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Economy

Virginia cities, schools, businesses in the rankings

A few of the recent rankings reports released had Virginia well represented, so I figured I’d share.

First, seven Virginia cities were added to the National Association of Home Builders’ Improving Market Index – it "tracks housing markets throughout the country that are showing signs of improving economic health."

Blacksburg, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Roanoke, and Virginia Beach are on for the first time; Richmond and Williamsburg were already on the list. The only cloud: Danville dropped off the list this month.

Preparing for the boomerang buyers

VAR editor, Andrew Kantor recently wrote a great Op/Ed on Virginia’s housing market which ran in the Virginian-Pilot out of Hampton Roads, VA. Check it out!

A coming change to the housing market is an opportunity to kick the economy back into high gear – but, if we don’t all work together, it could stagnate the housing market and maybe the rest of the economy as well.

Thousands of people who lost their homes to foreclosure are reaching the point where their credit has cleared enough for them to re-enter the market.

Unfortunately, just as these “boomerang buyers” are beginning to get on their financial feet, there aren’t enough homes for them to buy.

That’s fixable, but it still puts us at a crossroads of the economic recovery.

New video: Q2 Homes Sales Report

Don’t just read the Q2 Homes Sales Report. Experience it. Well, watch the video, anyway.

Check out our own Stacey Ricks’s overview of the numbers, including the big one: We passed a major milestone, and the market is now performing better even than it did than in the second quarter of 2010 when it got a boost from tax incentives.

In other words, this is the best the market has been with or without the added tax-incentive boost.

stacey_q2_report

Asking prices are up, but the rising is slowing: Trulia

Every month, Trulia looks at asking prices for homes and asking rents for rentals. And they’ve been going up for a while now.

In its latest report, for example, Trulia found that asking prices were up 11.0 percent in August from a year before (and up 1.2 percent month to month).

But the company adds an important note: It found that the rate of those price jumps was slowing.

When it looked at the numbers in three-month chunks (e.g., May-June-July vs. June-July-August) numbers, it found that price rises were tapering off.

Feb-Mar-Apr: +4.0 percent
May-Jun-Jul: +3.2 percent
Jun-Jul-Aug: +3.0 percent

Fannie Mae to (finally) recognize short sales

Fannie Mae is going to fix a small problem with its software. It turns out, the company’s computers don’t recognize short sales.

What that means is that short sales (which typically keep someone from buying a home for two years) had to be labeled as foreclosures (which typically keep someone from buying a home for seven years).

Oops.

That’s a huge problem in states with high short-sale rates, such as Florida. And that’s why Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) took up the cause. Working with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Nelson got Fannie to agree to a fix.

By November 16, people who make short sales will have that properly labeled in Fannie’s system.

2013 Commercial Council Luncheon CANCELLED

Date: 
September 18, 2013 - 11:30am - 1:00pm
Location: 
DoubleTree by Hilton, 50 Kingsmill Road, Williamsburg, VA 22193

The luncheon sponsored by the Commercial Council has been cancelled.

Event Sponsors

VAR Commercial Alliance

NAR Commercial Alliance

Latest proposal effectively ditches QRM requirements for loans

The six federal agencies tasked with coming up with a definition of a Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) have floated another proposal — one that would essentially do away with the QRM definition altogether.

To understand what that means, we need a bit of background, which economist Bill McBride was happy to give, and which I will happily translate.

When it was created, the Dodd-Frank Act had two goals (among others):

1. Protect consumers from predatory lenders

2. Protect investors (notably taxpayers) from unknowingly buying risky loans

Foreclosures, pending sales, even prices: Good news all around

Here’s a quick roundup of the last few days facts and figures — it looks like good news in general.

Foreclosures and delinquencies are down. According to CoreLogic, the number of homes in the U.S. in some stage of foreclosure was down 32 percent from a year ago, with existing foreclosure inventory being absorbed by the market — it’s already down 20 percent this year, and was down 32 percent from July to July.

Steady as she goes

Virginia’s housing market recovery is holding steady despite being “tested” by increasing unemployment and interest rates this summer. Last summer we experienced lower 30-year mortgage interest rates and very little change in unemployment. This summer unemployment has increased steadily, reversing the trend we witnessed through the first quarter of 2013 and most of the second quarter. Further, interest rates are increasing as the Federal Reserve Board deems the economy stabilized.

2013 WAAR Economic Forum

Date: 
September 18, 2013 - 2:30pm - 5:30pm
Location: 
Doubletree by Hilton Williamsburg 50 Kingsmill Rd Williamsburg, VA 23185 Presented by the Williamsburg Area Association of REALTORS

 

Special guest speaker:

     Lawrence Yun, Chief Economic Advisor, NAR


Local economic representatives:

     Russell Seymour, JCC

     Michele DeWitt, City of Williamsburg