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Welcome to Good Morning Mortgage, VAR's free lending webinar series. This is your source for up-to-the-minute lending news straight from the source. VAR has partnered with the Virginia Bankers Association to bring lending experts right to Virginia REALTORS®. Check back often for new episodes and watch your e-mail or VARbuzz to register for the live webinars and have your questions answered in real time.

New NAR survey finds that Americans support home ownership

A new survey from NAR found that consumers are upbeat about housing. They "overwhelmingly believe that buying a home is a good financial decision," and they consider owning a home to be a top priority.

The Housing Pulse Survey found that 80 percent of Americans believe it’s a good idea to buy a home, and that half of renters now consider home ownership "one of their highest personal priorities."

Virginia’s housing market passes a milestone to recovery

Virginia’s residential sales volume (measured by the dollar value of real estate sold) passed an important milestone in the second quarter of 2013. Sales volume surpassed the volume sold in 2010 when sales were boosted by tax credit incentives. The 2010 comparison is important because the 2013 Virginia housing market has advanced beyond the peak of the 2010 market, despite significant economic stressors (government sequester) and without economic incentives (tax credits). All in all, the second quarter was strong and continues to exhibit signs of recovery.


Existing-home sales up 15 percent in June

The latest figures from NAR show that sales of existing homes (single-family houses, condos/co-ops, and townhomes) were up 15.2 percent in June from the year before.

Meanwhile, inventory was down 7.6 percent from a year ago, while median nationwide prices were up 13.5 percent from June 2012. (That’s 16 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases, btw.)

Missing the point, headlines see downs in a positive report

Are you kidding me? Talk about looking for the negative.

"Housing Starts Fall to 10-Month Low" reads the New York Times Reuters headline. But there are two big problems with the story.

Here’s the lede:

U.S. housing starts and permits for future home construction unexpectedly fell in June…


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