The unparalleled Becky Tippett of UVa’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service has an excellent piece about personal debt — how it’s not necessarily a bad thing, despite some knee-jerk reactions to it.
First of all, she points out, the fact that Americans have less debt these days isn’t necessarily a sign of us getting smarter about our finances.
Our increased thriftiness is not necessarily a sign of changed attitudes and behaviors (although rising frugality has played a role), as much as changed circumstances. Defaults on mortgages and other loans in the aftermath of the recession have removed many debts from household balance sheets.
Beginning January 1, 2013, a new 3.8 percent tax on some investment income will take effect. Since this new tax will affect some real estate transactions, it is important for REALTORS® and homeowners to clearly understand the tax. It's a complicated tax, so it's not possible to predict how it will affect every home buyer and seller.
Pass along this good news to your clients: NBC 12 in Richmond gives local and statewide home sales some positive coverage as VAR reports a statewide increase in home sales of 11%. Watch the news spot and don’t forget to check out the VAR Q2 Home Sales Report (free for download) at www.VARealtor®.com/HomeSales.
Banks are increasingly tossing a new wrinkle into the foreclosure process — refusing to take possession of a property after they foreclose.
Billy lends Johnny $10, accepting Johnny’s hamster, Mr. Fluffy, as collateral. When Johnny can’t pay the money back, Billy demands Mr. Fluffy. Sadly, Johnny says his good-byes, delivers the hamster to Billy’s doorstep and leaves. But Billy takes one look at Mr. Fluffy and decides he doesn’t want him. He leaves him on the doorstep.
Mr. Higgins walks by, sees the Mr. Fluffy in his cage on the porch, and takes him away to keep him from dying. After a few months, he sends a bill to Johnny for the hamster food he bought.
Ah, economics — where anyone can make a case for anything affecting everything.
Witness these two headlines (and accompanying stories):
From Dan Green, we have “Pending Home Sales Index : With Low Mortgage Rates, Sales Rising“
With 2012 half-over, home sales remain brisk. From San Francisco, California; to Phoenix, Arizona; to Miami, Florida, low mortgage rates and rising prices are helping to get buyers off the fence and into new homes.
Nationwide new-home sales jumped 15.1% in June from 2011 according to the Census Bureau and HUD.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reports that housing starts were not only up in June, but hit their highest level in 3 1/2 years.