing economy isn't out of the woods yet. Much of this improvement could be attributable to the government's now-expired homebuyer tax credit.
"We need to watch where the housing market will go after these temporary stimuli go away," said managing director of the S&P indices David Blitzer. "June's existing and new home sales and housing starts data have not shown real improvement either."
He added: "It still looks possible that the housing market might bounce along the bottom for the foreseeable future before showing any real improvement that will filter through to the rest of the economy."
You may remember this image from the cover of the September/October 2009 issue of Commonwealth. As much as we like that cover and story, you can now forget all about them.
How long will a short sale stay on my credit report? How many points on the score will I lose if I declare bankruptcy? How long until I can get a government-insured loan if the bank forecloses on my home?
You've probably heard some variation of these questions from your clients. If you've ever been unsure of how to answer, NAR has created two resources to help:
An audio recording of today's press conference (right-click to download 7 MB mp3 file) with commentary from some of the state's leading brokers about VAR's second quarter home sales report is now available for download. The brokers in the call are: