Back in February we told you not to worry about Richard Cordray’s appointment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. (There was some concern that if wasn’t confirmed, we’d be back in limbo in terms of mortgage requirements, and that would play havoc with the housing recovery.)
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Two pieces of good news when it comes to homeowners staying in their homes, and one of them also bodes well for the future.
Let’s start with RealtyTrac, which says foreclosure filings (everything from default notices to actual repossessions) are down in a big way: down 23 percent in the first half of 2013 from a year before.
Low inventory has been a problem lately, and not just in Virginia. But the latest figures from Realtor.com show that, while inventory is still low, signs are showing that it may be bottoming.
According to the report, June inventory was 7.3 percent below what it was a year ago. But here’s the good news: We had been looking at much bigger declines. For example, February’s numbers were down 18.6 percent year to year.
There’s a big deal going on in the Senate regarding tax reform.
The Senate Finance Committee has decided that the easiest way to change the tax code is to start with a blank slate — that is, start with no deductions at all, then add in the ones that are most important.
About a month ago a survey was sent out to Virginia Realtors giving them the opportunity to share what they are experiencing first hand, in the field regarding the housing market.
The survey, conducted in partnership with The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, focused on the state of the residential housing market in Virginia and how those conditions changed during the first quarter of 2013.
CNBC’s annual list of "America’s Top States for Business" is out, and Virginia has slipped further — now we’re down to number five (tied with Utah). After finishing first for three years (2007, 2009, and 2011), we dropped to third place last year, and dropped further in 2013.
Good news: May inventory is up 16.9 percent for the year, which is a good, solid number. (See the explanation below.)
Bad news: Inventory is still 14.3 percent lower than last May nationwide.
Inventory typically follows a cycle, increasing through the first half of the year and decreasing through the second half. So by July it might be 15 percent above what it began the year with. By December it might be right back where it started.
Home prices can’t keep rising this quickly forever. That’s what Realtor magazine is reporting that CNBC is reporting that NAR has said. (I know, right?)
Here’s the deal: In May, NAR reported that home prices were up 15.4 percent from the year before. And that marked six months of those kind of double-digit price jumps. Said NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun, "[I]t cannot continue."
Realtors reading about a CoreLogic story were quick to call shenanigans, making for an amusing read.