According to the Census Bureau, homeownership in the US has dropped to just under 66% in the second quarter of 2011 — the lowest level since 1998.
That’s down 1% since the same quarter last year, and half a percent lower than Q1.
It’s highest level? About 69.2% in 2004, according to BankRate.com, which also notes:
Richmond, VA, July 21, 2011- Despite slower home sales during second quarter 2011, compared to second quarter of 2010, the housing market in Virginia may be ready to surge forward in the third and fourth quarters. Other good news is that we can see a clear increase in sales from first quarter 2011 to second quarter 2001.
Faster short sales would reduce foreclosures
No one likes foreclosures. That's why Virginia REALTORS® support federal legislation to speed up the short-sale process.
It's impossible to talk about real estate in Virginia—or any other U.S. state, for that matter—without bringing up the subject of foreclosures. While experts disagree on exactly how much damage foreclosures cause to neighborhoods and home sales, there's no denying that the effect is generally negative. Foreclosures, truth be told, hurt everyone and benefit almost no one.
So what's the status of foreclosures in Virginia today?
Homeowners who don't itemize their federal income tax deductions still benefit from the tax advantage of mortgage interest.
The federal mortgage interest deduction, known as "the MID," is one of the greatest means to encourage homeownership and promote healthy housing markets not only in Virginia, but throughout the nation. That's why all homeowners, including those who don't take the deduction, should be concerned about recent proposals in Washington, D.C., to cut back this important benefit.
April 29, 2011 – Virginia residential home sales in the first quarter of 2011 have followed the general trend of the last several years with year-to-date sales 0.3% above last year. January and February home sales in 2011 exceed the same month the prior year (by 2.5 % and 3.5%) according to the Virginia Association of REALTORS®’ Home Sales Report.
For the complete Virginia Quarterly Home Sales Report for First Quarter 2011, please CLICK HERE.
Realtor lobbyists and policy makers are gearing up for what could be the fight(s) of their careers
John DiBiase points to the Capitol dome, a few blocks from NAR’s D.C headquarters. “We have to make sure that those people over there don’t do anything to fundamentally alter the relationship you have with your clients.”
Foreclosure shadow inventory (mortgages in 90+ days of deliquency) are a considerable factor against the recovery of the housing market. The estimates put the current inventory around 1.8 million homes equating to a nine-month supply; a six-month supply is considered healthy. CoreLogic reports that this is an 11 percent drop in this inventory from one year ago. Read the full story on Housing Wire here...
I've been accused of being too negative about the market, and of spinning stories to be overly positive. I consider this a good sign that I'm being a realist. Still, at the risk of being labeled a shill, here's some potential good news from the future.
First, Fortune says "Real estate: It's time to buy again." The reasons? Not only the fact that prices have dropped so much (because, as we all know, they've dropped for the most part to realistic levels). The big reason for Fortune's enthusiasm is what it describes as a historic drop in new construction.
We just got the housing-sales numbers for February, so until we can give a more comprehensive analysis, here's the gist:
Statewide sales, which hand been down in January, were almost identical in February (compared to 2010): 5,058 units in 2011 vs. 5,062 the year before.
Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.), working with Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and 29 other senators, is preparing to introduce a broad, bi-partisan plan to reduce federal spending and reduce the deficit. But it's not clear yet whether the plan will include any change to the mortgage interest deduction. VAR views any proposed change to the MID with, shall we say, a certain amount of concern -- especially these days when we really don't want to rock the economic boat any more.